316 episodes

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

    • Leisure
    • 4.8 • 485 Ratings

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 280- GM Ben Finegold on The FIDE Candidates, Recent Declines in Chess Twitch Viewership, and Why He Thinks he Doesn't Play as Well as he Used to.

    EP 280- GM Ben Finegold on The FIDE Candidates, Recent Declines in Chess Twitch Viewership, and Why He Thinks he Doesn't Play as Well as he Used to.

    This week we are re-joined by the popular and amusing Twitch streamer, YouTube presenter and commentator, GM Ben Finegold. Lots has changed since our last interview! For one thing, there has been lots of discussion recently about a decline in the popularity of chess?. Does Ben think chess is losing popularity? Is he seeing a decline in his viewership on Twitch? What about on his YouTube channel? Other recent developments which we discussed include: Why Ben and his wife Karen sold their chess center in Atlanta, the state of Ben’s OTB chess game in the wake of some recent tourneys, plus some discussion of the Candidates, recent elite tournaments, and a few stories about Ben’s earlier days in the chess world, including Ben Finegold, “the college years.” Its always fun to catch up with Ben, lots more details and links in the show notes below.  

    Prior Finegold appearances on Perpetual Chess- 
    2017- Episode 9 https://open.spotify.com/episode/2o91dlqfOFf2Lwl9hfbrGF?si=b01f64b4f4fe4f8a
    2018- Episode 52 https://open.spotify.com/episode/4f3W9CS9Q9nC5JUOYib5cn?si=e97663b0a8eb4879
    2021- Episode 228 
    https://open.spotify.com/episode/2ONlsNPYykFsH3sqM28LWL?si=5c1710b4b2514f79

    0:00- Are Ben’s Twitch viewers down? Is the popularity of chess declining?
    Mentioned: Martin Justesen’s post “Is the Chess (Twitch) Boom Over?, IM Levy Rozman’s Tweet, GM David Smerdon’s post 

    13:00- With the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Atlanta having been sold, will Ben still be doing his popular chess history lectures? 
    Mentioned: Kid Chess Atlanta, IM Carlos Perdomo 

    23:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Aimchess.com. Aimchess’ algorithm reviews your games and gives you actionable advice of 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%. 

    24:00- Ben has been competing regularly OTB recently, he wonders “was I always this bad at chess?” 
    Mentioned: Charlotte Chess Center ALTO tournament, Foxwoods Open, GM Alex Shabalov 

    40:00- Patreon mailbag question: How does Ben define a blunder at different rating levels? 
    Mentioned: GM Gregory Kaidanov, 2022 Continental Chess Championships in El Salvador

    48:00- Which young players impress Ben? What does it take to reach and stay at the top? 
    Mentioned: GM Sarin, GM Praggnanandhaa, GM Christopher Yoo, GM Hans Niemann, Episode 271 with GM Hans Niemann 

    56:00- Are there any chess talents that Ben has been surprised to see not to reach their potential? 
    Mentioned: GM Baadur Jobava, GM Wei Yi, GM Etienne Bacrot, GM David Navara, GM Jeffrey Xiong, GM Sam Shankland 

    1:02:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you by Chessable.com. Check out their latest offerings here: New Chess Courses Online - For All Levels - Chessable.com

     1:03:00- Who does Ben expect to win the 2022 FIDE Candidates tournament? 

    1:06:00- Did Ben ever meet the recently passed legendary GM Yuri Averbakh? 

    1:08:00- How does Ben prepare for his chess history lectures? 

    1:11:00- What was it like for Ben to attend university in his 20s? 
    Mentioned: Chess Life Magazine Article by Ben Finegold The 40 Year Old GM: 
    https://t.co/3CozXi7lbC

    1:16:00- Ben’s upcoming Twitch and tournament plans! 

    Here are the links to keep up with Ben. 
    Twitch:
    https://www.twitch.tv/gmbenjaminfinegold
    YouTube:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6EnFbK-P5q0zeaqI5yobKg
    Twitter:
    https://twitter.com/ben_finegold?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

     
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    • 1 hr 25 min
    EP 279- Derek Wilder (Adult Improver Series)- The key lessons that helped an 1800 break through to a USCF 2000 rating.

