A/V Chess on the Web

Jan 12, 2008, 12:41 PM |

In a previous blog, I wrote about my favorite chess sites, and today I wanted to share some of the free audio-visual chess resources that I have come across on the web.


Let’s begin with a collection of radio interviews that Bobby Fischer made.  Some of these might be a bit odd, however, in case you're aware of Fischer's current state. Come to think of it, they may be a bit odd even if you are not aware of Fischer's current state.

If you are a member of the Internet Chess Club, you have access to Chess FM, which offers a variety of content in English, French and Spanish.  Even if you are not a member, they sometimes allow anyone to listen to certain special events.  For example, as I write this, the site says that a program with IM John Watson (I have a couple of his books.) will be free next Tuesday.

There is also Chess Live Radio but every time I go there, there is nothing to listen to.  I think it is only on during special events.  The wonderful site www.chessgames.com sometimes has a link to live events which may include audio commentary.

If you point your browser to a Wisconsin Public Radio site and click the ‘Listen!’ icon, you will be treated to the sultry voice of Jennifer Shahade, saying “I definitely think chess is sexy, yea.”  But before you can listen to her again, you will first have to suffer through an interview with Garry Kasparov and others.  Wonderful program!

If you are an iTunes user, and you should be even if you are Windows person, there are several free chess related podcasts.  Just go to the iTunes store, click on Podcasts and then type “chess” into the search box.  You will find some fabulous blues from Chess Records (which I also highly recommend, by the way), but you will want to subscribe to some that relate to the game of chess, which include:

(a) The nicely done “Chess is Cool” podcast by GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, which has been around for a while now.
(b) The Ruy Lopez Show.  There is actually not much chess here, and I used to subscribe, but stopped.  Nonetheless, you may find it entertaining.


Continuing with our iTunes offerings, there are some good video podcasts:

(a) Alexandra Kosteniuk also has a free video podcast called “Chess Killer Tips”, which consists of short, targeted tutorials on specific topics.
(b) “PE’s Chess Cast” has been around for quite some time.  There are many episodes available, and some of them are quite good (others not).
(c) Another offering is “BlitzCast”, which purportedly illustrates blitz games.  I have not yet watched any myself, and the one review gives it a poor rating.

The site www.chessvideos.tv has a large collection of lessons, puzzles and interviews ranging from those appropriate for beginners on up.

If you are interested in chess-playing computers, then you will want to watch the Google video on the History of Computer Chess: an AI Perspective.  The broader field of AI has been very much influenced by this important subfield, which also has quite a large technical literature. 

Also at Google is the fascinating BBC documentary “Fischer vs. Spassky”. 


You can also find many chess videos on YouTube.  Just go there and search on chess.  Several of the offerings are from www.letsplaychess.com.  One such example concerns the famous Byrne vs. Fischer game from 1963.  One you are there, you will see several other of their eposides on the same page.

 I’m sure that there are a great many A/V chess media that I did not mention.  If you think I should definitely add some others to my list, please send me a note with a link.  In between now and then, choose your move carefully, in chess as in life.