194 episodios

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

Perpetual Chess Podcast Ben Johnson

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    • 5.0, 2 valoraciones

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

    EP.184 - GM Kevin Goh (Adult Improver Series)

    EP.184 - GM Kevin Goh (Adult Improver Series)

    GM Kevin Goh Wei Ming is the seven- time champion of Singapore, and is a renowned  opening theoretician who wrote Chess Developments, Sicilian 6. Bg5 Najdorf, and has published many articles for ChessPublishing.com. 

    This year, Kevin earned the GM title at the relatively late age of 36 while working full time as the CFO of an oncology company! As Kevin tells us, earning the title was the culmination of a 10 year quest, which  involved many setbacks, much travel and time off from work and an indispensable support network of friends, family and a few GM mentors. Kevin’s inspiring story is full of good chess improvement advice no matter what title or rating you may be chasing. You can find many more details of our conversation and the related links and timestamps below. 

    02:00- We begin by discussing the current state of Coronavirus and chess in Kevin’s native Singapore, and the Chess against Covid initiative that Kevin and some friends of his recently started. 


    Mentioned: Chess against Covid initiative, Junior Tay, Olimpiu Urcan (see his great Patreon page here: https://www.patreon.com/urcan ), GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov


    8:30- Kevin walks us through his long journey to the GM title, which has been a nearly a decade-long quest as well as the highlight of his chess career. 

    Mentioned: IM John Bartholomew 


    14:00- Once Kevin decided to pursue chess full time, what study routine did he implement? 

    Mentioned: Perfect Your Chess, IM Erik Kislik, GM Gyula Sax, see Gyula-Sax-Kevin Goh 2011 here: 


    Secrets of Spectacular Chess by GM Jonathan Levitt and FM David Friedgood, GM Daniel Fernandez, Chessbase India feature on Kevin Goh by Junior Tay here: https://chessbase.in/news/Dressed_to_Impress_How_IM_Kevin_Goh_prepped_and_persevered_for_his_final_GM_norm, Episode 178 with IM Kare Kristensen


    36:00- When Kevin got his 3rd norm in 2018, he needed just 7 more ELO points for the title, little did he know that these last rating points were far from a formality! 

    Mentioned: GM Ashwin Jayaram, IM Elect Donny Ariel!, GM Avetik Grigoryan, GM Boris Avrukh, Chessmood.com 


    49:00- What did it feel like to finally earn the GM title in 2020 after all of these struggles? 


    51:00- Chessable.com has many excellent  “Lifetime Repertoire” courses including ones by GM Jan Gustafsson, IM Christof Sielecki and a brand new one on the Caro Kann, from GM Erwin L’ami. The place  to see the all of Chessable’s Lifetime Repertoire courses is here:




    51:45- What is Kevin Goh’s chess improvement advice for fellow adult improvers? 

    GM Karsten Muller, GM David Smerdon, GM Tigran Petrosian, GM Anatoly Karpov, Positional Sacrifices by GM Neal McDonald, Karpov-Gelfand 1993: https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1048256

    GM Jonathan Rowson , IM Willy Hendriks On the Origin of Good Moves, NM Elijah Logozar, 


    1:08:00- What is Kevin’s opinion and experience with The Woodpecker Method and spaced repetition generally? 

    Mentioned: GM Hans Tikkanen and GM Alex Smith, Recapping the Woodpecker Method with Neal Bruce , The Road to Chess Improvement. Caruana-Carlsen Game 1 2018

    1:14:00- Patreon supporter of the show, FM Andrey Terekhov, writes in to ask his friend Kevin what his next goal is now that he has gotten the GM title. 

    Mentioned: Aeroflot Open, FIDE Online Olympiad 


    1:20:00- What advice did GM Jacob Aagaard give Kevin when he was stuck at a plateau? 


