Hooker Dan Rowett led the way for Chester as he scored a hattrick and the Gladiators can take plenty of positives from a strong performance against a very good side.
Chris Smith, Chris Pape and Tom Bradfield also scored tries for Chester, who had led 16-6 at one stage.
Chorley scored the game's opening try on 13 minutes before the Gladiators hit back in fine style scoring three tries in the space of six minutes to race into the lead.
The visitors regrouped and gradually began to take control of the match forcing their way over the Chester line for three tries as they took a 22-16 lead into the break.
Chorley extended their lead 10 minutes into the second half and then added further try on 63 minutes to take a commanding 34-16 advantage.
Rowett reduced the deficit with an excellent solo try from range but the Panthers responded well and restored their 18 point lead just minutes later.
Pape and Rowett added late consolation tries for the Gladiators either side of a final Chorley score as the visitors held on to win 44-34 in a game that offered plenty of entertainment.
Rowett was named as the Bartlett's Solicitors Man of the Match.