371 episodes

Perpetual Chess features weekly conversations with the chess world's best players, trainers and accomplished amateurs about their careers, current projects, best practices and the latest in chess news. Learn more at PerpetualChessPod.com

Perpetual Chess Podcast Ben Johnson

    • Leisure
    • 4.8 • 62 Ratings

Perpetual Chess features weekly conversations with the chess world's best players, trainers and accomplished amateurs about their careers, current projects, best practices and the latest in chess news. Learn more at PerpetualChessPod.com

    EP 315- Dr. Jon Edwards- The Correspondence Chess World Champion on what Top Engines think of Different Openings and his Road to the World Title

    EP 315- Dr. Jon Edwards- The Correspondence Chess World Champion on what Top Engines think of Different Openings and his Road to the World Title

    This week’s guest on Perpetual Chess an author, an American Chess Magazine columnist, and  the recently-crowned World Champion of correspondence chess, Dr. Jon Edwards. Correspondence chess historically was played by mail, without assistance.  These days it is played by email, with engine assistance allowed. The current format makes for incredibly accurate games that often end in draws. So what enabled Jon to win the Championship? Did luck play a role? 
    Jon is an expert on how modern engines work, and what they say about various openings. We discuss the current opening battlegrounds of top engines, and discuss how correspondence chess has evolved as engines continue to get stronger. Should the rules of correspondence chess be tweaked because so many games end in draws? Among many other topics, we also discuss Jon’s massive chess book and chess stamp collections, and why Petrosian is his favorite player. Please read on for timestamps and links related to topics discussed. 



    0:00- How has Jon’s life changed since winning the title of World Correspondence Chess Champion? 

    Mentioned: FM Alex Dunne passed away, Jon Edwards wins 32nd World Correspondence Championship 

    08:00- It is pretty rare to win in modern  correspondence chess. What happened in the two games that Jon won in the championship tournament? 

    14:00- What type of computer does Jon use to power his chess engines? 

    17:00- We take a quick detour to discuss Jon’s early investment in Apple Stock in 1984. 

    24:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Aimchess.com. Aimchess’ algorithm reviews your games and gives you actionable advice on how to improve your game. Check it out for free, and if you choose to subscribe you can use the code Perpetual30 to save 30%.
    Or use this link for the same discount:
    https://aimchess.com/try?ref=benjohnson12
    25:00- Jon tells me how engines are evaluating a handful of openings, including the Najdorf and the Semi-slav. 
    34:00- Why does Jon prefer correspondence chess to OTB chess? 
    38:00- Patreon mailbag question: “Would Jon consider doing a course on advanced uses on Chessbase?” 
    44:00-  Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. Check out their latest courses here: https://www.chessable.com/courses/all/new/
    45:00- Patreon mailbag question: “What type of engine does Jon use?”
    Mentioned: Stockfish 15.1
    52:00- Patreon mailbag question: “What does Jon think of the idea of changing the format of the correspondence championship due to the preponderance of draws?”
    54:00-  Patreon mailbag question: “Are there stylistic changes made in how correspondence games are played based on the strength of the engines?” 
    Mentioned: Dubov-Karjakin 2020, Joppen vs. Petrosian 1954, Edwards-Lobonov 
    59:00- Patreon mailbag question: “What are the biggest contributions of correspondence chess to OTB chess?” 
    1:01:00- Does one see the French defense or the Caro Kann at top level Correspondence Chess?
    1:04:00- Jon discusses his large chess book collection and his chess stamp collection. 
    Mentioned: Great Moments in Modern Chess
    1:11:00- Jon discusses why Petrosian is his favorite player 
    Mentioned: Joppen vs. Petrosian 1954, Joseph Platz 
    1:16:00- Jon mentions his current favorite stock investment. :) 
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    • 1 hr 20 min
    Bonus pod- Tata Steel in the Home Stretch- FM Michiel Abeln assesses the Tournament so Far

    Bonus pod- Tata Steel in the Home Stretch- FM Michiel Abeln assesses the Tournament so Far

    We are back with another Tata Steel focused bonus pod. As we recorded the venerable tournament has 3 rounds left and has been filled with beautiful games and fascinating storylines. We are re-joined by renowned author/ Chessable author, FM Michiel Abeln to assess what we have seen so far. Timestamps of topics and players discussed are below. 