    EP 279- Derek Wilder (Adult Improver Series)- The key lessons that helped an 1800 break through to a USCF 2000 rating.

    This week's Adult Improver interview is with Derek Wilder. Derek is a 33 year old Detroit- based Scholastic Chess Coach and Chess Podcaster (host of the Detroit Chess Killers pod). Derek is always working on his game, and he recently leveled up and surpassed the USCF rating of 2000 for the first time. This puts Derek in the 95th percentile of all USCF players. It took Derek years of hard work to break through this plateau, and it was illuminating to hear what he believed to be the keys to his success. Derek was quick to credit lots of friends and trainers with advice and tips that helped his game, and he offered lots of advice for those looking to achieve a similar breakthrough. Please read on for timestamps, resources, and people that were referenced in our interview. 

    0:00- Derek recently had a breakthrough in his OTB game. How’d he get to that moment? 
    Mentioned: IM John Brooks, Paul Grams, Chrysler Elementary School

    08:00 Growing up in Detroit, Derek was one of the top scholastic players in his state, but he was bullied a bit for playing chess. How did he get through it? 

    09:30- What influence did FM James Canty and others have on his chess game? 

    12:00- What adjustments did Derek make when he came to chess in 2016 after a long hiatus? 
    Mentioned: Nunn’s Chess Openings 

    14:30- What kind of chess learner is Derek? 
    Mentioned: NM Mike Zaloznyy, IM Atulya Shetty, Derek’s interview with NM Kofi Tatum 

    18:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Aimchess.com. Aimchess’ algorithm reviews your games and gives you actionable advice of 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%. 

    19:00- In his recent gains, did Derek focus more on strengthening his strengths or on shoring up his weaknesses? 
    Mentioned: FM Josh Posthuma, NM Gopal Menon, My System, IM Mark Dvoretsky’s books, IM Jeremy Silman, Charisse Woods

    26:00- Patreon mailbag question: “How much did studying theoretical endgames help Derek’s game?” 
    Mentioned: Kameron Tolliver 

    30:00- -Patreon mailbag question: “Did Derek’s training method change leading up to his recent breakthrough?”

    39:30- Perpetual Chess is brought to you by Chessable.com. Check out their latest offerings here: New Chess Courses Online - For All Levels - Chessable.com

    40:30- How big was the goal of reaching the USCF expert level for Derek? Do his students follow his chess progress? 

    43:00- How does Derek approach his openings? 
    Mentioned: IM Orlando Husbands, IM Richard Leyva Proenza

    48:00- How does Derek think about budgeting for chess tournaments? 

    49:30- Welcome the the Chess dot bomb! On this month’s sponsored segment we discuss the Global Chess Championship and Chess.com’s new verification feature. If you get verified on Chess.com you are eligible to compete in the $1,000,000 Global Chess Championship for free. If you decide to get verified ($15 for initial verification / $10 per year thereafter), please use this link to help support Perpetual Chess. 
    Chess.com verification: 
    Verified - Chess.com
    Global Chess Championship 
    https://www.chess.com/article/view/chesscom-global-championship-2022?ref_id=17919348
    Premium Membership: 
    https://go.chess.com/Perpetual

    52:30- What does Derek think he needs to do to become a USCF master? 
    Mentioned: Max Euwe, Tigran Petrosian 

    55:30- When did Derek start working with coaches? How much do they help him? 

    58:00- Why is it important to play against tougher competition?
    Mentioned: FM Ylon Schwartz 

    1:00:00- Thanks to Derek for joining the pod! 
    You can check out his podcast, Detroit Chess Killers, here:
    Detroit Chess Killers
    Follow Derek on Twitter here: 
    https://twitter.com/derekewilder


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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Ep 278- GM Jan Gustafsson- The Popular Chess24 Commentator discusses the World Championships, Chess Openings, The State of his Chess Game, and his new Chess Podcast

    Ep 278- GM Jan Gustafsson- The Popular Chess24 Commentator discusses the World Championships, Chess Openings, The State of his Chess Game, and his new Chess Podcast

