348 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 • 502 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

    Bonus Pod- GM Jonathan Rowson and GM David Smerdon discuss the Carlsen/Niemann Saga

    Bonus Pod- GM Jonathan Rowson and GM David Smerdon discuss the Carlsen/Niemann Saga

    Perpetual Chess is back with another bonus pod discussing the ongoing Magnus Carlsen/Hans Niemann controversy. The major news of the week was that GM Magnus Carlsen issued a statement on Monday confirming that he suspects GM Hans Niemann of cheating. To discuss the story, I am honored to be joined by 2 Grandmaster guests who offer significant domain expertise beyond the chess world. First up is GM Jonathan Rowson, a renowned author and philosopher and the 3 time British Chess Champion. My conversation with Jonathan is centered around the human element of this story, and how we can hope to avoid biases in our interpretation of the information at hand. Following GM Rowson, I am joined by Dr. David Smerdon. GM Smerdon is a 7 time Chess Olympian for his native Australia, and an award winning chess author. David has worked with both Dr. Kenneth Regan and also the Chess.com cheat detection team. David’s primary field is development economics, but he has a statistical background and devotes significant time to chess-related research. As we discuss, in addition to chess cheating, David has published a paper related to gender issues in chess. I found it helpful to hear the grounded perspective of 2 of the chess world’s most insightful thinkers. As always, timestamps of topics discussed can be found below. 

    0:00- Intro and review of recent events:
    Sub to Perpetual Chess Linkfest
    5:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. You can check out all of their latest offerings here: 
    https://www.chessable.com/courses/all/new/

    6:00- GM Jonathan Rowson joins (recorded September 28)

    6:00- 3 key questions to ask ourselves
    19:00- Should we draw a distinction between cheating in online and OTB chess? 
    29:00- Are we likely to get a resolution to this case?  
    32:00- What are sensible anti-cheating measures? 
    35:00- Jonathan reflects on his recent return to OTB competitive chess 
    39:00- What behavioral biases should we be alert for as we evaluate the information presented? 
    48:00- What opinions has Jonathan heard from his GM peers? 
    Mentioned: 
    Carlsen-Niemann 2022
    Mishra-Niemann 2022
    53:00- Thanks to Jonathan for joining the show! Here are links to keep up with him. 
    Twitter 
    The Moves that Matter
    His website
    His Chessable Courses 
    You can hear our prior interview here. (Episode 150) 

    56:00- 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

    57:00- GM David Smerdon joins (recorded September 27)

    58:00- What does David’s research suggest about why people cheat at chess? 

    1:08:00- David has seen Chess.com’s list of banned players, obviously he can’t reveal names, but is there anything he can say about it? 

    1:13:00- David discusses some of GM Fabiano Caruana’s comments on the controversy from the C Squared podcast

    1:20:00- David discusses the Let’s Check feature on Chessbase. We are referring to video’s such as this one by FM Yosha Iglesias, which makes a good-faith attempt to analyze Han’s games with data. 
    Mentioned: IM Ken Regan interview with James Altucher 

    1:30:00- Does David have a personal opinion about whether Hans cheated OTB? 

    1:33:00- Could one be termed "guilty" of cheating OTB based on data alone? 

    1:40:00- David discusses his fun and useful statistical tool, the Fighting Chess Index (FCI). 
    1:45:00- David discusses his research on gender and chess. 
    Mentioned: BBC News: Chess Commentator Sacked for Sexist Remark
    1:57:00- Thanks to David for sharing his insights! Here are some of the ways to keep up with him:
    Twitter:
    https://twitter.com/dsmerdon

    David’s Chess Blog: 
    https://www.davidsmerdon.com/

    Award Winning Book
    The Complete Chess Swindler 
    You can hear our prior inter

    • 2 hr 2 min
    EP 298- Adult Improver Hans Henning on Why he Loves Studying Openings, and How Chess Helps Give Him Purpose

    EP 298- Adult Improver Hans Henning on Why he Loves Studying Openings, and How Chess Helps Give Him Purpose

    The Perpetual Chess Adult Improver Series returns for another detailed conversation with a very dedicated amateur. 35 year old Hans Henning is a Dublin based chess enthusiast, who has a demanding job in tech sales, but is also spending multiple hours per day studying chess. Hans first gained interest in chess through Ludwig Ahgren and Pogchamps and since then has made steady progress up to a LiChess blitz rating of around 1900. In our conversation, Hans shares some personal details about why he finds chess so motivating, and why he has a particular love for studying openings. Hans also shares some great recommendations for books, courses, and study methods. As always, more info to topics referenced and timestamps can be found below. 