    0:00- What has struck Michiel about the first 10 rounds of the Masters tournament? 

    06:00- We briefly discuss the Challengers section. 

    09:00- We discuss the performance of the players one by one, beginning with GM Vincent Keymer

    14:30- GM Arjun Erigaisi 

    16:00- GM Jorden van Foreest

    18:45- GM Parham Maghsoodloo 

    23:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Aimchess.com. Aimchess’ algorithm reviews your games and gives you actionable advice on how to improve your game. Check it out for free, and if you choose to subscribe you can use the code Perpetual30 to save 30%.

    25:00- GM Gukesh 
    Mentioned: Vanessa West’s Recap of Round 10 for Chess.com

    32:00- GM Ding Liren 

    35:00- GM Praggnanandhaa

    38:00- Rapport, Caruana and Aronian 
    Mentioned: Erigaisi-Rapport 2023, Caruana-Carlsen 2023

    46:00- GM Wesley So 

    47:00- GM Magnus Carlsen 

    51:00- GM Anish Giri 

    53:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. Check out their latest courses here: https://www.chessable.com/courses/all/new/

    55:00- Anish Giri continued…

    59:00- Finally… GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov

    1:05:00- Michiel’s closing thoughts

    Thanks again to Michiel for joining us from the Netherlands. Here is how to keep up with his work:
    Twitter- https://twitter.com/MichielAbeln
    His Book- The Anand Files
    His Chessable Courses-
    Trompowsky Simplified- https://www.chessable.com/the-trompowsky-simplified/course/134623/
    The Leningrad Dutch- 
    https://www.chessable.com/leningrad-dutch-an-uncompromising-attacking-opening/course/72081/

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




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    • 1 hr 10 min
    EP 314- Adult Improver Kamryn Hellman on How Discovering Chess via Queen's Gambit turned her into a Fast Improving Chess Obsessive

    EP 314- Adult Improver Kamryn Hellman on How Discovering Chess via Queen's Gambit turned her into a Fast Improving Chess Obsessive

    The Adult Improver Series of Perpetual Chess returns today. It is a series devoted to sharing the stories of dedicated chess amateurs. This week’s guest is Kamryn Hellman. Kamryn is a 23 year-old who got swept up by chess in 2021 after seeing Queen’s Gambit. At that time she learned the game from scratch, and in the subsequent time she has become immersed in the culture and brought her Chess.com rapid rating to a peak of over 1900. Kamryn has also gotten involved in her local chess community and has enjoyed her forays into tournament chess, despite the challenges that it created. I was really impressed with Kamryn’s quick rise in the chess ranks, and also her analytical approach to improving her game. She shared lots of useful advice in our interview, and it was fun to hear her story. Please read on for timestamps of topics discussed. 


    Resources mentioned in intro: 
    Spotify Adult Improver Playlist 
    Adult Improver Webpage 
    Submit Your Info to Potentially be a Guest on the Pod 
    Support Perpetual Chess Via Patreon
    Also be sure to subscribe to the Perpetual Chess Linkfest, for a free weekly email of the week’s biggest chess stories and chess improvement related blog posts. 



    0:04- After Kamryn discovered chess via Queen’s Gambit, how did she dive deeper into the game? 
    Mentioned: Gotham Chess 

    0:09- How did Kamryn begin to find a community IRL? Was she welcomed at her local chess club? 
    Mentioned: Todd Wolf

    14:00 - Kamryn is doing some teaching of beginners. Does she think it helps her chess? 

