The pandemic drove the largest growth ever on It’s a nostalgia thing. became the go-to destination for online chess games just as Twitch saw its own rise to popularity, presenting the chance to consolidate the Chess community. He wants to be a grandmaster one day, and he’s plugged into the world of Twitch as another tool to get him there. Boxbox was also pretty funny. Young players can now play every day and watch their favorite streamers every night. Tumuluri is rated at 1,686 by the U.S. But watching livestreams of chess games? Stream: “What the Constitution Means to Me”. “Chess has remained popular on Twitch, and when we looked into it further, Hikaru is the reason why,” Leena Xu, President of Esports for TSM, said in a statement. You can find Nakamura, aka GMHikaru, on, Hikaru Nakamura / Photo courtesy of TSM e-sports, about joining TSM, said that “one thing I really want to do, is whomever I represent, try to bring home titles, bring home trophies. Slowly but steadily, it mushroomed. “At least at blitz chess, I’m probably the best or second-best player ever, in the entire history, at least online.”. They’re also a person.”. “In the old days, if you wanted to know what a grandmaster was thinking you’d have to read about it,” says Joshua Anderson, a 45-year-old chess journalist and teacher. That’s not just because people are staying home. Ludwig's Chest Hole is an easy target for Twitch chat. I'm alsp assuming Ludwig isn't being entirely serious here. “More than anything, it’s the ability to play extremely high-level chess and win while I seemingly am not focused on the game and talking to my chat,” Mr. Nakamura said of his ability to draw a large audience, which he usually retains as he plays 20 or more games in one sitting. Vasishta Tumuluri, a 15-year-old with 10 years experience playing the game, is one of those young players. or simply commenting "Chest Hole" on every shirtless picture of him. Still, chess, to put it kindly, is not quite as visually stimulating as a tennis match or a 100-meter dash. Posted by 4 months ago. The climax often comes when mere seconds remain and the combatants exchange a rapid flurry of moves. “It’s definitely a lot of fun to know you’re going up against a chess mind the caliber of Hikaru,” Mr. Olsen said. Nearly all of the chess grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura’s 528,000 followers on Twitch have come aboard since the pandemic began. MIRROR CLIP: Ludwig's thoughts on PogChamps, Credit to for the clip. As of October 2020, it has more than 350,000. “He makes all sorts of faces,” Mr. Benton of Cornell said. At 15, he became one of the youngest Americans to reach the title of grandmaster. Followers for’s channel grew from 73,000 in late 2016 to 110,000 in October 2018. Then he smiled and began outmaneuvering his foe. He was recruited by TSM, one of the largest streaming teams active today. Xu said that with most tournaments moving online due to COVID-19, the chess community will only continue to grow. This interview was too funny to make clips with so here is the whole thing. Noah Olsen, 24, who lives in Washington, D.C., said he enjoyed how interactive Mr. Nakamura was with his fans. “You see they’re not just a chess player. I think the future’s extremely bright.”, Chess (Yes, Chess) Is Now a Streaming Obsession. His online presence reached a new height at the end of August 2020. As of October 2020, it has more than 350,000. Funny interview featuring GMHikaru, BotezLive, Ludwig and BoxBox. Here’s everything you need to know, The best Fortnite skins, and how to get them, The best Google Stadia games to play right now, 11 great location-based games that aren’t Pokémon Go, The best Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite cases. Nakamura is a bona fide chess prodigy. The grandmaster sometimes invites his subscribers to play against him on the stream, and he will start with fewer pieces as a handicap or play blindfolded. He’s one of my favorite streamers, and it didn’t matter to me if he won or lost, I knew the banter was gonna be gold.’s Pogchamps tournaments are boosting viewership, too. And I feel that my best opportunities to do that will be at TSM.”, houghts, strategies, and gameplay tactics were collected in, In 1993, the game saw a resurgence with the release of the movie, became the go-to destination for online chess games just as Twitch saw its own rise to popularity, presenting the chance to consolidate the Chess community. Though Mr. Nakamura began streaming chess consistently on his Twitch channel, GMHikaru, in 2018, nearly all of his 528,000 followers have come aboard since the pandemic began. It helps that he has an unimpeachable chess pedigree. That’s not just because people are staying home. Boxbox played rated chess tournaments as a child though. According to, Nick Barton, the director of business development at, The collaboration between and Twitch started small. The popularity of online chess has partly been fueled by Mr. Nakamura. regularly tunes into his stream. Victory seemed close as members of the opposing army were vanquished one by one. Pawns, knights, bishops and even kings fell before him as the chess grandmaster demolished a slate of online challengers, all while narrating the tide of the battle to tens of thousands of fans watching him stream live on Twitch, the Amazon-owned site where people usually broadcast themselves playing video games like Fortnite and Call of Duty. The complete broadcast archives are available at

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+ How we made $200K with 4M downloads.

How we made $200K with 4M downloads.