The Chess Experience

Daniel Lona

Chess improvement as an adult is harder than it should be. Plus, the journey can sometimes feel too stressful and serious. This show aims to fix that by 1) interviewing experts who can offer clarity on the best ways to improve; and 2) giving you a heap of fun with “chess entertainment” shows that discuss chess culture, events, movies, etc. Most episodes feature a guest, but sometimes I'll do a solo show on a topic. This is all brought to you by me, Daniel Lona. I’m a dedicated chess amateur and the owner of Adult Chess Academy. After listening to this podcast, I want you to have a clearer idea of how to improve, and have a more fun, dynamic chess experience. Please follow the show so you don’t miss an episode!

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Optimizing Mental Strategies & Training Methods w/ NM Bryan Tillis
5d ago
Optimizing Mental Strategies & Training Methods w/ NM Bryan Tillis
035  It’s easy to think of chess improvement as only involving the study of specific areas of the game like strategy or openings.But there are other, critical parts to improvement, as well.Which is why I chat with NM Bryan Tillis and discuss: The importance of having a WHY for your chess goalsHow to balance fun with doing what’s necessary to improveAsking whether your training is matching your goalsAnd, towards the end of the episode, Bryan offers several pieces of great advice for OTB tournaments.-----------Oh, and did you hear the BIG NEWS?I’ve launched the online membership for adult improvers and fans of this podcast.It’s called Chess Improver Monthly.You can join and check out all the benefits to Chess Improver Monthly here!-----------Background on NM Bryan TillisAs a long-time chess coach, Bryan is one of the rare instructors who can bring great clarity and simplicity to chess improvement.Right now, Bryan is probably best-known in the community for his fantastic openings courses on Chessable, including:Master the French DefenseThe Aggressive Queen’s Gambit DeclinedThe Dark Night Rises (the Alekhine Defense)Bryan also has a fantastic YouTube channel chock full of his classic teaching style. He’s also the owner of Palm Beach Chess, which offers multiple chess coaches.Where to find Bryan’s Work: Courses, YT Channel, Book, & More All of Bryan’s Chessable coursesBryan’s YouTube ChannelPalm Beach Chess (coaching)Bryan’s Book: Become a Chess Champion>> Join my official FREE club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com
Optimizing Mental Strategies & Training Methods w/ NM Bryan Tillis
5d ago
Optimizing Mental Strategies & Training Methods w/ NM Bryan Tillis
035  It’s easy to think of chess improvement as only involving the study of specific areas of the game like strategy or openings.But there are other, critical parts to improvement, as well.Which is why I chat with NM Bryan Tillis and discuss: The importance of having a WHY for your chess goalsHow to balance fun with doing what’s necessary to improveAsking whether your training is matching your goalsAnd, towards the end of the episode, Bryan offers several pieces of great advice for OTB tournaments.-----------Oh, and did you hear the BIG NEWS?I’ve launched the online membership for adult improvers and fans of this podcast.It’s called Chess Improver Monthly.You can join and check out all the benefits to Chess Improver Monthly here!-----------Background on NM Bryan TillisAs a long-time chess coach, Bryan is one of the rare instructors who can bring great clarity and simplicity to chess improvement.Right now, Bryan is probably best-known in the community for his fantastic openings courses on Chessable, including:Master the French DefenseThe Aggressive Queen’s Gambit DeclinedThe Dark Night Rises (the Alekhine Defense)Bryan also has a fantastic YouTube channel chock full of his classic teaching style. He’s also the owner of Palm Beach Chess, which offers multiple chess coaches.Where to find Bryan’s Work: Courses, YT Channel, Book, & More All of Bryan’s Chessable coursesBryan’s YouTube ChannelPalm Beach Chess (coaching)Bryan’s Book: Become a Chess Champion>> Join my official FREE club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com
Ep 33: Angelika Valkova, Lady of 1.d4, the First of Her Name
Sep 8 2022
Ep 33: Angelika Valkova, Lady of 1.d4, the First of Her Name