    16:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Aimchess.com. Aimchess’ algorithm reviews your games and gives you actionable advice on how to improve your game. Check it out for free, and if you choose to subscribe you can use the code Perpetual30 to save 30%.
    Or use this link for the same discount:
    https://aimchess.com/try?ref=benjohnson12
    18:00- What was the tournament experience like? How has Kamryn learned to deal with nerves? 
    27:00- What is Kamryn’s approach to analyzing her games? 
    33:00- Patreon mailbag question: How does Kamryn work on her thought processes?
    36:00- Does Kamryn have any other hobbies that have helped with her approach to chess?
    38:00-  Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. Check out their latest courses here: https://www.chessable.com/courses/all/new/
    40:00- How does Kamryn approach working on endgames?
    Mentioned: GM Naroditsky’s Principles of Chess Endgames 
    44:00- What motivates Kamryn to work so hard on her game?
    Mentioned: Jen Shahade’s Chess Queens 
    46:00- How does Kamryn study openings? 
    53:00- Compared to most adults, Kamryn’s unusual rise in the  ratings have been meteoric.  How does Kamryn contextualize the unusual gains she has made?
     58:00- What other content creators does Kamryn enjoy? 
    Mentioned: Hanging Pawns, Eric Rosen teaches Andrea Botez the London 
    59:00- Has Kamryn read any chess books that have really helped her? 
    Mentioned: 100 Endgames You Must Know, Everyone’s First Chess Workbook, Best Lessons of a Chess Coach 
    1:02:00- What do Kamryn’s friends think of her chess obsession?
    1:04:00- What is Kamryn’s advice for new chess enthusiasts?
    1:06:00- Thanks so much to Kamryn for joining me! You can follow her on Twitter here:
    https://twitter.com/kamrynheidi
    If you would like to help support Perpetual Chess, you can do so here:
    https://www.patreon.com/perpetualchess



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    • 1 hr 10 min
    Bonus pod- Dispatch from the Tata Steel Chess tournament with Renowned Author, FM Michiel Abeln

    Bonus pod- Dispatch from the Tata Steel Chess tournament with Renowned Author, FM Michiel Abeln

    We’ve got some bonus content for you guys, as renowned author/ Chessable author FM Michiel Abeln joined me on the first rest day to discuss the ongoing Tata Steel Chess tournament. Tata Steel is an annual tournament in the Netherlands which routinely attracts many of the world’s top players as well as rising stars. It is run concurrently with tournaments open to all, and is celebrating its 85th anniversay this year! We recorded the podcast the day after Anish Giri beat Magnus Carlsen in impressive fashion, but we focus more on the “big picture” of the tournament rather than the current standings. Michiel and I discuss questions such as: What makes Tata Steel such a special tournament? What is it like to be there right now? What should amateurs who are considering attending or playing in the tournament in the future know? Which players and games have impressed Michiel so far? Michael lives near the tournament venue and has been visiting it for over a decade, so he was very helpful in putting this year's event into context. He has also been writing about the tournament for The Week in Chess. Tata Steel has such a storied legacy in the chess world and it was great to get some perspective from a knowledgeable local about the past and present of this classic tournament!

    Our Prior Interview: Episode 156 with Michiel Abeln 

    04:00- What would surprise a recreational chess player who decided to show up and play in the Open Tournament at Wijk an Zee? 
    Mentioned: Kings, Queens and Rookies (new book from New in Chess)

    07:30- How much can fans interact with the top players there? Who has Michiel seen there?

