Afleveringen

  • On this special edition of 64: A Chess Podcast, host and resident patzer David Vizgan guides you through his jumbled and unedited thoughts on the first three games of the World Chess Championship.

    Image credits: Andreas Kontokanis

    If you like what you've heard, subscribe to my Patreon!

    Follow me on Twitter here!

  • Tai Pruce-Zimmerman (@chessnumbers), also known as "Chess by the Numbers", has been running a chess blog for many years. Fueled by statistical analysis and intense attention to trends in the chess world, he has reported about everything from the rise of chess prodigies to probabilities of tournament results. His work has also fueled a lot of the discussion that I've had about certain storylines in top-flight chess.

    With the World Chess Championship just days away and with a certain teenager capturing headlines Internationally for his dramatic climb to the top of the chess world, I thought it would be a great time to bring Chess by the Numbers on my show to talk Alireza, Magnus, and statistics. We got into a lot of interesting side discussions about rating inflation and many different sports. This episode really got me excited for the future of chess, and I hope it gets you pumped too!

    If you like what you've heard this week and want to support my podcast financially, you can subscribe to my Patreon for as little as $1 a month!

    We talked about...

    Move over, Magnus! The Alireza effect is in full swing. We do a deep dive into Alireza Firouzja's phenomenal 2021, pondering Alireza as prodigy, as elite player, and as possible heir to the throne.

    Tai talks about following Firouzja's journey since February 2015 (on his "Prodigy Watch" feature of his chess blog) and how beating Magnus Carlsen's record of youngest 2800 feels like "full circle"

    A beginner's guide to rating inflation, the 2800 club, and on Magnus Carlsen's "plateau" at 2850 elo

    A little World Chess Championship talk -- for more, see Tai's episode with the Perpetual Chess Podcast, released recently

    Could Firouzja be the first player to take the #2 spot from Magnus in the classical ratings list? And where did this massive step forward come from?

    The current and future projects from Chess By The Numbers, including the return of Prodigy Watch to his blog. Plus, two "amateur statisticians" talk about the tools Tai uses for his work

    Classical vs. rapid chess, from a spectator point of view. Plus, my suggestions to make classical chess more fun to watch

    As always, another edition of Aimchess Instant Insights

    Thanks as always to Aimchess for sponsoring the podcast -- use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off of your first month with Aimchess!

    Follow me on Twitter and Twitch!

    Thanks again to Tai Pruce-Zimmerman for coming on the podcast -- hope to have you back!

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  • NM Jeremy Kane is the Curriculum Director for Chess.com. He won the Wisconsin State Championship in 2007 and has worked as a chess teacher/coach/mentor for many years. He last made an appearance on the podcast in July, where he teased a book called "The Next to Last Mistake" which he had been writing for several years. Next month, the book will be released! I invited Jeremy back on the show for a deep dive into the thoughts that went into writing the book. We also talked a bit about the atmosphere and storylines around the World Chess Championship, which is starting next Friday!

    Having received an advance copy of "The Next to Last Mistake", I can say that it is a fantastic and necessary addition to chess literature. It focuses on skills like resilience and creating complications from a practical and educational standpoint, which are topics that are oft neglected despite being able to impact one's improvement in chess. It's also a book that I think will be very helpful for my own chess improvement. I give the book two thumbs up -- you can pre-order/purchase the book on Amazon now. Thank you for listening to this week's episode of 64!

    Check out the Magnus-Nepo Prediction Challenge at www.magnusnepo.com!

    We talked about...

    "The Next to Last Mistake" -- who is the book written for? What gaps in the chess literature does he hope to fill with it? How does

    How to get the most out of the book -- analyzing with a real board vs. computer, and changing one's chess mindset towards finding resilient and creative ideas over the "best" move in tricky or worse positions

    How Jeremy's extensive experience/career as a chess coach informed the way he wrote "The Next to Last Mistake"

    The case for chess books over online chess courses

    Magnus-Nepo: how does Jeremy think Ian Nepomniachtchi and Fabiano Caruana signing contracts with Chess.com impact the company in the short and long-term?

