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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

    • Hobby's

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.164 IM John Bartholomew returns

    EP.164 IM John Bartholomew returns

    I had a lot to catch up on with IM John Bartholomew 2.5 years after his first visit to Perpetual Chess. Then,  as now, John is best known for his very popular Chess YouTube channel, and for being the co-founder of Chessable.com.   John has seen the company and his following continue to grow rapidly in the past few years, and as you may have heard, Chessable merged with GM Magnus Carlsen’s Play Magnus company in September of 2019. John also has recently released a large-scale  project, a Chessable video course , explaining the endgame classic, 100 Endgames You Must Know, and he even got to film a video testing the World Champion on the material from this vital chess book. 

    In our conversation, John gave some behind-the-scenes details on all of these exciting events. He also threw in lots of good chess improvement advice in reply to some good questions from listeners. Please read on for more details and timestamps. 

    If you aren’t seeing embedded hyperlinks in your podcast feed, you can find them on the podcast website here: https://www.perpetualchesspod.com/new-blog/2020/2/11/episode-164-im-john-bartholomew

    0:00- Ways to interact with the Perpetual Chess Community include: Twitter, Perpetual Chess Facebook Group, and now, Perpetual Chess is sharing podcast clips on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/perpetualchess/

    2:00- We begin by discussing John’s recent trip to Wijk an Zee in order to film a YouTube video with World Champion, GM Magnus Carlsen.

    Mentioned: Perpetual Chess Episode 26 with IM John Bartholomew, Chessable CEO David Kramaley, John’s YouTube video testing Magnus on 100 Endgames You Must Know , Geert Van der Velde of Chessable, GM Fabiano Caruana, GM Nikita Vitiugov, GM Viswanathan Anand, GM Magnus Carlsen, GM Jesus de la VIlla 

    10:50- The first Patreon mailbag question of the week has to do with how the Chessable interface responds when someone (such as Magnus) inputs a solution to a puzzle that is not the primary solution. 

    16:00- John digs behind the scenes of how he made his 19+ hour video course, and discusses how this project affected his work as a chess teacher. 

    Mentioned: Philidor position, Lucena Position, Vancura Position, John’s free Endgame Bootcamp Video, Floating Square, Bird’s Color Rule, IM Greg Shahade’s last Perpetual Chess Appearance 

    24:30- We discuss some of the points discussed in the Chess Reddit thread, Are Chessable video courses worth the money?  

    33:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable. As John mentioned, in addition to his video course, one can check out AlanB’s courses here: 


    Chessable’s sale on the 100 Endgames You Must Know ends on February 16: https://www.chessable.com/100-endgames-you-must-know/course/5193/

    34:00- We switch to the topic of chess improvement and dig into the Patreon mailbag. John answers questions relating to his recent tweet  regarding planning chess study time, as well as one’s relating to the difference between IMs and FMs in chess skills, and what he notices in his most accomplished students. 

    Mentioned: IM Kassa Korley, The Woodpecker Method on Chessable, Checkmate Patterns by CraftyRaf, LiChess, Internet Chess Club 

    52:00- The last Patreon question requests some additional resources to drill endgames:

    Mentioned: Mastering Endgames Strategy, Chesstempo Endgame Drills, From Amateur to IM, Lifetime Repertoires: 1. E4 e5 with GM Jan Gustafsson 

    56:30- On John’s last visit to Perpetual Chess, he shared some good chess business ideas. Does he have more ideas? 

    Mentioned: GM Hikaru Nakamura, GM Wesley So, Chessbrah’s YouTube, Fiona Steil-Antoni’s YouTube Vlogs , Chess.com, IM Danny Rensch, Chess24.com, Play Magnus, IM Dmitri Schneider

    1:05- What was it like for John to teach Bullet chess  phenom, GM Andrew Tang, aka Penguin GM, as a scholasti

    • 1 u. 17 min.
    Ep, 163- USCF Tournament Director Michael Regan

    Ep, 163- USCF Tournament Director Michael Regan


    By day, USCF Tournament Director Michael Regan is an Observatory Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute.  By night and weekend, he runs some of the most player-friendly chess tournaments in the United States, primarily in the Maryland/Washington DC area. Michael joins me this week, to share all of his insights and secrets, gained from many years of figuring out to how to improve the player experience at weekend chess tournaments. We talked about everything from hotel booking, to fair play to punctuality to hygiene. This is an important conversation for any active tournament player, so please take a listen. Timestamps and more details can be found below. 

