Cover image of Perpetual Chess Podcast

Rank #7 in Hobbies category


Perpetual Chess Podcast

Updated 22 days ago

Rank #7 in Hobbies category

Read more

Perpetual Chess features weekly conversations with the chess world's best players, promoters, and educators about their lives, careers, current projects, and best practices. Learn more at PerpetualChessPod.com

Read more

Perpetual Chess features weekly conversations with the chess world's best players, promoters, and educators about their lives, careers, current projects, and best practices. Learn more at PerpetualChessPod.com

iTunes Ratings

248 Ratings
Average Ratings

New chess player

By Ulery10 - Apr 17 2020
Read more
Amazing podcast. One of the few chess podcasts out there. I really enjoy! Keep up the good work!

Super entertaining

By Rohan Dalvi - Mar 03 2020
Read more
I regularly listen to your podcast on my way to work !

iTunes Ratings

248 Ratings
Average Ratings

New chess player

By Ulery10 - Apr 17 2020
Read more
Amazing podcast. One of the few chess podcasts out there. I really enjoy! Keep up the good work!

Super entertaining

By Rohan Dalvi - Mar 03 2020
Read more
I regularly listen to your podcast on my way to work !

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of Perpetual Chess Podcast

Perpetual Chess Podcast

Latest release on Jan 12, 2021

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 22 days ago

Rank #1: EP.66 - Silver Knights Chess Founder Adam Weissbarth

Podcast cover
Read more
My guest this week is Adam Weissbarth, a USCF National Master and the founder of Washington, D.C.- based Silver Knights Enrichment program.  With 14 full-time employees, and more than 5,000 students participating in Silver Knights classes per week,  Silver Knights is one of the largest providers of afterschool chess instruction in the United States. 
In our conversation, we discuss Adam’s modest beginnings as an independent chess teacher.  He talks about the planning and the detail that went into the growth of this large and impressive organization. Spoiler alert- there was a TON of hard work and hustle involved. 
In addition to discussing the history of the business, Adam shares some chess improvement advice, gives some recommendations and weighs in on the potential impact that the upcoming World Championship could have on the popularity of chess You can email him here. To support the podcast go here

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 10 2018

1hr 15mins


Rank #2: EP.32 - Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura

Podcast cover
Read more

Perennial top 10 Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura was kind enough to join Perpetual Chess for an expansive interview. We talked about Garry Kasparov's upcoming return to competitive chess and about Hikaru's experience training with Kasparov. I asked him to handicap Kasparov's chances in St. Louis, and his answer may surprise you.  We also touch on a myriad of other topics of interest to chess fans, including computers in chess, Hikaru's passion for trading stocks options, and his training methods.  Enjoy this ringside seat to elite level chess. You can follow Hikaru on Twitter here

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 18 2017

1hr 34mins


Similar Podcasts

Chess Killer Tips Video Podcast with Alexandra Kosteniuk

Coffeehouse Blunders

ChessNetwork - A Chess Video Podcast

The Goin' Deep Show (old feed)

Cover Stories with Chess Life


Across the Board

Dr. Kopec Professes Chess

Ben, Ben and Blue

Chess Talk Podcast

My Favorite Theorem

Ladies Knight Chess

Chess Study Podcast

Quanta Science Podcast

The Numberphile Podcast

Rank #3: EP.26 - International Master John Bartholomew

Podcast cover
Read more

Just 2.5 years after posting his first Youtube video, IM John Bartholomew has become one of the most popular chess YouTubers in the world. John reveals his original motivation for starting his channel and talks about its phenomenal growth to over 38,000 subscribers. He also analyzes the impact his popularity has had on his chess teaching business.

We also discuss chessable, the chess training website that he co-founded. Other topics convered include John's influences, his chess playing career, and why he decided to drop out of law school after a semester. Subscribe to John's youtube channel here,follow him on twitter here.  

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 06 2017

1hr 11mins


Rank #4: Bonus Episode - IM Mark Dvoretsky (2004 Interview with Fred Wilson)

Podcast cover
Read more
I am off this week, but I have some awesome bonus content for you. Have a listen to the January 7, 2004 interview that Fred Wilson conducted with the now-deceased, legendary chess trainer, author, and player IM Mark Dvoretsky. This is one of the many great historical chess interviews that I am posting on the Perpetual Chess Patreon page for those who donate $3.50 per month or more.  Fred WIlson's archive will also feature old interviews with GMs Andy Soltis, Arthur Bisguier, Maurice Ashley, Lubomir Kavalek and many more. 
Here are a few of the questions that Fred asked of IM Dvoretsky in their conversation:

  • Did Mark agree with GM Lev Alburt's suggestion that Boris Spassky had more chess talent than Bobby Fischer as a youth?
  • How many positions did IM Dvoretsky have in his legendary file of positions for titled students to study?
  • What were some of his favorite chess books of all time (besides his own)?
  • What did he think of Peter Svidler's prospects of becoming World Champion in 2004? Was there any other young talent he thought might ascend to the highest title? 
So much chess history is shared within this 90 minute conversation that it is difficult for me to do it justice in a summary.  Just listen and enjoy! 
The Perpetual chess t-shirt and hoodie sale ends on December 4- get one here while you can.  

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nov 27 2018

1hr 40mins


Most Popular Podcasts

The Joe Rogan Experience

TED Talks Daily

The Tim Ferriss Show

The Daily

Stuff You Should Know

Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Rank #5: EP.151 - JJ Lang (Adult Improver Series)

Podcast cover
Read more

Jonathan “JJ” Lang is a Chicago-based 28 year old Philosophy grad student, chess player and chess teacher. In July 2018, JJ returned to tournament chess after a 7 year hiatus. In the following 17 months, he has taken his rating from 1798 to a high of 2106!! How has he done it? Can it be easily replicated? Tune in to hear all of JJ’s reflections on the keys to his rapid improvement. Timestamps, links and more details can be found below (or if the links aren't showing up, check for them at PerpetualChessPod.com) Enjoy! 

