Episodes
Published 02/20/24
This week’s guest is two- time Dutch Champion, eleven-time Olympian, author and former candidate for the World Championship Title, GM Paul Van der Sterren. Paul had an unusual career trajectory, in that after 15+years as a chess professional, his “breakout” year occurred at the age of 37. What happened that year (1993)? That is one of the many questions tackled in his fantastic, newly-translated game collection/memoir In Black and White: The Chess Autobiography of a World Championship...
Published 02/20/24
This week I am excited to be joined by chess YouTube star and popular Chessable author, NM Robert Ramirez. Robert has a unique story amongst master-level players, as he spent his early years in Cuba and began tournament chess at the relatively late age of 12. As one of the older kids in his chess class in Cuba, Robert felt like he had to “play catch up” from the beginning, and this perspective steered him toward less popular openings like the Pirc defense and the King’s Indian Defense. Robert...
Published 02/13/24
Recorded on January 31, 2024  Featuring guest co-host FM Nate Solon  With talk of online cheating recently dominating chess conversations, Chess.com CEO and co-founder Erik Allebest joined me (and guest co-host FM Nate Solon) to discuss the issue at length. While Erik acknowledges that chess cheating is an existential threat to the game, the research of his Chess.com team suggests that people overestimate the frequency of online cheating occurrences. Erik also discussed Chess.com’s current...
Published 02/06/24
Our book review series, Chess Books Recaptured, is back to discuss a “non-chess” book for the first time. However, the information in this book is vital for any student of the game. Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning is an extremely insightful encapsulation of best practices for learning and retaining information. The book is written by Peter C. Brown, Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel, and was the culmination of 10+ years of research. Joining me to discuss the book is...
Published 02/02/24
The Adult Improver Series is back, and we have a very entertaining guest for you. Julio Calcina is a 32-year-old, Nottingham, England-based chess and Mixed Martial Arts enthusiast. Julio has found chess to be a transformative force for him and views chess as a microcosm of life. As Julio tells it, he used to be impetuous and aggressive in both chess and life, and made choices that sabotaged relationships and even contributed to his enduring a stint in prison. Throughout the years, Julio has...
Published 01/30/24
This week’s guest is Grandmaster and Chessable Author, Raven Sturt. Raven was a National High-School champion, but considers himself a late bloomer in chess because he had to work very hard to earn the Grandmaster title in his 20s. During this period, GM Sturt intensively trained his board visualization and pattern recognition skills, and he shares the fruits of his labor in his excellent Chessable Course, Developing Chess Intuition: Domination & Other Lesser Known Positional Concepts....
Published 01/23/24
This week we are honored to be joined by the 14-year-old record-breaking prodigy, GM Abhimanyu Mishra. Abhimanyu made worldwide headlines when he became the youngest Grandmaster in history in 2021. Since breaking that record, GM Mishra has continued his rapid ascension and is now rated 2635. As the number #10 junior in the world, Abhimanyu is the only junior in the top 20 under the age of 16! In our conversation, we discuss Abhimanyu’s training regimen, both now, and as he quickly climbed up...
Published 01/16/24
GM Patrick Wolff is quite accomplished on and off the chess board. In the 1990’s he was a  2 time US Chess Champion and a member of GM Viswanathan Anand's prep team.  Patrick is also the author of Learn to Play Chess Like a Boss, a book that is always one of my first recommendations for newer players.  In more recent years, he has worked as a hedge fund analyst.  This varied background gives Patrick unique insights into the intersections of the chess and the business worlds. In our...
Published 01/09/24
This week’s return guest is 2 time US Women’s Champion and award-winning author, podcaster and commentator Jennifer Shahade. Jennifer has recently released the excellent and inspiring new tactics book, Play Like a Champion. Play Like a Champion is a collection of biographical sketches of top woman players, featuring memorable tactics for a wide range of experience- levels. In our conversation, we discuss Jen’s writing and puzzle selection process, new chess vocabulary, Jen’s advice for...
Published 01/02/24
Legendary chess author IM Jeremy Silman valued his chess friendships highly, and referred to his inner circle as his chess ‘“posse.” This week, two members of that posse, IMsJohn Donaldson and IM Cyrus Lakdawala join me to share stories and biographical details about their friend. As one might expect from Silman’s books, they recall a friend who was funny, empathetic, extremely strong as a chess player, and a brilliant writer and gifted public speaker. John and Cyrus both begin with their...
Published 12/26/23
In the wake of IM Jeremy Silman’s recent passing, Chess Books Recaptured returns to review one of his classic books, The Amateur’s Mind. The Amateur’s Mind sold over 90,000 copies, and IM Jeremy Silman said that he thought it was his best instructional book. What made this book, and Silman’s writing so unique? We dive into that topic, share many memorable (and amusing) quotes from the book, and briefly discuss some of the other works from IM Jeremy Silman’s illustrious canon. Joining me for...
Published 12/22/23
This week we are joined by the economist, award-winning author, and top Australian player, GM David Smerdon. David is a professor at the University of Queensland. With a statistical background, David is a particular expert in the intersection of statistics and chess and is frequently able to combine his chess expertise with his academic research. Since chess cheating has been in the news again, we begin by getting David’s thoughts on the renewed allegations against GM Hans Niemann, as well as...