    0:00- Perpetual Chess is now on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/perpetualchess/

    You can also interact with me and the Perpetual Chess community  via Twitter and the Perpetual Chess Facebook Group . 

    3:00- Michael goes a bit into his chess background, and shares what frustrated him about the other tournaments in which he and his son often played when he first got into chess. Michael’s primary frustration was with tournaments that often started late. 

    Mentioned: DGT Chess Boards and Clocks

    11:30- Michael shared a lot of insight into the mechanics of booking hotels for chess tournaments. 

    Mentioned: The Baltimore Open (coming this weekend) 

    19:00- Why does Michael prefer to run tournaments with time increments rather than delay? 

    24:30- What does Michael think of the arguments that there needs to be shorter time control as well as more break times during chess tournaments?

    Mentioned:  IM Greg Shahade’s most recent Perpetual Chess Interview 

    30:00 This episode is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. Check out John Bartholomew’s video course explaining the endgame classic 100 Endgames You Must Know: 


    31:00- Michael answers a question from a Patreon supporter of the podcast regarding how to handle a small tournament field with large rating gaps among the players. 

    33:30- We discuss the dreaded issue of fair play. How can we prevent people from cheating using engines? 

    39:00- How can we promote better hygiene among chess players and thus limit the risk of illnesses and viruses being spread? 

    43:00- What is going on with Michael’s chess game? 

    45:00- Michael’s closing advice for those looking to make chess tournaments better are:
    Start on time
    Provide equipment (helps start on time) 

    49:50- Why does Michael often use a prize payment structure of paying a fixed amount based on players’ scores, rather than paying “1st place, 2nd place, etc.:? 

    52:00- Thanks so much to Michael for sharing his ideas and for coming on the show. If you would like to try one of his tournaments and find out what it’s like to be treated like a professional, you can see his upcoming schedule on the Maryland Chess Association website. 

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


    • 57 min.
    EP.162 - GM Ivan Cheparinov

    EP.162 - GM Ivan Cheparinov

    GM Ivan Cheparinov is a very active player whose name can regularly be found amongst the top 50 players in the world,. He attained a peak rating of 2718, and has won or tied for first place in many tournaments, including the 2007 European Individual Championships, the 2014 Gibraltar Chess Festival, and the 2009 and 2010 Ruy Lopez Masters. 

     He has just released his first book, with Thinker's Publishing, called Cheparinov's 1. d4. As we discuss, this is to be the first of a multi-volume project, and offers some fighting lines to play against the Grunfeld and King’s Indian defenses. 

    Last but not least, Ivan was former FIDE World Champion, GM Veselin Topalov's second for 7 years, and had some great stories to tell from those times. He also dispensed a few important recommendations about the importance of visualization training and fitness for chess players. Please read on for more info and timestamps. 

    If you aren't seeing embedded hyperlinks on your podcast feed,you can find them here:


    2:30- Ivan joined me days before jetting off to the Gibraltor Chess Festival. At the beginning we discussed how he prepares before a big event such as this. 

    Mentioned: WGM Antoaneta Stefanova (his wife)

    4:15- We dive into his book, Cheparinov’s d4, which is available from Thinker’s Publishing (Thinker’s website includes a free preview),  and is also now available on Forward Chess. 

    Mentioned: Grandmaster Repertoire 1.d4 by GM Boris Avrukh, GM Veselin Topalov, GM Jan Gustafsson’s Lifetime Repertoire, GM Ding Liren, GM Vishy Anand, GM Wesley So, GM Gawain Jones, GM Bassem Amin 

    18:50-A Patreon supporter of the podcast asks for a less common opening recommendation to use in play against 1. D4 for club players. 

    Mentioned: The Benoni, The Benko, The King’s Indian, The Grunfeld Opening, Nimzo-Indian, The Slav 

    21:30 Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable. If you are a club-level player who would like to improve her visualization skills, check out this cool course called Visualize: https://www.chessable.com/visualise-1/course/25695/

    22:30- GM Cheparinov worked with GM Veselin Topalov for 7 years. He shares some stories and reflections from that period. 