0:00-  We dive right into JJ’s chess background. What brought him back from a 10 year hiatus from tournament chess? To which factors does he attribute his impressive success? 

Mentioned: Marshall Chess ClubJJ’s coach, WGM Adriana Nikolova, Charlotte Chess Center, FM Peter Giannatos  

14:00- A few of the secrets of JJ’s success include: 1) Play in tournaments as frequently as possible 2) Address your biggest weaknesses (openings in his case). In this segment JJ expounds on these lessons. 

19:00- JJ reveals a good rule of thumb for when to calculate in faster time control games, and we discuss JJ’s approach to different time controls generally. 

Mentioned: Nathan Kelly, Chicago Chess Blitzers, National Blitz League, Stephen Jennings, Tom Murphy 

33:45- Back to openings! How did JJ fix his opening repertoire? 

Mentioned: Chess Structures by Mauricio Flores Rios, Listen to GM Flores' Perpetual Chess Interview here

40:00- How did JJ allocate his chess study time, and what would he recommend for others? JJ has a unique approach to studying openings that could be helpful for many. 

Mentioned: GM Ding Liren, FM Kamil Plichta, Jay Bonin, Rubinstein-Janowski 1907 (30… Qb8!)

47:30- How does JJ recommend tweaking his approach to study for lower rated players? This includes some tactics books recommendations for the 1500-1800 level. Magnus Carlsen’s explanation for the move he missed vs. GM Matlakov can be found within this recap by Peter Doggers of Chess.com

Mentioned: ChessTempo, Chess.com tactics trainer, Chess Tactics for Champions by Susan Polgar, Chess by Laszlo Polgar, LiChess, Chess Calculation Training by GM Romain Edouard, Grandmaster Preparation: Calculation by Jacob Aagard, Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand,  Carlsen-Matlakov 2019, Tactics Time by Tim Brennan, Winning Chess Exercise for Kids by Jeff Coakley, The Steps Series, Can You be a Positional Chess Genius by Angus Dunnington, Practical Chess Exercises by Ray Zheng 

1:05- We talk a bit how JJ’s approach to playing has changed since he moved to Chicago, and what tournaments he is planning.

Mentioned: Chicago Class Tournament, Amateur Team Midwest, Adia Onyango 

1:10- We go back to discussing JJ’s opinion on how to allocate one’s study time. 

Mentioned: 100 Endgames You Must Know, NM William Aramil of Dynamic Chess, 100 Endgames You Must Know on Chessable, GM Jan Gustafsson, Christopher Chabris, Prior Adult Improver Interview with Jason Cigan, My Great Predecessors on Chessable

1:23- JJ gets philosophical (as is his wont) about why he quit chess and why he came back. 

1:34- We wrap up with JJ’s contact info. Find him on Facebook, chess.com or contact him via email

If you would like to find out more and/or support the “Square Off Chess robot” Kickstarter project that I mentioned at the top of the show, check it out here

If you would like to help support the podcast, you can do so here.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nov 12 2019

1hr 44mins


Rank #6: EP.156 - FM Michiel Abeln

Podcast cover
Read more

In addition to his day job, in which he maintains a senior leadership role at Shell Oil, FM Michiel Abeln is a chess trainer and a chess journalist. Late this year, he and Quality Chess Publishing released his book, The Anand Files: The World Championship Story 2008-2012. It is an incredible book, which goes deep into the ups and downs, games, opening theory, and most of all, the emotions of GM Viswanathan Anand’s team during the 2008, 2010 and 2012 world championship matches. In our conversation, Michiel takes us from the nervous beginnings of this project, through to many of the interesting details he learned and decisions he made in terms of how to structure the book. Please read on for more details and timestamps. 

If you are not seeing embedded hyperlinks on your podcast feed, you can find them here:


0:00- We dive right into the Anand files, as Michiel discusses why he decided to donate the proceeds of The Anand Files to charity. Michiel also tells the fascinating story of how this project came into existence. 

Mentioned: Eric Van Reem, Cathy Rogers, GM Vladimir Kramik, GM Viswanathan Anand, GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly, GM Peter Heine Nielsen, GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov, GM Radoslaw Wojtasek

18:30- Why did Michiel decide to delve so deeply into opening analysis in his book?

Mentioned: IM Sagar Shah’s interview with Michiel Abeln, GM Veselin Topalov 

23:00- For more info on the strong chess robot Square Off! Order now at squareoffnow.com and enter online coupon code SCHACH for 20 percent reduction! If you are in Cologne, you can visit the intercultural chess club: Satranç Club 2000 in Cologne ( satranc2000.de , Mail: satrancclub2000@gmx.de )

24:00- How did Michiel keep up with all of the opening theory shared in the book?

Mentioned: GM Peter Heine Nielsen, GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov, The Meran

29:30- Friend and Patreon supporter of the podcast John Hartmann wonders what sort of preparation work was done, aside from opening work, if any? 

Mentioned: GM Anatoly Karpov, The Sicilian Dragon, To see IM Sagar Shah’s excellent “Anand quizzes” with various elite players, go here, The Slav, 2012 World Championship between Gm Boris Gelfand and Anand

44:00- I ask Michiel a question posed by IM Gary Lane in the Facebook Chess Book Collectors Group, “Do World Championship teams try to find out which GMs are helping the opposing teams?”

Mentioned: GM Wojtasek, GM Ganguly, GM Laurent Fressinet, GM Sergei Rublevsky, GM Danil Dubov 

53:00- Will there be a Forward Chess or Chessable version of The Anand Files? 

