The Best Chess Streamers on Twitch
Chess has seen massive growth in popularity thanks to the combined effects of the pandemic and the global success of Netflix The Queen’s Bet series. It’s also fueled a massive audience growth for the timeless game on Twitch, with some of the world’s top gamers regularly streaming their games to the masses. If you’re also one of those new converts or just getting into the world of livestreaming, here are the streams and events you can’t miss if you’re interested in what’s happening on all 64.
Why does chess work so well on Twitch?
To some extent, everything works when there’s enough of an audience to watch, and the success of Netflix’s adaptation of The Queen’s Gambit, coupled with a massive shift in the entertainment landscape in the time of COVID, has led to an explosive growth in interest in chess. The game allows tons of skill expression and offers the kind of complexity that a game like Dota 2 done, with an endless variety of approaches and potential outcomes.
Different time controls also allow for unique streaming experiences. You can marvel at the elite player crushing their opponent with only one minute to complete all the ball moves or enjoy fast-paced games with the kind of downtime a card game offers when you have plenty of time to think about the match, providing tons of opportunities for audience interaction.
Here are the best chess streamers you should watch.
In many ways, Nakamura is almost single-handedly responsible for the massive growth of Chess on Twitch. As one of the best players in the world, few content creators can match his ideas and strategies on the board. He also has the wit and personality to match his skills, adding to an entertaining and educational stream.
His incredible prowess in faster time checks is a big part of his appeal, but his willingness to dive deep into his matches against other super-grandmasters and analyze them in detail is why his content of Chess is valuable even for those playing on a higher level and aren’t just interested in speedruns and other challenges where the skill difference between players can sometimes overshadow the struggle.
You can catch his streams on twitch.tv/gmhikaru.
Alexandra and Anna Botez
The Botez sisters have become one of the powerhouses of Twitch’s chess streaming community. They combine great entertainment value with forays into the gaming scene and great engagement with other content creators on their channel. Not that they’re outdone when it comes to playing chess either, as evidenced by Alexandra’s Woman FIDE Master title and Andrea’s streak of titles during her high school years, making it makes a powerful duo to face on the chessboard.
Their humor is also on point, as evidenced by Andrea’s immortal decision to ask Magnus Carlsen during the press conference for the World Chess Championship match about how the knight moves. There’s also a reason why the “Botez Gambit,” hanging your queen, is now a staple of internet chess humor.
GothamChess (Levy Rozman)
The New York International Masters has one of the biggest YouTube channels in the scene with a wide variety of entertaining and educational content, from the Guess the ELO series to tournament recaps. It’s (mostly) family fun when it comes to Levy’s pre-recorded content, but that’s another story on his Twitch channelwhere non-stop fireworks and the constant flow of spices guarantee a good time for viewers who appreciate a more down-to-earth streaming experience and a real New York attitude to go with it.
As an international master and female grandmaster, Anna Rudolph has experience broadcasting events at many top tournaments in the chess scene. The 33-year-old Hungarian stands out on the shows with her bright red lipstick and linguistic versatility. In the past she has made videos for Chess24.com in English and Spanish.
With the international appeal of chess, its ability to create content and conduct interviews in multiple languages only adds to its strength as a broadcaster.
Operated by the largest online chess platform, the Chess.com channel is also involved in popular events like Pogchamps, and there is often substantial overlap between their hosts and the other major individual streamers on the platform. shape.
The website is also the premier source for tournament broadcasts, producing live coverage of all the biggest chess events in a wide variety of languages. If you are looking for consistent and varied chess content with gameplay of the highest levels, his channel is a must.
Another American GM, albeit slightly lower on the mountaintop than Nakamura, 26-year-old Naroditsky (affectionately known as “Danya”), began his streaming journey in late 2019 and has never looked back.
With a focus on community and making high-level gameplay accessible, its streams are worth checking out even if you’re not great at chess yourself. Putting a little more emphasis on the educational side of things when it comes to his speedruns, Danya content is a great way to learn new chess principles and improve at the game.
Eric Hansen & co. (the Chessbrah band)
Arguably the most “native” Twitch of the whole bunch, the Chessbrah channel is run by Eric Hansen and Aman Hambleton. Both are solid players in their own right, with the Grandmaster title to prove it. Eric also became Canada’s youngest general manager at the age of 21. Sometimes it’s chess, sometimes a popular video game, or maybe tournament analysis featuring community heavyweights like Yasser Seirawan, but there’s always something to watch on their channel. .
You can find their streams on twitch.tv/chessbrah.
These are the biggest names on Twitch to watch, with regular online tournaments to pit them and other top talent against each other. This dynamic competition is only growing. The biggest chess sites all host tournaments specifically to promote online chess broadcasts: chess24’s Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and chess.com’s Rapid Chess Championship give fans a chance to see their favorites in action. And that’s just the online part.
The 2022 in-person Candidates Tournament is set for a June 16 start, with the world’s best players battling for a chance to challenge Magnus Carlsen for his crown. With Nakamura confirmed as a participant and the whole world watching online, this will be an event like no other.