Episode 28- IM David Pruess

IM David Pruess has been a fixture on the US Chess Scene throughout the 2000s. In our interview, we talk about David's early chess days in the Bay Area, his ideas for improving your tactics, and his complicated history as an early employee with chess.com.  

David also tells us about his new job, and why he chooses to pursue a career outside of the chess world in addition to teaching chess and chess announcing. Thanks to David for the thoughtful and candid interview, ping him on chess.com here and follow him on Twitter here

Click here to download the interview. 

Photo courtesy chess.com

Photo courtesy chess.com

Episode 27- Grandmaster Sandro Mareco

Photo courtesy of chess24.com

Photo courtesy of chess24.com

Grandmaster Sandro Mareco is the highest rated chess player in Argentina and is currently #89 in the world. GM Mareco gives the unique perspective of a top Grandmaster who brought his rating from 2200 FIDE at age 18 to its current standing at 2659 at age 30.  

Sandro also tells us which up and coming South American players to watch, discusses his work as a chess trainer, and reveals why he should be nicknamed "the Argentinian Turtle."  To reach Sandro you can e-mail him here.

Click here to download the episode. 

Episode 26- IM John Bartholomew

JB in Boston, photo courtesy of Boylston Chess Club

JB in Boston, photo courtesy of Boylston Chess Club

Just 2.5 years after posting his first Youtube video. IM John Bartholomew has become one of the most popular chess YouTubers in the world. John reveals his original motivation for starting his channel and talks about its phenomenal growth to over 38,000 subscribers. He also analyzes the impact his popularity has had on his chess teaching business.

We also discuss chessable, the chess training website that he co-founded. Other topics convered include John's influences, his chess playing career, and why he decided to drop out of law school after a semester. Subscribe to John's youtube channel here,follow him on twitter here.  


Click here to download the episode. 

Episode 25- Thibault Duplessis (founder of LiChess.org)

Thibault Duplessis is a 31-year-old computer programmer, world traveler and the creator of one of the world's most popular chess servers, LiChess.org.  Thibault tells us of the origins of LiChess, the driving philosophy that led him to create it and about his background in both programming and chess.  We also discuss the issue of cheating in online chess and Thibault's vision for the future of LiChess.org

Photo courtesy of lichess.org

Photo courtesy of lichess.org

Click here to download. 

Episode 24- IM Luke Harmon-Vellotti

For an 18-year old, IM Luke Harmon-Vellotti is rather ridiculously accomplished.. In addition to countless chess achievements, he will graduate from UCLA with a double major and was recently hired by Google for a highly coveted job as a programmer. 

During our interview, Luke talks about the rigorous interview process at Google, discusses the similarities between chess and computer programming and, of course, reflects on his chess career and how his new job will impact his pursuit of the Grandmaster title, Read all about Luke's new gig here, and reach him on his website here


Episode 23- Grandmaster Mesgen Amanov

Photo courtesy of chess db.com

Photo courtesy of chess db.com

Although just 30 years old, GM Mesgen Amanov has many great stories to tell. In our interview, Mesgen tells the remarkable story of his emigration to the US after growing up in Turkmenistan. He also recounts how he got the idea for his successful chess education site, improvemychess.com. In addition, GM Amanov reveals his unique college major, tells some GM drinking stories, and gives some helpful chess improvement tips. To reach GM Amanov go to improvemychess.com. 

Click here to download the interview. 

Episode 22- Woman Grandmaster Sabina Foisor

Fresh from an emotional victory at the US Women's Championship, WGM Sabina Foisor joined me to discuss her impressive victory. Sabina's mother, WGM Cristina Foisor, passed away at the beginning of the year, so it has been a trying year for Sabina. Sabina talked openly about her mother's legacy and the loss that Sabina and her loved ones have endured. She also discussed how her mother's passing affected her tournament preparation and gave her perspective while she competed for the title. We also talked about the 2017 Women's World Championship in Iran, cooking, growing up in a chess family in Romania, and Sabina gave a few chess book recommendations. Follow Sabina on twitter here.

To download this episode, click here

Episode 21- International Master-Elect David Brodsky

14-year-old David Brodsky has been piling up the norms lately and has recently achieved the final norm necessary to earn the International Master title (pending 20 more FIDE rating points and FIDE approval). We talk about the secrets of his chess success, how he developed his ability to write about chess, how math competitions compare to chess tournaments, and the differences between the FIDE and the US Chess rating scales. Read all of David's excellent tournament recaps and chess advice on Chess Summit

Click here to download the episode. 

Episode 20- Grandmaster Timur Gareyev

Photo courtesy of blindfoldking.com

Photo courtesy of blindfoldking.com

This week GM Timur Gareyev, aka The Blindfold King, joined me. Timur has rightfully been getting a lot of media attention due to his mind-boggling feats in blindfold chess, but he has a lot of other interests as well.  Timur's hobbies range from skydiving to yoga to traveling to poker. Naturally, we talked a bit about his incredible, record-breaking 48 board blindfold simul, but we also talked about his many travel plans, his business ideas, his chess beginnings in Uzbekistan, and many other topics. Timur is a fascinating guy and I can't wait to see what projects he undertakes in future years. Follow his exploits and contact Timur on blindfoldking.com


Click here to download the episode. 