    Be sure to subscribe to my free weekly chess news roundup, the Perpetual Chess Linkfest, you can do so here:
    https://benjohnson.substack.com/

    0:00- What motivates Hans to spend tons of time studying chess? 
    Mentioned: Checkmate Pattern Manual, Common Chess Patterns 

    7:30- How in Hans’ opinion, should one train chess? 

    11:00- How did Hans pull himself out of a depressive period?

    14:00- Does Hans worry that he could be fighting an uphill battle by trying to improve at chess in his 30s and beyond? 

    16:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. You can check out all of their latest offerings here: 
    https://www.chessable.com/courses/all/new/

    17:00- Why does Hans love openings and choose to emphasize opening study? 
    Mentioned: CT-Art, ChessDojo

    30:00- What did Hans learn about managing opening files from GM Sam Shankland and Killer Chess Training? 

    34:00- Does Hans worry about spending so much money on chess improvement? 

    38:30- 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
    39:00- Welcome to the Chess dot bomb! Karen discusses her favorite Chess.com premium features, which includes GM Johan Hellsten’s “Lessons feature”, I also discussed the “Play Like …” feature. If you decide to upgrade to a premium membership at Chess.com, you can help support the pod by signing up using this link (https://go.chess.com/Perpetual).
    41:00- What was it like to get lessons with renowned trainer, GM Johan Hellsten? After working with Johan and other trainers why did he ultimately decide to work on his own?
     
    48:00- Hans describes his OTB chess experiences 
    53:00- Hans shares some book and resource recommendations! 
    Move First Think Later, How To Study Chess on Your Own, Think Like a Super GM, Understanding Chess Move by Move, Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy, The Silicon Road to Chess Improvement, Van Perlo’s Endgame Tactics, Endgame Strategy
    1:00:00- Thanks to Hans for joining us! You can follow him on Twitter here:
    https://twitter.com/IamHansHenning
    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 7 min
    Bonus Pod- GM Alex Fishbein and IM Greg Shahade share their thoughts on the latest developments in the Carlsen/Niemann Sinquefield Cup Controversy

    Bonus Pod- GM Alex Fishbein and IM Greg Shahade share their thoughts on the latest developments in the Carlsen/Niemann Sinquefield Cup Controversy

    We are back with another bonus pod discussing the ongoing controversy involving GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Hans Niemann. This week there have been significant new events and information brought to light, and I am joined by 2 separate guests to review the developments and help sort it out. After reviewing the key events and quotes, I am joined by GM Alex Fishbein (9:00) and then IM Greg Shahade (1:11:00). The interview with Alex was recorded Wednesday night, September 21, and Greg’s interview was recorded Tuesday September 20. Thanks to them both for sharing their insights! 

    0:00- Links from Intro: 
    Be sure to subscribe to my free weekly chess news roundup, the Perpetual Chess Linkfest, you can do so here:
    https://benjohnson.substack.com/

    Fabiano/Cristian Chirila C Squared Podcast: 
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCFB_rNGTaw&feature=youtu.be
    Sinquefield Cup Arbiter statement:
    https://twitter.com/ChrisBirdIA/status/1572615484654358529?s=20&t=so_SVkkCpU_B6vw1AJfTyw
    8:00- 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

    9:00- GM Alex Fishbein joins the show

    9:00- Was there anything unusual in Alex’s 3 OTB games against Hans? 
    15:00- How likely does Alex think the “prep leak theory" is? 
    24:00- Does Alex agree with GM Jacob Aagaard’s shoplifting/bank robbing analogy from last week’s bonus pod? 
    33:00- The crux of the issue is that chess has always been played partially based on an honor system 
    41:00- Is it true that its easier to cheat online than live? 
    46:00- How likely is one to encounter cheating in a typical OTB tournament? 
    1:00:00- Alex sums up his thoughts about what may have happened in St. Louis 
    1:10:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. You can check out all of their latest offerings here: 
    https://www.chessable.com/courses/all/new/

    1:11:00- IM Greg Shahade joins the show 
    Thanks to my guests for joining the show!
    If you would like to help support Perpetual Chess, you can do so here:
    Donate — The Perpetual Chess Podcast
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    • 1 hr 35 min
    EP 297- IM Carissa Yip on her love for the King’s Indian Defense, Why Levon Aronian is her favorite player and the ups and downs of her first Chess Olympiad.

    EP 297- IM Carissa Yip on her love for the King’s Indian Defense, Why Levon Aronian is her favorite player and the ups and downs of her first Chess Olympiad.

    This week we are joined by the 2021 US Women’s Champion and one of the top junior female players in the world, IM Carissa Yip. I talked with Carissa in  early September, at an interesting juncture in her life- she had just concluded her first Chess Olympiad, and was setting out for California, soon to begin her freshman year at Stanford University. This gave Carissa an opportunity to reflect on her past and future in chess and beyond. We discussed the following questions: What went right (and wrong) for Carissa and the US Women’s Olympiad Team? Why does she love the King’s Indian Defense? How did she get to her current chess level, and what would she need to do to advance even more? How does she plan to balance academics and chess? Plus Carissa told some fun stories involving interactions with GM Levon Aronian, GM Magnus Carlsen, GM Garry Kasparov, and others. Timestamps of topics discussed can be found below.


