The World Chess Championship, a head-to-head battle between Ding Liren and Ian Nepomniachtchi, starts this Sunday.
This event happens every two years, and decides who will be the new world chess champion. In the off year, there’s another event called the Candidates Tournament, which decides who will challenge the world champ next time.
Here’s a great preview of the two players by Ben Tippett in Defector: https://defector.com/the-world-chess-championship-begins-on-the-edge-of-the-unknown
If you’re the kind of person who likes being in control, the good news is that you’re responsible for exactly half of what happens on a chess board, but the bad news is that your opponent (who is trying to beat you) is responsible for the other half. You have some control over where you want to steer a game, but ultimately you’re in the boat with your opponent, and you both get the opportunity to row.
I’ll probably catch some of the games live, but I know I’ll be watching the GothamChess recaps after.
I’ve gotten into playing chess and watching chess content in the ~1.5 years since the last world chess championship. In fact it was Tippett’s piece on Defector that caught my attention. That led to watching the GothamChess recaps, including this wildly entertaining summary of this notable game in the match:
As with any niche, there’s a whole ecosystem of personalities, not just this one guy. Here are a few of the popular chess content creators I enjoy following:
- GM Daniel Naroditsky
- On YouTube he makes educational videos where he plays lower-rated players, beating them very easily, and explaining every single move in exhaustive detail.
- On Twitch he grinds speed chess games against top opponents to try and maintain his rating near the very top of the rating charts. He keeps very strange hours, so I will often have him on as I’m falling asleep.
- WFM Anna Cramling
- On YouTube she makes educational and entertaining videos that are very accessible and fun. She often plays higher rated players and loses but has a great attitude about it. Both of her parents are grandmasters, and so she will often pull them in, which is quite sweet.
- She’s also on Twitch although I haven’t caught her stream too many times
- GM Hikaru Nakamura
- First, here’s a fun article about him in The New Yorker: The Most Popular Chess Streamer on Twitch
- On YouTube, he posts tons and tons of content, including videos of him playing against lower rated players and basically stunting on them, much more for entertainment sake than educational sake. But he also posts recaps of his legit tournaments and excerpts from his stream when he’s competing in events like Chess.com’s Titled Tuesday, which he routinely wins.
- On Twitch where he streams loads and loads of chess
- On Kick which I guess is some new Twitch competitor that threw a bucket of money at him to also stream there? idk
If you want to play some chess with me, get in touch :)