Episode 19 Macauley Peterson and IM Lawrence Trent hosts of The Full English Breakfast podcast

In addition to hosting the excellent chess podcast The Full English Breakfast, both Macauley Peterson and IM Lawrence Trent have had eclectic and interesting careers in chess.  Macauley Peterson has been writing about, and reporting on chess for a long time and most recently has been the Content Director of Chess24. We talk about his various adventures in the world of chess media, as well as his recent profile of Fabiano Caruana in Chess Life. Mr. Trent shares what he learned from being the manager of an elite player, and reveals the "real job" that prepared him for his roles as a chess announcer and chess manager. Follow Lawrence on twitter here, follow Macauley here. Listen to and support The Full English Breakfast via Itunes or here. Watch Lawrence's chess videos on chess24.com

Episode 18- IM Daniel Rensch (VP of chess.com)

Daniel Rensch, International Master, and Chess.com VP stopped by to talk all things chess.com. We previewed the upcoming Speed Chess Championship, and reviewed the good and bad of the Pro Chess League's successful first season. We also talked about Danny's dormant chess playing career, shark tank, and how a high school dropout learned to navigate the business world. This was a fun and inspiring glimpse into the future of chess. Follow Danny on twitter here

Episode 17- International Master Michael Rahal

International Master Michael Rahal has been teaching chess in Barcelona for 25 years and competing in chess since his childhood in England. Rahal breaks down the chess scene in Spain and tells stories of crossing paths with chess elites like Kramnik, Anand, and Svidler. Michael also reveals his persuasive theories on why chess is flourishing in China and India, and why watching television series are so popular with upper echelon chess players. You can watch IM Rahal's videos on ICC and follow him on twitter here.


Episode 16- IM Greg Shahade returns for a Pro Chess League update

With Chess.com's  Pro Chess League headed into its Final Four this weekend, Greg fought through sickness to give us a quick rundown of the teams and players that will be playing this weekend, including Carlsen,  So and Caruana. Greg also reflected a bit on the first season of the Pro Chess League and touched on his forthcoming chess book and on the upcoming US Championships. For more coverage of the Pro Chess League final 4 head over to chess.com and enjoy the extravaganza. 


Episode 15- Grandmaster Alex Yermolinsky

GM Alex Yermolinksky takes us through his storied chess career which has spanned decades and has taken him from Leningrad to Rome to several different cities in the US. Yermo has crossed swords with legends like Kasparov and Kramnik, and also enjoyed a time as a dominant force on the US Chess tournament circuit. These days, he lives in  Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and focuses on family, and chess teaching. Alex is an entertaining and outspoken storyteller, so please sit back and enjoy this interview. 

Episode 14- International Master Anna Rudolf

International Master and Woman Grandmaster Anna Rudolf is an engaging and informative chess announcer and presenter. In our talk Anna candidly discusses her nervous beginnings in front of the camera and what she did to make herself a better presenter. We also discuss the chess culture in her native Hungary, her transition from primarily playing chess to promoting it, and what it's like to work with Judit Polgar.   This was an inspiring and fun talk. Please have a listen. You can reach Anna on Facebook or twitter here, and watch her videos on chess24

Episode 13- Grandmaster Peter Svidler

It was an honor to talk to GM Peter Svidler about some of his many interests. Naturally, we talk about his illustrious chess career and his near-term tournament plans. Other topics of interest include poker, hearthstone, Norm Macdonald, Radio Jan and Russian chess. This interview was a treat for me so I hope listeners enjoy it as much as I did. Watch Peter’s videos and broadcasts on chess24.com and follow him on twitter here

Episode 12- US National Master Christopher Yoo and his dad, Young-Kyu Yoo

10 year old Christopher Yoo has been making lots of headlines lately in the chess world. He recently became the youngest USCF master in history and has also been entertaining the chess masses with his enthusiastic Pro Chess League Commentary. Christopher and his father, Young-Kyu , joined me to tell us the secrets of Christopher's early successes and his plans for upcoming tournaments. You'll want to stay tuned until the end when Christopher unveils his singing talents. 

NM Christopher Yoo at the US Chess School

Episode 11- Grandmaster Aleksandr Lenderman

27 year-old GM Alex Lenderman has won prestigious tournaments ranging from the World Open to the World Youth Championship, but he still feels like his chess has room to improve. We talk about why that is the case, his plans for 2017, and of course, we dig deep on his unforgettable experience coaching the gold medal winning US Olympiad Team.  We also talk intuition vs. calculation in chess, as it relates to his interesting game in London vs GM Simon Williams. The Topalov Master Class that Alex references is here


Episode 10- Kevin Bordi

Kevin Bordi, (Blitzstream on YouTube) has quickly become the most popular chess YouTuber in France thanks to his entertaining and informative videos. In this podcast we talk about how he built his following. Bordi lived in Moscow for 10 years, and he shares some of his observations about chess in Russia. Other topics include the Cannes team of the Pro Chess League, poker. the NFL and what he teaches his chess students.