Best of 2019: Podcast Faves and Top CLO Reads

Happy New Year! It’s been another big year for chess, and for US Chess. As we forge ahead in a new decade, let’s take a look back to the most popular articles and podcasts of 2019 that you may have missed.

In 2019, US Chess’s podcast roster expanded to a family of four, as Ladies Knight, hosted by Jennifer Shahade, debuted in January 2019, while The Chess Underground with Pete Karagianis debuted in April. 

Ben Johnson, host of the popular “Perpetual Podcast” pinpointed some of his favorite episodes from the US Chess family of podcasts this year.

  • IM Dorsa Derakhshani (Ladies Knight)– What an impressive young lady! It is great that chess is opening more doors for Dorsa, although based on the interview, I suspect she would find success in whatever field she devoted her energies to.
  • GM Joel Benjamin (Cover Stories)- Joel has so many great stories and such chess wisdom. As an aspiring senior, I am particularly inspired by his tales of he and other US Chess legends like Yermo and Shabalov representing the US overseas. It is awesome that US Chess helps make that happen.
  • Sabina Foisor (Ladies Knight)– Sabina (and Elshan!) embody so much of what can be great about the U.S. and U.S. Chess. They are a truly international chess power couple! I never tire of her story of turning a tragedy into a triumph at the US Women’s Champs, and it was great to hear about all the work that she is doing to inspire the next generation, especially of female chess players.

The most downloaded shows of 2019 were headlined by GM Sam Shankland and US Women’s Champion Jennifer Yu.

Cover Stories

Sam Shankland, July

Close 2nd: GM Joel Benjamin

One Move at a Time 

Chris Wainscott, June 

Ladies Knight 

Jennifer Yu, April 

Close 2nd: Alexandra Botez 

The Chess Underground 

Jason Juett, July 

Close 2nd: Eric Vigil 

Digital Additions 

2019 also saw John Hartmann join the US Chess team as our Digital Editor. He wrote dozens of articles ranging from tournament reports live from the US Championship and the US Open to “Wednesday Workouts” and “Throwback Thursdays.” His most popular contributions included our most popular article of 2019, Leela Chess: Installation and Use, which also included a popular YouTube video on how to use Leela Chess Zero. 

Most Popular 2019 Articles

  1. Leela Chess: Installation and Use by John Hartmann
  2. Rachael Li Makes National Master at 9 by Jennifer Shahade
  3.  Nakamura and Yu are 2019 US Champs by John Hartmann
  4. Fat Fritz Fritz 17 Review (Part II) by John Hartmann
  5. Wesley So Wins Fischer Random by Dan Lucas

Top Contributions 

Popular coach Jay Stallings and 2019 podcast guest said that among the most memorable content for him was IM Kostya Kavutskiy’s Game of the Day coverage throughout the 2019 US Open.

I really enjoyed this series because Kostya pointed out inaccuracies and opportunities in games played by lesser-known American Masters – the types of opponents we could face over the board in our own tournament games.

Other top contributors included new IM Carissa Yip and former Chess Journalist of the Year Jamaal Abdul Alim.

Most Popular Freelance Articles of 2019 

  1. Tani Wins at NYS Scholastic Championships by Colonel David A. Hater
  2. Bai Jinshi Tops North American Open by Randy Hough 
  3. I am IM: Carissa Yip on Earning Her Final Norm at SPICE by IM Carissa Yip 
  4.  Le Quang Liem Wins 2019 World Open by Jamaal Abdul-Alim
  5. The 2019 Denver Open by IM John Watson

Miss some of these articles and pods when they came out? Get in the habit of visiting uschess.org/clo for easy browsing. And be sure to subscribe to our family of podcasts on Apple or wherever you listen to pods, and add us on twitter and Facebook.

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