Boris Gelfand discusses with stand-up comedians

10/14/2020 – "Grandmaster Chess" is a series by ChessBase India in which a top GM shows his best game and asks four chess loving stand-up comedians to guess the moves in critical positions. The playing level of the comedians is between 1200-1600, and hence they always come up with moves that amateurs and viewers can relate to. The explanation of the grandmaster helps them to understand the game better. You can watch the show live on Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. European time, or later in full on YouTube | Photo: Maya Gelfand

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Stand-up comedians guess Boris Gelfand's best game moves

For the sixth episode the legendary GM Boris Gelfand will be joining in. The host will be IM Sagar Shah, and the show will be held at 2 p.m. IST, which is 11:30 in Moscow, 10:30 a.m in Europe (CEST), 4:40 a.m. New York (EST). 7:30 in Australia. You will find the starting time in your location here and can watch the show on the following YouTube page:

You can watch the action here, live – or replay it later in full.

The Covid-19 situation has been tough on professional players. All the top tournaments across the world have been called off. So, what is the 2012 World Championship Challenger Boris Gelfand up to? He has been working extremely hard to finish two books, with Jacob Aagaard and Quality Chess. In between he even played in online chess events. It gives us immense pleasure that he found time from his busy schedule and agreed to be the guest of the 6th episode of Grandmaster Chess series.

What's Grandmaster Chess?

After completing the series of Improving Chess  (100 episodes!) ChessBase India is now moving to a new series, with top stand-up comedians: a top grandmaster shows his best game, choosing ten critical moments, where the comedians try to guess the moves. The grandmaster helps to clear a lot of doubts and improve the chess level of the comedians and viewers – and give insight into his chess thinking. At the same time the host of the show, IM Sagar Shah, tries to ensure that maximum learning takes place.

Every time a critical position is reached the comedians get a specified amount of time to come up with their moves. Based on their answers, they are either awarded one full point for the right move, half a point if their move made sense, but was not the best move, and zero points if the suggestion was illogical.

At the end of the session there is a winner for the day, and the points are accumulated to find the ultimate winner at the end of the series! How long will this last? This is not fixed, but if previous experience is anything to go by, we can be sure that this one would not end before the 50 episodes mark!

The GMs who have been on previous shows are Vidit Gujrathi, Tania Sachdev, Surya Ganguly, Parimarjan Negi and Srinath Narayanan (click to review).

ChessBase India channels on YouTube:

Achievements of Boris Gelfand

  1. He is a six-time World Championship candidate (1991, 1994–95, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2013)
  2. Winner of the Chess World Cup in 2009
  3. Winner of  the 2011 Candidates Tournament, making him challenger for the World Chess Championship 2012.
  4. Tied the World Championship match with Anand in 2012 at 6-6 in Classical time control before losing in the rapids with a score of 1.5-2.5.
  5. Winner of major tournaments at Wijk aan Zee, Tilburg, Moscow, Linares and Dos Hermanas.
  6. Has competed in eleven Chess Olympiads
  7. Held a place within the top 30 players ranked by FIDE from January 1990 to October 2017.


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Frederic Frederic 10/14/2020 02:55
The show was awesome, all 2½ hours of it. Congratulations Sagar and friends. And special thanks to Boris, who has remained a good friend over decades. The most striking part of the show: how everyone was having a great time. Watch the end of the video stream: the stand-up comedians just can't get over what they have just experienced. What they have learnt? This is how to make chess truly universal.
PhishMaster PhishMaster 10/14/2020 01:05
I love Gelfand...great player. His series of books is awesome too, and a little birdie told me that more in the series are likely.
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