Instructive Chess YouTube Playlists

The sports website The Ringer recently published a chess article (“The Sharp Game”) which mentions the revitalization of the game that is occurring online due to YouTube and Twitch personalities:

Carlsen and Caruana’s generation has discovered chess on the internet, both as a place to play and a place to watch other people play. If there is a chess boom, it will take place online, and it will be millennials who will largely fuel it.

It’s true that the games — and inner thoughts — of very strong chess players are more accessible today than ever before. You can find top GMs, including Magnus Carlsen, streaming themselves playing marathon blitz and bullet sessions online. But the most instructive — and, to me, the most entertaining — are those who take the time to explain their thought process as they are playing at longer time controls.

Here are some playlists from my favorite instructive chess youtubers:

IM John Bartholomew

International Master and national treasure John Bartholomew is extraordinarily good at explaining his thoughts while he plays. His free YouTube videos are a valuable resource for those of us trying to improve. For his longer games with commentary see the Standard chess (15-minute games) playlist. He also has a very good "Climbing the Rating Ladder" series where he plays progressively better players pointing out common mistakes along the way. Embedded below is an example video from that series. Most of his recent content has appeared on Twitch, but he promises he has not forgotten about his youtube channel.


The pseudonymous Jerry of ChessNetwork is an American National Master, and the first chess YouTuber I discovered. His longer games are in his Standard Chess Games playlist.

Below is a video of Jerry analyzing Game 10 of the 2018 World Chess Championship match:

Tony Rotella

Tony Rotella is not a titled player, but he is still much stronger than most of us (his lichess rapid rating is around 2350) and is particularly knowledgeable in opening theory (having literally written a book on the 1.e4 Sicilian Kalashnikov). Hist most instructive videos are listed in his Rapid Games playlist. Here’s an example game of Tony playing a French Advance with the black pieces:

Stacia Melinda

Melinda is close to my own strength (though she was rated only 1000 a few years ago!), and we seem to make similar mistakes, so watching her games and after-game analysis can be more engaging than watching a stronger player making everything look easy. Her current project/playlist is to Climb to 1800 on Here is a video from that series:

Other Playlists


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