Chess improvement as an adult is harder than it should be. Plus, the journey can sometimes feel too stressful and serious. This show aims to fix that by 1) interviewing experts who can offer clarity on the best ways to improve; and 2) giving you a heap of fun with “chess entertainment” shows that discuss chess culture, events, movies, etc. Most episodes feature a guest, but sometimes I'll do a solo show on a topic. This is all brought to you by me, Daniel Lona. I’m a dedicated chess amateur and the owner of Adult Chess Academy. After listening to this podcast, I want you to have a clearer idea of how to improve, and have a more fun, dynamic chess experience. Please follow the show so you don’t miss an episode!
A Rapid Rise to 2000 with Adult Improver Kamryn Hellman
070 A small number of chess players make remarkably quick progress. Perhaps even fewer of those are adults. Which is why the achievements of this week’s guest, Kamryn Hellman, are so remarkable.
She started playing chess for the first time as an adult. And, in just a little over a year, Kamryn rose to a 2000 Rapid rating on Chess.com.
Because progress this fast is rarely seen by adults, we explore her journey and how she achieved it.
Her top three “difference makers” for reaching a 2000 Chess.com rating in fifteen monthsWhy competing in OTB classical tournaments was such a powerful factor in her improvementWas her approach to be a tactics machine or was there room for studying strategy and positional chess? More from Kamryn:
IM Dean Ippolito - Tales of a Premier Chess Coach & How To Manage Rating Deflation
For two decades, IM Dean Ippolito has been one of America’s top coaches. Throughout his career, he’s coached several scholastic talents to national titles. Plus, he’s authored six chess books. Dean’s own chess journey is just as impressive. He was a rising child star and competed professionally for a few years after high school.
Today, he runs a successful coaching business called Dean of Chess Academy, which offers online classes and camps.
In this episode, we also discuss the scourge of adult improvers who compete at OTB tournaments: rating deflation.
We discuss what it is, how it affects adult club players like yourself, and some advice that Dean offers on how to deal with it.
Finally, we talk about Dean’s new book, Tricks, Traps, and Tips in the Chess Opening. The book offers a unique (and much more fun!) approach to learning opening ideas and principles.
More From Dean:
Dean’s websiteDean’s TwitterDean’s new book, Tricks, Traps & Tips in the Chess Opening>>Join my official FREE Club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com (PROMOTION)
FM Mike Klein: Building the Next Generation of Chess Players
068 You may know him as best as “Fun Master” Mike, the face of ChessKid. For the past decade, Mike has been the Chief Chess Officer of ChessKid, the scholastic version of Chess.com. His mission has been to make the game fun and accessible for an ever-growing audience of young chess players.
While my show primarily focuses on adult improvers, I’m always interested in how we grow this great game of ours, and reaching kids is a big part of that.
And who better to discuss this subject than with Mike Klein!?
Plus, if you’re a parent, Mike offers some great advice on how you can your kids’ school involved in teaching chess.
We also discuss:
Which top youth player he thinks has the best chance to stay in the game and make an impact for many years to come.The highlights of Mike’s journalism career, including which former world champ he would’ve loved to interview.His game and experiences with Josh Waitzkin, of Searching For Bobby Fischer fame.More From Mike:
TwitterChessKid.comChess Grant for Schools Through ChessKid>>Join my official FREE Club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com (PROMOTION)
How To Maximize Your Time For Chess Improvement w/ GM Noël Studer
067 How should you spend your chess time if you want to improve? The problem for adult improvers isn’t always about having too little time or energy to get better. Often, the challenge is knowing how to use that time effectively. That’s where GM Noël Studer comes in to help us.
A former Swiss chess champion, and the youngest GM ever from Switzlerland, Noël is now helping chess improvers fine-tune their study programs.
Better progress without having to spend countless hours each day studying or playing.
In this interview, Noël discusses:
How the One-Third Rule can simplify your study process and give you greater progress without any additional demands on your time.The surprising reason you can improve at openings with less study time instead of more.How to keep your energy high before going into an OTB tournament with a simple training strategy used by professional athletes.More From Noël:
E-Book: The Art of Chess TrainingCourse: Next Level TrainingWebsiteBlogTwitter>>Join my official FREE Club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com (PROMOTION)
South Africa's Chess Star: WIM Jesse February
This week features South Africa’s most charismatic chess streamer and commentator:
WIM Jesse February. Jesse has had an impressive tournament career that’s still going strong as she works toward the WGM title.
Some of her accomplishments include representing the South African Women’s Team in three Chess Olympiads. Plus, she's a two-time winner of the South African Women’s Chess Championship.
We chat about Jesse’s incredible and recent experience doing commentary for the inaugural Global Chess League tournament - a unique mixed-team event that featured some of the world’s best men and women players.
And we talk about what Jesse feels she needs to work on to get the WGM title, her best advice from years of coaching, and whether she can give up bullet at 3am.
More From Jesse:
Twitch channelYouTube channelTwitterInstagramTikTok>>Join my official FREE Club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com (PROMOTION)
On the Rise: Streamer & Adult Improver, WCM Alexandra Prado
065 WCM Alexandra Prado is a strong amateur player with a fast-rising chess Twitch channel. Rated 1859 FIDE, she has a renewed interest in competing in OTB classical.
Plus, she’s aiming for the Woman FIDE Master (WFM) title. On that goal, she’s getting coaching help from Chess Dojo’s IM Kostya Kavutskiy, which we discuss in this episode.
We also chat about her chess life in Bolivia, what has helped her improve the most as a player, and her unexpected opportunity to play in-person blitz against Andrea Botez.
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More From Alexandra:
Twitch ChannelInstagramTwitterYouTubeWebsiteGames against Andrea BotezLesson with IM Kostya Kavutskiy>>Join my official FREE Club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com (PROMOTION)
Daniel Lona knows his chess! I went in expecting it to be good, but this is exceptional. As one of the many new chess adult improvers who discovered (or rediscovered) their love for chess after watching “Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix, I have been looking for anything that serves adults who are also novices. The Chess Experience is that podcast. Honestly, that would have been enough, but Daniel ups the ante by having interviews with chess masters, so there is something for all levels. Entertaining, informative, well-produced and paced. Great work.
Been Waiting for This
Finally…a podcast for 95% of the chess community right now—those trying to get out of the beginner category.
Love love love it so far. Keep it up!!
Thank you so much for making this podcast Daniel! It’s great to be able to listen to engaging content that’s focused on people like me (adult improver). The first 3 episodes have been awesome and I can’t wait to see where this journey goes. Very excited to learn and continue to grow.