    Secret chess accounts of the world's elite on rival websites

    What is the main storyline/angle for this World Championship for people who might be interested in chess but have never watched?

    What might be the consequences of a Nepo WCC win in December? Plus, showing some love to London 2013 and Yekaterinburg 2020/21 (iconic!)

    As always, another edition of Aimchess Instant Insights

    Thanks as always to Aimchess for sponsoring the podcast -- use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off of your first month with Aimchess!

    Thanks again to NM Jeremy Kane for hopping on the podcast again! Third time's the charm, perhaps? :-) Follow him on Twitter!

    Follow me on Twitter and Twitch! Thank you so much as always for listening.

  • lularobs is a chess streamer from Jersey, UK. She started playing chess almost a year ago, when "The Queen's Gambit" was capturing the attention and imagination of audiences all over the world. She started streaming shortly after -- since then, she's gained 3,500 followers on Twitch, and recently became a partner streamer with Chess.com. A few days ago, she won the second edition of the Dragon Masters tournament on Chess.com -- her first ever tournament!

    Her chess skills have progressed rapidly as well; she's gone from a total beginner to nearly 1500 elo in just under a year, and Lula recently hired a chess coach for more focused improvement. She might also the world's biggest fan of 1.b4, the Polish Opening. Having watched her streams over the past few weeks, I can say that she has a very bright future both as a chess player and as a streamer. It was a delight to have Lula on the show, and I am so glad that we did this podcast episode.

    We talked about...

    What effect did "The Queen's Gambit" have on Lula's decision to start playing chess? How did her perception of "chess players" change over time, and how were her first days of streaming?

    The Dragon Masters online tournament -- how she prepared for her first ever chess tournament, and how she felt after winning the whole event

    Twitch discussion -- dealing with backseating, tilting in front of viewers, and Lula's strategies for growing her stream over the last year

    What makes Chess so watchable compared to other games?

    Impostor syndrome across the rating ladder, plus a mention of Garry Kasparov's connection to Hearthstone

    Lula discusses her upcoming OTB tournament in a few weeks -- her first ever! -- and her plans for chess improvement and stream growth over the next few months

    As always, another edition of Aimchess Instant Insights

    Thanks as always to Aimchess for sponsoring the podcast -- use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off of your first month with Aimchess!

    Thanks so much to lularobs (twitch.tv/lularobs) for coming on the podcast -- hope to have you back again! Follow her on Twitter here!

    Follow me on Twitter and Twitch! Thank you so much as always for listening.

  • FM Michiel Abeln is a chess author, best known for his critically acclaimed book "The Anand Files" which details the games and stories surrounding Viswanathan Anand's three World Championship titles. Michiel has recently published a Chessable course on the Leningrad Dutch, a dynamic response to 1.d4 which is aimed towards adult improvers.

    Long-time listeners know that I adore "The Anand Files". It is a unique book; part game collection, part journalism, part narrative storytelling, painting a vibrant picture of the 15th World Champion and the team that supported him through his World Championship run. With the Carlsen-Nepo match coming up in a few weeks, I also thought it might put the podcast in a World Championship atmosphere. In any case, it was great to pick FM Abeln's brain about chess culture.

    We talked about...

    The Leningrad Dutch course -- why he wrote it, what his goals were for the course, and comparing it to other books on the Dutch

    Quality over quantity -- FM Abeln's work ethic and goal to create flawless chess content. We also touch upon misleading claims re: improvement from publishers and marketers in chess

    The Anand Files -- across the episode I ask questions about the creation of the book, such as the interview process with Vishy and his seconds, how he annotated the games, and what he thinks about the project now that it's available for purchase. I basically just raved about the book and asked all the questions I've wanted to know while I continue reading the book. If you own the book, this might be especially fun for you, and if you don't, consider it a sneak peek :)

    World Championship dynamics -- how do teams form for a player? What is the hierarchy between the champion/challenger and his seconds? How does a coach give advice to a player like Magnus Carlsen or Vishy Anand?