    Perpetual Chess Link Fest Sign Up-
    https://benjohnson.substack.com/

    0:01- 
    Carissa discusses her day-to-day as she was on the verge of beginning life as a Stanford University freshman. 

    4:30- How did Carissa prepare for the Women’s Chess Olympiad, where the U.S. team finished tied for third place? How was the event? 
    Mentioned: GM Melih Khachiyan, GM Alejandro Ramirez 

    14:00- How did she interact with the team?
    Mentioned: Levon Trolling, Carissa Yip (Note this is a Chess.com not Chessbase India video (as I said). My mistake): 
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxqiTZBAWFM
    18:00- Carissa discusses her critical win over IM Tania Sachdev in the last round  and her love for the King’s Indian defense. 
    Mentioned: Sachdev-Yip 2022, 
     
    22:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. You can check out all of their latest offerings here: 
    https://www.chessable.com/courses/all/new/


    23:00- What parts of her game is Carissa trying to work on? 
    Mentioned: Carissa’s Ladies Knight podcast appearance, The Giant Chess Puzzle Book


    32:00- Patreon mailbag question: Who are Carissa’s favorite players of the past and the present? 

    36:00- 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

    37:00-  Patreon mailbag question: How does Carissa plan to balance academics and chess? 
    43:00- What is the real story behind GM Andrew Tang’s photo, taken with GM Magnus Carlsen? 
    Mentioned: Episode 241 with GM Andrew Tang, Andrew Tang blog post  
    50:00- Thanks to Carissa for joining the pod! 
    You can keep up with her:
    Twitter:
    https://mobile.twitter.com/carissayipchess
    Instagram
    https://www.instagram.com/carissayip/?hl=en



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    • 54 min
    Bonus Pod- GM Jacob Aagaard joins for an update on the Sinquefield Cup Controversy

    Bonus Pod- GM Jacob Aagaard joins for an update on the Sinquefield Cup Controversy

    We are back with another bonus pod to discuss the Sinquefield Cup controversy with Tuesday’s guest, GM Jacob Aagaard. Jacob has worked with Hans personally, and like the rest of the chess world has been following this story very closely. There has been no statement from GM Magnus Carlsen, but there have still been many developments worth discussing in the past week. Timestamps of topics discussed are below, thanks to Jacob for rejoining us! 

    Be sure to subscribe to my free weekly chess news roundup, the Perpetual Chess Linkfest, you can do so here:
    https://benjohnson.substack.com/


    0:00- What are the key events of the last week? What does Jacob think of the cheating theories?

    Mentioned: 

    St. Louis Chess Club Arbiter’s Statement:
    https://grandchesstour.org/blog/2022-sinquefield-cup-chief-arbiter%E2%80%99s-statement

    James Altucher Podcast with IM Kenneth Regan 
    GM Jacob Aagaard Blog post about his experience working with GM Hans Niemann 
    https://forum.killerchesstraining.com/t/paranoia-and-insanity-by-jacob-aagaard/856

    20:00- 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
    21:00- We discuss a couple other of the videos and posts regarding whether Hans potentially cheated OTB before the Sinquefield Cup. 
    Mentioned:
    Atlanta Kings Research
    Todd Bryant’s Response to above research 
    Nikos Ntirlis’ Additional Response (Not mentioned on the podcast)

    29:00- Why does Jacob think that Hans is “the perfect test to expose the fallibility” of our current anti-cheating measures? 
    35:00- Jacob’s discusses the statement issued by Chess.com
    Mentioned: Chess.com statement 
    https://twitter.com/chesscom/status/1568010971616100352?s=20&t=lM603tHenLUdoXSKjm4aBQ

    42:00- Patreon mailbag question: Even as a recreational player, it is frustrating to get emails that you played online cheaters. Should online cheaters be punished more harshly? 
    49:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. You can check out all of their latest offerings here: 
    https://www.chessable.com/courses/all/new/
    50:00- Why hasn’t Magnus issued a statement? What does Jacob think about his handling of the World Championship announcement? 
    Mentioned: GM Ben Finegold Video

    59:00- Jacob discusses IM Ken Regan’s recent interview on The James Altucher podcast 
    Mentioned: Carlsen-Niemann 2022, Video Version of Altucher Ken Regan Podcast, Background on the 2010 French Olimpiad cheating case here

