News & Press Highlights:

May 2001 – “UT Dallas Awards Chess Scholarships To Four Students From New York, Massachusetts and Minnesota”

“The winners of the scholarships, each of which has a cash value of about $45,000 to non-Texas residents, were Noah J. Siegel, 18, and Samson Benen, 16, both of New York City, John Bartholomew, 14, of Egan, Minnesota, and Noah Pang, 11, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The only stipulation is that the winners must meet UTD’s rigorous entrance requirements at matriculation.”

October 2012 – Player Player Profiles: IM Fins0905

“International Chess Master John Bartholomew is a 26 year-old chess professional from Eagan, Minnesota. He has more than 11 years of chess teaching experience with players of all ages and skill levels. John has run successful chess clubs and programs at schools in Minnesota, New York, and Texas, introducing hundreds of young players to the royal game. Just recently he also became the coach for the US team at the World Youth Chess Championship.”

October 2014 – “Drum Interviews at Millionaire Chess Open”

“IM John Bartholomew (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)This Minnesota native was a standout high school player who won a scholarship to the famed University of Texas at Dallas. After a year of law school in Denver, he moved to New York for a short stint to focus on chess. Later he returned to Minneapolis where he is now a successful coach.”

May 2017 – Star Tribune article on Chessable

“As Kramaley developed the simple tool to teach chess openings, he reached out to Bartholomew to get feedback from, and possibly to partner with, an international chess master. Bartholomew is one of the strongest players in the U.S. As a schoolboy, he won both the National Junior High School Chess Championship and the National High School Chess Championship, and he’s now ranked 56th among U.S. players. He’s an international master, which is one step below grandmaster.

Kramaley admits that the concept was underdeveloped when he presented it to Bartholomew, but Bartholomew saw an immediate value for those working to improve their game. Bartholomew, based in Minnetonka, officially signed on as Chessable’s co-founder in November 2015.”

2019 Minnesota Chess Hall of Fame Induction

“2019 Minnesota Chess Hall of Fame Inductee: John Bartholomew John Bartholomew is an International Master, a 4-time Minnesota State Champion, and is the most successful chess entrepreneur in Minnesota history with his pioneering work developing on-line chess training videos. John descends from Ed Zelkind’s training tree, having worked with Ed during his rise to National Master at the age of 15. John also worked with other national trainers as he accumulated several Minnesota scholastic championships, culminating with his back-to-back National K-9 and High School championships in 2001 & 2002. Chess has created many opportunities for John. He attended the University of Texas in Dallas and played for their powerhouse chess team that won 2 collegiate championships. During his time at UT Dallas, John earned his final norm to become an IM. After college John moved to New York City where he took up residence as a chess player/trainer. In 2012, John returned to his roots in Minnesota and once again became a strong presence on the Minnesota Chess scene. Notable students of John’s at this time included Andrew Tang, who would go on to become Minnesota’s first GM. In one of those classic “student vs teacher” matches, Tang defeated John in an Armageddon style play-off at the 2017 Minnesota Closed Championship. Striving to keep his game sharp while fulfilling his many training commitments, John began to work with chess training videos in 2014. The on-line medium plays perfectly to John’s strengths as a thoughtful and balanced player/presenter with excellent linguistic skills, a kind spirit, and deep chess knowledge. John’s reputation has soared and he now has 68,000 subscribers and 10,000-20,000 people on average watching his chess videos. John Bartholomew is an amazing chess player who often derives success on the chessboard by executing long-term strategic plans that “squeeze” his opponents. He is also an ambitious entrepreneur who has embraced the opportunity to make the game he loves his life’s work. The Minnesota Chess Hall of Fame is very excited to welcome John Bartholomew!”

September 2019 – Chessable joins the Play Magnus chess24 family

“After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations it finally became official today that Chessable is now part of Play Magnus. Chessable, launched publicly in 2016 by David Kramaley with the backing of US IM John Bartholomew, has grown rapidly as a chess platform for aspiring chess players. It aims to solve the problem of how to actually remember chess openings, using spaced learning and other scientifically based approaches – a kind of duolingo for chess. The site also now includes a large library of chess books in digital format.”