    Magnus vs. Nepo -- given what he knows about World Chess Championship matches, what does FM Abeln think about the upcoming match later this month? Does Nepo have any chances to usurp the throne? What can we expect from the match in terms of strategy game-by-game?

    Vishy's legacy -- is Viswanathan Anand underestimated as a chess player, at least outside India? We discuss Vishy's career and his impact on chess

    As always, another edition of Aimchess Instant Insights

    Thanks as always to Aimchess for sponsoring the podcast -- use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off of your first month with Aimchess!

    Thanks so much to FM Michiel Abeln for coming on the podcast -- hope to have you back soon! Follow him on Twitter here.

    Follow me on Twitter!

    Follow me on Twitch (pleaaaaaase!)

    FM Michiel Abeln's Leningrad Dutch course can be purchased here, and his book "The Anand Files" can be bought here

  • Martin Justesen is a published chess author from Denmark. Martin's books are aimed for adult improvers like him, across all levels. He recently adapted Jose Raul Capablanca's classic "Chess Fundamentals" into algebraic notation so that newer players would be able to tap into his vast knowledge. He's also written books on blindfold endgame calculation, "headachingly hard" mate-in-two puzzles, and even an opening journal for recording OTB ideas in openings. Because Martin is Danish, we also talked a bit about Danish chess and this episode has made me really hyped to try out OTB chess in Denmark. I want to thank Martin for coming onto the show this week and for tolerating me butchering Danish pronunciations!

    Some highlights from this week's episode:

    Martin talks a bit about what he's currently doing in chess -- playing in a weekly tournament, possibly playing some league chess, and taking lessons

    Why did Martin decide to start writing chess books?

    Logistical difficulties with publishing his most recent book

    Will we ever see Martin's books adapted to a digital format (i.e. Chessable)?

    Danish chess -- Nimzowitch, Larsen, Nielsen, and a big question -- will Martin and I play OTB chess against each other in Copenhagen?

    How do Danes feel about their fellow Scandinavian, Magnus Carlsen?

    Danish chess culture

    Another edition of Aimchess Instant Insights!

    64: A Chess Podcast is sponsored by Aimchess. Use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off your first month with Aimchess.

    Join my Patreon!

    Thanks again to Martin Justesen for coming onto the show. Follow Martin on Twitter here, and subscribe to his newsletter here. Also, the "tank video" he mentioned can be found at this link.

    Follow the podcast on Twitter: @64Podcast

    Follow David Vizgan (the host) on Twitter: @davidvizgan

  • Ben Johnson is the host of the Perpetual Chess Podcast, which recently joined the Blue Wire Podcasts family. Perpetual Chess has 1,000,000+ streams in over 100 countries and, since its inception five years ago, has been the gold standard for chess podcasts. Ben has interviewed everyone from competitive tournament players to World Champions (Anand and Kramnik) of the game.

    Ben's podcasting empire has expanded well beyond traditional interviews with GMs and other figures in the chess world. With Chessable, he has started the How to Chess Podcast, where he and his guests share nuggets of chess wisdom in shorter length episodes. He hosts an Adult Improver series of his podcasts with all kinds of interesting guests from around the world and across the rating ladder. He also has another series on book recaps of chess book classics. Outside of podcasting, Ben achieved the National Master (NM) title many years ago, played poker professionally for several years, and has experience as an independent

    In short, there's something for everyone with an interest in chess to check out on the Perpetual Chess Podcast. Long-time listeners of 64: A Chess Podcast will know that I've been a huge fan of Ben's work with the Perpetual Chess Podcast, and it was a pleasure to talk about recent news in the chess world, as well as general podcasting, with someone who has inspired me to work very hard on my own podcast. I want to thank Ben for coming onto the show this week, and to thank you all for checking out this episode of 64: A Chess Podcast.

    Some highlights from this week's episode:

    Ruminations about the nature of the "chess pod-o-sphere"

    Ben and I discuss the Champions Chess Tour Final, its surrounding drama (NFTs, Hikaru Titled Tuesday, etc.), and the tour format

    We also briefly discuss FIDE's recent sponsorship agreement with Motiva, a breast implantation company. Check out Lichess's article on this agreement here

    What was the chess pod-o-sphere like in 2016? How did Ben ultimately find success?