    16:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Aimchess.com. Aimchess’ algorithm reviews your games and gives you actionable advice on how to improve your game. Check it out for free, and if you choose to subscribe you can use the code Perpetual30 to save 30%.
    Or use this link for the same discount:
    https://aimchess.com/try?ref=benjohnson12

    17:00- Patreon mailbag Question: Are the youngsters taking over in the open tournaments in Wijk an Zee? 
    Mentioned: Episode 186 with GM Erwin L’Ami, Elina Roebers-Erwin L’Ami 2023

    25:00- Michiel discusses the formats of the amateur tournaments 

    32:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. Check out their latest courses here: https://www.chessable.com/courses/all/new/

    34:00- What are some of the standout games worth reviewing from the tournament? 
    Pragganandha-Ding Liren 2023, Gukesh-Ding Liren 2023, Giri-Gukesh 2023, Giri-Carlsen 2023, Rapport-Caruana 2023

    46:00- Michiel’s shares his closing thoughts on Tata Steel. Here are the links to keep up with him… 
    Twitter- https://twitter.com/MichielAbeln
    His Book- The Anand Files
    His Chessable Courses-
    Trompowsky Simplified- https://www.chessable.com/the-trompowsky-simplified/course/134623/
    The Leningrad Dutch- 
    https://www.chessable.com/leningrad-dutch-an-uncompromising-attacking-opening/course/72081/

    If you would like to help support Perpetual Chess via Patreon, you can do so here:
    https://www.patreon.com/perpetualchess
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 55 min
    EP 313- FM James Canty on Staying Motivated and His Grind Toward the IM Title and Beyond.

    EP 313- FM James Canty on Staying Motivated and His Grind Toward the IM Title and Beyond.

    This week’s guest on Perpetual Chess is the hardest-working man in chess. He is Twitch Streamer, Chess.com commentator, and ambitious improver, FM James Canty. I have been a fan of James for a long time, so I was glad to finally get to ask him some questions about what motivates him to work so hard on his game. Naturally we also discussed what James specifically is studying, his pursuit of the IM and GM titles, and some of his favorite chess improvement resources. I find it energizing and motivating to talk chess with James, and I think you all will as well. As always, timestamps for topics discussed can be found in the show description. 

    02:00- What motivates James to keep working on his OTB game? What is his goal?
    Mentioned: Simon Sinek’s Start With Why, GM Maurice Ashley

    05:00- What is James’s current study regimen? How does he balance working on his game with streaming tons of chess?
    Mentioned: Test Your Tactical Skill, GM Kenny Solomon, GM Amon Simotowe 

    16:00- What are James’s favorite Chessable courses and books? 
    Mentioned: GM Jacob Aagaard’s Grandmaster Preparation, Thinking Inside the Box, Encyclopedia of Combinations, Woodpecker Method, Tactics Time, Benedictine’s Visualization Series 

    28:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. Check out their latest courses here: https://www.chessable.com/courses/all/new/

    29:00- James discusses his love for the Scotch Gambit and his pending Chessable courses 

    35:00- What is his upcoming tournament schedule? What did James have to learn about how FIDE ratings and norms work? 
    Mentioned: 2023 Charlotte Open 

    44:00- Does James ever get burnt out from chess? 

    47:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Aimchess.com. Aimchess’ algorithm reviews your games and gives you actionable advice on how to improve your game. Check it out for free, and if you choose to subscribe you can use the code Perpetual30 to save 30%.
    Or use this link for the same discount:
    https://aimchess.com/try?ref=benjohnson12
    48:00- Patreon mailbag question: What inspires James’s dedication to fitness and weight lifting? 
    59:00- True or false: James is a rapper as well? 
    1:00:00- What did James learn from legendary trainer, GM Roman Dzindziashvilli? 
    1:02:00- What was James’s fondest memory from attending the Global Chess Championship in Toronto? 
    Mentioned: GM Wesley So, GM Anish Giri, GM Fabiano Caruana, IM Danny Rensch, GM Daniel Naroditsky, GM Robert Hess, GM Wesley So’s Chessable Courses, Chessgames.com

    1:06:00- What advice does James give to younger players? 

