Chess Life Editor John Hartmann talks to the authors of each month's Chess Life cover story.
Cover Stories with Chess Life #45: John Hartmann
This month's guest on Cover Stories with Chess Life is... me.
John is the author of our May 2022 cover story on the 2022 Spring Classic. He also wrote about Jamie Foxx's games with Jude Acers in New Orleans, and he also contributed his semi-regular "In the News" column.
John Hartmann is the editor of Chess Life and Chess Life Online. He was named the 2020 and 2021 Chess Journalist of the Year by the Chess Journalists of America. Away from the keyboard, John is a husband, a father, a coffee snob, a Yankees fan, a Cardiff City Bluebirds supporter, and an occasional presenter for GM Jacob Aagaard's Killer Chess Training. You can find him on twitter at @hartmannchess.
Thanks to IM John Watson for stepping in to interview me!
Cover Stories with Chess Life #44: GM Elshan Moradiabadi
Today’s guest on "Cover Stories with Chess Life" is well known to American chess fans. He’s the man with the fancy hat: Grandmaster Elshan Moradiabadi.
Elshan is the author of our April cover story on the Tata Steel tournament earlier this year, won by Magnus Carlsen. Instead of a traditional, blow-by-blow account, Elshan’s analysis focused on the most interesting and instructive moments in the event... although one of the most instructive may be found in a future issue of Chess Life.
Born in Tehran, Iran, Elshan moved to the US in 2012 to attend college at Texas Tech and play on their chess team. He won the 2017 US Chess Grand Prix, the 2016 Washington International, and the Rilton Cup in Stockholm, Sweden in 2020. His most recent tournament was the 2022 Spring Classic at the Saint Louis Chess Club, where he finished with an even score in the B group.
A coach and author, Elshan has worked with American juniors both privately and at international events, and last year he published Sherlock’s Method: The Working Tool for the Club Player, co-written with WGM Sabina Foisor.
Today we talk to Elshan from his home in Durham, North Carolina, where he’s taking time out of a full day of teaching to speak to us.
Cover Stories with Chess Life #43: Harold Scott
Today’s guest on Cover Stories is a man in demand.
By my count Harold Scott is making his third podcast recording today. He has been a guest on Evan Rabin’s Premier Chess Podcast along with GM Joel Benjamin, a feat that he repeated in a joint appearance with Ben Johnson and the Perpetual Chess Podcast.
But today it’s just him.
Harold is the author of our March cover story about eight year old Megan Paragua, who recently became a rated expert. Megan’s uncle is New York GM Mark Paragua, but as we learn from Harold’s piece, she’s doing a lot of the hard work to improve on her own!
Harold Scott is a chess teacher and coach currently residing in the Bronx, New York. He is also a FIDE Instructor, a US Chess Senior tournament director, a rated expert, and a writer to boot. His first book, Winning the World Open, is co-authored with GM Joel Benjamin and released in January of this year. It’s an absolutely fantastic read, and any fan of American chess history and lore would do well to pick it up.
Cover Stories with Chess Life #41: GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Yes, it's January. And yes, this is the December edition of Cover Stories. (Look for the January EP soon!)
GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is the author of our December cover story, “My American Tour,” which discusses his victory at the 2021 Sinquefield Cup and his second place finish at the 9LX (or 960) tournament directly afterwards.
We’ve been trying to set up time for an interview for a few weeks, but Maxime’s packed schedule meant that today – January 2nd – was our first opportunity to record. It turns out that this was fortunate indeed, as in the interim, Maxime played in a number of events, including the World Rapid and Blitz Championship in Warsaw, where he became the FIDE World Blitz Champion.
We discuss his victory in the Blitz, his visit to Dubai and thoughts on the World Championship match, and his long sojourn in Saint Louis. We also learn about his openings, his technical setup while traveling, his time on the Carlsen team in 2016, and his ongoing love of mathematics.
Cover Stories with Chess Life #40: GM Alex Lenderman
Today’s guest on Cover Stories with Chess Life is the author of our November 2021 cover story on the U.S. Open, which he won with a dominating performance and score of 8½/9. More recently, he finished in shared fourth through sixth place at the 2021 U.S. Championship, his +1 score leaving him just a half-point outside the playoff won by GM Wesley So.
GM Alex Lenderman is one of America’s top grandmasters, and his story is one of long, hard work paying off with success. US Chess records have him playing nearly 1200 tournaments since 2001, including seemingly every event in the NYC area for many years. These include dozens of New York Masters rapid events, and closer to my heart, two Nassau Chess Club championships in 2007 and 2008.
Today he has a bachelor’s degree from Webster University, where he was on their fabled chess team, and having – I think – just graduated, he is looking to a very bright future.
Cover Stories with Chess Life #39: GM Sam Shankland
Today’s guest on Cover Stories with Chess Life is the author of our September cover story on the Prague Chess Festival and, as of the September 2021 FIDE rating list, the 26th ranked player in the world.
The winner of the 2018 U.S. Championship and a stalwart on American international teams, Grandmaster Sam Shankland has already, at age 29, done almost everything there is to do in chess. He has written books for Quality Chess and the Chessable platform. He has been a second for Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen. He even appeared on a reality TV show, “Kicking and Screaming,” where he and partner Caleb Garmany survived the initial cuts but were eliminated on the second episode.
Shankland’s Prague performance is chronicled in our September issue, but his magical World Cup run, where he fell to GM Sergey Karjakin in the quarterfinals after defeating Jobava, Areschenko, Jumabaeyev and Svidler, is a must-read part of our October issue. He also just participated in the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz, and the Sinquefield Cup, and I’m sure he’ll have more to say about both of those events today.
Great show. Thanks US Chess for some good chess content!