    Ben's favorite interview on the Perpetual Chess Podcast

    How did the chess boom impact the Perpetual Chess Podcast growth?

    Ben talks a bit about his own chess goals, including returning to OTB chess and being inspired by the adult improvers who come on his show.

    Some b3 cowboy discourse

    Yet another edition of Aimchess Instant Insights!

    BONUS BASKETBALL CONTENT: Ben Johnson rants about Ben Simmons, and other light NBA discussion

    64: A Chess Podcast is sponsored by Aimchess. Use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off your first month with Aimchess.

    Join my Patreon!

    Thanks again to Ben Johnson for coming onto the show. Follow Ben on Twitter here!

    Follow Perpetual Chess Podcast!

    Follow How to Chess!

    Follow the podcast on Twitter: @64Podcast

    Follow David Vizgan (the host) on Twitter: @davidvizgan

  • 64: A Chess Podcast is back, after a brief hiatus! On this episode I was joined by British National Master Dan Gallagher. Dan experienced a lot of success in their youth as a tournament chess player. Dan recently claimed their National Master title and is currently grinding for the FM title, looking to play in the British League and in Hastings this year. Outside of chess, Dan is finishing a philosophy degree at the University of Cambridge.

    NM Gallagher is also an active coach who is always looking for new students. It was truly delightful to have Dan on the show this week to restart the podcast. I'm broadcasting from Copenhagen for the next few months and am going to do my best to maximize content opportunities that come from being in Europe. If you want to help me with that while maximizing your chess, you can use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off your first month with Aimchess!

    Some highlights from this week's episode:

    Now that I've moved to Copenhagen, Dan describes playing in the Xtracon Open 2019 (won by Praggnanandhaa), which was played in Denmark

    How does Dan approach playing against stronger masters (such as IMs and GMs)? A bit of bullying!

    A typical day in the life of an active tournament NM in terms of chess study

    Dan talks about their tournament history as a young chess player in the UK, including championship and tournament successes

    A broad discussion about chess improvement, and making chess fun for the chess improvers community. I explain my gripes with hyperfixation on elo, and Dan recommends some fun chess books

    Yet another edition of Aimchess Instant Insights!

    64: A Chess Podcast is sponsored by Aimchess. Use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off your first month with Aimchess.

    Join my Patreon!

    Follow NM Dan Gallagher on Twitter!

    Gallagher-Haubro (2019), cited by Dan during this episode, can be found here!

    Follow the podcast on Twitter: @64Podcast

    Follow David Vizgan (the host) on Twitter: @davidvizgan

  • IM Kostya Kavutskiy has basically done it all in the chess world. He is an active tournament player, has written for chess magazines, authored a book on the Open Sicilian, and has coached many, many students across all skill levels. He is also an accomplished streamer who has been at it on Twitch for a few years!

    Last year, IM Kavutskiy created the "Chess Dojo" as a means of gathering chess improvers and improvement resources under one virtual roof. The results have been electrifying -- along with GM Jesse Kraai, IM David Pruess, and a dedicated community on Discord, Kostya and the Chess Dojo are helping players get better at chess. Kostya is also working on a Chessable course which will be out soon.

    I recorded this episode just a few days before I flew to Copenhagen, and I'm really excited for you all to hear Kostya's insights on climbing the rating ladder and on the chess world.

    Some highlights from this week's episode:

    Kostya's upcoming Chessable course on "endgame studies", aimed for beginner and intermediate players

    I ask Kostya a question that's been on my mind for a while: at what point should a chess player consider buying Chessbase?

    Kostya talks about forming the Chess Dojo, teaming up with IM David Pruess, and fleshing out the virtual space into what it is today

    We also talk about how the philosophy behind Chess Dojo improvement videos/streams/classes/etc.

    Kostya and I talk about elusive and arbitrary goals regarding rating milestones and "getting good at chess"

    "The best chess book is the one you read"; how Bobby Fischer's "My 60 Memorable Games" pushed Kostya onto the path towards a lifelong professional career in chess

    Improving positional play vs. tactical play when you're unsure what to study in order to improve

    Another edition of "Aimchess Instant Insights" with Kostya!