Mentioned: Hugh Jordan, Michiel Abeln’s Philidor article in the 2006 New in Chess Yearbook 

58:00- A Patreon supporter asks what lessons from Anand’s team can be applied away from the chessboard? 

1:08- Nicolas Noel asks, what can club players learn from this book?

Anand-Kramnik Game 6, 2008, Bonn 

1:11- Where will Michiel donate the proceeds of the book sales? 

Mentioned: Mark Crowther of The Week in Chess 

1:15- In closing, we discuss the state of Michiel’s own chess game and have a brief discussion of chess books.

Mentioned: Mig Greengard’s chess blog, Brian Karen, Mark Dvoretsky’s books, Bent Larsen’s Best Games, My Great Predecessors, Max Euwe’s books, From London to Elista 

1:26- Thanks again to Michiel Abeln for the fantastic book and interview. You can email him here, or keep him with him via his TumblrTwitter and Facebook

If you would like to help support Perpetual Chess, you can do here:

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Dec 16 2019

1hr 31mins


Rank #7: EP.159 - IM Greg Shahade Returns Again

Podcast cover
Read more

With the Pro Chess League (of which he is the commissioner) set to resume on Monday, January 6,  it was a great time for my old friend, IM Greg Shahade to make another visit to Perpetual Chess. Greg broke down all of the changes that have taken place with the league’s format, and previewed some some of the interesting matches and players that we will see this season.

We also had a lot of chess news to talk about, ranging from the World Championship Candidates selection process to some recent speed chess controversies involving prominent chess professionals. Greg also dispensed some great advice on chess improvement in our wide ranging conversation. Please read on for more details and timestamps! 

If you are not seeing embedded hyperlinks in your podcast feed, you can find them here: https://www.perpetualchesspod.com/new-blog/2020/1/5/episode-159-im-greg-shahade-is-back-again

0:00- We start off by getting Greg’s perspective on some recent chess controversies, both “online” and offline. These include a controversial blitz game between Magnus Carlsen, and strong young GM Alireza Firouzja, and a not safe for work, viral clip of a blitz game by super GM Gata Kamsky.

Mentioned: IM Lawrence Trent, Video of IM Shahade vs. IM Trent Grudge Match, FIDE World Rapid and Blitz, Zhigalko-Nakamura controversy, Chess24 “Famous Effing Legend”

16:00- We follow up on another controversy, GM Kirill Alekseenko’s selection for the wildcard spot in the upcoming Candidates’ Tournament

CORRECTION- I mentioned the wrong tournament in which Alekseenko excelled, he came in 3rd place in the FIDE Grande Swiss, not the FIDE World Cup. 

Mentioned: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave’s Open Letter regarding qualification process, MVL interview with Chess.com’s Peter Doggers, GM Anish Giri 


The Pro Chess League is coming back, with major changes to the format! Greg tells us  the reasons for the changes and discusses some of the teams to watch out for. The first match takes place on Monday, January 6 at 2pm EST. 

Mentioned: St. Louis Arch Bishops, Fabiano Caruana, GM Leinier Dominguez, GM Wesley So,GM Le Quang Liem, GM Alexander Grischuk, GM Alireza Firouzja, GM Ivan Saric, GM Anish Giri, New York Marshalls, GM Hikaru Nakamura, GM Sam Sevian, Turkey Knights, Armenia Eagles,GM Gabriel Sargissian, Poland Hussars 

36:30- We discuss the exciting changes that are taking place with faster time controls and Chess960 becoming more popular at the Elite level.  

Mentioned: Puzzle Rush World Championship, Chess.com Speed Chess Championship, New in Chess Magazine 

44:00- A Patreon supporter of the podcast asks, “How would Greg change tournament formats for the casual chess players?” 

Mentioned: Bill Goichberg of the Continental Chess Association 

53:30- Chess improvement talk! A couple of Patreon supporters submitted questions to Greg regarding improvement. Questions include: 1) Is there is a chess book that hasn’t been written, but should be?  

Mentioned: GM Jan Gustafsson, A Grandmaster, actually tried the novelty Greg mentioned.

1:04- Greg submits his resume to join #TeamScandi!

Mentioned: IM Lawrence Trent, GM Bryan Smith 

1:08- A couple more Patreon mailbag questions- Who was the youngest IM Greg lost to in a serious game? And a listener asks for practical advice about how to think about the imbalances from Jeremy Silman’s Reassess Your Chess. 

Mentioned: GM Alex Lenderman, Perpetual Chess Recaptured: Reassess Your Chess 

1:17- Is chess a sport? Does it really burn one zillion calories? 🤔

Mentioned: The Grandmaster Diet: How to Lose Weight While Barely Moving

1:19- A Patreon supporter asks: “What does Greg do for a living anyway?”

Mentioned: The 5 Best Chess Books I Read in 2019, IM Lawrence Trent, GM Simon Williams

1:26- Greg tells the story of a long-ago blitz match he played with a young GM Hikaru Nakamura 

1:29- We discuss some nonsense relating to Greg’s television viewing habits. 

Mentioned: Humans, Brooklyn Nine Nine 

1:31- Has Greg read any chess books lately? 

Mentioned: Tal-Botvinnik 1960, FM Mike Shahade,  Inside Chess Magazine, IM John Donaldson, GM Yasser Seirawan, IM Vivek Rao

1:36- Thanks to Greg for coming back on. Be sure to tune in to the Pro Chess League starting Monday, January 6 at 2pm EST.  

