FM Jimmy Canty III has become one of the most popular and visible online chess personalities. His rise to stardom in the streaming world comes amidst giants such as Hikaru Nakamura, Levy Rozman, and the Botez (Alexandra & Andrea) sisters. This led to high-profile commentary gigs and now the 31-year-old Detroit native has become a household name in chess social media platforms. With great anticipation, he has just released his first Chessable course, “The Meanest Jobava London.”
Canty was first coached by Harold Steen at Bates Academy rising out of a city known for its appreciation of the arts. He won his first scholastic title with a 7/7 score at the 2002 Nationals and later became a National Master at age 17. After leaving the U.S. Air Force and landing a job in Atlanta, his passion for chess was reignited after talking with Frank Johnson in Woodruff Park. Johnson showed him a flyer and was encouraged to come out of semi-retirement and enter the 2014 Millionaire Chess Open. He shared his thoughts in an interview with The Chess Drum at the Chicago Open.
After intensive training, he nearly missed winning the grand prize of $40,000 (Nh4!) and had to settle for $20,000. Nevertheless, he realized that he could focus more on chess as a profession and entered the Twitch streaming world in 2018. He continued to build his online persona with a couple of cage matches in the National Blitz League representing Detroit. After enjoying great success with his high-energy streaming channel, he caught the attention of sponsors and signed his first e-sports contract with Noble in 2021.
Since then, he has forayed his streaming platform into chess commentary and released his first Chessable course. In an interview with ChessBase India’s Sagar Shah, he stated that he has been logging onto Chessable for 1300 days. Effectively, he is a brand ambassador for the company and now has his own course. With his trademarked “calculation over everything” logo, he beams when talking about his passion for fitness and chess. This infectious energy comes over in a genuine (not scripted) manner.
Video by ChessBase India
The Chessable course features the aggressive Jobava London, named after the expressive Georgian Grandmaster Baadur Jobava. Canty, a lifelong e4-player, had adopted the London after seeing some of its attacking potential. So many top players have adopted the 1.d4 and 2. Bf4, but this wrinkle of 2.Nc3 and 3.Bf4 gives room for some opening traps and aggressive setup without much risk. Many junior players have been taught to play the London System to avoid reams of theory from the Queen’s Gambit lines, the King’s Indian, and Benko/Benoni systems.