GM Jonathan Rowson is a philosopher, a researcher, the 3-time British Chess Champion, and an acclaimed chess author. Many chess fans will be familiar with his classic books, The Seven Deadly Chess Sins, and Chess for Zebras. Today GM Rowson joins me to discuss his eagerly anticipated new book, The Moves that Matter: A Chess Grandmaster on the Game of Life . In our conversation, GM Rowson shares some of the memories and life lessons that chess has provided him, and he helps us contextualize the contributions that chess can make to society at large. Please read on for timestamps and relevant links.
0:00- GM Rowson discusses the genesis of and themes of his new book, which has been 13 years in the making! As Jonathan tells us, his new book is primarily about what chess has taught him about life.
9:30- One of my favorite themes of Jonathan’s new book, is that chess is a pretext for concentration, which is a “precious experience.” In this segment Jonathan expounds on this idea.
15:30- Jonathan’s 10 year-old son has recently become interested in competitive chess. How does he approach chess parenting?
Mentioned: GM Viswanathan Anand
20:00- GM Rowson reflects on his experiences working on GM Anand’s team during the 2008 Anand-Kramnik World Championship match.
Mentioned: GM Peter Heine Nielsen, Bobby Knight
27:30- Now that he has stepped away from competitive chess, what is GM Rowson’s current relationship with the chess world?
Mentioned: McShane-Caruana 2019, Peter Heine Nielsen, GM Alex Baburin, GM Lev Psakhis, GM Alexander Grischuk
34:00- Jonathan discusses his day to day work at the research institute that he co-founded, called Perspectiva. One of the primary issues that his institute tackles is the challenge posed by climate change.
Mentioned: Royal Society of the Arts, Tomas Björkman
43:00- What is GM Rowson’s view of the proper role of chess in schools and in education?
49:00- Good news, audio chess content fans! There will be an audiobook forthcoming for The Moves that Matter. GM Rowson talks about the experience of doing the voice work for his own book. The audiobook will be available on November 14.
55:00- A supporter of the podcast asks GM Rowson about whether or not there will ever be an update or electronic version of his classic opening book, Understanding the Grunfeld.
Mentioned: Han Schut
57:00- In closing, GM Rowson tells a story of a crucial realization that he had during a memorable game with GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov.
Mentioned: Kasimdzhanov-Rowson 2000, GM Vladimir Kramnik, GM Vishy Anand, GM Luke McShane, GM Levon Aronian, GM Nigel Short, GM Matthew Sadler, GM Mickey Adams, GM Magnus Carlsen
Thanks to GM Rowson for coming on the show, you can order his book here, and keep up with him on twitter here. To hear more from GM Rowson, check out his interview with "On Being with Krista Tippett" podcast here.
If you would like to find out more and/or support the “Square Off Chess robot” Kickstarter project that I mentioned at the top of the show, check it out here.
If you would like to help support the podcast, you can do so here.
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