    64: A Chess Podcast is sponsored by Aimchess. Use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off your first month with Aimchess.

    Join my Patreon!

    Thanks again to IM Kostya Kavutskiy for joining the show -- follow him on Twitter!

    Chess Dojo socials: YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Discord

    Follow the podcast on Twitter: @64Podcast

    Follow David Vizgan (the host) on Twitter: @davidvizgan

  • WGM Jennifer Shahade is a two-time US Women's Champion, an all-star commentator for top-flight chess events, an avid podcaster for both chess and poker, a published author, and an icon for gender equality in our game. In fact, had I not watched Jennifer (along with GMs Maurice Ashley, Yasser Seirawan, and Cristian Chirila) commentate the St. Louis Rapid and Blitz 2017 with such enthusiasm and insight I might have never become a chess player myself!

    On this episode of 64, WGM Shahade and I talk about growing the game for female players and discuss a wide range of topics, from chess history to poker and everything in between. As a final note, I had been trying to get WGM Shahade onto the show for many months, and we found time to make our schedules work just before I flew to Copenhagen. I thank Jennifer from the bottom of my heart for stopping by, and I hope you all enjoy this episode of 64: A Chess Podcast.

    Some highlights from this week's episode:

    We talk "Girls' Club", an event Jennifer organizes with US Chess Women, and pivoting from in-person to online events

    Jennifer discusses how has the OTB landscape changed with regards to gender equity over the last two decades...

    Focusing on anti-harassment policies in US Chess and beyond to continue making social progress in the chess world

    The case for renaming "Alekhine's Gun" to "Polgar's Power Punch"

    Advice for growing the chess "pod-o-sphere" and embracing gimmicky podcasts

    Discussing the overlap between chess and poker -- especially the allure of poker to many chess players

    The "generational shift" we are seeing in the chess world right now for female chess players

    "Aimchess Instant Insights", a new sponsored section of my podcast :-)

    64: A Chess Podcast is sponsored by Aimchess. Use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off your first month with Aimchess.

    I also want to say "Rest In Peace" to GM Evgeny Sveshnikov, who passed away on the day this episode was recorded.

    Join my Patreon!

    Thanks again to WGM Jennifer Shadade for joining the show -- follow her on Twitter! And listen to Ladies' Knight, Jen's chess podcast.

    Follow the podcast on Twitter: @64Podcast

    Follow David Vizgan (the host) on Twitter: @davidvizgan

  • WGM Dina Belenkaya is an active tournament player, chess commentator, and streamer. As a player, she has won the St. Petersburg Chess Championship four times, and has played in several European Championships and World Cups (including in 2021!). As a commentator, she has provided commentary for the Online Olympiad, Corporate Chess Championship, and even official commentary for the FIDE broadcast of the 2021 Women's World Cup. She also streams chess on Twitch with her sister Asya, and their channel (@TheBelenkaya) has seen massive growth over the last year. I was delighted to have WGM Belenkaya on my show this week.

    Some highlights from this week's episode:

    Collaborating on content with "chess influencers" in Sochi

    Transitioning from playing in the Women's World Cup to providing official commentary for FIDE

    The difference between knockout vs. Swiss tournaments as a player vs. as a fan

    How does Dina make commentary exciting for classical chess tournaments? Plus, how to be a "good" chess commentator

    Getting started streaming on Twitch during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Learning chess from her mom and battling against a "patriarchal" chess culture in Russia

    Ideas for combating gender disparities in the chess world, particularly in terms of participation and prize money

    Dina's short-term and long-term career goals

    FIDE's great progress in promoting careers for women across the chess world, from arbiters to executive positions

    Sharing a similar opening repertoire with me, and geeking out over the Caro-Kann :-)

    64: A Chess Podcast is sponsored by Aimchess. Use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off your first month with Aimchess.

    Join my Patreon!