If you would like to help support the podcast, you can do so here:


See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jan 05 2020

1hr 42mins


Rank #8: EP.78 - Grandmaster Nigel Short (Guest Host Macauley Peterson)

Podcast cover
Read more

Perpetual Chess makes a "zwischenzug" over to Europe where Macauley Peterson, Editor-in-Chief of ChessBase.com, is filling in for Ben this week. Macauley caught up with Grandmaster Nigel Short in Leuven, Belgium, at the close of the first tournament of the Grand Chess Tour 2018, the "Your Next Move Rapid and Blitz" tournament, where Short was a commentator. 

The former World Championship challenger is still an active player, but in May he launched a bid to succeed Kirsan Ilyumzhinov as President of FIDE, the World Chess Federation. Shortly before the interview, news broke that in addition to FIDE's current Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos, who declared his candidacy in April, a new candidate from Russia was entering the race: Arkady Dvorkovich, a prominent figure in Russian chess circles who currently serves as Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the FIFA 2018 World Cup, and has deep Kremlin ties, as a former Deputy Prime Minister. 

Short explains why he's in the race, what's wrong with FIDE, and how he intends to fix it.  

If you're interested in browsing the vast ChessBase shop, use this special link to help support Perpetual Chess.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 19 2018



Rank #9: EP.41 - Grandmaster Judit Polgar

Podcast cover
Read more

GM Judit Polgar needs no introduction to the Perpetual Chess audience, but here's one anyway.  Chess legend Judit Polgar joins me this week to tell us what she has been up to since retiring from tournament chess three years ago. As Judit shares, she has been keeping busy with family, chess education initiatives, and with organizing the upcoming Global Chess Festival on October 14, 2017, in Budapest, Hungary. We also talked about today's top players, the FIDE World Cup, and why she thinks top level chess is a different game from when she was competing actively. Follow Judi Polgar on twitter, here, To buy Judit's excellent books- go here

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 26 2017



Rank #10: EP.52 - GM Ben Finegold Returns

Podcast cover
Read more

To mark the one year anniversary of Perpetual Chess, Ben Finegold returned as our first repeat guest. When Ben first talked with us in January 2017, he talked about plans for The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Atlanta, and in the past year GM Finegold and his wife, Karen Boyd, have seen the club go from dream to reality.   Ben shared the surprises and successes that they have encountered during the club's first year.

We also talked about the chess world more broadly, as Ben discussed the FIDE Candidates' Cycle (and why he picks Wesley So to win every event), and his plans for the upcoming Pro Chess League.   He also told some great stories, old and new, from his chess travels.  Follow Ben on twitter here, watch his YouTube lectures here. If you would like to donate to Perpetual Chess you can do so here

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Dec 19 2017

1hr 8mins


Rank #11: EP.165 - GM Viswanathan Anand

Podcast cover
Read more

This week my esteemed guest is none other than five-time World Champion and living chess legend, GM Viswanathan Anand!! Vishy has been busy as usual with high-level chess, as Tata Steel 2020 recently completed, and the Greinke Chess Classic is coming up for him in April. GM Anand also has recently released  (with co-author Susan Ninan) the inspiring and illuminating book, Mind Master: Winning Lessons from a Champion’s Life. This brilliant book provides a springboard for us to discuss various topics about which Vishy has unique insights. They include the effects of aging on his chess game,chess in the era of super engines, reflections on World Championship matches, life as a dad, and the side effects of fame. Please continue reading for more details and timestamps.

(If embedded hyperlinks are not visible in your podcast feed, you can find them here: https://www.perpetualchesspod.com/new-blog/2020/2/18/episode-165-gm-viswanathan-anand )

1:00- Vishy reflects on the highs and lows of his recently completed tournament,Tata Steel 2020. Topics discussed include how he copes with tough losses as compared to how he coped earlier in life. 

Mentioned: Caruana-Anand 2020, Firouzja-Anand 2020, Anand-Vituigov 2020, Chessbase India- Anand gives an endgame lesson to Firouzja, IM Sagar Shah, GM Ivan Sokolov

9:00- The conversation segues to a discussion of the lost art of post-mortem analysis, and the broader topic of how computers have changed chess. 

Mentioned: GM Elizbar Ubilava, GM Gukesh D, GM Alireza Firouzja

16:00- A Patreon/Paypal supporter of the podcast wrote in to ask Vishy how he manages to appear so composed over the board. His answer surprised me! 

Mentioned: Chessbase India video: Vishy Anand on the 9 Best Games of his Career, Kramnik-Anand 2008

 22:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com.  Among many other great offerings, you can check out their free course, Tournament Tactics: Tata Steel Chess 2020, featuring game analysis from GM Harikrishna  

22:30- Vishy fields another Patreon mailbag question relating to how he maintains elite status into his 50th birthday. 

Mentioned: GM Magnus Carlsen, GM Ian Nepomniatchi, GM Nikita Vitiugov,  GM Ali Firouzja, GM Jordan van Foreest, Jeroen van den Berg (Tata Steel Organizer), GM Vladimir Kramnik,  October 2001 FIDE Top 100 list, 2013 FIDE World Chess Championship, 2014 FIDE Candidates Tournament , GM Judit Polgar, GM Alexander Morezevich,GM Vassily Ivanchuk, GM Boris Gelfand, 2017 FIDE World Rapid Championships

35:15- Is Vishy’s son enjoying chess? What are his other interests? 

Mentioned: Chesskid.com

38:00- Vishy reflects a bit more on prior world championship matches, and he expounds on a few memories and stories shared in Mind Master. 

Mentioned: The Anand Files by Michiel Abeln, GM Ivan Cheparinov, Silvio Danilov, Susan Ninan

44:30- Another Patreon supporter writes to ask about the standards Vishy uses in selecting a World Championship preparation team. 

