This week’s New In Chess Podcast episode features an interview with Matthew Sadler.

Matthew is a grandmaster and a two-time British Champion, but he is also a successful chess author, a streamer and an expert in chess engines. His book Game Changer - co-authored with Natasha Regan - on AlphaZero’s groundbreaking chess strategies and the promise of AI is one of the most successful and talked-about books of the past years.

Matthew is no longer a professional chess player, but he remains a formidable player and has been described as the strongest amateur in the world. In addition, Matthew has been the book reviewer of New In Chess since 2013, and his Sadler on Books columns are among the most popular articles in the magazine.

Interviewed by Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam, Matthew speaks about his experiences as a book reviewer. About his love for books, his first inspirations, his desert island books and much more. Which book would he like to be written? He’ll tell you.

Don’t miss this engaging conversation with the brilliant and always inspiring Matthew Sadler.

00:00 – Intro
02:05 – Matthew’s work in IT
05:08 – Why Matthew hasn’t played since COVID
06:47 – The role of (chess and non-chess) literature in Matthew’s upbringing
12:20 – Matthew’s music taste, his brother’s career in music
15:55 – The chess books that molded a young Matthew
21:13 – Why the quality of chess literature has drastically improved
26:20 – How should a chess author explain playing styles of less accessible players?
28:06 – How much time does Matthew spend reading chess books?
32:02 – Top players creating their own material, the effects of the computer age
34:54 – Does reading chess biographies help a player become stronger?
40:13 – AD BREAK
40:45 – Why young players should be wary of old literature
46:01 – Should we replace the “one-to-five-star” system with a rating system?
48:15 – Matthew’s favorite chess book of all time
56:19 – Matthew’s other favorites
59:19 – Where does Matthew think chess literature is headed?
1:00:01 – Writing Game Changer
1:05:03 – Which book still urgently needs to be written?
1:07:32 – Outro