Brace yourselves, chess fans! Comedian and top chess streamer Samay Raina is all geared up for his ‘sub battle’ against American chess prodigy Hikaru Nakamura at 8.45pm today. A hand-picked team of the comic’s subscribers will take on the Grandmaster’s fans in a series of 3-minute games, with the winner taking home bragging rights as well as the chance to post a tweet of their choice from the loser’s account.
The duo have been teasing this battle for quite a while. Nakamura recently uploaded a video titled ‘Why Hikaru Won’t Collab With Samay Raina’, in which the former world number 2 took on the challenge of beating Raina’s Chess.com bot—one of the many bots available on the site which replicate the playing style of various streamers and Grandmasters—10 times. The comedian was quick to reply with a 30-second clip titled ‘Why Samay Won’t Collab With Hikaru Nakamura’, in which he takes on the monumental task of beating the Grandmaster’s bot 10 times. Unfortunately, he gets checkmated in two moves.
Following these cryptic videos, Nakamura followed Raina on Twitter, the comedian told DeadAnt. “I had been trying to plan this collab for a while, trying to get in touch with Nakamura via emails and through his manager. But once he followed me on Twitter I slid into his DMs and we finally planned this sub battle,” Raina said.
We grilled Raina further on who would be representing his team on the top board, which will have players rated higher than 2200. “Odds are Nakamura will play the top board for his team because it’s not easy to find such high rated players from the viewers. So I have also called GM Nihal Sarin because he’s great in these short time controls,” said Raina. For those of you who don’t know, Sarin recently annihilated Raina 20-0 in a series of 1-minute bullet games. So it will be fun to see the young prodigy take on Nakamura.
“At the end of the day a sub battle is just an excuse to have some fun and make the guests feel comfortable,” said Raina. “I hope that the stream goes well because I would love to collaborate more with Nakamura. He’s one of the GOATs and I want to do many more streams with him,” he added.
The comedian has a great track record in these sub battles having won against Alexandra Botez, Anna Cramling, Nemo and Levy Rozman and losing only one against Anna Rudolf. So Raina and his subs will be under “no pressure but full pressure”. #IYKYK
Tune in to Raina’s YouTube channel at 8:45 PM tonight to witness some great chess and some equally unbelievable blunders.