This week’s New In Chess Podcast episode features American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura. In a not-to-be-missed interview, he talks to Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam about the future of chess. And more.

Hikaru Nakamura is one of the world's two most popular chess players. He is a five-time US Champion, the reigning Fischer Random World Champion, and he is the current number two in the live ratings with a stunning 2800 plus rating.

Most importantly, from his own perspective, he is an immensely successful streamer. The chances that you follow his YouTube channel are considerable, as he has an awesome 2.4 million followers.

The interview took place on the day of the closing ceremony of Norway Chess, when the players were invited to the villa of one of the sponsors in Sola, a seaside resort not far from Stavanger. While the other players and guests were playing chess or cards, Hikaru Nakamura sat down with Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam in the comfortable guest house of the villa, fully ready to give his views on anything that came up.

How does he see the future of chess? Will the chess boom continue? What will be India's role in the years ahead? How strong is Erigaisi? Is there a chess life after Magnus and Hikaru?

Hikaru Nakamura's openness and willingness to share his thoughts make this interview a must-listen. He doesn’t shy away from any questions, providing a unique and engaging experience for the audience.

The New In Chess podcast is published every Friday and can be listened to on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and the New In Chess website.    

00:00 – Intro
01:34 – How does Hikaru feel about the increasing prevalence of non-classical tournament play, like blitz, rapid and Fischerandom?
03:57 – The importance of sponsors and online viewership to further the growth of chess
06:14 – The start of Hikaru’s streaming career
08:25 – How does Hikaru stay motivated and energetic for his online content?
11:03 – Streaming during big tournaments
13:53 – How does Hikaru cope with losses?
15:15 – How does Hikaru’s newfound wealth affect his play?
19:56 – Why some players get “stuck” in chess
23:23 – Hikaru gives Dirk Jan a proper, YouTube-style introduction
23:35 – Is it hard for Hikaru to recap his own losses?
27:23 – The origins of “Gucci Piano” and “Fiancheeto”
29:27 – AD  BREAK
30:05 – How long will the current chess boom last?
32:49 – Does Hikaru ever get too caught up in social media numbers?
34:18 – The relative lack of “big stars” in chess
36:23 – Hikaru’s personal and professional relationship with Magnus
38:22 – Hikaru’s criticism of the classical + Armageddon format used at Norway Chess
40:25 – Why does Hikaru like classical so much?
41:35 – Hikaru’s expectations for up-and-comers like Pragg, Erigaisi and Abdusattorov
46:03 – Fischerandom
47:00 – Indian chess
49:39 – Will Hikaru actually retire at 40?
53:18 – Outro