Monday, June 9, 2014

Top 3 Chess Channels on Youtube

Chess videos are a great way to increase your knowledge in chess. Because video is a visual medium, you can see the pieces being moved. Also, the commentators usually are a little more conversational in their explanations of the moves, making it easier to understand than the terse comments sometimes found in books. The videos are often very well indexed, so you can search for specific openings or players. Of course, the videos can also be fun.

There are commercially produced videos for sale, but there are also many chess channels on YouTube with free videos. In today's post, I will be highlighting my favorite YouTube channels that I feel have the most instructive content.

#3: kingcrusher

This channel is run by Tryfon Gavriel, aka kingcrusher, a British FIDE Candidate Master who is also a top 50 Rapid player on the ECF Rating list in 2013. His channel has over 5000 videos, making it perhaps the largest on YouTube. He is also the webmaster of

Kingcrusher has many types of instructional videos available, including analysis of master games, analysis of his own games, as well as live commentary of his blitz games and other instructional videos. Tryfon Gavriel has a very engaging style of speaking, and he uses the chess engine well to assist him in his analysis of positions. When I say he uses the chess engine well, I mean that he doesn't just say "Stockfish gives this line a +0.51 evaluation." Instead he explores the lines and explains in plain language the reasoning behind the move, which is very helpful.

I think his videos are helpful to players of all experience levels, perhaps leaning toward intermediate and above.

#2: Chess Explained

Chess Explained is run by German International Master Christof Sielecki. He is also very active, many times uploading multiple videos on one day, particularly of his blitz commentary. A majority of his videos are live commentary of his blitz games, but he also has commentary on current chess tournament games - often highlighting one or two of the best games each round. Also, he has a couple playlists with opening repertoires, where he outlines the theory and strategy for specific repertoires.

I think the strength of this channel is his live commentary. He tries to give you his thoughts while he plays (which is amazing when many of his games are 5-minute blitz games). By doing this, you get a feel that you are in the game with him, and can understand why he makes certain decisions. In my opinion, IM Sielecki also explains positional ideas such as pawn structure or piece value very well in his videos. He is also quite humorous at times, and self-deprecating when he blunders. I think it's good to see that masters can be human also!

I think Chess Explained is good for players of all experience levels, although some of his commentary videos again lean more towards intermediate players who may have more exposure to some of the basics of strategy and tactics.

#1: Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

This Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis Channel provides a rotating cast of titled players that give lectures at the chess club. They classify their videos by level: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Some of their presenters include Grandmasters Yasser Seirawan, Ben Finegold, and Irina Krush among others.

This channel has a variety of content. They have the Beginner Breakdown, which is very accessible to the less experienced player. As you know from my book recommendations, I am a fan of GM Yasser Seirawan, and his lectures are not to be missed! The videos cover current games, openings, strategy, endgames, and other aspects of chess.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis Channel is my favorite on YouTube because of the variety of lecturers as well as the quality of instruction and production value of the videos. In my opinion, they are currently the gold standard for instructional videos on YouTube.


There are many different ways to acquire knowledge in chess. Books have been around for a long time, but the internet and videos are are great source of material to help you improve in chess. There are many channels on YouTube that provide great material by excellent instructors. The three I listed are my favorite. Be sure to check them out as well as the Better Chess Training channel. In future posts, I will be showing you different ways to maximize the benefit you receive from them. Until then, best of luck and of course Better Chess!

Your Turn 

What Chess Channels on YouTube do you enjoy that I haven't mentioned? Post them in the comments!


  1. The "Jessicafischerqueen" videos on Youtube. Not about gaining chess strength but very informative on chess history.

  2. Thanks for sharing this...I will check it out!

  3. A helpful one for middle game training as well as other categories is; majnu2006 middlegame training. He gives insightful tips on what to look for in the middle game. I agree with him that many get "lost" during the middle game and his teaching will help change that. He is on YouTube.

    tightfist (Gilbert)

  4. Thank you for sharing this, Gilbert. I'll definitely have to check it out.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.