259 ( +1 | -1 ) A website review....I stumbled across a chess site recently that has caught my attention. I don't recall seeing it mentioned here before so I thought I'd share it. It's called "ChessLecture.com". It's subscriber-based and members have access to a growing body of lectures ranging from 15 to 40 minutes in length on a variety of chess topics. (I'm in no way associated with the site other than having just become a subscriber.)
The lecturers are GM Eugene Perelshteyn, IMs Jesse Kraai, Bill Paschall, David Vigorito, Josh Friedel, Bryan Smith, John Watson (yes, that John Watson), John-Paul Wallace, Mark Diesen, Attila Turzo and NM Dana Mackenzie.
The lectures range from the introductory novice level to fairly advanced stuff. (They assign each video a level - Novice/Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced.) There are a lot of lecture series offered. For example, 5 lectures on the Nf6 Scandinavian, 10 lectures each focusing on a different Topalov game, (same with Fischer and J. Polgar), 3 lectures on isolated QP positions, 4 on an intro to rook endgames, 15 lectures on the 2006 World Championship games. In addition, there are lots of individual lectures on a wide variety of subjects, including lots of annotated games.
Given that the average length of the lectures in 25-30 minutes, this is not deep analysis ala Jan Timman. It's more like what one might get from the local master giving a lecture at the monthly chess club. For the most part the lectures are coming in right about my level. I've started out listening to a series on the Closed Sicilian for White, an opening I play, and it's been very worthwhile. Plus I've viewed with pleasure a handful of lectures on games by Topalov and Bent Larsen that were just fun to learn about.
A possble drawback for some - English is not the first language of a couple of the lecturers. In a few cases you have to listen pretty closely. I haven't found it a problem, but some might.
The cost is $13.00 a month for complete access to the site. There are 400+ lectures available and they post 5 more each week. Today's new lecture is "The Steinitzian School of Defense: Part III" (35 minutes and the level is Intermediate/Advanced). There's a sample lecture on their site (Part 1 of 2 of a beginner level video on the Fried Liver Attack). If the format clicks with you at all, for $13.00 you can try it for a month and then drop it if you don't like it.
For me, 4 1/2 stars on a five point scale. I'd love to hear from any of you who check it out.
90 ( +1 | -1 ) i've had a couple of months of subscription already, but i'm cancelling for now. that's not to say i haven't enjoyed it...... i have! i've watched *many* of the videos in the two months i've subscribed.
of all the lectures, the lectures i've liked most i think are john-paul wallace's. he outlines a bunch of very interesting novelty opening ideas. and, like you said, he's done lecture series on particular players' games - topalov's, polgar's, and fischer's. for me, it's fun to go through one player's games and look at their playing style and ideas they might have had.
i really like john watson's lectures too, especially those on the guimard french. and vigorito's lecture on the panov-botvinnik attack.... etc. the other masters are great too, though, and i always look forward to every new lecture.
a good idea, i think, is to record the lectures you find would be most useful... or at least take notes.