Mentioned: GM Peter Heine Nielsen, GM Radoslaw Wotjaszek, GM Surya Ganguly, GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov, GM Grzegorz Gajewski, GM Sandipan Chanda

49:00- Is there a scenario in which Vishy would help out on a World Championship team in the 2020 match? How does he handicap the upcoming Candidates tournament

Mentioned: GM Ding Liren, GM Fabiano Caruana

54:30- Another listener writes to ask, “Are there downsides to being as famous as Vishy is, especially in chess circles?” This question led to Vishy’s sharing a couple of funny stories relating to being recognized or unrecognized in public. 

1:02:00- GM Anand’s next tournament is the Grienke Open in April of 2020. Thanks so much to GM Anand for joining me.  You can follow him on twitter, and can buy his book from Amazon and many other chess book  retailers.

If you would like to help support the Perpetual Chess, you can do so here: https://www.perpetualchesspod.com/donate

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Feb 18 2020

1hr 7mins


Rank #12: EP.111 - GM Jacob Aagaard

Podcast cover
Read more
This week it was my great honor to get to chat with the acclaimed author, trainer and co-founder of Quality Chess, GM Jacob Aagaard. GM Aagaard is chairing the FIDE trainer’s commission and has worked with elite chess players like GM Sam Shankland and GM Boris Gelfand. Jacob was very generous with his time and wisdom in our conversation.  You can keep up with Quality Chess on their blog, and you can email GM Aagaard here. You can find out more about the Quality Chess Academy here.

For timestamps and details about all that we discussed, read on.  

0:00- Intro and discussion of the vision behind Quality Chess Publishing, co-founded by GM Aagaard in 2004 (along with GM John Shaw and IM Ari Ziegler).

12:40- A brief digression into some Science Fiction shows Jacob has been watching in his scant free-time. He recommends Altered Carbon on Netflix and a German series called Dark.  

15:30- We segue into a detailed discussion of Jacob’s most recent highly acclaimed book, Thinking Inside the BoxAs GM Aagaard discusses in the book, each move in chess can roughly be categorized into one of 4 decision types:

  1. Automatic Decisions (This includes a discussion of this game between GM Sam Shankland and GM Richard Rapport. )
  2. SImple Decisions (This is where Aagaard’s famed 3 questions come into play- 1. Where are the weaknesses?  2. What is the opponent’s idea? 3. Which is my worst placed piece?)
  3. Critical Moments (positions where there is a large difference between the best move and the next best move)
  4. Strategic Decisions (complicated positions with no clear-cut way to approach them)

34:00- Jacob answers a question from a supporter of the podcast relating to how to use diagrams in chess books.  While answering, Jacob rattles off a few of his favorite chess books. They include GM Romain Edouard’s calculation books,  Imagination in Chess (out of print), Perfect Your Chess, and the Arthur Yusopov series. As a scholastic player, Jacob was a big fan of legendary Danish player Bent Larsen’s books.

42:30- GM Aagaard tells the story of how he became a trainer of other high level players. For any listener looking for a coach, GM Aagaard recommends his former student, Italian GM Sabino Brunello. Jacob also tells the story of how he became one of the trainers of former World Championship Challenger, GM Boris Gelfand and of US Champion Sam Shankland.

52:00- What feat did GM Sam Shankland accomplish that has gone a but under the radar? What does he think of GM Shankland’s prospects for a continued ascent in the world rankings?

1:02- GM Aagaard answers another question from a Patreon supporter about how to work on your chess when you do not have a coach. Jacob stressed the importance of analyzing one’s own games.

1:08- Jacob discusses his upcoming chess camp, The Quality Chess Academy,  which will be co-taught along with renowned trainer R.B. Ramesh.  You guys should sign up for the camp, then after attending you should email me to tell me about the camp. :)

1:15- Jacob discusses another new project of his, chairing the FIDE trainer’s commission.

1:26- Jacob gives his opinion on how big a role rapid chess should play in the World Championship Cycle.

1:35- What will be the next phase of chess, following what Jacob calls, “the digital period"?  Jacob mentions a couple of alternatives to Chess960 that he finds interesting.

1:42- Jacob’s contact info and goodbyes 👋

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jan 29 2019

1hr 46mins


Rank #13: EP.125 - USCF Master Jason Cigan (Adult Improver Series)

Podcast cover
Read more

Jason Cigan is a 29 year old US Chess Master who recently won the Oregon State Championship. As Jason tells us, he did not begin seriously playing chess until he was 18, but in the past 11 years, he has managed to slowly and steadily gain over 1,000 rating points while working full time as a software engineer . (You can see his US Chess rating graph here.) How has he done it? Listen to the show and you will find out. For relevant links, timestamps, and many book recommendations, please keep reading. :)

0:00-  Intro and Jason tells his chess story, including how he got into chess, and why it took a while for his passion for the game to fully manifest.

10:25-  So how did Jason improve so much, anyway?  In his opinion, having master level mentors played a big role in his improvement. Jason credits FM Charles Schulien, NM Corbin Yu and NM Jeremy Kane with helping him immeasurably along the way. The video from GM Vidit Gujrath regarding chess improvement can be seen here. Jason is a fan of the books of GMs Mikhail Marin and Boris Gelfand, and also Seven Deadly Chess Sins by GM Jonathan Rowson

18:00-  A listener, new to chess, who is 62 year old and recently retired, is eager to devote 20 hours a week to chess books and chess improvement. How should he spend his time, what resources should he utilize? How good can he become? In Jason's response, he mentions that he is a strong proponent of John Nunn’s chess books. I chimed in and mentioned that the listener might want to pursue something more systematic to improve, like the acclaimed series from GM Arthur Yusopov , The Steps Series, or the Susan Polgar series for those brand new to chess.