    1:23:00- Thanks so much to Kevin for sharing his story and his wisdom. Here is his contact info: 

    Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/GMkevingwm?__tn__=%2CdlC-R-R&eid=ARAnkjbSRRYN_2CulGTyid0y7WpIDj2QMkJ-wDYtOOFN7ip64ExECRkK2BWZ-uqeSv4gU3bJXgZ7rSR5&hc_ref=ARQT0

    • 1h 29 min
    EP.183 - Rochelle Ballantyne

    EP.183 - Rochelle Ballantyne

    Rochelle Ballantyne is best-known in the chess world as one of the star scholastic chess players featured in the excellent 2012 documentary, Brooklyn Castle, which chronicles the lives of the students and teachers  at the scholastic chess powerhouse school, IS 318 in Brooklyn, New York. In the years since that movie, Rochelle has continued to pile up impressive achievements. She earned a BA from Stanford University, a Masters of Education degree from Columbia University, and has been accepted into the New York University Law School for the fall. Rochelle also had many scholastic chess successes, she attained a peak US Chess rating of 2127, and she actively promotes chess as an educational tool. Last, but most importantly, Rochelle has long been a staunch advocate for criminal justice reform and the Black Lives Matter movement.   She shares her perspective on this movement, both as it pertains to the chess world, and to the world at large. Please enjoy our wide-ranging conversation. Timestamps and relevant links can be found below. 


    We catch up on what Rochelle has been doing since she was featured in Brooklyn Castle. 


    Elizabeth Spiegel on Perpetual Chess December 10, 2019 , 

    Brooklyn Castle’s Website Lists Where You Can Watch The Movie, here: https://brooklyncastle.com/#watch1l’ 

    Read Melinda Mathews’ 2018 Interview with Rochelle here: https://new.uschess.org/news/qa-rochelle-ballantyne-representation-important


    7:00- What is the update on Rochelle’s Chess Playing? 

    Mentioned: IM Greg Shahade, US Chess School


    12:00- From her viewpoint as a woman and an African American chess player, what were Rochelle’s interactions like in the chess world? 

    Mentioned: FM Justus Williams, NM James Black, FM Joshua Colas, Stanford University, 


    23:45- A Patreon supporter of the podcast writes in to ask Rochelle how tournament players can help be supportive African American chess players.

    Mentioned: Alexandra Botez shares a personal experience about sexual harassment in the chess world: 



    29:00- The latest and greatest from Chessable is an updated and expanded comprehensive checkmate pattern course by CraftyRaf- check it out here: 



    30:00- What is Rochelle’s opinion of how race relations have been handled by the US Chess Federation and other entities? 

    Mentioned: Read the US CHess statement on Black Lives Matter here: 


    Chess GIrls DC, 

    Chess.com’s Peter Doggers interview series, On Racism, can be read here: 




    Bill Goichberg 


    38:00- Rochelle answers a few more listener-questions relating to education policy, both inside and outside of the chess world. 

    Mentioned: IS 318 Vice Principal John Galvin, GM Maurice Ashley, Queen City Classic Chess Tournament  


    47:00- Has Rochelle been attending any of the Black Lives Matter protests? 

    Mentioned: IM Greg Shahade’s Twitter and Facebook,  


    54:00- Does the fact that White moves first in chess have racist undertones in Rochelle’s opinion? 

    Mentioned: Jen Shahade, Alexandra Botez 


    1:00- Thanks to Rochelle, for sharing her perspective with us. Here is a list from Rochelle of Black Lives Matter causes and organizations that could use some support:


    • 1h 5 min
    Bonus- Recapping The World Champions I Knew by GM Genna Sosonko

    Bonus- Recapping The World Champions I Knew by GM Genna Sosonko

    Welcome back to another monthly edition of Perpetual Chess, Chess Books Recaptured! This month, I am joined by electrical engineer, Chessable author, and chess blogger, Vjekoslav “Vjeko” Nemec. Like me, Vjekoslav is a big fan of GM Genna Sosonko’s writing, so we were eager to discuss one of his books. Vjeko and I agree that The World Champion’s I Knew may not be Sosonko’s best book, but due to its prominent subjects,  it might be the most accessible. Like his other books, The World Champions I Knew is marked by vivid first hand accounts and beautiful prose, and its high points make the book well worth reading. In his book, GM Sosonko writes about 7 different world chess champions, so Vjeko and I spent time sharing quotes and reflections about each essay, and ranked our favorite chapters. Please read on for more details and timestamps. 

