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Old 05-02-2020, 11:17 AM   #1
WTjed
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Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Any preferences? I have watched way more Hikaru videos but he is starting to get a bit annoying now that he sees himself as a professional streamer. I saw Aman's impression of Hikaru the other day and thought it was hilarious. Aman's speed run to 2000 where he sacrificed his queen at the opening of every game was also pretty inspiring. I have shed several hundred points off of my 10 minute rating since watching that because it is a ton of fun to play that sac line with white.
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Old 05-08-2020, 06:17 PM   #2
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Hansen of the Brahs is by far my favorite chess streamer. Good mix of entertainment and skill.
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Old 05-30-2020, 04:54 PM   #3
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Naka easily. He talks about the widest variety of things while playing...even other SuperGM's. He clearly cares about cultivating his paying audience. Frankly, it's downright fun to watch as well.
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Old 05-31-2020, 11:47 AM   #4
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Well I can't stand the name Chess Brahs or any of the content they produce. That makes this an easy one for me.
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:00 PM   #5
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Thought this was pretty good.



Aman > Eric > Hikaru (entertainment wise)
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:20 PM   #6
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Here's some more Aman gold:

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Old 09-10-2020, 05:06 PM   #7
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Naka is extremely annoying, some would even say hes a d..ck. But chesswise, they are in different leagues.
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Old 09-11-2020, 11:06 AM   #8
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Is Naka though? I felt that way when he was much younger but in the last few years he really seems to me to be a pretty mature guy. He also really seems to go out of his way for fans, helping people, etc.
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:46 PM   #9
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

His facials annoy me a lot, I find him theatrical. He HAS to be aware people are looking at him online when he stares at the ceiling, makes faces and shakes his head in approval or disapproval. In this, only Nepo is worse. Compare them to Grischuk, Aronian or Carlsen.
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:00 PM   #10
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

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His facials annoy me a lot, I find him theatrical. He HAS to be aware people are looking at him online when he stares at the ceiling, makes faces and shakes his head in approval or disapproval. In this, only Nepo is worse.
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:59 PM   #11
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

I'm torn on this subject. I just got into chess about four years ago after I thought that a game I thought was so beautiful deserved learning. In those four years I've gone from 600-1500 primarily through accessing free stuff online.

In those first few years when I was learning, when Hikaru was still on the edge of the top 10 and taking himself extremely seriously, it was kind of a love/hate. Like, he always came across fairly aloof and humorless if not just an overt dick but he also clearly wanted to win and had a personality, even if it was a personality I didn't care for, so I respected that. I've always had a deep respect for people who just put winning above everything else. This persona that he's adopted in the last 9 months or so, however, just seems so fake to me. I get that he doesn't owe me anything, but I find him unwatchable because the Hikaru I see on his stream is clearly cultivated to garner the largest piece of the Twitch audience he can attract. And fair play to him. Take maney. He's been very successful with it and his success has given more attention to, imo, better streamers like Danya, Levy, and Hess.

But I had issue, though it seemed to be the losing side, with the whole "chess elitism" brouhaha this spring during the initial POGCHAMPS rollout simply because the target was Ben Finegold who has always been like Hikaru's polar opposite as someone who uses the persona to mask his own demons/pain, and he has plenty admittedly, but if you get beyond it even 1% you can tell he's a gifted educator who genuinely loves chess whereas Hikaru is a brilliant chess mind who never seems like he truly enjoys the game or enjoys anyone enjoying it alongside him. But then Hikaru is labeled as the new face of chess and Ben is an "elitist" because he rags on a popular streamer who, surprise surprise, didn't end up taking things seriously. And nobody can stick up for Ben because Hikaru is this white knight bringing money into the audience when clearly people are bootlicking his successes when they all kind of know he's fos but they don't dare piss off the army of 14-20 yo subscriber base.

