Chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura has addressed his recent controversy in the Twitch community after being accused of copyright striking fellow competitor Eric Hansen’s Chessbrah YouTube channel.
Hikaru has come under fire for how his associate and former Chess.com moderator, Chessbae, handled the copyright strikes against Chessbrah.
The claims in question were made by Bent Pixels Select, a company that works with Hikaru and TSM. In a statement to Dexerto, the company explained that, “in this case, chessbrah has uploaded two (2) videos that were direct copyright of one of our creators GMHikaru in which a takedown policy was applied.”
In a Twitlonger, Hikaru apologized for his actions, acknowledged that mistakes were made while implying that Chessbae acted independently and that he would no longer be working with her.
“I need to be more aware of the actions of my team, and anyone working on my behalf,” he said. “While well intentioned, I fully acknowledge that those working on my behalf with me should not have aggressively pursued the copyright strikes. From now on, I will have more visibility into all things related to my account and business.”
He further commented that he would like to have a private conversation with Eric Hansen to resolve their issues.
“I will not do this in a public forum and will not speak publicly about him again. As two of the game’s most high profile chess content creators, we have a responsibility to the community to at least meet as professionals,” he stated.
Hikaru ended his post by saying he was ‘truly sorry’ to those disappointed in him. “Clearly I love this game, and my passion can at times get the best of me. I hope we all can move forward from this, and focus on what matters most.”
Chess.com also responded to the backlash by removing Chessbae’s moderator privileges, including those on Twitch.
“…While we appreciate the skills, passion, and commitment of Chessbae to grow chess and the streamers she works with, we recognize that her methods and communications have at times been problematic (and we feel this reached a head recently with her handling of the copyright strike against the ChessBrahs),” Chess.com’s CCO Danny Rensch explained in an April 10 Reddit post.
“We apologize to any fans, streamers, and community members who feel we did not manage these situations correctly,” he added.
So far, Hansen has yet to respond to Hikaru’s request for a private meeting, but hopefully, with this drama nipped, the Twitch chess scene will return to normal.