"Statistics is a branch of mathematics dealing with the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation, and organization of data. In applying statistics to, e.g., a scientific, industrial, or social problem, it is conventional, to begin with, a statistical population or a statistical model process to be studied."
Mamamia, it really sounds boring beyond imagination, doesn't it?
But actually, stats is something that can give us a somewhat precise idea of trends and events that happen on a regular basis.
Over the years, we have collected data on games played on ICC. ICC is the longest running chess server on the Internet, and our data goes back to the beginning of the '90's. Recently ICC has decided to make some of the most interesting statistics available to all those who are interested in it. Presented in an elegant format, you can find statistics on ICC's website.
All-Time most games played shows impressive numbers: some people have played more than half a million games over the years! If you want to check this stats over all the different rating categories, there is a page that shows it.
The Current Best Ratings stats page shows all the many different rating categories, with the best 20 players for each category.
We could not forget a page with the records! In the All-time Best Ratings page, you can find the highest ratings - in all the different categories - ever achieved in ICC.
Looking at these web pages, one realizes the incredible dedication of some of the best GMs in the world, who often have grown up in ICC, practicing and studying new openings by playing tons of online games.