Twitch streamer ChessNetwork caught out a potentially steam-sniping opponent after laying a trap for them on the broadcast.
ChessNetwork, as the name suggests, streams online chess games on Twitch, sharing his knowledge of the game as a National Master-ranked player with his viewers.
One of the perils of explaining your strategy live, of course, is that if the opponent is watching the broadcast they could gain a massive edge from such information, with the ability to predict and plan for opponents’ moves being a huge part of success in chess.
During one match, however, ChessNetwork was able to catch out a potential stream sniper by baiting them into a bad position.
After making a move with his pawn, ChessNetwork feigned disaster, acting as though he’d made a game-losing mistake and explaining the move his opponent could now make that would all but end the game.
Right on cue, the opponent made the move as described, and ChessNetwork pulled the switch to gain a massive advantage.
“Yes! They might have been listening, it’s a sneaky tactic, a stream tactic!” ChessNetwork explained in celebration.
What is stream sniping?
“Stream sniping” is the term used to describe the practice of watching a streamer’s broadcast while in the same game as them in order to disrupt the normal flow of play in some way, either by gaining information for a competitive edge or simply using it to more effectively troll the streamer.
While the effectiveness of stream sniping can be mitigated to some degree by having a delay on the broadcast, for many streamers being able to interact with viewers in real time is a significant part of the entertainment they offer, and so adding a delay may not be an option without impacting the broadcast.
It’s not entirely clear whether Chess Network’s opponent was actually stream sniping – it’s possible they simply fell for the trap of their own accord, and not because they were listening in – but the timing of the move certainly made it seem like they took the bait.