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Top-3 YouTube Chess Channels

After a hiatus of around 25 years I recently picked up the habit of playing chess again. Much has changed!

The last time I played, you exchanged email addresses with fellow chess playing fanatics and send each other daily mails containing the moves you wanted to make in plain text format. You had to load that text into a chess program you picked up somewhere from a BBS (Bulletin Board System, remember those?) and analyzed the move. Then you made your move, exported the newly created file to your mailing program and emailed it back. However, back then we considered it blazingly fast, because the alternative was writing your move by hand on a postcard, post it somewhere in a mailbox to have it send to your opponent. When lucky, an exchange of one (1) move for black and white only took two or three days.

Anyway. Excuses me for telling tales from my rocking chair on the porch. Nowadays we have a plethora of online chess platforms. Recently I signed up for an account at chess.com. It is one of the biggest platforms and this article helped me decide which one to choose.

I enjoy playing people from all over the world (real time! My head sometimes still explodes when thinking about that), solve puzzles, and learn a thing or two from its extensive database with videos, articles and more.

However, when I’m not at the board I also enjoy watching YouTube videos. I’m always eager to learn more, or use the gazillion chess videos just for entertainment. Among the countless chess channels out there, I found these three most entertaining and valuable.

They are in no particular order. Sometimes I like to learn new things, and watch opening theories from Gotham Chess. Other times I watch historic games and have them explained by Agadmator. And sometimes I just want to listen to Eric Rosen. So I ordered my three favorite channels by the number of YouTube subscribers.

1. Agadmator – 1.08M Subscribers

“HELLO EVERYONE!” If you have ever only watched one chess video, chances are it was from Agadmator. It is the most popular chess channel on YouTube, serving over one million subscribers. It’s hosted by Antonio Radić from Croatia.


Agadmator is known for his frantic uploading schedule and his explanation of popular [historic] matches. He always discusses a match in great detail, explaining the thoughts of the players and alternative lines that could be played (but were not). When a critical or deciding move is made, he goes like “I now give you a couple of seconds to pause the video and try to find what XXX did here”. And after some seconds of awkwardly looking away from the camera he goes like “well, to those of you who found move YYY, congratulations!” and continues the game unfazed.

You can definitely learn a lot from the explanations. The matches and comments are most entertaining.

2. Gotham chess – 823K Subscribers

If you’re into some chess lessons, alternative opening theories or endgame tactics, look no further than Levy Rozman’s channel Gotham Chess. Rozman, an International Master himself with an ELO rating in the 2300-2400 range, tells you all about it in easy to digest 10-minute videos.


Well, the clips themselves are ten minutes long, but he fires the words and moves to you at such a rapid pace that it easily takes an hour or more to see for yourself what he actually did and how it can be of any benefit to your own games. You can buy more information via his chess lessons online, but he gives away an unprecedented amount of information for free. Go check this channel out if you want to improve your game.

3. Eric Rosen – 401K Subscribers

Almost the opposite of the frantic speed that Levy Rozman spews his words at you, is the channel of Eric Rosen, also an International Master. In a calm and soothing voice, he live plays dozens of random people/subscribers/bots/masters during his Twitch streaming sessions that he posts to YouTube afterwards.


Needless to say that he wins most of them, but always in a polite and respectful manner. Sometimes even blindfolded. Eric Rosen stunned my by playing 3 minute bullet games, meanwhile being able to explain all of his moves and possible alternatives. All this when still being comfortable on time while at the same time his opponents struggle with only a few seconds on the clock.

BTW, if you ever have the chance to play Rosen and he goes like “Oh no, my Queen!” (or: Rook, Knight, Bishop), accompanied by a vileine smile, most likely he set up a trap for you so you’re confronted with checkmate in one of the next few moves.


Of course there are many, many more, but these are my favorite ones. Can you recommend a particular chess channel? Let me know in the comments below!

BTW – if you want to play a game of chess, hit me up on chess.com! My username is pkas06.

-- Peter Kassenaar
5 April 2021