Agadmator is a huge personality in chess right now and probably would be in the future, he is one of the biggest youtube chess influencers that has started the wave of popularity this game now has.
I want to talk about something different in this article though, specifically how good is he in chess actually? He after all receives a lot of criticism due to his supposed lack of expertise, I personally think that this is not true.
So, is Agadmator good at chess? As a chess player here is what I know:
Agadmator is pretty good when it comes to chess having a national rating of around 2000-2200. He has earned the Croatian Candidate master title due to his hard-earned chess abilities. Antonio Radic’s chess.com rating is around 1900-2000 for almost a decade.
I want to debunk this since people want to invalidate the effort that this man gives to the game. If you are still not convinced of course it is fine, but I want to make an argument by laying out some facts.
That is the point of this article, to dissect how good Agadmator is when it comes to playing chess and not just on how he analyzes it.
The national rating of Agadmator is around 2000-2200
At the time of this writing his national rating was around 2000-2200, which is a pretty high rating when compared to your average chess player.
When some people criticize Agadmator for being subpar with his chess skill compared to other youtubers, they don’t seem to understand that other channels host titled professional chess players.
Titled players are pretty much people who dedicated their entire life to this game, there are not a lot of individuals that can fit that role. Agadmator’s national rating of 2000-2200 is nothing to laugh about.
That is definitely better than at least 80% of people who play chess since most of us are under 2000 elo. Adding to the fact that this is over the board, a format that has higher standards than online ratings it is an incredible achievement.
It is hard to get above 2000 rating over the board where the numbers are not inflated, Agadmator is definitely good at chess.
Some people spend so much time on this game and cannot even surpass the 2000 elo mark, this is clear evidence that he is definitely capable.
Agadmator has earned a local candidate master title
Antonio Radic (Agadmator) is not an international tournament player, however, he plays a lot of national games in his home country of Croatia. His peak achievement is earning the croatian candidate master title in 2019.
I think this is one of the biggest indications that Agadmator is just becoming humble with his personal achievements and ends up downplaying it.
He is a croatian candidate master, achieving a title that takes a lot of effort to earn. This is not any international candidate master title which is different, this just applies to Croatia, the place where he plays all of his chess tournaments.
Some of you may think that this is not a big deal, but it is, any title that has not been earned online is something that takes a lot of skill and effort.
He doesn’t play any international tournaments since it is a lot of hassle and he is not trying to be a professional, a national candidate master title is a pretty good evidence that Agadmator has his chess game on point.
Agadmator’s chess.com rating is around 1900-2000 in all time controls
In order to write this article I have checked out Agadmator’s rating in chess.com in order to get a reliable number. His rating in all time controls (on his account) has been around 1900-2000 for almost a decade.
Now this may change in the future but we need to understand that he has been able to keep this level for the last 10 years at the time of this writing, not a lot of people can do that.
And this is on chess.com! My personal rating is around 1500-1600 only, this platform is notorious for the difficulty of acquiring ratings.
On lichess which is another popular chess-playing platform, my peak is around 1900-2000 rating (blitz and rapid) for perspective.
Getting a 1900-2000 rating on chess.com is pretty hard to do, I believe this proves that he is top-tier when compared to the average hobbyists who has been playing for a long time. He is pretty good at chess.
Agadmator is good at chess since he has been playing for a long time
Antonio Radic (Agadmator) has been playing chess since in his early years (5-7 yrs.old and 17 year old onwards), it would make sense that he has become good since he’s been exposed to chess even while he is still young (though he admitted that he took a long break).
If you look at the best players in the world you will notice a pattern, which is that they have started playing chess since they were still kids. This actually applies even to common grandmasters/international masters.
Agadmator has the same background, he has more potential to improve on chess than most people who have just decided to learn this recently.
And he has become pretty good, earning a national candidate master title and having a sizable rating on chess.com. He has the early exposure which explains the achievements.
Agadmator became good at chess because of his grandfather
His grandfather, Anto Krnjic, is a renowned Fide master which may have explained the background of Agadmator to chess. It would make sense that he became good since one of his family members is a titled player.
Now, I am not going to pull the genetic card since I know that chess skill is not something that you can inherit, you have to work for it.
However I do know that when you have a titled player in your family, you are much more likely to be exposed to advanced ideas even at an early age since there is someone that can explain it to you.