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



    1:00- We begin by discussing why Vjeko Nemec wanted to discuss a book by Grandmaster Genna Sosonko, why we settled on The World Champions I Knew , and we share a few details from GM Sosonko’s fascinating life story. 

    Mentioned: Perpetual Chess interview with GM Genna Sosonko (June 2018), Smart Chip from St. Petersburg, Russian Silhoettes, The Reliable Past,  Evil-Doer: Half a Century with Viktor Korchnoi, GM Garry Kasparov 


    13:45- As always, Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable. Two of the many courses that you can check out right now are Vjekoslav Nemec’s The Modern Against Everything, and GM Sam Shankland’s new course, Lifetime Repertoires: Black Against the English, The Reti, and sidelines


    14:30- We read a bit of the introduction to the book and give an overview of the book before discussing the book chapter by chapter. 

    Mentioned: The Rise and Fall of David Bronstein, John Hartmann, 


    19:00- The first chapter we discuss is the one about Jose Raoul Capablaca, which focuses on GM Sosonko’s interactions with Capablanca’s then wife, Olga Clark Capablanca. 

    The Genius and The Princess by Edward Winter


    26:30- Next up is legendary world champion Alexander Alekhine

    Mentioned: Chess Historian Edward Winter on Sourcing

    32:45- Smyslov 

    Mentioned: Smyslov on the Couch, The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn


    45:00- Legendary Dutch Champion Max Euwe 

    Mentioned: Todd Bryant, Mike Zaloznyy


    54:00- We discuss the chapter about Sixth World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik

    Mentioned: Soviet Outcast: The Life and Games of Grigory Levenfish, GM Viktor Korchnoi


    1:02- GM Tigran Petrosian 

    Mentioned: GM Boris Spassky, GM Efim Geller 


    1:13- Tal time! We discuss the best part of the book, the chapter GM Mikhail Tal. Tal-Lautier 1992, Timman’s Titans, The Longest Game, Chess Duels by Yasser Seirawan, Tal Keller Zurich 1959, Steve Doyle, GM Alexei Suetin, Lev Tolstoy, Bacchus, Mythos by Stephen Fry


    1:35:00- Thanks to Vjeko for helping out and sharing his knowledge! In lieu of payment for his efforts, Vjeko is donating to Tunde Onakoya’sChess in Slums Program. You can donate to support them here:



    1:39:00- Blindfold puzzles of the month courtesy of SayChess1


    Puzzle #1- White to move 


    Pawn h4

    King b1

    Queen c2



    Pawns g7 and h5

    King h7

    Queen g6 



    Puzzle #2- White to move



    Rook a1

    King d2



    Pawns on b2 and c2

    King b4




    Follow Vjeko on twitter here: https://twitter.com/chessentials_

    Read his Chessentials blog here: https://chessentials.com/

    Buy his Chessable course here: https://www.chessable.com

    • 1h 45 min
    EP182 - IM Willy Hendriks

    EP182 - IM Willy Hendriks

    IM Willy Hendriks is a Netherlands based chess trainer, and an award winning author of two books:  Move First Think Later (2012) and his excellent new book, On the Origin of Good Moves. IM Hendriks is quite an impressive chess player and adult improver. He has two GM norms, and he attained his peak rating at the age of 43.  Eleven years later his 2438 FIDE rating is still not far from his personal  best. IM Hendriks and I had a fascinating conversation about both of his books ,and about the subject of chess improvement generally. Please read on for more details and time stamps. 


    2:30- After a brief intro we dig into how IM Hendriks came up with the original presentation style that distinguishes both of his books, as well as the unifying vision of chess that ties his books together. 

    Mentioned: Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker 


    12:00- Willy’s first book, Move First Think Later was critical of some well-known chess authors. Did the controversy that this book caused in the chess world surprise him? 

