A couple of years ago I stumbled across the chess podcast The Full English Breakfast. I think I was reading an interview or a profile of Lawrence Trent and it mentioned the FEB in some regard.
So I searched it out and found to my dismay that the last episode was a way back in the past. This was sometime maybe around late 2015 or so and they hadn’t done anything since Jan 2014. Even so their last regular episode had been all the way back in 2012.
Nevertheless I devoured those 27 episodes. I must have listened to them 3-4 times each. I found them to be enjoyable and insightful even if they were all from a few years earlier. Events I had forgotten about suddenly seemed contemporary again.
But every time I came to that final episode I was sad to hear it end.
Then, on January 14th of this year the producer of The FEB Macauley Peterson, posted on their Facebook Page “What was your favorite all time FEB episode? Or favorite individual segment? (BTW…Not just navel gazing here.)”
My immediate thought was “They’re bringing it back!” which was of course instantly followed by “But for how long?”
One of the things that seemed to plague the show was that it was always an on again off again affair. The show premiered with a pilot episode, then was immediately on hiatus for around a year, then came back and was very intermittent. Then, at times they tried to get into a regular rhythm but would go off the tracks just when they seemed to be right in the pocket.
We’ll get back to our good friends at The FEB shortly…and now for something completely different.
Flash forward to perhaps a month after Macauley’s semi-cryptic tweet. The protest of Nazi Paikidze against the FIDE Women’s World Championship event is in full swing.
On one of her posts on either Twitter or Facebook (I don’t recall which) I see this guy named Ben Johnson say some words of support followed by something like “It was great having you on the Perpetual Chess podcast.”
“Woah woah woah!” I told myself. There’s another chess podcast? Indeed there was! NM, chess teacher, and former professional poker player Ben Johnson had started a weekly interview podcast.
From what I gather Ben had no former experience in the field of journalistic interviews, but he clearly has a lot of natural talent, which has grown as the show has gotten deeper in to its run.
Ben did the thing that really more of us should do. He was stunned that there were no chess podcasts since The FEB had gone offline so he started one. He saw a need and he took steps to fill it. So kudos to him!
The format of the Perpetual Chess podcast is essentially the same as you would expect on a sports interview show. Ben has a conversation with the guests on topics crossing many spectrums, those maintaining a chess centric theme.
So you very well may hear about poker, investing, Hearthstone, cooking, and fitness, but all the while never straying too far from the chess.
Back to our good friends at The FEB. The format of their show has changed somewhat over the years, but the overall structure is relatively similar. Generally it’s Macauley, Lawrence Trent, and another English player chatting about a topical chess item.
In the original incarnation of the show GM Stevie G (Stephen Gordon) held down the spot quite nicely. However, he has apparently done the unthinkable and gotten himself a real job 🙂
In the current incarnation GM Simon Williams has been holding the chair and doing so rather well. It would be nice, however, to hear his name in the introduction!
They now do one show each week. The trade off is that the shows are much shorter than they used to be, but that’s fine since they are producing regular content!
So far The FEB has had 16 new episodes since their re-launch (although they are talking about a hiatus this Summer), and Perpetual Chess is on episode 29 and counting.
I urge everyone reading this to support both of these efforts.
For The FEB you can become a patron for as little as $1 a month! I personally do the $5 a month donation and I really wish that more people would.
For Perpetual Chess you can purchase books from Amazon using the links from the Perpetual Chess Books page. These are books either written or recommended by guests of the show.
Someday, when Ben adds a donate button I’ll become a patron of that show too 🙂
Til Next Time,