The spectacular Chess prodigy, Hikaru Nakamura was born on December 9, 1987 in Hirakata, Osaka. He is the youngest child in his family and has two older sisters and an older brother. When Hikaru was five years old he became interested in chess after watching a game between Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik at the 1996 Chess Olympiad. Hikaru learned how to play chess by watching his brother and sisters play.
In 2001, when Hikaru was just thirteen years old, he became the youngest grandmaster in the history of chess. In the same year, he also won the World Youth Chess Championship. Hikaru has since gone on to win many other prestigious chess tournaments, including the U.S. Chess Championship (in 2009 and 2013), the FIDE Grand Prix (in 2009 and 2012), and the Tata Steel Chess Tournament (in 2014).
Hikaru is the American chess player with the highest ELO rating. He was born on December 9, 1987 in Hirakata, Osaka in Japan. His international career as a chess player began when he moved to the United States at age 13 and made it to first place of his very first super-tournament: Wydra Memorial in 2004. Nakamura became a grandmaster in 2005, at the age of 17 years and 8 months.
Nakamura has represented the United States in nine Chess Olympiads from 2004 to 2016, winning a team bronze medal in 2016. He was also a member of the US team that won the bronze medal at the World Team Chess Championship in 2011.
20 Facts About Hikaru Nakamura
1. Largest Chess Streamer
Hikaru is at the top of the list of best Chess streamers on Twitch and also runs one of the best Chess YouTube channels with over a million subscribers. It’s incredible to be able to watch one of the best Chess players in the history of the game for free any time we want. Imagine if Paul Morphy or Garry Kasparov were able to do the same thing, do you think they would have been even stronger players? Hard to fathom.
2) Aggressive Play Style
Nakamura is known for his aggressive and attacking style of play: This has led to him being one of the most successful chess players in history when it comes to winning tournaments.
3. No Weakness
One of Nakamura’s major strengths is his ability to think ahead many moves in a game: This, combined with his aggressive playing style, often leads to complex positions that are difficult for his opponents to navigate.
4. Born in Japan
Nakamura was born in Japan but moved to the United States when he was just two years old: He has since become a naturalized American citizen. This makes him one of the best American Chess players rather than being classified as one of the top Japanese players.
5. Family of Chess Players
Nakamura’s parents were both professional chess players: His father, Shigeru, is a 9-time Japanese Chess Champion, while his mother, Kiyoshi, is a two-time winner of the Women’s Japanese Chess Championship.
6. Pawns Before Walking
Nakamura started playing chess at the age of four: He was taught by his parents and quickly showed a natural talent for the game.
7. Rose To Greatness
Nakamura rose to prominence in the world of chess in early 2003 when he scored a number of notable results: In the 2003 Chicago Open, he finished in second place, behind only Grandmasters Alexander Stripunsky.
8. First Major Title Victory
A few weeks later, at the National Chess Congress, Nakamura won his first major national title: He defeated Vinay Bhat in tiebreaks to take home the $50,000 first prize.
9. Too Cool For School
Several months later, Nakamura faced off against International Master John Fedorowicz in a game for his high school. He went on to win several moves before resigning and giving Fedorowicz an impromptu mathematics lecture. The game was voted Chess Informant’s Game of the Year for 2003.
In 2004, Nakamura was given the opportunity to play a four-game chess match against Grandmaster Evgeny Bareev. The prize for the best out of four was $100,000. Nakamura won two games and drew one game to win the match with one game left unresolved. However, he declined the prize money, saying that “chess is not a sport”.
11. Youngest Ever US Champion
In 2005, Nakamura became the youngest-ever United States National Chess Champion, a feat that reminds you of the legendary Bobby Fischer. He remained the U.S. champion until 2011 when he was surpassed by Gata Kamsky.
12. Ain’t Scared
Hikaru Nakamura is a very aggressive player with a style that can often be quite intimidating. This has resulted in him scoring some impressive wins, but also a few spectacular losses. Nonetheless, he is considered one of the strongest players in the world and is definitely one to watch!
13. More Money More Pawn Pushing
In 2010, Nakamura won the Grandmaster tournament in Gibraltar: He finished one point ahead of runner-up David Howell and took home a prize fund of £25,000.
14. First Ever
A few months later, Nakamura became the first American-born player to win the London Chess Classic: He finished one point ahead of runner-up Magnus Carlsen and took home a prize fund of £100,000.
15. A Grandmaster is Born
In late 2011, Nakamura was awarded the title of Grandmaster of The Year: The award is given annually by the Association of Chess Professionals and is decided by votes from all of the top players.
16. First Ever… Again
In 2012, Nakamura came joint-first in The Reggio Emilia chess tournament: He finished on 8/11 alongside Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana. However, Nakamura lost out to Karjakin in the tiebreak.
17. I’m All The Way Up
Nakamura has won a number of prestigious tournaments, including the US Chess Championships in 2016, which made him the first American chess player to win this title since 1995; the Corus Chess Tournament (2009); and the London Chess Classic (2010). He is also the first player to have won all three of the major classical tournaments (US Championship, Corus, and London Classic)
18. One of the Best in The World
In early 2015, Nakamura played in the Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship: He finished in 5th-8th place out of eight players, narrowly missing out on qualification for the next stage.
19. One of the Few Super Grandmasters
Hikaru is one of few godly player on the list of Super Grandmasters. Even though the Super GM title isn’t an official FIDE title, the Super Grandmaster is an unofficial title the Chess community uses to classify players with a FIDE rating above 2700.
20. Ranked #2 In The World In Rapid
Nakamura is currently ranked number 2 in the world for Rapid Chess just behind Magnus Carlsen who is the reigning World Champion. This accomplishment is astonishing. And we get to watch Hikaru play every day to learn, for free.
That concludes this list of interesting facts about Hikaru Nakamura. To say the least, Hikaru is an incredibly talented chess player with a number of impressive achievements under his belt. He is currently ranked as the third best player in the world and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon! So what are you waiting for, start playing on chess.com.
If you liked this post, you may also like other list of facts on the best chess players in the world like the list of facts about Mikhail Tal or facts about Magnus Carlsen.