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When Sagar Shah was on the other side of the interview

by Ben Johnson - 29/10/2017

We have seen Sagar Shah doing interviews of hundreds of players all around the world. He is at tournaments with his camera and microphone, he travels to different cities for the ChessBase India show, so it comes to us as a surprise that this time he is on the other side of the conversation. At the Perpetual Chess Podcast by Ben Johnson, Sagar is the guest and he speaks about a lot of things that give you insight into the world of chess journalism, the current chess scene in India and what is the crazy idea that he and his wife are coming up with. Ben Johnson tells us why he interviewed Sagar and you can listen to the 74 minutes of the audio podcast. 

IM Sagar Shah on the Perpetual Chess Podcast

By Ben Johnson

Sagar Shah is an IM with two GM norms, CA, and co-founder & CEO of ChessBase India | Photo: Amruta Mokal

I am a big fan of Sagar’s writing and interviews so I have wanted to have him as a guest on Perpetual Chess for a long time. I think the podcast’s audience loves to get the perspective about different chess cultures all over the world, and India has so many rising and established chess stars that it is a country of particular fascination to the chess world. How do you guys do it?

Ben Johnson's Perpetual Chess Podcast has 46 episodes with some big names like Judit Polgar, Hikaru Nakamura, Rex Sinquefield and many others

As I had hoped, IM Shah definitely delivered a lot of insight about the Indian chess culture. Those of us in the West often wonder about the nuts and bolts of chess player support in India. How are so many Indian players able to play in (and flourish) in top European tournaments? How are the training methods in India the same or different than methods in other places? IM Shah provided great insight into these questions, but the other thing that struck me was his unmitigated enthusiasm and love for chess. The chess world is privileged to have a player and reporter of his caliber chasing down players at tournaments and providing game notes, so I hope the ChessBase India audience properly appreciates him.

74 minutes of Audio interview:

If you haven't had enough of Sagar, here's his four hour DVD where he shows you why studying chess classics is important:

About the interviewer:

Ben Johson is an USCF National Master with a rating of FIDE 2174. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife and young kids. He is a chess teacher, and like many other chess educators, he is doing his best to popularize chess and help kids improve at it. He still enjoys competing in tournaments and studying to improve his game when he has the time, but that is not very often right now. In his previous lives he has taught chess in New York, been a professional poker player for 7 years, traded stocks independently for a while, and even worked in an office job for two years after graduating from college.

Visit the Perpetual Chess Podcast website

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