In modern-day chess, it is a kind of norm that you have to be good at playing very fast. And when it comes to quick calculations and speed Hikaru Nakamura is one of the top chess players in the world.
Especially in Rapid and Blitz chess.
Look at his ratings across all formats in the table below. He is a chess player born for playing quick.
|Classical Chess||Rapid Chess||Blitz Chess|
|Rating: 2736||Rating: 2829||Rating: 2900|
|World Rank: 18||World Rank: 4||World Rank: 1|
Hikaru Nakamura Chess Style
Like any modern-day super grandmaster, Hikaru is highly skilled and familiar with a huge repertoire of chess openings. He is comfortable in playing almost any system. But like any other top player, he prefers playing certain systems e.g. he has played over 100 classical games in Queen’s Gambit Declined and 75+ in Ruy Lopez, Berlin defence, open variation. You can check Hikaru’s all games here.
See what other Grandmasters say about Hikaru’s chess playing style in 1 word:
Why is Hikaru Nakamura Famous
Firstly, Hikaru is a 5 times US champion, and at one stage was the 2nd top-rated chess player in the world behind Magnus Carlsen. But the American Grandmaster cashed the real fame in online chess.
Hikaru is a regular streamer on Twitch and Youtube. He has done both individual and collaborative streams with other chess streamers. And his current net worth is $50 million.
Some famous highlights of his online streaming are his speed runs and reaction videos.
His most famous video on Youtube has over 4.5 million views, where he beat Mr Beast, one of the top online video content creators with only a King and a Queen. Check out that video below:
His most famous reaction video is currently at 2.8 million views. Where Hikaru reacts to the games of top chess players including himself.
Hikaru on Chess Elitism
Chess Elitism refers to the fact that some experienced chess players are not quite receptive to new/inexperienced players. According to them, chess is a noble sport and the ones who are not good at it don’t deserve to play, teach or stream chess both online and offline.
Hikaru is not a fan of elitism in chess. But thinks he finds himself guilty of that thing. But that was not in any bad intentions. He says he stopped doing it when he felt others will take it as looking down at them. But he also thinks it’s normal that players of similar range ratings hang around with each other. And it’s not only a thing in top-level chess. Even 2100 rated club players do that.
See the 2 videos below where Hikaru is reacting to chess elitism and is appreciating the stand people are taking against it. Hikaru thinks chess will only get more popular if people from other domains start broadcasting it or streaming it. That’s where the actual exposure of chess is.
Hikaru reacting to Agadmator’s views on chess elitism starting at 5:33 in the video below:
Hikaru Nakamura Best Games
The Benko Gambit he played against Maxime in 2008 is certainly one of his top games also the game against Ponomariov in 2009 where he played 33 Qa5xe5!! in a Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack.
But these are just my personal favourites. Hikaru is a super-GM and has played many great games. It will be hard to judge which one is the best.
Hikaru Nakamura vs Magnus Carlsen
Against World Champion Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura’s head to head record is a very bad one. In Classical games, Magnus Carlsen’s record against Hikaru Nakamura is 14 to 1, with 23 draws. In rapid chess, the record is 1 win 1 loss and 6 draws. And in Blitz, it’s Carlsen with 5 wins, 16 draws and no wins for Hikaru Nakamura.
Hikaru’s Family in Chess
Hikaru learned chess from his stepfather. A FIDE Master Sunil Weeramantry, who was also his 1st coach.
And among siblings, Hikaru is not the only one who played chess professionally. His elder brother Asuka Nakamura won the 19th annual Laura A Aspis prize in 1998 for being the top-rated chess player under the age of 13. Nakamura’s brother’s rating at the time was 2112 and surprisingly at the end of the year, Hikaru was already a 2237 rated player. Much stronger than his elder brother and was showing signs of a future great player. At age 10, Hikaru became the youngest American to beat an International Master.
Hikaru’s step-father says, his son never learned chess from classical games but improved his chess more like AI engines by playing a lot of games.
His mother Carolyn Merrow Nakamura a classically trained musician and former public school teacher never took any interest in Chess.
Hikaru Nakamura’s future in Chess and Personal Life
The American legend is past his prime, but online chess is his true superpower. There is no other streamer even half of what Hikaru is in the online world.
Talking a little about his personal life, Hikaru is currently unmarried but has a girlfriend from Italy, named Maria De Rosa.
Hikaru Nakamura has an IQ of 102, a score he got from the famous Mensa IQ test. And he is 165cms in height which is pretty low among top chess players.
But who cares, we love Hikaru for his chess 🙂