    Thanks to Jacob for hopping back on and sharing his thoughts! 
    Book- A Matter of Endgame Technique
    Quality Chess- http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/
    Killer Chess Training Facebook- 365 Chess Academy / Killer Chess Training | Facebook
    GM Jacob Aagaard’s Twitter- https://twitter.com/GMJacobAagaard?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

    If you would like to help support Perpetual Chess, you can do so here.:
    Ben Johnson is creating Perpetual Chess Podcast | Patreon
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 6 min
    EP 296- Award Winning Author/Trainer, GM Jacob Aagaard on Endgame "Rules of Thumb", the Wave of Young Phenoms, and the World Championship Format

    EP 296- Award Winning Author/Trainer, GM Jacob Aagaard on Endgame "Rules of Thumb", the Wave of Young Phenoms, and the World Championship Format

    This week on Perpetual Chess we are joined by award winning chess author and renowned trainer, GM Jacob Aagaard. It has been more than 2 years since our last long-form interview, and we had tons of topics to cover. We discussed topics including the rise of the top young talents in the chess world, potential World Championship format chances, and chess business news. There was also plenty of talk about chess training and improvement. Our talk about improvement was particularly focused on endgames, because Jacob has recently released an ambitious and highly informative new book, A Matter of Endgame Technique. This book is nearly 900 pages in length and is packed with practical tips and illustrations of moments at which Grandmasters have gone wrong in endgames. Although Perpetual Chess is an audio only format, we tried to extract a few lessons that listeners can apply to their own games. GM Aagaard is never hesitant to share his opinions, and I always learn a lot from speaking with him. You can find timestamps of the topics discussed, as well as links for topics referenced below. 


    0:01- 
    Perpetual Chess Link Fest Sign Up-
    https://benjohnson.substack.com/
    GM Jacob Aagaard Blog post about his experience working with GM Hans Niemann 
    https://forum.killerchesstraining.com/t/paranoia-and-insanity-by-jacob-aagaard/856
    0:02- Jacob discusses the “tidal wave” of young chess talents emerging from India and elsewhere. In 10 years, how many of the top 20 players in the world does he predict will be from India?

    13:00- Which young players does Aagaard consider most likely to someday be World Champions?
    Mentioned: Gukesh-Abdussatorov 2022, IM Levy Rozman Gukesh Interview 

    21:00- What in particular precipitates Jacob’s suggestion that IM Vaishali R may someday be Woman’s World Champion?

    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- What was Jacob’s reaction to the news that Chess.com is acquiring The Play Magnus Group? 
    35:00- Patreon Mailbag Question- “What does Jacob think of potential changes to the World Championship Format?” 
    51:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Chessable.com. You can check out all of their latest offerings here: 
    https://www.chessable.com/courses/all/new/

    53:00- What chess lessons can we learn from Jacob’s great new book A Matter of Endgame Technique? 
    Mentioned: Think Like a Super GM, Under the Surface, Chess Tactics from Scratch, Positional Decision Making in Chess, Thinking Inside the Box 

    1:05:00- What is “The Steinitz Rule”?

    1:11:00- What is “The Shankland Rule”?


    1:16:00- Patreon Mailbag Question- “What books similar to Thinking Inside the Box does Jacob recommend? 
    Mentioned: Chess Structures, GM Johan Hellsten, The Seven Deadly Chess Sins, The Road to Chess Improvement 

    1:20:00- What does Jacob think of GM Firouzja’s game?

    1:24:00- Patreon Mailbag Question- “Does Jacob think it is important for trainers to occasionally play?” 
    Mentioned: Charlotte Chess Center, IM Kassa Korley 

    1:30:00- Jacob discusses his pending emigration back to his native country, Denmark 

    1:33:00- What is the structure of Jacob’s training academy, Killer Chess Training? 
    Mentioned: GM RB Ramesh
    1:41:00- Thanks to GM Aagaard for joining us! Links below:

    Book- A Matter of Endgame Technique
    Quality Chess- http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/
    Killer Chess Training Facebook- 365 Chess Academy / Killer Chess Training | Facebook
    GM Jacob Aagaard’s Twitter- https://twitter.com/GMJacobAagaard?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

    If you would like to help support Perpetual Chess, you can do so here:
    Donate — The Perpetual Chess Podcast
    Learn mo

    • 1 hr 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
502 Ratings

502 Ratings

Crunchy Guero ,

Mature & Reasonable Chess Commentary

A mature commentary that I appreciate, especially when compared to other options such as Hikaru’s YouTube channel

ChrisLott ,

The OG is still on top

I’ve been listening to Perpetual Chess since it first appeared, when it was the basically the only option. Now, thanks to the Queen’s Gambit boom(let), there are many other chess podcasts to fill your ears…but none better. than this, the OG, that only continues to improve and expand with something for everyone from chess fan to chess zealot and from unrated-and-uninterested-in-being-rated to grandmaster.

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.

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