033 Angelika is rapidly building a name in the chess world as a dynamic coach, streamer, & course creator. Hailing from Ukraine, and now living in Germany, Angelika is a superb chess player with a FIDE rating of 2075 (and on her way to earning the WGM title.) She’s been coaching kids and adults alike for the past 7 years.After years of building a strong following on her Twitch channel, this year she released her first opening repertoire course for 1.d4 on Chessable. We talk about all these facets of her chess career, including her love of Game of Thrones (hence the episode title!) In addition, we answer a couple of improvement questions from my Twitter followers.And, as a fun change-up for the show’s format, Angelika invited her friend and co-creator of her 1.d4 course, Hungarian Grandmaster Gyula Pap.Gyula appears on some of the show to discuss their course and give his insights on chess improvement, too.--------Want to join my exclusive community for adult chess improvers?Chess Improver Monthly  offers:Bonus interview content from the podcast.Live Q&A coaching & game review from titled players to help your chess.Live video chats w/ me & fellow adult improvers to have fun & stay motivated.Much more! Check out all the membership benefits here.---------Where To Find Angelika:Angelika’s 1.d4 Course on ChessableTwitch ChannelTwitterInstagramWhere To Find GM Guyla Pap:Coaching Profile------->> Join my official FREE club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com
How Chess Offers Life & Career Lessons with FM Alisa Melekhina
Aug 16 2022
How Chess Offers Life & Career Lessons with FM Alisa Melekhina
030 To some, chess is just a game. But it can also be a valuable tool for giving us powerful life lessons. And these lessons can teach us how to achieve our goals better. Or improve our career. Sometimes, though, those insights aren’t always obvious to us...So, we need a little help or awareness in uncovering them.That’s what today’s guest, FM Alisa Melekhina, explains in my conversation with her.And it’s also the subject of her superb book, Reality Check. In this episode, you’ll discover:How chess teaches you more effective decision-making in your career.The best mindset for adult improvers who want to excel in chess but struggle with limited time.The chess “life lesson” of being calm or objective in the face of a problem.How to find meaning in your chess beyond just rating climbs.--------Want to join my exclusive community for adult chess improvers?Chess Improver Monthly  offers:Bonus interview content from the podcast.Live Q&A coaching & game review from titled players to help your chess.Live video chats w/ me & fellow adult improvers to have fun & stay motivated.Much more! Check out all the membership benefits here.--------->> Download my latest, FREE audio content: 7 Quick Tips for Rock-Solid Chess Improvement (From Guests of The Chess Experience)>> Join my official FREE club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com---------More From Alisa Melekhina Here:Alisa’s Book, Reality CheckAlisa’s Course: The Melekhina MethodWebsiteYouTubeTwitterInstagramFacebook
IM Eric Rosen - Improvement Q&A and Chess Content Creation
Aug 9 2022
IM Eric Rosen - Improvement Q&A and Chess Content Creation
029  Eric Rosen is perhaps best known for off-beat openings and stalemate traps. But don’t underestimate his incredible coaching skills. In this interview, Eric offers powerful advice in answering questions from my Twitter followers on improving as adults.Before we get into the heart of sharpening your chess skills...The episode first covers Eric’s career as one of the world’s top chess streamers and content creators…Including his favorite types of content and how he strikes a balance between entertainment and education.Later, we cover:The unexpected secret to increasing your rating.Does studying endgames or openings lead to better growth as a player?How does an adult balance their chess ambitions with the limits of everyday life?How do you bust through a rating plateau?Eric’s “dream content” that he hopes to one day create. --------Want to join my exclusive community for adult chess improvers?Chess Improver Monthly  offers:Bonus interview content from the podcast.Live Q&A coaching & game review from titled players to help your chess.Live video chats w/ me & fellow adult improvers to have fun & stay motivated.Much more! Check out all the membership benefits here.---------Follow Eric Rosen Here:TwitchYouTubeTwitterInstagramFacebookWebsiteResources Mentioned: Eric’s article Chess Life Online on how to overcome rating plateaus----->> Join my official FREE club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com
Expanding Chess to More Amateurs & Cultures w/ Naycir (Nigarhan)
Jul 12 2022
Expanding Chess to More Amateurs & Cultures w/ Naycir (Nigarhan)