    Thanks to WGM Dina Belenkaya for joining the show -- follow her on Twitter and subscribe to her Twitch channel!

    I'm a big fan of Chessable -- create an account here!

    Follow the podcast on Twitter: @64Podcast

    Follow David Vizgan (the host) on Twitter: @davidvizgan

  • Geert van der Velde is the Chief Content Officer (CCO) of Chessable and Vice President of Content at the Play Magnus Group (NOTE: Play Magnus Group owns Aimchess which sponsors this podcast). Before working full-time as a chess company executive, Geert experienced some notable success in the music world as the vocalist of the metalcore band Shai Hulud in the late 90s and early 00s. Over the last few years, Geert has turned his passion for chess, along with his love for Chessable as a fan of the company, into a full-time career working on content creation for some of the largest groups in the industry. Today, when Geert isn't destroying people online with 1.b3, he's working with super-grandmasters to produce courses for Chessable and designing the future of chess education online.

    Episode highlights:

    Typical day in the life at the Chessable offices

    Making the switch four years ago from metal vocalist to eventual chess CCO (by contacting the CEO of Chessable!!)

    Supporting anyone, from super GMs to chess enthusiasts, via the publishing platform on Chessable

    The "Chessable Classroom", a video-integrated toolkit for larger chess classes online (very exciting stuff for the future of scholastic chess educations!)

    Play Magnus Group developing an arsenal of chess media, from commentary with chess24 to education and analytics with other apps (i.e. Chessable and Aimchess)

    Magnus Carlsen's involvement with Play Magnus and its goal to become "the most comprehensive chess company in the world"

    Growing a chess empire in the "golden age" of chess online, and whether Geert + other execs expected the success they've reached so far

    Why should someone buy a Chessable course over a physical chess book?

    What Geert would like to see in terms of innovation in the chess world

    Ultimate goal of making chess knowledge easier to share, and chess culture more accessible

    Geert's favorite Chessable course, the "Checkmate Patterns Manual", by a club player who turned it into one of the platform's most popular courses for chess improvement

    "1.b3 cowboy!"

    64: A Chess Podcast is sponsored by Aimchess. Use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off your first month with Aimchess.

    Join my Patreon!

    Thanks to Geert van der Velde for coming on the podcast. You can follow him on Twitter: @blackatlantic.

    BONUS: Listen to Shai Hulud's 2003 metalcore classic, "That Within Blood Ill-Tempered", which features Geert on vocals :)

    I'm a big fan of Chessable -- create an account here!

    Follow the podcast on Twitter: @64Podcast

    Follow David Vizgan (the host) on Twitter: @davidvizgan

  • NM Jeremy Kane is the Curriculum Director on Chess.com, the largest chess website in the world. He has worked with top grandmasters and chess personalities on curating and developing lessons which millions of users have utilized to improve their chess. Jeremy is also a chess coach, an alumnus of the University of Chicago, and a one-time alternate player for the Chicago Blaze, which played in the short-lived (but never forgotten) U.S. Chess League, a pre-cursor to the Pro Chess League. I was delighted to have Jeremy join the show today.

    Episode highlights:

    Jeremy's career highlights, including winning the Wisconsin State Championship as a teenager and joining Chess.com as its Curriculum Directors

    Jeremy's favorite courses on Chess.com, including "Every Gambit Refuted" by GM Eugene Perelshteyn (friend of the pod!)

    How Jeremy designs curriculum and recruits players to give lessons

    Chicago Blaze and U.S. Chess League memories

    Some lukewarm Chess World Cup takes as of the end of Round 2: COVID surprises, dramatic upsets, and who we've been rooting for

    Levon Aronian joining the U.S. chess team despite being the "Pride of Armenia" and its impact on U.S. chess going forward

    Jeremy gives his thoughts on what he'd like to see in the world of online chess going forward

    A growing share of competitors (Kasparovchess, chess24, lichess) in the online chess market

    General advice for chess players going to their first OTB tournaments

    Jeremy's working on a new book called "The Next To Last Mistake" which will be out at the end of Summer 2021, so look out for that!

    64: A Chess Podcast is sponsored by Aimchess. Use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off your first month with Aimchess.

