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Old 04-08-2021, 11:33 PM   #26
loosekanen
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

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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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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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So apparently after Naka lost a game in titled Tuesday to Hansen, and lost another game recently under some "etiquette" concerns, Naka decides to cut ties with Hansen and file Youtube strikes against him. Issue was so serious that Hansen had to drop out of the bullet championships quarterfinals to deal with it.

So lame by Naka, but so typical
I don't get things right too often, but I think September me was pretty good here. Except the "Hikaru's Hikaru" language was recently shelved by Hansen on stream who stepped out to say the quiet part out loud. It starts at about 43:00 if you want to watch it: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/978764250
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Old 04-10-2021, 03:58 PM   #27
The Yugoslavian
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

My "Hikaru has grown up quite a bit" take is not looking too good. Not at all. Lol.
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:48 AM   #28
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Hikaru would not be as bad if he didn't have one of the worst people in Chess acting as his manager.

The fact that he apparently keeps trying to fight various GM's is pretty funny though.

Here is Danya's thoughts on the whole affair :

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1..._YSYk2MGzxpyRg
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Old Today, 10:25 AM   #29
Spielmacher
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

The fistfighting thing is pretty hilarious. He doesn´t strike me as a trained martial artist and if he bumps into the wrong guy things could get ugly real fast for him. Would love to see an arranged Hansen-Naka boxing or mma match, would definitely bet on it and definitely on Hansen.
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Old Today, 12:00 PM   #30
Punker
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

Pretty disappointed with Botez; for all her sad face-ing, I'm still left with the impression she prioritized growth of her channel and maintaining her Hikaru/chessbae relationship over Eric.

I mean..if you read between the lines, it's either people coming out against Nakamura, or people saying "I see both sides because I don't want to get in trouble with Nakamura".

There obviously won't ever be a real fight between Hansen and Nakamura. Hansen is like 6-3 and in shape. Hikaru is a hobbit.
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Old Today, 12:37 PM   #31
TimM
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

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Pretty disappointed with Botez; for all her sad face-ing, I'm still left with the impression she prioritized growth of her channel and maintaining her Hikaru/chessbae relationship over Eric.
After just now hearing Eric's drunken tirade against xQc, I'm not surprised she wanted to distance herself from him for both personal and professional reasons. She even mentioned this incident specifically when responding to Eric's comments.
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Old Today, 03:28 PM   #32
Spielmacher
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Re: Hikaru Nakamura vs Chess Brahs

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Pretty disappointed with Botez; for all her sad face-ing, I'm still left with the impression she prioritized growth of her channel and maintaining her Hikaru/chessbae relationship over Eric.

I mean..if you read between the lines, it's either people coming out against Nakamura, or people saying "I see both sides because I don't want to get in trouble with Nakamura".

There obviously won't ever be a real fight between Hansen and Nakamura. Hansen is like 6-3 and in shape. Hikaru is a hobbit.

No way is Eric 6´3, I´ve seen him "live" and he is average/average-shortish. Naka doing Bruce Lee kung fu fingers at the end of the fight video is hysterical. In no succesful martial art are the kung fu fingers a sign of a dangerous guy. Hikaru picking fights is a dangerous hobby.
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