025 There are several ways to #GrowTheGame. One is through helping folks play better. Another is to find ways to make chess more appealing and accessible for everyone - regardless of where you live or your skill level.This week’s guest, Nigarhan (or Naycir, as she’s known online), has chosen to make the second option her mission.A fellow adult improver and amateur player herself…Nigarhan has become well-known in chess circles as a streamer with an irresistible wit and passion for the game.She brings top-level humor and a magnetic joy to the sixty-four squares - which is much needed given how difficult this game is.And her chess life doesn’t stop there…Nigarhan is also the Director for International Growth at Chess.com.Impressive, right? There, she helps translate the site’s chess content into dozens of languages. This helps the non-English speaking world more easily learn and enjoy the game.In this episode, we discuss: How she began a full-time job in chess before learning to play.The challenges posed by chess’ over-serious “gatekeepers.”Overcoming her online bullying experiences as a streamer.Nigarhan’s favorite openings (it’s not the London.) ----------Want to join my exclusive community for adult chess improvers?Chess Improver Monthly offers:Bonus interview content from the podcast.Live Q&A coaching & game review from titled players to help your chess.Live video chats w/ me & fellow adult improvers to have fun & stay motivated.Much more! Check out all the membership benefits here.----------Connect with Nigarhan:Twitch channelYouTube channelTwitterInstagram---------->> Join my official FREE club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com
Candidates Recap with WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni
Jul 7 2022
Candidates Recap with WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni
024 The 2022 Candidates was a wild ride. Predictions were shattered. A dominant performance surprised many. And the looming question of “Does second place matter?” hung in the air.For the first time, The Chess Experience is reviewing a world-class tournament!To help discuss the highlights (and lowlights) of the event, along with some lessons that can help club players…I interviewed WIM Fiona Steil Antoni, a professional commentator of top chess events,Fiona has been commentating for the past eight years and now works for Chess.com. Most recently, she had the incredible opportunity to be one of the regular commentators on Hikaru Nakamura's Twitch channel while he competed in the Candidates.In this episode, we discuss: Which players exceeded her expectations? Which fell below them?Three lessons from this event that can help club players in their own tournaments.Fiona’s two favorite games from the event.Should FIDE change the World Championship format to entice Magnus to defend the title?Will Magnus defend his title?--------Want to join my exclusive community for adult chess improvers?Chess Improver Monthly offers:Bonus interview content from the podcast.Live Q&A coaching & game review from titled players to help your chess.Live video chats w/ me & fellow adult improvers to have fun & stay motivated.Much more! Check out all the membership benefits here.---------Connect with Fiona:Twitch channelYouTube channelTwitterInstagram--------->> Join my official FREE club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com
Top Mistakes Made By Club Players (Vol. 1) With NM Dan Heisman
Jun 28 2022
Top Mistakes Made By Club Players (Vol. 1) With NM Dan Heisman
023 Adult improvers, ironically, have limited time to improve. Which is why it’s so helpful to know the answer to this question: “Of all the mistakes we make, which ones are the most important to fix?” That’s what today’s episode is about…Identifying the key mistakes made at the board by adult improvers (most of whom are club players) and finding solutions to them. To help, I’ve brought back for a second time National Master, Dan Heisman. He is the ultimate coach for adult improvers.Dan has written over a DOZEN chess books and has a popular YouTube channel with over 200 videos - all of which are gold.There are very few chess instructors who are as good as Dan Heisman. He gets to the heart of what club players need to improve, and articulates those problems and solutions so well.In fact, there’s so much on this topic to dig into with Dan, that I’m calling this episode Vol. 1, as there will likely be one or two more on the same subject down the road.In this episode, we discuss:How to tell if you’re playing “hope chess.”The sure way to avoid playing too fast.Why do club players overemphasize strategy over tactics?Is it "ok" to spend too much time on openings?--------Want to join my exclusive community for adult chess improvers?Chess Improver Monthly offers:Bonus interview content from the podcast.Live Q&A coaching & game review from titled players to help your chess.Live video chats w/ me & fellow adult improvers to have fun & stay motivated.Much more! Check out all the membership benefits here.--------- Resources Referenced In This EpisodeBook: A Guide to Chess Improvement - Dan HeismanBook: Logical Chess: Move by Move - Irving ChernevBook: Winning Chess Strategy for Kids - Jeff Coakley Video: How Much Strategy Needed to Play Reasonably - Dan HeismanMore Resources From Dan HeismanDan’s WebsiteDan’s YouTube ChannelDan Heisman TV on Chess.com--------->> Join my official FREE club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com
How Aging Affects Chess Improvement with GM Jesse Kraai
Jun 21 2022
How Aging Affects Chess Improvement with GM Jesse Kraai
