By Garry Kasparov
Media type: video
Garry Kasparov needs no introduction so why would I watch his masterclass is as simple as “It’s Kasparov teaching chess for a few hours”.
Before I move to the actual content, I want to spend some words on Kasparov’s presentation style. There are a few notable things about the way he presents this masterclass:
After a general introduction, the masterclass goes over many important chess tactics. Kasparov presents the following tactics:
Each tactic is explained with beautiful examples that Kasparov sets up on the fly (it does makes you think about him coming up with them on the spot!). Sometimes you are asked to stop the video and try to solve a puzzle. They’re always instructive and you feel you’re applying what you just learned. That’s a great way to retain information, so I appreciated that aspect a lot.
After tactics, Kasparov spends three videos on endgames. I appreciated this part as much as the previous one, but I wished the positions would be named in the diagrams. That way, it would be easier to associate, say, the concept of triangulation with an actual example. It’s just a detail though, if you’re new to the game these three videos are going to be of great help.
The last part of the masterclass is the reason why I gave the masterclass 4 stars out of 5. The content is still great,
but the three videos about openings didn’t feel particularly useful, I also got tired of the content for the first time
in the whole series. I would have loved hearing Kasparov go over opening principles and maybe also suggest how to
approach openings when you know nothing like new players do. This is also the only section of the masterclass where it’s
not clear who’s the intended audience. Kasparov spends some time explaining how he spent most of his career playing
as white and how he had
d4 detours. Sure it’s interesting listening to him talking about it, but I feel like I would
appreciate it more if I already knew much more about openings. So what I’m trying to say is that the content is still
very good, but it feels out of place with the rest of the masterclass.
Toward the end of the masterclass, there are a few videos about chess-related topics. I particularly appreciated “mental toughness” and “computers and chess”, but there other interesting topics like Kasparov’s own career and how to analyze chess positions. It’s always a pleasure to listen such a master talking about interesting topics and I definitely appreciated the whole section.
I suggest you watch the whole masterclass over a few days. Maybe taking notes of the concepts you find most difficult and then watch those videos again. Probably going back to it after a few months maybe also be helpful. It’s a lot of content so it’s kind of easy to miss important details.