And Agadmator himself testifies to this, his grandfather has been his biggest inspiration in playing chess and is someone that has sparked his interest.
Just by the fact that Antonio Radic has a titled player in his family makes it more likely for him to be good at chess, which he is actually good at currently.
Personal opinion on the strength of Antonio Radic
I have watched a lot of content from his lichess tournament playlist and some games that he had played from his local chess club, I can say that he is better than me at least. He is definitely better than most chess players.
When we are talking about his actual games, he seems to downplay his moves and decisions even when they are good. He definitely plays better than most chess players.
He has extensive knowledge on the opening, pretty decent moves in the middlegame, and excellent in the endgame, he is almost a complete package actually.
Of course if we are going to deeply analyze his games on the standard of super grandmaster games, which are analyzed with engines, there will be inaccuracies.
But most chess players make inaccuracies as well, and the way he plays shows that he has the skill not in the level of professional players, but is definitely above average.
Agadmator reads a lot of chess books in order to get better
When you watch a lot of his videos you can notice that he mentions a lot of chess books that he has read throughout the years, though this is not a determinant of strength, it does mean that he has been studying for a long time.
Chess books, as you can tell, are somewhat outdated, there are other better chess mediums that have been created which we can argue to be better than chess books.
But this further testifies my point, Agadmator has been studying chess for such a long time that he knows certain chess books that are not being read as much today.
Just by the fact that he has been studying since he was little can tell you that he is above average when it comes to chess-playing ability.
Now I know that just because he knows a lot of chess books doesn’t mean he is good, but it is a good indicator that he is likely to be good since he knows a lot of information about chess.
Agadmator’s channel helped him get better at chess
Agadmator follows a lot of tournaments and historical games due to his youtube channel, this undoubtedly helped him improve throughout the years.
Now you can argue that he is pretty mediocre when it comes to playing chess even if he has been studying for a long time, but we need to understand that his youtube channel also helped him improve.
He constantly analyzes games of the best modern grandmasters and past legendary competitors while learning from them. If you look at his older videos he may not appear to be as capable, but that has changed over time.
His youtube channel gives him the ability to improve his chess while doing his work, of course is going to be good at chess.
He’s not only making a living but also sharpening his ability at the same time.
Agadmator, chess analysis, and chess strength
When you analyze most of his youtube videos you can see that he at least finds the general idea of the position.
You can argue that he is using an engine but the speed of his uploads still makes it difficult to analyze the position well.
People underestimate the production value that he allot for his videos, saying that it is easy to produce therefore explaining to consistency. It is easier to produce than with some other youtube channels, sure, however the speed is just too much.
There are many occasions where he uploads a video as soon as the game has ended, clearly indicating that he has a lot of preparation work in play.
This is adding to the fact that he uploads some 3 videos a day, fatigue will take over at that point. Just by the fact that he can still think straight and explain the position well even with fatigue, indicates his ability to play chess.
This is not as convincing as my other arguments, but it is still worth mentioning. I just think that this gives a bit of credibility to Agadmator’s skill as a chess player in general.
The strength of Agadmator can depend on your expectation
The answer to this question primarily revolves around your standards for being good at chess, if you are expecting Agadmator to be a grandmaster/super grandmaster then you will be disappointed.
If you are only comparing him to the average player though, then you will be satisfied. Agadmator is above average and can display his knowledge of chess very well, but some people want more from him.
Some people expect him to be at least a grandmaster, which makes up some 1% to 3% of the entire chess community, an unrealistic expectation. I think this is also unfair for a reason.
It doesn’t really matter if he is not a grandmaster as long as he is good enough to accommodate his audience through his style of explaining the concepts of chess in a simple way.
If your expectation of him is pretty realistic, he is very likely to exceed your expectation. Agadmator is pretty good at chess, just don’t expect him to be a super grandmaster or something.
I think that the real issue here is that people tend to underestimate the difficulty of becoming a grandmaster, thinking that most chess players can get there if they are good enough.
This is not true, being good enough is not enough to be a grandmaster since you still have to go and play internationally while accommodating the travel expenses. It requires some sacrifice.
Not a lot of people are willing to do that , Agadmator is one of those people, he likes playing chess but he doesn’t want to invest solely in it hoping to be a professional.
In conclusion Antonio Radic is a good chess player, people just have high expectations. I hope you have enjoyed reading this article, sleep well and play chess.