The world’s number one chess player, Magnus Carlsen, made his grand return to Twitch, and he couldn’t resist making a dig at Twitch’s top chess star Hikaru Nakamura.
The Norwegian chess grandmaster has spent much of his adult life dominating chess, no matter which opponents are thrown his way. He’s been the world champion since 2013 after becoming a Grandmaster in 2004, and has played against just about every top player there is.
That includes Twitch star Hikaru Nakamura, who has run the category on the streaming platform for some time now, while also being an extremely high-ranked player himself.
When entering into Hikaru’s domain, however, Magnus couldn’t resist taking a swipe at the streamer, joking about his skill level.
“You shouldn’t compare me to Hikaru,” he told his chat on January 3. “That guy is a full-time streamer. I’m not even verified on Twitch. How could I possibly have more viewers than him?
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“It’s not a fair competition. It’s like when we play in chess tournaments, and I’m a professional chess player, and he is a professional streamer, that’s not fair.”
While Magnus was being a bit tongue-in-cheek, his appraisal was rooted in reality too. He has a clear winning record against Hikaru across classical and rapid-exhibition games, but similarly, Hikaru peaks much higher than him in Twitch viewership.
Magnus has chosen not to defend his title at the 2023 FIDE World Chess Championship, relinquishing the honor, which will go to the winner of a match between Ian Nepomniachtchi and Ding Liren.
It is unclear whether he would seek to regain the title in the future.