Hikaru Nakamura, a 5-time US Chess champion, has agreed to train YouTuber Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson for the next PogChamp chess championship. Hikaru is a chess Grand Master currently signed to TSM who has become a rising star in the exploding world of online chess esports, as both a competitor and a commentator.
“For PogChamps 4, whenever it is, will you train me for it?” MrBeast asked Hikaru on stream. “Will you make me so lethal at chess that people are terrified to play me? I am putting you the spot in front of 50,000 people.”
Hikaru responded, “If you want to play at PogChamps 4, I will definitely train you.”
Mr. Beast and Hikaru discussed and agreed to that arrangement in a live post-game interview after fellow YouTuber and former professional cyclist Michelle Khare eliminated MrBeast in the quarterfinal round of the PogChamp 3 consolation bracket. Hikaru was one of the commentators for that match, along with chess International Master Daniel Rensch.
MrBeast made it clear in the interview that he intends to take his chess improvement very seriously in the lead-up to the next PogChamps event.
“We have to figure out how many hours a week I am dedicating to this,” the Youtube celebrity said to Hikaru. “We have to get a regiment going, I am serious. I want to beat everyone, I want to beat Ludwig, I want to beat critical. But then I want to act like I didn’t train whatsoever, I just come in and beat them.”
MrBeast has more than 75 million followers across his various social media channels. The online celebrity only recently learned how to play chess in November of 2020. So he is quite new to the esport.
Despite being new, however, Mr. Beast managed to put on a respectable performance at PogChamps, even earning several compliments for his strategic decisions from both Hikaru and Rench during his quarterfinal match in the consolation bracket.
As of now, the date for PogChamps 4 has not yet been announced, but according to Rensch on Friday's live stream, we can expect it to be sometime in the next 3-6 months.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.