GM Vladimir Kramnik talks Magnus-Nepo, No-Castling Chess, Kasparov, Karpov, Engines, and MUCH MORE

This week on Perpetual Chess, we are privileged to be joined by the 14th undisputed World Chess Champion, Grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik. GM Kramnik spent decades atop the chess world, and is best known as the man who ended Garry Kasparov’s historic reign as World Champion. GM Kramnik is one of the 10 highest rated players of all time, and left a special imprint in his contribution to opening theory, as many of his favorite lines are now embraced by modern chess engines and frequently seen at the elite level. We had a wide-ranging conversation where GM Kramnik discussed his match with Kasparov, the effect of engines on chess, his recent “no-castling” exhibition match with GM Viswanathan Anand, and, of course, his new Chessable course. Vladimir’s course is called Thinking in Chess: A How to Guide, and it offers a Super GM level framework on how to think about preventing your opponent’s plans. There are many great insights in this interview, so I hope you all enjoy listening to it as much as I did speaking with him. Please read on for more details, timestamps and relevant links.

0:00- We begin by discussing Kramnik’s rise in the 1990’s, including his breakout tournament at the 1992 Manila Olimpiad, a tournament for which he was a surprise choice to compete on the stacked Russian team.

08:30- Vladimir recently concluded his match with GM Vishy Anand in a new variant called “no-castling chess.” He discusses the match and the future of chess variants.

Mentioned: GM Vasyl Ivanchuk

22:45- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Check out their site, and if you decide to subscribe use the code Perpetual30 to save 30%.

23:45- GM Kramnik answers a question from the Perpetual Chess Patreon mailbag: “How has his game has been influenced by computer chess?”

26:00- A couple more Patreon mailbag questions- “Did computers help Vladimir prepare the Berlin endgame for his match against Kasparov?” “How much did his team help him with it?”

33:00- GM Kramnik discusses the match dynamics of the 2000 Kasparov-Kramnik match.

Mentioned: GM Viswanthan Anand

41:30-Are there any modern players who use the engines especially effectively in their preparation?

45:30- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by! Check out their latest offerings here.

New Chess Courses Online – For All Levels in all –

Also be sure to subscribe to the How to Chess podcast, more info here:

46:30- Patreon mailbag question: “Why did GM Kramnik decide to focus his chess course on “quiet moves” and prophylaxis?”

1:02:00- What does Vladimir think about the upcoming World Championship match?

Mentioned: Norway Chess 2021

1:08:00- Vladimir answers another Patreon question: “Is it more stressful to be World Champion than to “just” to be a top-echelon player?”

1:12:00- Patreon mailbag question: “Can a player who has passed her 60th birthday compete in the top echelon?”

1:15:30- Patreon mailbag question: “Did Vladimir enjoy competing in Chess24’s Legends of Chess tournament last year?”

1:18:00- Patreon mailbag question: “What kind of improvement can amateur players expect to see in their games if they have jobs outside of chess?”

1:22:30- Patreon mailbag question: “What was it like to play his childhood hero, GM Anatoly Karpov, for the first time?”

Mentioned: GM Garry Kasparov. You can review the game here:

1:29:00- Did working on Kasparov’s team give him a competitive advantage in their 2000 World Championship match, and might Nepomniachtchi have a similar advantage from having worked with GM Magnus Carlsen?

1:30:00- Thanks so much to GM Kramnik for joining the show! You can check out a free version of his Chessable course here:

Or you can buy the whole course here:


  1. Oooooooooh yeah, Big Vlad on Perpetual Chess! Y’all just made my day!

  2. A wonderful opportunity to talk with a world champion unfortunately the audio from Kramnik's side could have been better it was difficult to make out when he was saying at times.

  3. Ben, you legend! Kramnik is one of the best, thanks so much for this treat! Best wishes from Ireland

  4. Sorry that the audio is a bit muffled on his end. A transcript for the interview will be coming soon.

  5. Just wanted to say thanks for all your work. I've never had the desire to listen to any podcast in my life, but yours is all I've listened to on my way to and from work for a few weeks now. And I have a couple hundred episodes to catch up on!

  6. This is amazing!!!!! Thank you so much for all your hard work!😀

  7. Definitely one of the biggest guests yet (in terms of chess achievement and height). I could hardly believe it when I saw this show up on my feed! Legendary guest, for what has perhaps already become a legendary podcast.

  8. Give Vladimir one tempi, and he'll revoke the the castling rights for every one. 😼

  9. I just don't understand why this channel doesn't have over a million subscribers. These podcasts are ridiculous. The guests are ridiculous. Am I missing something? Is this a fake channel and the real channel has the million subs? Is Youtube the minority of listeners, and they're all on other podcast platforms? What gives? These are gems.

  10. Great interview. Audio problems also were only at the start of the podcast for me, can’t remember what time it shifted

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