29:00- As is a regular feature on the Adult Improver Series, we launch into a discussion of how useful various attempts at improving one’s chess games are. Jason gives his opinion on the importance of having a coach, as well as the relative merits of analyzing one’s games, solving tactics, studying endgames, playing speed chess, learning openings,  exercising, and more. Jason benefited from taking lessons with GMs Melik Khachiyan and Sabino Brunello and from playing training games with IM Craig Hilby. One can always look for coaches on the LiChess coaches page

39:00-  Jason answers a question from a Patreon supporter of the podcast,  about whether its important to set up a board when solving tactics. The US Championship summary by Jennifer Yu that I mentioned can be read here.

46:00- How should one approach openings when you live in a community where you play the same players repeatedly?

51:00- Jason tells a fun story related to opening preparation, of a game between GM  James Tarjan and recent Perpetual Chess guest GM Alex Ipatov. Check out the game here. Mr. Moonmaster 9000 asks for some clarification about something Jason wrote: Does Jason believe it's impossible for him to become a super GM?

1:02- A 3 minute digression into the intersection of  the NBA and professional chess. Sorry NBA haters!

1:06- Back on track, Jason talks about the importance of endgame studies in helping your chess game. Jason is a big fan of the book 100 Endgames You Must Know He also mentions enjoying the Yusupov and Dvoretsky features on chess24.com

1:10- Jason discusses his coaching philosophy, and shares some methods that he has used to help his student, Gavin Zhang. He emphasizes the importance of studying the classics, and identifying and working on one’s strongest point and one’s weakest points in chess.

1:19- We discuss books on endgames and endgame studies. Jason mentions: Capablanca’s Best Chess Endings by Irving Chernev

Endgame Training by Bernd Rosen

Endgame challenge by John Nunn

Studies for the Practical Player by Mark Dvoretsky

One Pawn Saves the Day by Sergei Tkachenko

Under the Surface by Jan Markos

Chess Structures by Mauricio Flores Rios

Grandmaster Repetoire: 1. E4 by Parimarjan Negi                                                                   

1:30- Keep up with Jason’s progress via his chess.com account here.

If you would like to help support the podcast you can do here.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 07 2019

1hr 36mins


Rank #14: EP.87 - Stacia Pugh (Adult Improver Series)

Podcast cover
Read more

This week on Perpetual Chess, the popular adult improver series makes its triumphant return, with another great guest. I am joined by Stacia Pugh. Stacia has only been playing tournament chess for a few years but has seen her rating rapidly rise to 1777, including a 300 point rise in the past year. What's her story? How did she do it?  Stacia joins us to discuss exactly that. Please read on for more details and timestamps. 

0:00- Stacia tells a bit about her background and how she got into chess, and what the chess scene is like in the Cleveland, Ohio chess club. 

Mentioned: Progress with Chess

7:00- Has Stacia experienced much sexism in the chess world? 

Mentioned: Cornhole 

9:30- With a full time job outside of chess, how has Stacia managed to work hard on her game? 

13:20- A Patreon supporter of the podcast asks what chess study habit gives Stacia gives her the best ROI? Spoiler: One of Stacia’s secret weapons is flashcards. 

Mentioned: IM John Bartholomew, Andrezj Kryzdwa 

22:00- Stacia goes into more detail  on her daily study routine

Mentioned: GM Ben Finegold, IM John Bartholomew, GM Simon Williams  

  • - Stacia retells how she got into chess, and shares how the male and youth dominated chess world has treated an adult woman. She also discusses how she is managing to turn her love of chess from a hobby into a career. 
  • - She gives tons of study advice, including book recommendations and a discussion of the study habit that she feels helped her chess the most. To see her recommendations and those of all the other Perpetual Chess guests, go here. (and scroll way down)
  •  Stacia even made a list of her top 10 chess improvement tips for Perpetual Chess listeners; it can be found at the bottom of this capsule. 

24:30- Stacia evaluates the efficacy of various chess practice methods ranging from Online Blitz, to watching videos to analyzing games. 

34:00- Stacia shares her top 10 study tips that she has embraced! 

  1. Maintain balance between hard work and passion
  2. Game Analysis - always learn from your mistakes
  3. Work with a coach or stronger player
  4. Tactics book with themes
  5. Teach or explain what you learn (helps solidify)
  6. It's not about rating; it's about learning
  7. Patterns make you better
  8. OTB and community will inspire you and keep your interest
  9. Don't forget end game
  10. Openings choices should be chosen by someone else!  (that knows what they're doing)

40:30- Stacia shares her favorite books and improvement resources

Mentioned: Build Up Your Chess (Available on Chessable), Chess Tactics from Scratch, Chess Tactics by Paul Littlewood

43:00- Stacia discusser her change to working full time in chess, working with Progress with Chess, as well as giving a bit more info about playing cornhold professional. 

Mentioned: Judit Sztray of Bay Area Chess 

54:45- Thanks so much to Stacia for sharing her improvement secrets! Here is how you can keep up with her: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/staciamelinda?lang=en

Chess.com Blog- https://www.chess.com/member/midnaslament

You can help support Perpetual Chess here:


See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 14 2018

1hr 2mins


Rank #15: EP.76 - Andrzej Krzywda (Adult Improver Series)

Podcast cover
Read more

This week on Perpetual Chess, by popular demand, we begin an occasional series which will be called "Adult Improvers".  For Adult Improvers we will feature a guest who is making significant strides in improving his or her chess performance, and focus extensively on how that improvement is being attained. The first such guest is Polish Candidate Master Andrzej Kryzdwa.  Andrzej had been hovering around 2100 FIDE for over 20 years when he decided to devote a significant amount of his time to pursuing the International Master title.  Andrzej is 38 years old, runs a small business, and is married with two children, so the time that he can devote to this pursuit is limited. Nonetheless, in the past couple of years, Andrzej has shown great success, culminating in a recent tournament with a 2579 Performance Rating, his first IM Norm (!), and a FIDE rating now well north of 2200. How did he do it? Tune in to find out. You can find more details and timestamps below:

    0:00- We begin by discussing Andrzej’s background and how he got into chess. 