    GM Jan Gustafsson is a popular and entertaining commentator for Chess24.com, a noted opening theoretician, a Chessable author, and 3 time member of GM Magnus Carlsen’s World Championship preparation team. Jan returned to Perpetual Chess for the fifth time to discuss chess news and the World Championship cycle, catch us up on the state of his chess game and to discuss what else he has been up to. Jan’s new projects include the launch of his own chess podcast, Chicken Chess Club,, where he and his friends, GM Laurent Fressinet and Peter Heine Nielsen give a light hearted rundown of the latest chess news. You can find timestamps below, for more detailed show notes, please go to the podcast webpage here:
    Listen to Episodes! — The Perpetual Chess Podcast


    0:00- We briefly discuss the origins of Jan’s new podcast, The Chicken Chess Club.
    5:30- Jan’s thoughts on the 2022 FIDE Candidates tournament, and whether Magnus will defend his title 
    Mentioned:  Inside Team Magnus (behind Chess24 Paywall use promo code #Janistan)

    12:30- When did Jan find out he would be on Magnus Carlsen’s 2022 World Championship Preparation Team? 
    17:00- Patreon mailbag question: What does Jan think of IM Lawrence Trent’s new courses on 1… b6 and 1. Nc3. ? 
    19:00- Patreon mailbag question: What is the stupidest opening idea that works? 

    20:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you by Chessable.com. Check out their latest offerings here: New Chess Courses Online - For All Levels in all - Chessable.com

    21:00- Jan plays in the elite German chess league called the Bundesliga. He discusses how his recent games have gone and the state of his chess game. 

    32:00- Patreon mailbag question: What is Jan’s advice for creating an opening repertoire? 

    37:00- What is Jan trying to improve at?

    42:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Aimchess.com. Aimchess collects and analyzes your games and gives you actionable tips based on the data it gathers. If you choose to subscribe to Aimchess, please use the code Perpetual30 to save 30%. 

    44:00- Any plans for more weekly features on The Chicken Chess Club podcast? 

    49:00- How is Jan’s daughter’s chess game? 

    51:00- More Team Magnus and World Championship talk! What was the celebration like when Magnus defended his crown? 

    59:00- Will Jan do another Chessable course? 

    1:01:00- Jan reveals his plans for the 2022 Chess Olympiad? 

    1:03:00- What TV/series/moves has Jan been watching?

    1:08:00- Thanks to Jan for joining us! Be sure to subscribe/rate/review the Chicken Chess Club

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

     








     
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    • 1 hr 12 min
    EP 277-GM Kirill Shevchenko and WFM Maria Emelianova, a Ukrainian GM and a Russian Chess Streamer, on How the Russian-Ukrainian War Impacts their lives, their Careers and the Chess World

    EP 277-GM Kirill Shevchenko and WFM Maria Emelianova, a Ukrainian GM and a Russian Chess Streamer, on How the Russian-Ukrainian War Impacts their lives, their Careers and the Chess World

    This week on Perpetual Chess we are joined by a Ukrainian and then a Russian guest to discuss the impact that the Russian-Ukrainian war has had on their lives and on the chess world. My first guest is GM Kirill Shevchenko. Kirill is a 19 year old rising star in the chess world, currently ranked #92 in the world, and #6 among juniors. He joined me from Germany, where he is in between tournaments, after leaving Ukraine to pursue his chess career. Kirill spoke very movingly about the devastation Russia’s attacks have wrought on his loved ones and his country, and about how he balances that with his chess career. Kirill continues to compete, and will soon play in his first Grand Chess Tour event. 
    Following Kirill, I am joined by chess journalist and Twitch streamer, WFM Maria Emelianova. Maria is Russian, but like Kirill, felt compelled to leave her country when news of the attack broke. Maria has been an outspoken critic of the war, and has been working hard to raise funds to support Ukrainians. As Maria explains, this war has divided and scattered her family, an unfortunate situation which is not uncommon in Russia. I found both interviews to be quite enlightening, and I am inspired by the spirit of the chess community in trying circumstances. Please read on for interview timestamps and relevant links.