    Mentioned: Topalov-Kasparov 2005 (Kasparov’s last game) , Topalov-Kramnik 2008, GM Jan Smeets 

    31:00- With the recent publication of the books The Anand Files and Mind Master, a lot of information has been shared about the 2010 Anand-Topalov World Championship match in Sofia, Bulgaria, so I was excited to ask GM Cheparinov (a team Topalov member) about some of the details. 

    Mentioned: GM Erwin L’Ami , Topalov-Anand World Championship Game 12, GM Vladimir Kramnik 

    42:00- Both GM Viswanathan Anand and Anand Files author, Michiel Abeln, wrote about Anand’s team’s  fears that team Topalov had a “super computer” at their disposal in 2010 to help with World Championship preparation- Was this true? 

    Mentioned: Silvio Danailov, Rybka Chess Engine, GM Romain Eduoard, Thinker’s Publishing 

    47:00- What are GM Chepariniv’s current study methods? What did he do as a rising scholastic player? 

    Mentioned: GM Vassily Ivanchuk, GM Boris Gelfand, Csaba Balogh’s Chess Books, Perfect Your Chess 

    59:00- Thanks to GM Cheparinov for joining the show. You can keep up with him via Facebook. Watch his last few rounds of the Gibraltor Chess Festival here. 

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




    • 1 u. 4 min.
    EP.161 - Geert van der Velde (Chief Content Officer of Chessable.com)

    EP.161 - Geert van der Velde (Chief Content Officer of Chessable.com)

    This week’s guest, Geert van der Velde, is a semi-retired rock star who has recently managed to  turn his passion for all things chess into the role of Chief Content Officer for Chessable.com.  

    Geert is quite knowledgeable about chess books, chess history, and chess teaching, and we hit all of these topics in our conversation. Geert was also able to share lots of information about some exciting projects in the works at Chessable, as well as trends of which we should be aware in the chess education space generally. More details and timestamps can be found below. 

    If you are not seeing embedded hyperlinks in your podcast feed you can find them here: https://www.perpetualchesspod.com/new-blog/2020/1/21/episode-161-geert-van-der-velde-chief-content-officer-of-chessablecom

    0:00- Geert delves into his chess background and talks about how his passion for chess was born and how it was revived in the past decade. 

    Mentioned:  BIll Wall’s Chess Website, My Great Predecessors, My Best Games of Chess by Alexander Alekhine, Alekhine BBC Interview YouTube clip, GM Neil McDonald, Chess Books Recaptured: Bobby Fischer goes to War

    9:00- Geert shares how he ended up in his current role as Chief Content Officer at Chessable.com. 

    12:30- We take a detour into Geert’s background as a successful touring rock musician, most prominently for a band called The Black Atlantic. Check out their music here:


    14:45- We return to Geert’s chess background. 

    Mentioned: How to Reassess Your Chess by Jeremy Silman , Grenke Chess Open, Chessable’s 100 Endgames You Must Know, IM John Bartholomew, GM Jorden Van Foreest, GM Jan Gustafsson, 

    22:00- What does Geert’s work for Chessable entail? 

    Mentioned: GM Sam Shankland’s Small Steps 2 Success on Chessable, GM Wesley So, Chessable’s “Lifetime Pro” Membership deal will only be available for a few more weeks, Chessable CEO David Kramaley on Perpetual Chess, GM Alex Colovic, GM Pentala Harikrishna, Memory Champ Simon Reinhard, Memory Games on Netflix, Moonwalking with Einstein 

    35:50- This show is brought to you in part by Chessable- As we discussed, one of the many great books you can learn online is 100 Endgames You Must Know: https://www.chessable.com/100-endgames-you-must-know/course/5193/

    36:50- A supporter of the podcast sent in some great Chessable-related questions pertaining to when Chessable’s IOS app will be coming and other Chessable business-related questions. 

    Mentioned: NM Mike Zaloznyy, IM Dmitri Schneider 

    44:00- What books would Geert most love to bring to Chessable? As a chess dad and part time chess teacher, what are Geert’s favorite apps for kids who are learning chess? 

    ERROR ALERT- Contra what I said, Magnus Trainer is available on Ipad. I apologize for the mistake! 

