052 What Makes A Good Chess Commentator with GM Jon Ludvig Hammer

Mar 21, 2023

How do we grow the game?

Many ways.

A major one has been the huge popularity of live-streamed events with star players and world-class commentary.

But whether that commentary is engaging and accessible to chess fans is critical to our game’s popularity. 

So, what should you look for in chess commentary?

That’s a major theme that I discuss with GM Jon Ludvig Hammer in this week’s episode. 

Hammer has been a professional commentator for nearly a decade. He regularly works for TV 2 Norway. He’s also been a contributor for Chess.com and GM Hikaru Nakamura’s Twitch channel.

Prior to his commentator career, Hammer reached Super GM status with a 2705 FIDE rating. And he was Magnus Carlsen’s second in the 2013 and 2014 World Chess Championships. 

In this episode, Hammer and I also discuss a key improvement topic:

Do you need to play classical chess to become a better player? (We take different views!)

Plus, enjoy an episode that’s more discussion-style instead of the usual interview format, per Hammer’s request.

More from Jon Ludvig Hammer:

Photo Credit: The superb photo used for this episode comes from photographer and WFM Maria Emelianova. You can follow her on Twitch and Twitter.

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