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India’s Chess Streaming Scene Heats Up With Diss Tracks By Samay Raina And Sagar Shah

By DA Staff 2 November 2020

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Chess and rap diss tracks are two things you’d never expect to go together, but it seems anything and everything is possible in 2020. Comedian and popular chess streamer Samay Raina has just dropped a rap track titled Endgame, a light-hearted diss against international chess master and ChessBase India co-founder Sagar Shah.

Written and performed by Raina, the three-and-a-half minute track sees him take aim at Shah with a number of chess-based zingers, like “bas ek opening aati unko/aur pucho aata kya bole Lucenaa”  and “E4, E5 khel ke dekho/khelun main F4”. Raina’s punchlines also referenced his fellow comedians, including regular chess stream guest Biswa Kalyan Rath, Zakir Khan, and Kusha Kapila (whose name provided the delicious pun “is jungle ka main raja, maroo Kusha ka pilla“).

Raina dropped the track in response to ‘Bewafah Samay’, released by Sagar Shah a few days ago. ‘Bewafah Samay’ was inspired by Raina’s choice to pick someone other than Shah as a mentor during ChessBase India’s ‘Comedians On Board 3’ stream. Since Raina has been taking 8am chess lessons from Shah (also streamed on YouTube as the ‘Improving Chess’ series), this choice came as a betrayal to the international chessmaster.  

Raina and Shah, along with a handful of other chess streamers and comedians, have been instrumental in putting the spotlight on one of the world’s oldest strategy board games. Their streams have not just brought in hordes of new fans to the game, but they have also raised lakhs of rupees for charitable causes including Delhi’s waste pickers, background dancers in movies, the welfare of stray dogs, the Amphan cyclone that hit West Bengal and the Assam floods. Just yesterday, Raina shared that he had raised Rs. 2,00,000 for youth volunteer NGO Bhumi.

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