    Mentioned: How to Reassess Your Chess by Jeremy Silman , The Chess Steps Method, Magnus Trainer, Chesskid.com, Chess Steps: Chess Tutor Program , Cor van Wijgerden

    53:00- We discuss Geert’s plans for attending the ongoing Tata Steel Chess Tournament. Can spaced repetition be used to learn music? 

    Mentioned: Black Atlantic’s Most Popular Song,I Shall Cross this River, has been streamed 31,000,000.  

    Thanks to Geert for being on the show, you can keep up with him via Chessable and Twitter. 

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



    • 1 u. 4 min.
    Bonus Pod - Recapping the book Bobby Fischer Goes to War with guest co-host Chris Wainscott [Chess Books Recaptured Series]

    Bonus Pod - Recapping the book Bobby Fischer Goes to War with guest co-host Chris Wainscott [Chess Books Recaptured Series]

    Welcome to another edition of Chess Books Recaptured, a monthly Bonus Pod. This month, we tried something different and are recapping an enjoyable and informative chess history book, Bobby Fischer goes to War  by David Edmonds and John Eidenow. This book gives a deep and broad history of the “Match of the Century” between challenger Bobby Fischer, and World Chess champion, GM Boris Spassky, in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1972. To help me discuss the book, I enlisted the help of long time friend of the podcast, Chris Wainscott. Chris is a part time chess journalist, and a full time chess junkie and adult improver.  For lots more details of what we discussed, please keep reading. If you aren’t seeing hyperlinks in your podcast feed, you can find them here:


    2:00- We being by introducing guest co-host Chris Wainscott, and discussing why we picked Bobby Fischer goes to War  for this month's book recap. 

    Mentioned:  Recap of Life and Games of Mikhail Tal here, and Reassess Your Chess by IM Jeremy Silman, here. One Move at a Time podcast  with Chris Wainscott

    8:00- I read the Kindle Version of Bobby Fischer goes to War, Chris read the Paperback version. Audiobook link here. 

    9:00- What was going on in the chess world in 2005 when Bobby Goes to War was published. 

    Mentioned: GM Garry Kasparov, FIDE World Champion GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov, GM Vladimir Kramnik 

    14:00- What other writing should we be aware of regarding the Fischer Spassky match?

    Mentioned: Edward Winter post on Fischer-Spassky, Fischer gegn Spassky by Freysteinn Jóhannsson and Friðrik Ólafsson (Reykjavik, 1973),  and Fischer World Champion! by Max Euwe and Jan Timman 

    15:30- We give a few biographical details about the writers, David Winter and John Eidenow 

    16:30- For what level chess player is this book suited? 

    18:30- This episode is brought to you in part by Chessable, check out My Great Predecessors, Volume 4, on Chessable to see GM Garry Kasparov’s reflections and annotations on Bobby Fischer (among others). 

    19:30- We dive into the book, Chris reads the opening paragraphs and we discuss some key events surrounding the match and the structure of the book. 

    28:30- What were the major themes of the match/book? 

    Fischer-Spassky Game 1, Game 5, The Anand Files by Michiel Abeln 

    31:30- We read a few of our favorite quotes from the book. 

    Fischer-Spassky Game 13, GM Awonder Liang, Bobby Fischer Against the World, IM Anthony Saidy, Paul Marshall, GM Nikolai Krogius, Psychology in Chess by Nikolai Krogius, GM Larry Evans, GM Anatoly Karpov, GM Mark Taimanov 

    41:00- What were our favorite games that were mentioned in the match?

    Spassky - Petrosian Game 5 1969 , Spassky-Fischer Game 3, GM Evgeny Bareev, IM John Watson’s The Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy 

    44:50- What were our favorite anecdotes from the book? 

    GM Lothar Schmid, Chester Fox, Saemi Palsson, Jim Slater, Reykjavik Open 2020 , Victor Jackovich 

    53:20- Are there chess improvement lessons to be derived from this book?

    57:00- What are our quibbles with this book? 

    Mentioned: George Steiner’s Field of Force, Paul Morphy, NY Times Review of Bobby Fischer Goes to War 

    1:02:00- Coming next month, recapturing Think Like a Grandmaster by Alexander Kotov,  with Christopher Chabris.

