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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Chess Channels on Youtube: A Brief Review

There is a wealth of chess information available now on the internet, and arguably the fastest and most useful repository for chess is now found on YouTube. There are many different channels and videos on YouTube devoted to chess, ranging from coverage of tournaments, instructional lessons and lectures, and even blitz games with live commentary.

Below is a list of some of my favorite channels devoted to Chess. I'm not the first to attempt such a list. For example, offers an interesting list. My list focuses more on live blitz games with commentary, with my three favorite channels as follows:

This channel is my personal favorite, and it is maintained by IM Christof Sielecki. He is a very strong player with a positional style and a great approach to the game. There is a variety of videos at the channel, including instructional lessons on tactics, openings, and endgames, as well as coverage of major tournaments and matches. Best of all, he usually posts three blitz or rapid games with commentary every day. I'm quite surprised that Sielecki's channel is not on OCL's list mentioned above.

Another great and active channel by a very strong player. Compared to the positional style of Christof Sielecki, Kingscrusher has stronger focus on aggressive, open, or gambit lines. He also uses a relatively more systematic and sometimes rigid style of commentary, searching for the weakness of the last move and using other interesting decision making devices. He also has an associated website that is useful for navigating his video series.
This channel contains a wide variety of videos, all of them of great quality. This channel is actively updated and has many live commentary games, mostly by the entertaining and insightful IM Danny Rensch. There are also 'Hack Attack' session by IM Thomas Rendle. If you like the videos, you should consider joining the main site and subscribing to their premium video service.

Select 'read more' to see the rest of my list. What are your favorite YouTube chess videos and channels? Please feel free to share them in the comments section.

Honorable Mentions

Another channel run by a very strong player, one that has a nice, clear, and calm speaking style that at times reminds one of an NPR broadcast, at other times features quite entertaining color commentary.

Although he at least doesn't have a rating in the ballpark of some of the other video authors on the list, Hutch remains active and posts interesting and colorful blitz and rapid games with commentary. As a matter of fact, watching Hutch's videos gave me the inspiration to try and make my own, seeing as video making is not the exclusive domain of the master. He does have the distinction on this list as having a tremendous amount of views, helped out no doubt by the non-chess content on his channel.

Online Chess Lessons
Great site, active content, fairly well produced. All lessons by strong players and grandmasters, although most videos are trial versions of a full video or video series that are to be purchased (some of which look somewhat dated, even thought they are recently uploaded).

This is a semi-infrequently updated video channel that features mostly opening theory, mainly trappy and fun opening lines. Definitely worth a look, especially to prepare a surprise weapon for your next game. 

Good but Recently Inactive:

Peter Lalic

Dual Commentary Videos

If you are making live commentary blitz games, particularly on I would be happy to engage in a dual commentary video series, in which each party records their color commentary. It gives an interesting look at two sides of the same game.

1 comment:

  1. An egregious omission: I forgot to include the channel of IM John Bartholomew, which has quickly become my favorite; it is on par with Chessexplained, but has somewhat more variety and a clearer speaking voice.

    I didn't know about this channel when I made the original post, but you should definitely explore it!