Perpetual Chess Podcast

Perpetual Chess Podcast

Ben Johnson

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

Categories: Sports & Recreation

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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 2018- Episode 52 2021- Episode 228 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’ 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 Check out their latest offerings here: New Chess Courses Online - For All Levels -  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: 1:16:00- Ben’s upcoming Twitch and tournament plans!  Here are the links to keep up with Ben.  Twitch: YouTube: Twitter:   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Previous episodes

  • 372 - EP 280- GM Ben Finegold on The FIDE Candidates, the Alleged Decline of Chess' Popularity, and Why he thinks he Doesn't Play as Well as he Used to. 
    Tue, 24 May 2022
  • 371 - EP 279- Derek Wilder (Adult Improver Series)- Derek Wilder on the key lessons that helped him break through a multi year plateau and ascend to a USCF 2000 rating. 
    Tue, 17 May 2022
  • 370 - 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 
    Tue, 10 May 2022
  • 369 - EP 277-GM Kirill Shevchenko and WFM Maria Emelianova, a Ukrainian GM and a Russian Chess Streamer, on the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian War on their lives, and how they see its impact on the chess world. 
    Tue, 03 May 2022
  • 368 - EP 276- GM Michael Adams- Stories and Lessons from Mickey's decades Among the Chess Elite 
    Tue, 26 Apr 2022
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