The Greatest Chess Minds Video Series

The Greatest Chess Minds Video Series

| 14 | Chess Players

Let this video guide serve as the official reference point to help you find videos on your favorite chess players throughout history! has enjoyed lessons from the best coaches and players within our game. Hopefully, you’ve been fortunate enough to learn from the all-star cast and watch a majority of our teachers.

The content on is not only game-changing, but also addictive. The basic laws of chess physics never fail. Like the acceleration of an object, your game will progress from the force of every video.

OK, OK it’s time to deflate that ego a little bit. What’s humbling is an extended sequence of our founding fathers at their best.

The Greatest Chess Minds is a collection of videos about the great grandmasters that inspired the careers of current players and teachers.  Your favorite chess coaches will explore their idols, while analyzing famous matches that changed the game, forever.

There’s no shortage of material in TGCM. Players of every level can enjoy these videos for the entertainment and educational value.

You’ll witness nothing but positive reviews from our community of members in the threads below. Comments include: “Wow, what an amazing series with such a fantastic opening article to preview the material!" and “These videos are so entertaining, but also educational, they should be required education for public schools across America!”

So what are you waiting for?! TGCM will keep you hooked for days!



all photos via Wikipedia.

Jose Capablanca bled black and white. They say his great grandchildren are living among us, disguised as Carlsen and Nakamura. While some young phenoms are vulnerable to burning out early, Capablanca never really lost momentum. His defeats were few and far between. Observe Capablanca’s history, and even his greatest rivals like Marshall, Lasker and Alekhine had nothing but rave reviews for Jose and his chess brilliance.




In competition, there are often careers with a bittersweet ending.

Like those who ran into Michael Jordan in his prime, Paul "the second" may have won a world title in any other era. In fact, Keres handily beat numerous champions.

He is typically regarded as the greatest chess player to never win it all. Keres’ bad fortune was mostly due to the timing of World War II, not so much to another player. His writing and amazing games have survived the test of time.

Our TGCM series would be incomplete without a tribute to Paul Keres, orchestrated by his biggest fan, GM Roman Dzindzichashvilli.




Similar to many great players, Efim Geller’s career was affected by World War II. Even so, that didn’t stop this Soviet powerhouse from building an impressive resume and ultimately making our list of TGCM!

Efim Geller made it easy for us, as not just a player, but also a formidable coach. Except for Paul Keres, who had a winning record against every top player, Efim Geller had a plus record against the world’s greatest. Watch and learn from one of the game's most brilliant opening minds.




Svetozar Gligorić was more than a great player. His bright personality, intriguing theory and triumphant career, despite a difficult upbringing, made him the face of chess for many years.

Especially to his homeland of Serbia, Gligoric was a fan favorite. Despite never winning a world title, Gligoric provided us with some of the most memorable games of all time. He traveled the world playing in and organizing tournaments.

Dejan Bojkov knows Gligoric all too well. This nine-part series will highlight the many fascinating games Svetozar played against some the greatest players of all time!




Before Magnus Carlsen, the best player to come out of Scandinavia was Bent Larsen.

Larsen discovered chess while tending to numerous ailments as a child. It didn’t take long for his talent to surface. By 19 years of age, Larsen earned the title of international master, regularly playing against the world’s strongest competition.

But there was more than that to his game. Larsen was persistent in his goal to establish new, innovative approaches to the game. His styles proved successful, as he joined Fischer in the world’s top ranks outside the Soviet Union.

GM Bojkov, an innovative player himself, explores the genius behind Larsen in our five-part video series to another one of the game's greatest minds. 



Richard Reti’s career was well documented, despite peaking centuries ago.

Reti was known for his work in the game's shift to hypermodern openings, as well as his endgame play. A mathematical genius, Reti brought his book smarts to the board, especially when mastering endgames.

With geometric analysis, Reti was virtually unbeatable in endgames, including a victory over world champion Capablanca, who previously hadn’t lost a match for eight years.



Carl Schlechter, known as the "King of Draws," was the leading Austrian Master after the decline of Wilhem Steinitz. Despite the moniker, Schlechter was quite a capable attacker as displayed in this three part series by GM Bojkov.

Schlechter was typically a more positional player and even has a very solid variation of the Slav that bares his name. (Characterized by the fianchettoed bishop on g7.)  He only narrowly missed winning the World Championship title from Lasker which ended 5-5 allowing the current Champion to retain the title. 



Wilhelm Steinitz was the undisputed world champion of his day. Even though his day was relatively close to the stone age, many consider him to be a pioneer of chess evolution.

Before Steinitz introduced a more practical form of play, most players went for the kill early on in a match. Like most leaders who try to implement change, Steinitz was met with criticism for his new theories. Nonetheless, he prevailed and many of the strongest players after him credited his innovation for the game’s overall improvement.