    Mentioned: IM Jeremy Silman, FM Carsten Hansen, Logical Chess Move by Move, Lasker’s Manual of Chess 


    18:15- We transition to discussing IM Hendriks new book, On the Origin of Good Moves, Mentioned:  Emanuel Lasker, Wilhelm Steinitz, William Purdy, Adolf Anderssen, and Paul Morphy


    31:30- What sort of feedback has he gotten for his new book so far? 

    Mentioned: Richard James’ Review of Move First Think Later from British Chess News


    34:30- Why does IM Hendriks think that one should, in fact, study openings frequently? 

    Mentioned: IM Kare Kristensen 


    40:00- Check out Alan B’s Free Chessable series focusing on attacking with each piece type here:  https://www.chessable.com/knights-on-the-attack/course/16475/


    45:45- As a strong player near his peak rating in his 50’s, what are Willy’s own chess study methods? What are his general opinions about best adult improvement practices? 

    Mentioned: IM Levy Rozman, NM Christopher Chabris, Encyclopedia of Chess Combinations 


    58:30- OK but really, how is Willy staying so strong at chess? :) 


    65:30- Thanks to IM Willy Hendriks for joining the show. You can reach him and keep up with him via his website: 



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



    • 1h 12 min
    EP.181 - USCF Master Elijah Logozar (Adult Improver Series)

    EP.181 - USCF Master Elijah Logozar (Adult Improver Series)

     Tennessee-based teenage improver (19 years old)  and prolific Chessable author and superuser NM Elijah Logozar has taken his rating from the 1700s to the USCF Master title (2200) in about 3 years!  He has probably improved even more in online blitz and puzzle rush, which he utilizes as serious training tools. As Elijah tells us, his “secret” is that he often spends 10 hours per day on chess, an approach that admittedly is not replicable for most of us. But Elijah also takes the science of chess improvement very seriously, and despite his young age, he is well-versed on the topic of chess improvement and aging. Elijah is also a big advocate of and exemplar of using spaced repetition and The Woodpecker Method, and he answers questions and shares insight on how he thinks to best use these training tools.  So all in all, there is a lot to learn about chess improvement in this densely packed conversation. Please sit back and enjoy.   As always you can find more information, timestamps and hyperlinks below. 

    04:00- After a brief intro Elijah dives into his experiences with spaced repetition in his training, and he talks about The Woodpecker Method in particular. 

    Mentioned: Recapping The Woodpecker Method and Rapid Chess Improvement wiith Neal Bruce, David Milliern, The Mozart Effect 


    19:30- Elijah Logozar’s Chessable courses are on sale at Chessable.com! Check them out here:


    20:00- Elijah fields a question related to frustrations with using the Woodpecker Method. For what level chess player is it really appropriate? Is solving for accuracy or speed more important? Mentioned: IM Kostya Kavutskiy, Flamingo Chess’s Woodpecker-Related Blog Post , Pokerram’s Chess Diary on ChessTempo, Randy Julian, ChessIMO app 

    29:00- Elijah answers a question from a Patreon Supporter regarding other recommended methods of tactics training. 

    Mentioned: Kasparov’s My Great Predecessors, Dvoretsky’s Analytical Manual 

    40:00- Openings talk! A Patreon supporter asks, “What should you do if you consult two different authors on chess openings and they each recommend a different move?” 

    GameChanger by GM Mathew Sadler and Natasha Regan, Questions of Modern Chess Theory by Isaac Lipnitsky, Crush the Taimanov by Elijah Logozar 

    52:00- A Patreon mailbag question relates to how Elijah uses Chessable in his study regimen, and another relates to how to incorporate analyzing one’s games. 

    Mentioned: 100 Endgames You Must Know, Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual 

    57:00- This episode is brought to you in part by Decode Chess- a company whose software explains the suggestions of chess engines in plain language that you can understand. Go here to try it out for free: 


    58:00- One last Patreon mailbag question asks whether Elijah plays with training partners, and then we segue into the topic of Elijah’s favorite chess books. 