    I apologize for the background noise at points in these interviews, if you would like to read an edited transcript while you listen, you can do so here:
    EP.276-KirillShevchenkoandM... | Public Trint | Trint
    You can also view a ‘read only’ lightly edited transcript here:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQG2m9fXCK23o0UBTkWzBhhS_dss2ogQneNnTU2Za0GpkSTInIRY-59QzWIl0vEVhm_nVODtvrcuJTr/pub

    You can donate to Kirill’s charity, Care with Team Hikaru, here:
    https://events.softgiving.com/donate/Team-Hikaru-CARE-For-Ukraine
    Or donate directly to Ukrainians in need via WIM Nastya Rakhmangulova here:
    https://linktr.ee/nastiachess

    0:04- Kirill joins the show 
    42:00- Maria Emelianova joins the show!

    Follow Kirill on Twitter here:
    https://twitter.com/chesser_22?lang=en

    Maria’s Twitch- : https://www.twitch.tv/photochess 
    Maria’s Instagram-  https://www.instagram.com/photochess/?hl=en

    Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Aimchess.com and Chessable.com 

    For full show notes, please go here:
    Listen to Episodes! — The Perpetual Chess Podcast
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    • 1 hr 35 min
    EP 276- GM Michael Adams- Stories and Lessons from Mickey's decades Among the Chess Elite

    EP 276- GM Michael Adams- Stories and Lessons from Mickey's decades Among the Chess Elite

    GM Michael “Mickey” Adams is a legend of British chess who has been an elite chess player for the last 30 years. He is a former World Champion finalist, the 7 time champion of Great Britain and has been ranked as highly as #4 in the world. Michael is also an author, most recently of the very original and instructive new book, Think Like a Super GM, with co-author Philip Hurtado. Michael is normally one of the most active players on the tournament circuit, and as Covid subsides he is preparing to resume a busy schedule, beginning with the Tepe Siegman invitational in May. In our fascinating and entertaining conversation, Mickey shares some memorable stories, and discusses whether he has made adjustments to his game as he turns 50. We also discuss Michael’s new book in detail and shared some of its chess improvement takeaways. Please read on for lots more details, timestamps, and links to topics that were referenced.  

    Brief timestamps are below, for full show notes please go to the podcast website
    EP 276- GM Michael Adams- Stories and Lessons from Mickey's decades Among the Chess Elite — The Perpetual Chess Podcast
    You can read my reviews of Think Like a Super GM on my Lichess blog or Chess.com blog.

    0:00- Mickey has a tournament coming soon, how does he prepare especially after the pandemic? 
    10:00- How has Mickey maintained his chess strength up to age 50? 
    18:00- What is Mickey’s approach to using engines? 
    21:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Aimchess.com. Aimchess collects and analyzes your games and gives you actionable tips based on that data. If you choose to subscribe to Aimchess, please use the code Perpetual30 to save 30%. 
    22:00- Patreon mailbag question: Who is the most naturally talented player that Mickey has ever played against? 
    27:00- What was it like to play chess with legends like Spassky and Tal? 
    30:00- Patreon mailbag question: What is Mickey’s favorite victory over a fellow Super GM?
    33:00- Mickey tells a few entertaining stories from his younger years involving Kasparov . Kramnik and GM Joel Lautier. 
    43:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. Check out their latest offerings here: 
    New Chess Courses
     Best of British Chessable Course with GM Simon Williams  
    44:00- Chess improvement takeaways from Mickey’s new book
    57:00- Patreon mailbag question: Will Mickey ever write a games collections book? 
    1:02:00- Patreon mailbag question: What self-study methods did Mickey use, and which does he recommend? 
    Mentioned: GM Mark Hebden, GM Keith Arkell
    1:07:00- Patreon mailbag question: What is Mickey’s advice for how to approach big open Swiss tournaments? 
    1:11:00- Patreon mailbag question: Who does Mickey think will win the Candidates tournament?
    1:20:00- Patreon mailbag question: What does Mickey think of the possibility that Magnus won’t play the next World Championship match? He also shares some ideas of alternative World Championship formats. 
    1:30:00- Is it true that Mickey has never had a “real job?
    1:34:00- Does Mickey still have a condo in Florida?
    1:36:00- What is Mickey’s favorite chess venu
    1:39:00- Thanks so much to Mickey for joining the pod! Here are the best ways to keep up with him. 
    Mickey's Website
    Think Like a Super GM (free excerpt here) (Forward Chess version)
     Best of British Chessable Course with GM Simon Williams 
    If you would like to help support Perpetual Chess, you can do so here:
    Ben Johnson is creating Perpetual Chess Podcast | Patreon
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    • 1 hr 43 min
    EP 275- IM Ali Mortazavi- A CEO and Successful Stock Investor on how the Challenges of Chess Help Everything Else Seem Easier