    5:00- Andrzej discusses his study schedule. 

    Mentioned: Reddit thread here- https://www.reddit.com/r/chess/comments/8l1glf/i_was_2100_for_20_years_im_38_last_week_i_made_an/

    10:00- Does online blitz count as studying chess? 

    Mentioned: Chessable, Quality Chess Books, Chess Publishing 

    14:00- How does Andrzej  divide his study time? He does divides his serious study time between endgame studies and game review, then sneaks in some openings and tactics throughout the day. 

    Mentioned: Domination in 2,545 Studies by Kasperian, Kasparov on Kasparov, Zurich 1953, Chess Tempo, 

    21:30- What has Andrzej learned from his coach GM Bartosz Socko? How is the chess scene in Poland? 

    Mentioned: Monika Socko, GM Jan-Krzystof Duda, Alexander Prokhorov

    28:00- A Patreon supporter of the podcast writes in to have Andrzej  give more detailed advice about how one should approach solving chess studies. 

    Mentioned: GM Mesgen Amanov, GM Melih Khachiyan, Pump Up Your Rating by GM Alex Smith 

    34:00- Lightning round!  Andrzej  evaluates the efficacy of various chess study methods. These include watching chess tournament commentary, studying endgames, online blitz, studying openings, studying games collection books, exercise, 

    Mentioned: IM Kostya Kavutskiiy, GM Peter Leko 

    41:30- Andrzej shares some time management tips that he has learned.

    47:00- What were the factors that contributed to  Andrzej’s outstanding result that got him an IM norm recently? 

    58:00- How does Andrzej approach analyzing his own games? 

    1:00- What chess books would Andrzej  recommend? 

    Mentioned: My System, My Great Predecessors, Kasparov on Kasparov, Move First Think Later, From Amateur to IM, A Year Inside the Chess World, Reality Check, The Complete Hedgehog 

    1:06:30- How does Andrzej  prepare for opponent’s within a tournament? 

    1:08:00- Andrzej discusses his upcoming tournament schedule.

    Mentioned: Najdorf Memorial Tournament 

    1:12:00- In closing Andrzej gives his 3 biggest things to emphasize to improve at chess.

    They are 1) Work on calculation 2) Work on fitness 3) Have a chessplayer circle of friends to motivate you

    Thanks to Andrzej for joining the show! You can keep up with his progress via his Facebook group here:https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=from%202100%20to%20international%20master%20-%20andrzej%20krzywda

    Or via Twitter here: https://twitter.com/From2100ToIM

    If you would like to help support the podcast, you can do so here:


    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Jun 05 2018

    1hr 14mins


    Rank #16: EP.19 - Macauley Peterson and IM Lawrence Trent, Hosts of The Full English Breakfast

    Podcast cover
    Read more

    In addition to hosting the excellent chess podcast The Full English Breakfast, both Macauley Peterson and IM Lawrence Trent have had eclectic and interesting careers in chess.  Macauley Peterson has been writing about, and reporting on chess for a long time and most recently has been the Content Director of Chess24. We talk about his various adventures in the world of chess media, as well as his recent profile of Fabiano Caruana in Chess Life. Mr. Trent shares what he learned from being the manager of an elite player, and reveals the "real job" that prepared him for his roles as a chess announcer and chess manager. Follow Lawrence on twitter here, follow Macauley here. Listen to and support The Full English Breakfast via Itunes or here. Watch Lawrence's chess videos on chess24.com

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Apr 11 2017

    1hr 7mins


    Rank #17: EP.140 - GM Aman Hambleton

    Podcast cover
    Read more

    26 year old Grandmaster Aman Hambleton is one of Canada’s top 10 players and,  among other distinctions, he has represented his country in the Chess Olympiad multiple times.  Of course, he is best known as one of the founding members (along with GM Eric Hansen) of the extremely popular chess streaming team known as the Chessbrahs. In our lengthy and entertaining conversation we discuss topics ranging from Chessbrah origins, to the business of being a chess streamer to the struggles Aman endured to earn the Grandmaster title. This was a fun one! Please read on for timestamps and relevant links. 

    0:00- Intro! We kick things off by discussing all that goes into creating a vlog, like this awesome Reykjavik Open Tournament Recap Vlog  that Aman and the Chessbrahs recently released. 

    8:00- We transition to discussing the business of Chessbrah. How many employees does Chessbrah have? What project are they working on outside of chess? This includes a discussion of the origins of GM Eric Hansen and Aman forming Chessbrahs. 

    Mentioned: Aman Hambleton’s old blog 

    14:00- Aman tackles the first of many questions (thanks guys!)  from a Patreon Supporter of Perpetual Chess. This question relates to how much income Twitch streamers can expect to make. Other questions relate to advice for getting into chess streaming.

    29:30- GM Hambleton fields some listener questions about how GM Yasser Seirawan joined team Chessbrah, what his favorite Yasser story is, and Aman even does an impromptu Yasser impersonation! 

    Mentioned: Trailer Park Boys. Chess World Cup 2019 (which the Chessbrahs will be covering), Second City Improv , GM Vidit Gujrathi 

    45:00- Another listener asks about how many mice the Chessbrah’s have broken due to chess rage, and whether people complain that the Chessbrah’s sometimes suggest moves to each other. 

    Mentioned: GM Robin van Kampen, FM Lefong Hua 

    51:45-  Chess improvement!  How much has Aman trained his blndfold chess abilities?  