Holding the championship title for as many years as Lasker did brings a variety of challengers. For years, Lasker faced many formidable opponents and was greatly feared by top-ranking players.

Yet Lasker could only fend off so many challengers at a time. One by one, the likes of Capablanca, Steinitz and eventually Siegbert Tarrasch were found opposite his board. It became evident that to be as good as Lasker meant having the biggest target on your back -- which he did.

After a long while, Lasker would end up on the losing side to the game's brightest stars, but not before contributing to positional theory above and beyond any of his predecessors.




Though we’ll never know for sure, Akiba Rubinstein was perhaps Lasker’s greatest threat. Financial difficulties held Rubinstein back from a world championship, but his record against the top players in the world was largely unscathed.

Rubinstein is most famous for his opening theory, and the many variations named after him. Yet his greatest work came from endgames -- in particular, rook and pawn analysis. GM Bojkov explores Rubinstein’s career in depth for this video series.

You’ll see that most of modern chess has traces of Rubinstein's theories behind its main ideas.




Siegbert Tarrasch composed a beautiful chess career. Yet most impressive was his success in two fields. Not only was Tarrasch one of the highest-ranking players of his time, but he was a very successful doctor as well.

His medical profession may have impeded his chess game, but he still managed to be a major player involved in some of the most famous games in history.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Tarrasch game was the timing. His prime happened simultaneous to Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine. In any other era of chess, we may have witnessed a world champion doctor!



Often confused with the more well known World Champion of the same same  name, Edward Lasker was a German-American International Master. 

His best results included a narrow loss to the American Champion Frank James Marshall which finsihed 8.5-9.5. Lasker actually lead the match untill he was forced to postpone due to a severe kidney stone attack. Based on that strong performance he was invited to the legendendary New York 1924 chess tournament. Although, he finished 10th of 11 players, his games were very competitive.  


Richard Teichmann, while not as well known as his comtemporaries such as Lasker and Capablanca, "Richard the Fifth"--He frequently finished 5th place--actually had a plus score against Alekhine. 

He also scored well against such as Tarrasch, Nimzowitsch and Janowski. His best result was Karlsbad 1911 where he had stunning vitories vs Rubinstein and Schlechter with the same line of the Ruy Lopez.




This mad scientist was more than brilliant; he was downright devious. Nonetheless, what Aron lacked in championships, he made up for in writing. Nimzowitsch inspired most of the games' greatest players with his defensive systems -- of course, mainly with the Nimzo-Indian Defense.



Tigran Petrosian worked tirelessly, even as a boy, to finally join the elite of chess. Yet his work was more than just study of the game.

Tigran battled adversity, losing his parents at a young age and sweeping streets to make a living. That real-world experience translated very well to his chess game.

Tigran Petrosian is the greatest defensive player of all time. Watch our nine-part series as foe after foe attempt to break his shield. Tigran always proves to be stronger than the pack!



Bobby Fischer has been remembered through various biographies, including yet another film set to hit theaters early in 2016. Although his life has been well publicized, few have truly documented the sheer genius of Fischer’s play.

To this day, no player has matched his dominance of the U.S. championship. Unfortunately, despite Fischer’s triumphs, no one made as many enemies as he did.

Fischer is remembered for his anti-American rants, especially since they came at a sensitive time for our country. Yet no one forgets his massive contributions to chess as a whole. From his opening theory to outstanding games, this series will explore Bobby Fischer as one of the game's greatest. 



Garry Kasparov is truly the greatest chess player of all time. With a study habit that rivaled Fischer’s, Kasparov and his style of play paired beautifully with a Tal-like artistic aggression.

While Kasparov was dominant on the board, his coaching was equally effective. In fact, Kasparov’s greatest defeat came at the hands of a former student. His record for highest rating also fell to another student, who went on to become world champion.

Kasparov’s career as a player may now be over, but every day his legacy grows. While this series documents Kasparov’s genius over the board, when all is said and done, all will know of his great accomplishments off the board.



You won’t find many players as well regarded as Magnus Carlsen. Today’s strongest players seem to agree Carlsen is currently the best in the world. Obviously, his recent world championship says it all.

Most players seem to favor a particular style of play, and even adopt their opening repertoire for it. When Magnus Carlsen fine-tuned his aggressive style, it became clear this guy has it all.

Not only can Magnus Carlsen play any style, he can play any opening at the most elite level. With momentum on his side, and no sign of slowing down at a such a young age, Magnus is well on his way to surpassing Gary Kasparov as the Greatest Chess Mind in history!



The fearless roller coaster that some call Chucky, GM Vassily Ivanchuk is on display for our next Great Chess Mind.

Ivanchuk has been noted a genius, or even a potential world champion. Yet like his mercurial personality, sometimes his play fluctuates.