    Mentioned: ChessDojo Discord Channel, Aagaard’s Thinking Inside the Box, Secret’s of Modern Chess Strategy by IM John Watson, Move First Think Later, Quality Chess Books, Small Steps to Giant Improvement,  Dynamic Chess Strategy, The Road to Chess Improvement 

    1:13:00- Elijah volunteered to do an impromptu blindfold chess puzzle, so I read him a miniature that ends in a tactic. The game is here:


    1:17:00- Thanks to Elijah for coming on and sharing his chess improvement experiences. You can reach him on these platforms:

    Chessable- https://www.chessable.com/author/logozar/

    Chess.com- https://www.chess.com/member/logoczar

    Twitter- https://twitter.com/ElijahLogozar

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


    • 1h 26 min
    EP.180 - IM Levy Rozman

    EP.180 - IM Levy Rozman

    IM Levy Rozman is a 24 year-old, New York-based chess streamer, Chess.com announcer and instructor. Levy has quickly found an audience online due to his ability to explain chess in a humorous and accessible way. In our conversation, we talk about the origins of Levy’s announcing career, his chess ambitions, and about the fast-changing world of Twitch chess streaming in 2020. 

    Please read on for lots more details, and timestamps. Embedded hyperlinks can be found on the podcast website here:


    0:00- We dive right into a discussion of the ways that chess coverage on Twitch has been making news recently. This includes the continued ascension of GM Hikaru Nakamura’s popular Twitch channel

    Mentioned: GM Ben Finegold, Chessbae94, Alexandra Botez, GM Daniel Naroditsky 


    6:45- Levy traces the origins of his popular Twitch channel, Gotham Chess. 

    Mentioned: IM Eric Rosen, IM Alex Ostrovskiy, Alexis Parades, Brooklyn Castle, Baruch College, 


    15:00- Friend and Patreon supporter of the podcast, Chris Wainscott, asks Levy about whether he plans to pursue the Grandmaster title. 

    Mentioned: Chess.com’s  I am not a GM tournament 


    23:00- What are  Levy’s goals for his Twitch channel? What recommendations would he give to others thinking of getting into Twitch streaming? 


    28:00- The Magnus Touch by Magnus Carlsen is still on sale at Chessable.com. Get it here:



    29:00- Levy tells the story of how he got his start as an announcer for Chess.com.

    Mentioned: GM Robert Hess, GM Daniel Naroditsky, IM Danny Rensch, Levy’s Recap of one of Magnus’ Recent Blitz Games,  Mr. Dodgy’s compilation of GM Magnus Carlsen’s recent Twitch stream, GM Peter Leko, GM Alexander Grischuk, GM Anish Giri, GM Fabiano Caruana, GM Jan Gustafsson  


    35:00- Chris Wainscott asks Levy about the status of his amusing chess show, Post Mortem.


    39:00- We also dive into a recent controversy involving Chess.com and Chess24.com, and the way that the sites broadcast events that are sponsored by their competitors. 


    44:30- Levy answers another question from the Patreon mailbag, and gives some advice to a newer player who is having trouble avoiding blunders. 

    Mentioned: You can buy Levy’s opening repertoire course here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf-75djkXcEvJns9wvhony5bItA8Bv_f63lLUyXmvMPlCfIRg/viewform


    51:00- A related question has to do with how a newer player should be using Chessbase. 

    Mentioned: The London System, The King’s Indian Attack 


    59:00- Levy fields a few fun questions from Twitter, and tells the story of why he got kicked out of legendary GM Arthur Yusupov’s chess camp as a kid. 

    Mentioned: International Chess Academy, Sam Copeland’s interview with Levy Rozman, Greg Shahade, IM Teddy Coleman, Jen Shahade, IM John Bartholomew, IM Alex Ostrovskiy


    Thanks to Levy for coming on the show. Here is how you can keep up with him:


    Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQHX6ViZmPsWiYSFAyS0a3Q

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/GothamChess?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor


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



    • 1h 15 min

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beijinho ,

Absolute must for any chess fan

Ben’s podcast is an absolute must for any chess fan. It’s not easy to get an hold on interviews with not only chess players but also people working on the backstage of chess.

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