Published 12/19/23
Ben Hodgkiss is a 32-year-old chess enthusiast who has worked in a few different fields, but feels like he has not yet found his professional calling. Ben knows that he loves chess though, and for at least the next year, he has decided to live the life of a chess professional and to chronicle this pursuit on his YouTube channel. Many chess players have fantasized about taking such a leap, so I was fascinated to hear that Ben is actually doing it! In our conversation, we cover the nuts of...
Published 12/12/23
This week I am joined by a rising star in chess media, Davaun Williams. To his 200,000+ Tiktok followers and nearly 80,000 Instagram followers, Davaun is better known as “Chess Knowledge with H1.” In our conversation, we discuss H1’s chess origins, the origins of the nickname “H1,” and how he gained fame for using a demo board and throwing the captured chess pieces during his entertaining videos. Davaun’s videos feature a lot of opening traps, and he has just released his first Chessable...
Published 12/05/23
This week  a favorite guest returns to the pod, GM Robert Hungaski. Robert wears many hats in the chess world, as an accomplished player, Fide Senior trainer and International arbiter. His newest project involves organizing and presenting FIDE-sanctioned chess teaching seminars from some of the top trainers in the world, including Grandmasters Gregory Kaidanov, Alexey Shirov, Antoaneta Stefanova and many others. These seminars provide a unique opportunity to learn tricks of the trade from...
Published 11/28/23
The Perpetual Chess Adult Improver Series returns with another guest with a great story. Denis Markov is a 39 year-old working dad with a passion for chess. Denis has deep chess roots which date back to a childhood in Russia where he took classes at the fabled “Palace of Pioneers.” According to Denis, he did not show exceptional talent in those days and eventually set chess aside for some years. Now based in Pennsylvania, Denis returned to competitive chess in mid-2021 and since then, through...
Published 11/21/23
Next week’s podcast is arriving early, and it's a double episode! For the first segment, I am joined again by Chessable author and trainer CM Vjekoslav (Vjeko) Nemec. Vjeko and I discuss the riveting, recently concluded FIDE Grand Swiss. India’s ascension continued as GM Vidit Gujirathi and IM R. Vaishali’s had impressive victories in the Open and Women’s Sections respectively. With more spots in the 2024 FIDE Candidates now settled, we also look ahead to what is shaping up to be quite an...
Published 11/10/23
My guests this week are Cecilia Albertini and Chandler Toffa the director and co-producer (respectively) of the charming new documentary The City of Human Chess. This short documentary tells the story of Marostica, Italy, where a famous chess game is recreated by human volunteers on a bi-annual basis. The event has a long tradition and draws upwards of 4000 paying customers. It is a touching story about people working together and the connective power of chess, and I greatly enjoyed watching...
Published 11/07/23
My book, Perpetual Chess Improvement, is now available from New in Chess (and should be shipping from Amazon any day now), so it was time to dedicate a podcast to discussing it in detail. Joining me for the discussion is longtime friend of the pod, cognitive scientist, author and USCF Master, Dr. Christopher Chabris. Christopher had a sneak peak at the book and shares his impressions of it and interviews me on the topics that interested him. . We discuss what I call “The Four Pillars of Chess...
Published 10/31/23
GM Davorin Kuljasevic is a renowned author, trainer and player, best known for the excellent book, How to Study Chess on Your Own. Because GM Kuljasevic has worked with players of varying ages and skill levels, and has written a book on the topic of chess study, he is the perfect person to field questions for a Chess Improvement Q & A. In our far-reaching conversation, we cover topics ranging from budgeting study time, to analyzing games, to playing against kids, and many others. We also...
Published 10/24/23
This week on Perpetual Chess we feature two chess enthusiasts who are driving initiatives to improve the chess world. 1) Emilia Castelao is a history grad student, chess photographer and chess historian, who is collaborating with Mr. Dodgy to launch the Women in Chess Foundation. Their mission is to advocate for and empower women in the chess community. Emilia has a broad vision for the foundation, but the first order of business is to ensure a safe competitive environment for tournament...
Published 10/17/23
This week’s guest, Steffen Slumstrump Nielsen is one of the most accomplished chess endgame study composers in the world. Steffen’s new book, Endgame Labyrinths (co-authored with GM Jacob Aagaard) compiles what they consider to be the most instructive endgame studies of all time. It is a beautiful book filled with challenging and instructive studies. In our conversation, we discuss how Steffen came to be interested in the “subgenre” of designing chess puzzles,  the components that make a good...
Published 10/10/23
Can Kabadayi is a cognitive scientist, a self-taught Candidate Master, and a popular and prolific Chessable author. Given his academic background, Can is especially interested in the challenges of adult chess improvement, and devotes his chess work to helping adult learners.  In our conversation, we discuss the origins of Can’s interests in chess and cognitive science, his Chessable courses, his OTB plans, and notable research related to chess and cognitive science. Can is an avid bibliophile...
Published 10/03/23
This week on Perpetual Chess, we look at chess study from a different angle- what does the science of learning teach us about how best to study chess? Joining us to discuss it is an expert in the field, Dr. Anique de Bruin of Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Dr. de Bruin researches the topics of deliberate practice and desirable difficulty and researched and wrote about chess skill acquisition both in her dissertation and in an essay she wrote called “Helping Chess Players...
Published 09/26/23