    1:02:00-  Thanks to Chris Wainscott for helping out this month! He will be generously  donating his compensation for this project to US Chess Women.  

    Keep up with Chris via twitter, Facebook and his blog 

    1:04:00- Blindfold chess puzzles of the month, here they are:

    Puzzle #1- Black to move and win 

    White- Pawns on h2, g2, d5, a2, Rook on f1, King on h1, Queen on d7, Bishop on a3

    Black- Pawns on h7, g7, f7, d6.  King

    • 1 u. 11 min.
    EP.160 - Antonio Radić (aka Agadmator)

    EP.160 - Antonio Radić (aka Agadmator)

    This week it is my honor to be joined by Antonio Radić, the creator of the most popular Youtube Chess Channel in the world, Agadmator’s Chess Channel!  In about 3 years, Agadmator has taken his channel from 0 to an astounding 539,000 subscribers! In our conversation, Agadmator takes us from the channel’s modest beginnings to its current status. We spent a lot of time talking about his “secret sauce,” and discussing the past and future of Antonio’s content creation. 

    Antonio is also a strong chess player, with a peak ELO at over 2000, so we also discused his chess playing goals, chess improvement and chess books as well. Timestamps and links can be found below. 

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


    0:00- To check out the World Championship chess mugs, go toChessmugs.com. If you decide to buy a set of mugs, use the code “perpetualchess” at checkout to save 15%.

    2:00- We begin by discussing the origins of Antonio’s chess channel. What were his goals and visions? 

    Mentioned:  IM Sagar Shah of Chessbase India’s Interview with Agadmator, Bobby Fischer Beats a Chess Grandmaster in 10 moves, Mikhail Tal vs. Alexei Suetin: Not Bad for a Dead Man Video, Chess Network’s Chess Channel, Here are Agadmator’s Videos sorted from oldest to newest, Ivanchuk vs. Shankland video, GM Eric Hansen

    11:00- Did Antonio’s enthusiasm for video games inform the way he presents his chess videos? 

    14:30- When did Antonio first think of quitting his job to focus on his Youtube channel?

    17:00- What is the origin of his deep love for chess history? 

    Mentioned: GM Mikhail Tal, GM Anatoly Karpov, GM Garry Kasparov, GM Judit Polgar, Paul Morphy, Blue Yeti microphone

    20:00- Antonio gives some details on the podcast that he has hinted at starting. 

    Mentioned: Jose Raoul Capablanca 

    23:00- Antonio reflects on his trip to London for the last World Chess Championship match in London, and we discuss the 2020 World Chess Championship match a bit. 

    Mentioned: GM Ivan Saric 

    26:00- Antonio fields a couple of questions from Patreon supporters of the show on the subjects of how he learned English, and why he thinks his chess channel is so popular. 

    33:45- When the Agadmator channel began, what were the most popular chess channels? How does he build a community via his YouTube channel?

    Mato Jelic, KingsCrusher, The Chess Channel, John Bartholomew, A Song for Bobby Fischer, by GM Eugene Torre, Rashid Nezhmetdinov Chess Biography 

    This episodes is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. Check out GM Alex Colovic's latest Chessable offering, Break-down Anti-Sicilian's here:



    39:30- Does Antonio have a rooting interest in the Candidates Tournament that will determine who will face Magnus Carlsen for the World Championship? 

    Mentioned: GM Vassily Ivanchuk, GM Ding Liren, Fabiano Caruana,

    41:00- What are a few of his favorite chess books? 

    Dimitrije Bjelica- My Friend Bobby Fischer (not available in English?) , Spassky Move by Move, Chess Fundamentals by Capablanca , Strategy and Tactics books by Georgy Lisitsyn, Olympiu Urcan, Video: Imagine if he Were a Najdorf Specialist

    44:30- Antonio breaks down a recent tournament in which he played, how it went for him, and shares his  plans (or lack thereof) for future tournaments. 

    48:00- Another Patreon question- Can Antonio tell whether a GM game is a fast or slow game based on the quality of the moves? 

    Mentioned: GM Magnus Carlsen, GM Andrew Tang

    49:30- We talk about Agadmator’s beloved dog Medo, who can often be seen in the background of his video.

    52:30- What other projects is Antonio working on? In closing we discuss his channel a bit more, specifically

    • 1 u. 3 min.

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