    Mentioned: Jeff Coakley

    58:00- Aman talks about the immense challenge it was for him to get the GM title, and about what motivated him and enabled him to get it.  

    Mentioned: The Taimanov Bible: A Complete Manual for the Sicilain Player, Aman explain his win vs GM Shirov to Fiona Steil-Antoni, or play through Hambleton-Shirov 2017 here

    1:08- Another listener asks about the history of the opening containing a queen sacrifice that Aman has dubbed  “the undefeated opening”. 

    Mentioned: Check out one of Aman’s blitz games with the Undefeated Opening with it here. Englund Gambit game from Reykjavik Open vs. Lars Laustsen here

    1:12- A listener asks, has blitz helped Aman’s chess, can it help ours? Does Aman play better or worse chess while streaming? 

    1:24- Who have been Aman’s toughest online blitz opponent?

    Mentioned: GM Alireza Firouzja, GM Sergei Karjakin, GM Hikaru Nakamura, GM Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen-Hambleton 2017

    1:28- Spurred by another listener question, Aman assesses the current health of the Canadian Chess Scene 

    Mentioned: GM Pentala Harikrishna, GM Vassily Ivanchuk, GM Sam Shankland, GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly, GM Wang Hao, GM Wesley So, GM Fabiano Caruana, GM Leinier Dominguez 

    1:38- How can one become a Chessbrah? 

    Mentioned: GM Yasser Seirawan, John Urschel, Chessbrah Norway Chess 2019 Coverage 

    1:44- One last listener question- How does being a chess professional/well known personality help or hurts Aman’s dating life?

    1:48- Goodbye! Here is how you can keep up with Aman and the Chessbrahs: Aman’sTwitter, Aman’s Instagram, Chessbrah Twitch, Chessbrah Youtube Channel, Chessbrah TV Twitter

    If you would like to help support the podcast, go here.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Aug 20 2019

    1hr 54mins


    Rank #18: EP.02 - Grandmaster Jan Gustafsson

    Podcast cover
    Read more

    In addition to being the funniest person in Germany, Jan Gustafsson is a pretty good chess player. He was once among the 100 highest rated players in the world and is widely respected for his vast opening knowledge.  He also co-founded the popular chess site chess24.com and frequently announces grandmaster tournaments where he provides both humor and insight into top level games. In this interview, we talk about his chess career, new fatherhood, and of course about American pop culture. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Dec 09 2016



    Rank #19: EP.09 - Grandmaster Ben Finegold

    Podcast cover
    Read more

    GM Finegold has been a fixture on the American chess scene for decades. In this entertaining interview, Ben reflects on his time as resident Grandmaster at the St. Louis chess club and opines on America's young chess talents. Ben also discusses his recent move to Atlanta and reveals his plan to open a chess center in his new hometown. 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Jan 31 2017



    Rank #20: EP.122 - GM Gata Kamsky

    Podcast cover
    Read more
    This week it is my great honor to talk with the five-time US Champion and 1996 FIDE World Championship Challenger, GM Gata Kamsky! Gata has just released Volume 1 of his highly anticipated games collection, Gata Kamsky - Chess Gamer, Volume 1: The Awakening 1989-1996. The recent release of this book gives us a rare opportunity to listen in as Gata Kamsky reflects on his illustrious chess career and discusses the past and future of chess. As usual, read on for timestamps of our discussion topics and relevant links. Enjoy!
    0:00- Intro and discussion of GM Kamsky’s new book, Gata Kamsky - Chess Gamer. Gata discusses the following details:

    • How the project came into existence and why he gives credit to the indispensable roles played by his wife, WGM Vera Nebolsina, and the team at Thinkers Publishing for helping him push forward with the book.  

    • How he decided on the structure of the book, which begins with the games he played when he emigrated from Russia in 1989.
    12:00- Gata answers a listener's question regarding his intended audience for the book, and he reveals the classic chess book from which he drew inspiration.
    17:30- What lessons about the role of psychology in chess did Gata Kamsky learn from studying Emanuel Lasker ?
    20:45- What did it feel like to immigrate to the US and play former World Champion Mikhail Tal in his first tournament after arrival in the United States? Gata annotates the game in detail in his book, but you can take a look at the game here.
    25:45- Gata reflects on playing Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov as a teenager and in the ensuing years. This includes a discussion of his reflections on the FIDE and Professional Chess Association World Championship Cycles in the early to mid-1990’s.
    36:30- A Patreon supporter of Perpetual Chess asks about Gata’s future plans with regarding to writing books.
    41:00- The mysterious Moonmaster 9000 asks what chess improvement methods Gata has found to be most effective. His recommendations: 1. Study your games 2. Play frequent tournaments 3. Work on endgames. As a youth, Gata found it particularly helpful to solve the chess compositions of Sergey Kasparyan and Leonid Kubbel
    54:00- Gata answers another question from a supporter of the podcast relating to why some players are able to reach their maximum potential while others are not. This segment touches on top chess players including Anish Giri, Garry Kasparov, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So and Boris Spassky. Gata also tells the story of some encounters with a young Magnus Carlsen.
    1:07- Are we likely to see Gata Kamsky in another US Chess Championship?
    1:11- Gata discusses his recent forays into streaming chess on Twitch, and the possibilities for chess as an e-sport. In this segment he also touches on the issues of cheating in chess and the promise of Chess960 aka Fischer Random Chess.
    1:18:00- Goodbye and thank you to GM Kamsky! You can keep up with Gata via Facebook and Twitter. You can buy Gata's book from Thinkers Publishing, (where a free excerpt of the book is available), Gata Kamsky-Chess Gamer is also available from US Chess Sales, and it is coming soon to Amazon.
    If you would like to help support the podcast, you can do so here

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Apr 16 2019

    1hr 21mins