    Join my Patreon!

    NM Jeremy Kane's newest book, "The Next To Last Mistake", is available to pre-order now!

    Thanks to NM Jeremy Kane for coming onto the show. You can follow him on Twitter: @chessmensch. You can buy his book on the Chicago Blaze here.

    Create an account on chess.com here!

    Follow the podcast on Twitter: @64Podcast

    Follow David Vizgan (the host) on Twitter: @davidvizgan

  • Hi, I’m David. On 64: A Chess Podcast, you’ll have access to interviews from figures across the chess world, from aspiring tournament players to strong grandmasters, as we talk about their stories and experiences within a vibrant, international chess culture. Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe -- let’s swim across this ocean together; I hope you enjoy your stay in the world of 64: A Chess Podcast, and I hope to see you soon. Thanks!

  • Aaron Thompson is the Director of Outreach for Chess in Slums, a volunteer-driven non-profit started by Tunde Onakoya to enrich the lives of children in Nigeria who face economic adversity. He spent several years as a tournament director in the United States, but is working with Chess in Slums to promote their initiatives and to attract their sponsors. I was introduced to their work a few months ago on Twitter and hope I can do my part in sharing their stories and goals as they continue to grow as an initiative. I am delighted to share this episode with you today!

    Episode highlights:

    The role of chess in enriching the lives of children, generally

    The importance of Chess in Slums being an initiative for Nigerians, by Nigerians

    Transitioning from tournament director to an outreach director

    Current and future goals of Chess in Slums

    The story of Ferdinand the chess prodigy (must listen)

    Changing perceptions of poverty with Chess in Slums

    How to help Chess in Slums as a listener

    Future expansions (Palestine, Burkina Faso, more)

    The impact of COVID-19 on the Chess in Slums mission

    A minor earthquake joins the show??

    Aaron's philosophy as a chess player and finding his role in the international chess community

    I talk a bit about why I love podcasting about chess :-)

    64: A Chess Podcast is sponsored by Aimchess. Use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off of your first month with Aimchess.

    Thanks to Aaron Thompson for coming onto the show. You can follow him on Twitter: @aar_thom

    Please follow @Tunde_OD and @chessinslums on Twitter!

    Follow the podcast on Twitter: @64Podcast

    Follow David Vizgan (the host) on Twitter: @davidvizgan

  • In May 2021, WIM Jesse February won the Women's African Individual Championship, just the second South African player to win the tournament ever. Taking first place in this tournament means that Jesse will be awarded the Woman Grandmaster (WGM) title if she reaches 2100 rating. In just a few days, Jesse will compete for the World Cup in Sochi, Russia. She also streams with WCM Rebecca Selkirk on their Twitch channel, HashtagChess, which has grown very quickly over the last year. I am very grateful that Jesse joined me this week on 64: A Chess Podcast to talk about her chess career.

    Episode highlights:

    Her success at the African Championship -- previous attempts at winning the tournament and the moment she realized that first place was in reach

    Being selected as a wildcard for the World Cup in Sochi, Russia, and World Cup preparation

    Representing South Africa in strong tournaments (Women's World Championship, the Olympiad, etc.)

    Growing chess as a streamer in South Africa and beyond

    The process of becoming a partner with Chess.com and Twitch & crushing online tournaments

    The chess scene in South Africa -- lack of tournaments, lots of travel, and future opportunities to grow the game

    Wine farms!!!

    Working towards the WGM title -- Jesse talks about her plans to play in lots of tournaments and describes some of her improvement goals as she continues her climb to 2100.

    Jesse "sells" the French Defense (my least favorite opening)

    64: A Chess Podcast is sponsored by Aimchess. Use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off of your first month with Aimchess.