022 If you’re over 30, you might wonder: “Will aging affect my chess improvement? Should I adjust my program any differently due to my age?” These are compelling but often difficult questions to answer... On the one hand, we want to be optimistic and aim for whatever chess goal we desire, without concern over biology getting in the way... And, yet, biology is real. Athletes understand this - both amateur and professional alike. Which is why it’s worth taking a look at this subject with clear eyes. To discuss this further, I brought the esteemed Grandmaster Jesse Krai, co-founder of Chess Dojo.In this episode we discuss: Would he coach someone differently if they’re 25 versus 45?Have adult improvers proven the upper limit of their potential yet? Is Viktor Korchnoi’s astonishing late-career run in his 70s instructive for adult improver potential? --------Want to join my exclusive community for adult chess improvers?Chess Improver Monthly offers:Bonus interview content from the podcast.Live Q&A coaching & game review from titled players to help your chess.Live video chats w/ me & fellow adult improvers to have fun & stay motivated.Much more! Check out all the membership benefits here.---------Where To Find More of Jesse & Chess Dojo’s Content: Chess Dojo - TwitchChess Dojo - YouTubeChess Dojo - TwitterChess Dojo - WebsiteTraining Programs by Chess DojoJesse on TwitterJesse’s novel, Lisa--------->> Join my official FREE club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com
Tournament Advice & Building a Strong Chess Culture with WGM Irene Sukandar
Jun 7 2022
Tournament Advice & Building a Strong Chess Culture with WGM Irene Sukandar
020 You may have first heard of WGM Irene Sukandar in 2021, when her popularity soared after defeating Dewa Kipas, a man who infamously cheated in an online game against IM Levy Rozman.But, in this interview, we discuss what I believe Irene should be what be most well-known for:1) Growing the fame and respect of chess in her home country of Indonesia, and 2) Being an inspiration to chess players throughout the world who wish to make chess a major part of their lives.Irene is a professional player who is a 2-time Asian Woman’s Chess Champion and has been one of Indonesia’s top players for many years.In addition to discussing her incredible rise as one of the most talented players in her country… We also discuss:Her efforts and passion to grow the game in Indonesia (which could be a model for other countries.)How to manage your nerves before an OTB tournament.Hitting “reset” during a tournament if you’ve lost several games.How long after the tournament should you resume studying chess?--------Want to join my exclusive community for adult chess improvers?Chess Improver Monthly offers:Bonus interview content from the podcast.Live Q&A coaching & game review from titled players to help your chess.Live video chats w/ me & fellow adult improvers to have fun & stay motivated.Much more! Check out all the membership benefits here.---------Irene's Online Content: TwitterInstagramWebsite--------->> Join my official FREE club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com
How to Study Annotated Game Books w/ IM Kostya Kavutskiy
May 10 2022
How to Study Annotated Game Books w/ IM Kostya Kavutskiy
017 Today’s episode has been in high demand for 2 reasons: the guest and the topic! First, many have asked for an episode that covers how to study annotated game books. Second, after many requests to feature IM Kostya Kavutskiy...he’s here today! Kostya is one of the founders of the incredible Chess Dojo. It's a channel and business designed to help chess improvers (most of whom are adults.)You could hardly ask for a better guest on this podcast than Kostya, right? :)Haven’t heard of him yet?Well, in addition to being an IM and running Chess Dojo…He's co-authored the book Modernized: The Open Sicilian. And he's created the Chessable course, Endgame Studies 101.In this episode: Why you should bother reading annotated game books.An answer to the age-old question: how many of the endless variations should you go over?Should you read an annotated game book more than once?A rarely talked about benefit to playing classical games that can make a huge impact on your improvement.--------Want to join my exclusive community for adult chess improvers?Chess Improver Monthly offers:Bonus interview content from the podcast.Live Q&A coaching & game review from titled players to help your chess.Live video chats w/ me & fellow adult improvers to have fun & stay motivated.Much more! Check out all the membership benefits here.---------Where To Find More of Kostya/Chess Dojo’s Content: Chess Dojo - TwitchChess Dojo - YouTubeChess Dojo - TwitterChess Dojo - WebsiteTraining Programs by Chess DojoKostya on TwitterKostya’s Endgames courseKostya’s Book--------->> Join my official FREE club for The Chess Experience on Chess.com