I contrast that with Chessbrah who, like what they do or not, are imo 100% authentic to who they actually are and do seem welcoming to anybody who's open to learning and enjoying the game. Their persona is also probably SLIGHTLY exaggerated but at least I feel like they 1. love chess and 2. are true to who they really are. So even if I only really watch them in small doses, I 100% respect them for what they do.

tl;dr Hikaru is not interested in "growing the game" anywhere beyond the $$$ it earns him. He's misplaced as the modern pied piper of chess but is perfectly placed to siphon money from teenagers who are really only interested in the twitch drama around chess. Will it last? We will see. Chessbrah is, imo, well positioned to continue their successes, smaller they be, far into the future because their audience is grown around their own authenticity.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:32 AM   #12
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Pretty sure Hikaru loves chess. He's always had a bit of a persona "issue" - but I've always thought that's because he actually doesn't try to hide or filter a lot of his thoughts or emotions too much.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:36 AM   #13
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

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tl;dr Hikaru is not interested in "growing the game" anywhere beyond the $$$ it earns him. He's misplaced as the modern pied piper of chess but is perfectly placed to siphon money from teenagers who are really only interested in the twitch drama around chess. Will it last? We will see. Chessbrah is, imo, well positioned to continue their successes, smaller they be, far into the future because their audience is grown around their own authenticity.
Really well stated. I'd imagine that as soon as the camera is off, Hikaru is the type to laugh at all the idiots paying him sub fees, while the Brahs would talk about how much fun they had with their community.

disclaimer: I've known Eric since he was really young. In fact, I remember beating him when he was about 1900, and thinking after a particular move "this kid just doesn't get it, he has no future in chess".
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Old 09-23-2020, 01:35 PM   #14
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

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Pretty sure Hikaru loves chess. He's always had a bit of a persona "issue" - but I've always thought that's because he actually doesn't try to hide or filter a lot of his thoughts or emotions too much.
Yeah, I agree that it was probably not right for me to say that Hikaru doesn't love chess. That's probably incorrect. I don't think I'm incorrect in saying that he doesn't enjoy sharing chess or teaching chess, though. I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt but my gut tells me otherwise.

There's also this undercurrent that professionals tend to be able to sniff out that kids can't. Inside an industry you can kind of glean, through what their peers say about them, how they're viewed. For instance, just about everybody seems to love Aronian. People genuinely give positive vibes about MVL. Fabi is kind of viewed as a determined robot but an unflinchingly humble guy. Magnus is seen as aloof but it's understandable because he's a legit celebrity so he doesn't operate on the same planet as other folks in the industry. Wesley is this super religious prodigy who everybody can't stop talking about how genuinely kind he is. With Hikaru there's not much positive noise and there's certainly plenty of "well, Hikaru's Hikaru" language. Hikaru himself has admitted he wasn't the most friendly guy when he was younger. Where people seem to disconnect is that he claims he's made strides and grown up where I think many folks tend to disagree. They think he's just found an audience commensurate with his level of maturity.
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:01 PM   #15
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Yeah, I agree with all of that. Except I do think he has grown up quite a bit. Maybe not as much as he says/thinks but my guess is more than you think .

I think the reason top guys just kind of say "Hikaru is Hikaru" is probably because he doesn't want to be friends with any of them.

He grew up in a chess culture devoid of peers and zero home-grown elite players. He was likely a massive "outsider" at all the European/World junior things. So he has no elite friends and doesn't want any. Wesley So would be the other elite player with no peers but he's 8 years younger and probably more part of the next generation anyway. But other than Wesley, I mean, even Carlsen had Hammer alongside him coming up. I think Naka has a big chip on his shoulder (understandably) where he developed most of his habits on this.

Last edited by The Yugoslavian; 09-23-2020 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:06 PM   #16
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Just looking at the top ~50 players or so, pretty much everyone in his generation from other countries clearly had chess friends or competition coming up. Hikaru probably never fit in here. Everyone his age was too weak at chess to act normally around him.

