Everything you want to know about Hikaru Nakamura

In modern-day chess, it’s a kind of norm that you have to be very good at playing fast. And when it comes to speed and quick calculations, Hikaru Nakamura is the best chess player in the world.

He is also one of the top chess content creators. His speed runs are watched by millions of people on Youtube and Twitch, and he keeps mixing the flavors to represent chess to the world in a more presentable and exciting ways.

Reacting to memes, collaborating with other chess content creators, pogchamps, puzzle battles, analysis of on going top tournaments, Nakamura simply does everything that a chess content creator possibly can do.

Listed below are his current ratings across all formats in world chess federation’s ratings:

Classical ChessRapid ChessBlitz Chess
Rating: 2787Rating: 2748Rating: 2874
World Rank: 2 World Rank: 2World Rank: 1

Hikaru Nakamura Playing Style

Like any modern-day super grandmaster, Hikaru is highly skilled and familiar with a huge repertoire of chess openings.

He is comfortable 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 defense, open variation.

You can check Hikaru’s all games here.

See what other Grandmasters say about Hikaru’s chess playing style in 1 word:

How good is Hikaru Nakamura at chess?

He is famous because of his incredible chess talent.

Firstly, Hikaru is a 5-time US champion. He is currently the 2nd top-rated classical chess player and holds the world #1 rank in 2 other formats.

Additionally, he has won a Fischer random world championship.

However, it was in online chess that the American Grandmaster truly gained widespread fame.

Hikaru regularly streams on Twitch and Youtube, both individually and collaboratively with other chess streamers. His current net worth is $50 million.

Some of the highlights of his online streaming include his speed runs and reaction videos.

One of his most famous videos on Youtube has garnered over 14 million views, where he defeated Mr. Beast, one of the top online video content creators, using only a King and a Queen.

You can check out that video below:

His most famous reaction video is currently at 3.7 million views. Where Hikaru reacts to the games of top chess players including himself.

Is Hikaru a Super GM?

Yes, Hikaru is a Super GM. He has won the US championship five times, currently holds the world #2 rank in classical chess, and is currently ranked world #1 in blitz chess. So, of course, Hikaru Nakamura is a Super GM.

A Super GM is an informal term used for elite chess players rated above 2700, and Hikaru is way above that rating.

No matter how you make a case for it, be it titles or ratings, Hikaru Nakamura’s name fits the Super Grand Master title in every manner.

Hikaru and 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 those who are not skilled 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 he admits he finds himself guilty of that at times.

However, he assures that his intentions were never to be condescending.

He stopped doing it when he realized others might perceive it as looking down on them.

Nevertheless, he believes it’s natural for players with similar rating ranges to spend time with each other, and this trend is not limited to top-level chess; even 2100 rated club players do that.

In the two videos below, Hikaru is seen reacting to chess elitism and appreciating the stand people are taking against it.

He thinks chess will only become more popular if people from other domains start broadcasting or streaming it, as that’s where the actual exposure to chess lies.

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 surely 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 favorites. Hikaru is a super-GM and has played many great games. It will be hard to judge which one is the best.

Hikaru’s Family in Chess

Hikaru learned chess from his stepfather, FIDE Master Sunil Weeramantry, who was also his first coach.

Among his 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.

At that time, Nakamura’s brother had a rating of 2112. Surprisingly, by the end of the year, Hikaru was already a 2237 rated player, much stronger than his elder brother, showing signs of being a future great player.

At the age of 10, Hikaru became the youngest American to beat an International Master.

Hikaru’s step-father says that 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 is a classically trained musician and former public school teacher. She never took any interest in Chess.

Hikaru Nakamura’s future in Chess and Personal Life

The American legend has recently found a new prime, previously he had lost interest in classical chess and his rating was removed from FIDE’s site because he didn’t played in classical games for 2 years.

But he came back won a tournament, played the candidates, won more games and again became world #2 in classical chess.

Nevertheless, his true potential and future lie in online chess, where he excels.

More and more top players are starting their online chess careers, and it will be great to see what they contribute to the future of chess.

Switching to a bit about his personal life, Hikaru recently got married to Iranian American Woman Grandmaster Atousa Pourkashiyan.

Previously, he had a girlfriend from Italy named Maria De Rosa.

Hikaru Nakamura has an IQ of 102, a score he achieved in the famous Mensa IQ test. He stands at 165 cm in height, which is relatively short compared to other top chess players.

But who cares? We love Hikaru for his chess skills! 🙂

Can Hikaru Speak Japanese?

Hikaru took lessons in Japanese when he was 10 and took Japanese as a subject during 1st semester at Dickinson College, but English is still the only language that he is fluent in.

Is Hikaru Nakamura mixed?

Hikaru Nakamura is 12.5% German, 12.5% Swedish, 50% Japanese and 25% mix of randomness! This is what he shared in his tweet on August 6, 2015. So yes, he is a mix.

Hikaru traveled to Japan in 1995 with his family.

In a video below you can watch a whole video of it, but at no point is Hikaru Nakamura speaking Japanese:

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