    Thanks so much to James for sharing his passion for chess with us! Here are all of the links to keep up with him:

    YouTube:

    Twitch:

    Twitter: 

    Merch

    Instagram



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    • 1 hr 12 min
    EP 312- GM Noel Studer- The Swiss National Champ Turned Trainer Shares Advice on Overcoming Plateaus, Calculating, Analyzing Games & More

    EP 312- GM Noel Studer- The Swiss National Champ Turned Trainer Shares Advice on Overcoming Plateaus, Calculating, Analyzing Games & More

    This week on Perpetual Chess, we are rejoined by 2019 Swiss National Champion, blogger and trainer, GM Noel Studer. Noel is always extremely insightful on matters related to chess improvement, and has recently released a video course sharing his own recommended approach. The course, Next Level Training: Conquer the Chess Information Chaos, tackles many of the questions commonly contemplated on the pod, such as which aspects of the game to prioritize, how to analyze games and how to approach opening study. Noel even has a section on how one should learn any discipline, and relates his experiences as a tennis and poker improver. Lastly, Noel shares some thoughts and his own experiences on cheating in tournament chess and discusses his continuing recovery from a brain injury. You can find timestamps for topics discussed below. 

    Prior Interview with Noel- Episode 248 with GM Noel Studer 

    02:00- Patreon mailbag question: I am working hard on my chess, but I am not improving. Should I give up on the possibility of improvement? 

    13:00- We discuss Noel’s chess course. What audience did Noel have in mind? How did he go about making the course?  

    19:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. Check out their latest courses here: https://www.chessable.com/courses/all/new/

    20:00- We discuss a few of the chess improvement recommendations from Noel’s course that resonated with me, and the reasons that they struck a chord with me. 
    28:00- What was the primary contributor to Noel’s chess growth when he was an up and coming player? 
    Mentioned: GM Artur Yusopov, Lee Child “Jack Reacher” Novels, The Tim Ferris Podcast 

    33:00- Why does Noel think it's important to write down one’s thoughts when reviewing OTB games? 

    37:00- What did Noel learn from doing calculation-training with GM R.B. Ramesh and GM Sam Shankland? 

    44:00- How would Noel respond to someone who says that his course, at $297, is too expensive?

    48:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Aimchess.com. Aimchess’ algorithm reviews your games and gives you actionable advice on how to improve your game. Check it out for free, and if you choose to subscribe you can use the code Perpetual30 to save 30%.
    Or use this link for the same discount:
    https://aimchess.com/try?ref=benjohnson12
    49:00- Has Noel read any good books lately? 
    Mentioned: Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism
    50:00- What has Noel learned about chess learning through trying to improve at tennis and poker?  
    1:04:00- We discuss top level chess, especially the Magnus/Niemann saga and the issue of cheating in chess. 
    Mentioned: Episode 310 with John Hartmann, Belgian IM Stephen Docx expelled from tournament, Episode 301 with Dr. Kenneth Regan 
    1:22:00- What is next for Noel? How is his health? 
    Thanks to Noel for joining me, you can keep up with him by subscribing to his blog!
    Blog- https://nextlevelchess.blog/
    Course- Next Level Training: Conquer the Chess Information Chaos
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    • 1 hr 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
62 Ratings

62 Ratings

Bruno from Canada ,

Keeps getting better and better

I took interest in chess after seeing The Queen’s Gambit and am so glad to have found this great podcast. I suggest to not listen to it from the beginning, but pick a subject or an interview that interests you. The Chess books and Adult improvers series are really great. I barely knew any chess history, let alone any current players except Carlsen and can now list the world champions and most of the current top 20 just by listening to this podcast. It’s also a great way to get familiar with chess terminology. It makes this great game less intimidating to get into.

Cmplete Idiots ,

Increased ads a step too far

Good podcast but the ratchet system is clearly in place where the ads just keep getting worse and longer. It’s to the point now where I’m unsubscribing and looking for a new chess podcast. What’s the point of a patreon, if the show still has this many ads for awful websites like chess.com that charge you money for everything lichess has for free?

Countersparks ,

Fun and informative, lots of new ideas

Vast library of shows. Most recent guest Peter Svidler!! Guests include streamers, titled players, improvers, authors, and coaches. I don’t hesitate to listen to every episode. So much great content :). Thanks Ben.

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