Shankland is the only one who could come close to fitting the bill and he started chess waaaay too late and until very recently was way weaker than Hikaru. He's only 4 years younger but the way he talks about Hikaru, it's like they are a full generation apart.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:32 PM   #17
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Shankland was from the west coast, and Hikaru from NY. There is enough chess on both coasts for up-and-coming future GM types that they would almost never have crossed paths early on. Hikaru and Fabiano (even more so) both played in clubs I frequented when they were kids. I never even heard of Shankland until after he was a GM.

There weren't nearly as many kids playing in adult tournaments when they were kids, so often they would be the only one (and they were born 5 years apart so it wasn't like they were going through this together). In fact I can't even remember either of them speaking to anyone other than their parents very much.
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Old 09-24-2020, 09:42 AM   #18
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Tim - Yeah, this is part of my point. I can't find anyone who came up close enough to Hikaru who was anywhere close to his level in his formative years. Fabiano would have been the guy but he wasn't in the US or playing for the US during those years.

Anyway, I've gone on this tangent long enough. I fundamentally agree that the chess brahs are more authentic - although I feel Hikaru has made some strides from where he was and really do think he's not coming from a money-grabbing place but simply is trying to promote chess and have some fun. I do get the sense he isn't completely in love with elite-level chess, although even that may not be true given the level he's been able to maintain. How can you do that if it is a 100% grind to you and you could easily "retire" if you wanted to?
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:18 AM   #19
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

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Anyway, I've gone on this tangent long enough. I fundamentally agree that the chess brahs are more authentic - although I feel Hikaru has made some strides from where he was and really do think he's not coming from a money-grabbing place but simply is trying to promote chess and have some fun. I do get the sense he isn't completely in love with elite-level chess, although even that may not be true given the level he's been able to maintain. How can you do that if it is a 100% grind to you and you could easily "retire" if you wanted to?
I agree with this. As for elite chess, Hikaru was always very competitive, and it's quite possible that he's dissatisfied with coming close but not reaching the very pinnacle there.

It's funny, about a month ago I was playing the Steam game Space Engineers, where my handle is Sicilian. Someone asked in the chat if I was a chess player, and when I said yes, he asked if I was following PogChamps. I've been playing various shooter games under that name for over 20 years, and no one ever asked me about chess before.
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:30 AM   #20
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

There you go!

I have to admit I haven't watched any of it - looks terrible lolol. I don't really watch any streamers, though. I'm sure if I did then I'd have someone to root for and pay attention to.
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:12 PM   #21
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Yeah same. I'm definitely not part of the Twitch generation. For one thing, I'd have to keep a tab with Urban Dictionary open at all times to understand half of it. I did watch a couple of the coaching sessions. As someone who also teaches, that part is at least interesting to me.
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Old 10-16-2020, 12:36 PM   #22
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

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Shankland is the only one who could come close to fitting the bill and he started chess waaaay too late and until very recently was way weaker than Hikaru. He's only 4 years younger but the way he talks about Hikaru, it's like they are a full generation apart.
Shankland is no prize to be around either. I'll never forget my one interaction with him - he was brought to our city to play an invitational, and part of the deal was participating in a completely non serious blitz tournament on an off day that was open to anyone. As luck would have it I was paired with him.

The game went about as you'd expect, and in a pretty bad position, I meant to pick up a rook and move it (like, think I was going to play Re7-e2). Instead I picked up the piece beside it and made the same move (like, Nd7-e2). I got about halfway through the move and then realized what I had done, which moved my position from "on the fast track to resignable" to "must immediately resign".

I laughed at myself, looked at him and said out loud "this isn't how a knight moves" and he looked at me with one of the most dead serious faces I'd ever seen and said: "You were lost anyways."
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Old 10-16-2020, 03:10 PM   #23
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Lol, that is kind of awesome, though .

Yeah, I don't think anyone thinks or says Shankland has the worlds best bedside manner (himself included). However, if you like that kind of literal approach, I think he is your super GM.
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:33 PM   #24
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

That's a good story. Legit lolled.
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