    Thanks to WIM Jesse February for coming onto the show. You can follow her on Twitter: @Jesse_Feb

    For a great chess stream, subscribe to @HashtagChess on Twitch and YouTube

    Follow the podcast on Twitter: @64Podcast

    Follow David Vizgan (the host) on Twitter: @davidvizgan

  • Based in Boston, MA, GM Eugene Perelshteyn has done it all in the American chess world. He has competed in virtually every major tournament in the United States (World Open, U.S. Open, etc.), even finishing in 4th place at the 2008 US Championship. He has coached many students, from relatively new players to titled players. He is a published chess author, writing a complete repertoire for White and Black with Lev Alburt and Roman Dzindzichashvili. He also has created content online for chess improvement. With so many stories and with so many thoughts on chess, I was delighted to invite Eugene to the podcast for this week's episode.

    Some topics we talked about:

    The Las Vegas Open, which was ongoing at the time of recording. Who are we rooting for? How do players who have been away from OTB chess for so long get acclimated to tournament play?

    Chess improvement: why does Eugene recommend that all adult improvers study chess from books? What are some great chess books for improving players?

    How do players identify their own weaknesses in their game? This is very difficult for people to do! So what role does coaching/outside help play in chess improvement?

    Playing against Magnus Carlsen and other strong grandmasters recently in Europe. What's it like playing against the best of the best over the board? David also tells a fun story about playing Maxime Vachier-Lagrave online in a simul!

    Eugene's early life experiences: studying chess in the USSR, emigrating to America in the 90s, working his way to GM in the USA as a college student. Eugene shares his thoughts and memories of many years ago.

    The Samford Fellowship, which gave Eugene the financial support he needed to acquire the Grandmaster title.

    Playing against Hikaru Nakamura back when both he and Eugene were strong International Masters (IMs). Also, chess culture in America vs. the USSR.

    The work and mentality needed to become a grandmaster. Also, setting goals for chess improvement vs. fostering a natural love for the game.

    "Chess openings are like fashion"

    64: A Chess Podcast is sponsored by Aimchess. Use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off of your first month with Aimchess.

    Thanks to GM Eugene Perelshteyn for coming onto the show. You can follow him on Twitter: @EugenePerel

    Follow the podcast on Twitter: @64Podcast

    Follow David Vizgan (the host) on Twitter: @davidvizgan

  • Max Farberov is an USCF expert-level chess player from New Jersey. He has been coaching chess for several years and is trying to grind towards the National Master title. On this episode of 64, I spoke to Max about his recent tournament success at the Cherry Blossom Classic. We talked broadly about chess improvement and about OTB chess, including things that any player can do to start making gains in rating. Max is currently taking students and has a YouTube channel (ChessGainz) where he provides educational content about chess.

    64: A Chess Podcast is sponsored by Aimchess. Use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off of your first month with Aimchess.

  • John Hartmann is the CIO and Editor of Chess Life Magazine, and has spent nearly a decade reviewing chess books and writing articles for the magazine. He even does a podcast for the US Chess Federation with the subject of Chess Life's cover each month! John was gracious enough to share an hour of his time with me in what has been my favorite interview to date on this week's episode of "64".

    We talk about John's editorial philosophy, as he tries to craft a magazine for all kinds of chess players from beginners to grandmasters. We talk about good chess journalism and the state of tournament play today. As someone with a massive chess library, John explains the importance of reading chess books and actively engaging with material. We also talk about the return of OTB chess across America, as I share my recent experience at the Marshall Chess Club.

    John has been inviting listeners to come check out the U.S. Open Tournament later this summer in Cherry Hill, NJ. Until then, with a USCF membership you get Chess Life for free, which is one of the most widely read chess magazines in the world.

    64: A Chess Podcast is sponsored by Aimchess. Use code "DAVID30" to get 30% off of your first month with Aimchess.

  • David Llada is one of the most prolific chess photographers in history, who has documented the highest levels of chess across the planet over the last two decades. As a former journalist and deeply devoted chess fan, he has poured his soul into forging friendships with chess players and into promoting the sport. On this week's episode of 64, I spoke to David about a wide range of topics, such as the essence of chess photography, his current job with FIDE as its Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, the chess boom in 2020, female representation in chess, and Anatoly Karpov anecdotes. David's book "The Thinkers" can be purchased on Amazon and he is currently working on a sequel. Until then, you can follow him on Twitter, @davidllada.