February 2020 – Interview on the Perpetual Chess podcast

“I had a lot to catch up on with IM John Bartholomew 2.5 years after his first visit to Perpetual Chess. Then, as now, John is best known for his very popular Chess YouTube channel, and for being the co-founder of   John has seen the company and his following continue to grow rapidly in the past few years, and as you may have heard, Chessable merged with GM Magnus Carlsen’s Play Magnus company in September of 2019. John also has recently released a large-scale  project, a Chessable video course , explaining the endgame classic, 100 Endgames You Must Know, and he even got to film a video testing the World Champion on the material from this vital chess book.”

June 2020 – “Quick chat with… John Bartholomew, the Scandi king”

“He’s the friendly face of chess on YouTube, the world’s most passionate Scandi evangelist, and the man who has introduced countless people to the game.

IM John Bartholomew (FIDE 2477) is one of the most popular figures in chess content creation and has produced a mountain of work to help improvers. He’s also become synonymous with his beloved Qd8 Scandinavian opening, or Scandi, as he calls it.

A co-founder of Chessable with David Kramaley, John has made it his mission to teach the world to play better chess (and, yes, the Scandi too).”

November 2023 – Chess master challenges 16 people at a time 

“I hope they learned something about their own game and maybe some possible areas for improvements,” said Bartholomew. “Also, with the Q&A, hopefully, I inspired a couple of people to approach their chess improvement differently or look deeper into the game.”

While first learning chess can be intimidating, Bartholomew said not to overthink it.

“Get online, find a friend that plays, or go to a club and jump in. A lot of people overthink what chess is; it is a game. It’s a social game, after all,” said Bartholomew. “There’s a lot of intimidating information about chess, but no one expects you to be a grandmaster or even a rated player when you first get into the game. It’s OK to make mistakes; you’re gonna have to make a lot of mistakes and chests to make progress.”

Biographies & Author Profiles: biography

“Eagan native John Bartholomew is the first MN born and raised player to attain the title of International Master.  A state and scholastic national champion, John has actively played on the MN Blizzard league team, all over the United States, and across the world.  The way he explains chess is a gift, and has gathered quite a following on his YouTube channel because of it.”

Chessable Author Profile

“You may have been using Chessable and wondered, “Who’s this John guy telling me to study every day in the corner of my screen?” Well, it’s none other than Chessable co-founder and International Master John Bartholomew!

John was a force in the chess world long before Chessable, however. Growing up in the American state of Minnesota, it was clear he was going to be a success from a young age. In 2002, he won the American High School Chess Championship. Just four years later, he became an International Master.

Though studying business and briefly law, John knew he was destined to stick with chess as a career. His tournament successes continued to pile up, including the achievement of two grandmaster norms, but he found even more success in another area: teaching.

In 2014, John launched his YouTube channel, home to hundreds of videos on chess education and improvement. He covers everything from common openings and endgames to live streams of his own games where explains his thought processes. His down-to-earth and practical teaching style has connected with thousands of fans, and his channel remains one of the most popular chess channels on the platform.

And in 2015, his second baby was born: Chessable. On a mission to help chess students around the world improve their chess as effectively and efficiently as possible, IM Bartholomew co-founded Chessable with CEO David Kramaley, and in 2016, they launched the most innovative chess education software the world has ever seen.

You’ll find plenty of his own original courses on the site: must-know endgames, instructive historical games, and his personal favorites, courses on his signature Scandinavian Defense (#TeamScandi 😉). Be sure to check out one of his courses below and experience his superb teaching abilities for yourself.”

US Chess Champs biography

“IM John Bartholomew is a professional chess coach from Eagan, MN. He is a former National Junior High (2001) and National High School (2002) champion and played for several championship teams at the University of Texas at Dallas. John works with students around the world, runs a popular YouTube channel, and co-founded the chess learning platform in 2015. His goal is to become a Grandmaster and continue sharing his passion for the game.” page