Thankfully, his retirement was short-lived. Because, as you’ll see here, Chucky is one of the game's brilliant composers. This series is a work in progress, but what’s available is definitely worth your time.


 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the current number one player in France, started playing chess at an early age and has only shown positive momentum since. This runaway train was a GM by 14 years of age and won the World Junior Chess Championship!



Another lesser-known powerhouse of chess, Salov was cursed by timing, playing during Kasparov’s prime years. Salov never made world number one. Even though he slipped through the cracks of history, he didn’t make it past Ben Finegold, who’s here to explore yet another brilliant mind.



You’ll be hard pressed to find a strong player that didn’t model some portion of his game after Alexander Alekhine.

This world champion was known for aggressive, positional play. Although he ultimately lost his title, he stood his ground for quite a while against formidable opponents.

Alekhine may have been held back by the limited technology of his time. Most of his opponents clearly observed his computer-like ability to calculate. Some argue that Alekhine may not be among the greatest ever, but the argument would have been different if he was blessed to study with modern computer engines.

Like Petrosian, Alekhine was tough to beat. On the board, his drawing efforts were the longest, in terms of move count, among any player in history. His personality was also stubborn off the board, as Capablanca found out when trying to negotiate a title match.



Almost qualifying to play for the world title so many times never slowed Leonid Stein down. Stein may have never got the chance to solidify his name as the best player of a certain period, but he did hold plus records against the players who did. Nothing gets by Roman Dzindzichashvili, and that includes the genius that was Leonid Stein.



Vasily Smyslov, another positional genius, contributed to some of the game's most entertaining matches. Smyslov had a knack for finding tactical combinations that would blow his opponent's position wide open, especially in the endgame. We would be fools not to display the highlights of his career in this short video series!



Viktor Korchnoi is another member of the greatest to never win it all. Yet his grace and integrity played a major role in paving the road for a player who did, Garry Kasparov. Korchnoi led a long and successful chess career. 



Boris Spassky was a tactical genius and the ultimate sportsman. Even though Spassky ended up on the losing side of his infamous matches with Fischer, he was triumphant against other members of the world’s top players. Spassky was a decorated champion and able to adapt his game to many styles.



Anatoly Karpov is yet another player who’s had many advocates for the title of greatest of all time.

His expected battle with Fischer never manifested, but he did participate in a number of popular matches with Kasparov, Spassky, Topalov, Short and many others.

Like Capablanca, Karpov could expose the slightest weakness in his opponent’s position. It didn’t take long for that molehill to turn into a mountain, especially since Karpov rarely made mistakes himself.

Off the board, his character spoke for itself. Even his rivals of many years campaigned for his run for FIDE president.



Viswanathan Anand is a recent world champion, still playing in his prime years.

After Anand successfully defended his title for some time, Magnus Carlsen finally dethroned him in 2013.

Anand may have run into the freight train that is Carlsen, but he is still a real threat to regain his championship, and one of few players left who can truly compete with Carlsen.

Anand's reputation is growing all the time as he continues his success against elite players at a variety of formats.



Samuel Reshevsky was a true talent. While focusing on another profession he still managed a winning record against the many GMs he faced. Often Samuel was left blitzing out the endgame from time trouble out of the opening. Yet much of his brilliance was displayed while going for broke!



David Bronstein wrote the greatest book in chess history. He was a frequent author and a great advocate for the game, constantly working to improve its overall structure. He earned the respect of many despite never winning a world championship. Roman Dzindzichashvili is a nothing short of a chess historian. Who better to explore the brilliance of David Bronstein?



Mikhail Tal lived and breathed chess. He truly played for the love of the game and never lost his passion. While he didn’t put as much emphasis on theory as other titled players did, he still defeated every last titled player he ever faced. In fact, equally impressive to his world championship, Tal managed to escape Zurich triumphant over the entire field. In observation of the magician’s brilliance, Dzindzi explores some of his crazier winning efforts.



Mikhail Botvinnik had a great impact on the game, but mainly through his pupils. From Karpov to Kasparov, and many others, you’ll find a trace of Botvinnik on many of the game's greatest players. His opening theory also set the stage for other innovators to take his work and improve upon it. Botvinnik implemented a strategy for improvement that is still used today. Botvinnik was the first to seriously implement major changes in group analysis, computer programming and annotation.



Fabiano Caruana is another brilliant chess mind who worked hard to transform his aggressive game into a well-rounded monster. Although the work was hard, it was fast. Caruana was the youngest GM in history until very recently. GM Gregory Kaidanov is very familiar with this brilliant phenom, and is the best candidate to observe his brilliance.



Peter Svidler is our next genius on display. In large part due to his ability to plan and evaluate, Svidler has earned multiple championships in his home country of Russia. GM Gregory Kaidanov is very familiar with his style of play and ready to break it down for us. 

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