    EP 275- IM Ali Mortazavi- A CEO and Successful Stock Investor on how the Challenges of Chess Help Everything Else Seem Easier

    IM Ali Mortazavi is a former top British junior player and chess author who has gone on to attain significant success outside of the chess world. Ali has been an active investor in many small biotech companies and is currently the CEO of a publicly traded, UK-based biotech company called, E therapeutics. Despite his busy professional life, Ali frequently plays online blitz, solves endgame studies, and associates with his many chess friends. In our entertaining conversation Ali discusses British chess culture, his chess beginnings, and his encounters with notable chess figures like Garry Kasparov, Magnus Carlsen, Demis Hassabas (Creator of Alphazero), and his friend IM Lawrence Trent. Ali also discusses the ways that chess has helped his career and shares what he believes differentiates chess players from other people. You can find timestamps and relevant links for our conversation below. 


    0:00- Ali tells the story of his early beginnings in chess. 
    Mentioned: GM Michael Adams , IM Michael Basman, World Youth Chess Championship, GM Matthew Sadler, GM Julian Hodgson, GM David Norwood 

    10:00- Patreon mailbag question- “What were Ali’s early encounters against GM Michael Adams like?” 

    13:00- What were Ali’s early encounters with GM Viswanathan Anand like? 

    15:30- Ali tells stories from some of his early chess travels.

    22:00- Does Ali want to become a GM? 
    GM Noel Studer’s blog 

    25:00- Ali was a pioneer in his work with chess computer software in the early 1990s. He tells some stories about working with Kasparov in those early days. 

    28:00- Ali tells the story of how chess helped him get his start in finance. 

    33:00- What makes chess players mentally tough? 

    35:30- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. Check out their latest offerings here: 
    New Chess Courses Online - For All Levels - Chessable.com

    38:00- Ali discusses his impressions of and interactions with GM Fabiano Caruana, AlphaZero/DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis, GM Magnus Carlsen, GM Garry Kasparov and IM Lawrence Trent 
    Mentioned: Magnus Carlsen’s recent Poker Tournament 

    50:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Aimchess.com. Aimchess collects and analyzes your games and gives you actionable tips based on the data it gathers. If you choose to subscribe to Aimchess, please use the code Perpetual30 to save 30%. 

    52:00- What advice would Ali give to talented young chess players? 
    Mentioned: Episode 271 with GM Hans Niemann 

    57:00- Does Ali think the chess boom will last? 

    1:01:01- How many chess books has Ali read?
    Mentioned: The Encyclopedia of Chess Combinations 

    1:04:00- Thanks to IM Ali Mortazavi for sharing his chess story. You can keep up with him and reach him via Twitter. https://twitter.com/AAMortazavi?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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




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    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
485 Ratings

485 Ratings

duelingholophonors ,

Possibly the best podcast about a hobby/niche subject.

All special interest podcasts should aspire to cover their subjects in a way that Perpetual Chess covers chess and chess related subjects. This podcast has nearly everything one could ask for in a podcast about chess. Guests include luminaries such as former world champions, famous grandmasters, coaches, writers, YouTube/Twitch superstars, rising talents, as well as regular adults trying to improve their game. Subjects include major tournaments, book reviews, lives of famous chess personalities, chess history, and tips on how to improve at any level. The host, guest, content, and pacing are great. If you have even a passing interest in chess or want to improve your game, I strongly recommend you check out this podcast.

BookClub28 ,

Enjoyable chess podcast

Overall an excellent podcast with interesting guests.

courtney frey 2 ,

The best chess podcast

Particularly if you are an adult trying to improve at chess, Benny’s podcast is the best podcast for both learning how to level up your chess as well as learning chess history.

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