Chess is a growing category on Twitch, due in part to the exploding interest in the game following the release of the Netflix mini-series Queen’s Gambit. With the increased interest in playing and watching chess online, a lot of folks are looking for chess specific content creators to watch who can help them improve or entertain them with unique chess content.
There are a number of chess experts who have emerged on Twitch and YouTube that make solid educational and entertaining chess videos. Here are five of the very best chess experts that you can watch online.
Magnus Carlsen — maskeinessen
Magnus Carlson goes by the screenname maskenissen on Twitch. While he is not the most popular streamer in terms of views, due in part to his inconsistent stream schedule, Magnus is one of the most influential players in all of chess.
The Norwegian chess Grandmaster first rose to fame when he was only 13-years-old when he defeated Russian world champion, Anatoly Karpov. Since then, Carlsen has become one of the most decorated chess players in the history of the sport. He is the current reigning chess world champion with a peak rating of 2882, which is the highest rating ever achieved by any player in the history of chess.
Carlsen has been a strong advocate for online chess competitions over the past few years. Most notably, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he organized the Magnus Carlsen Invitational, which he touted as the first fully online professional chess tournament.
When Carlsen streams, he typically broadcasts himself entering online bullet chess tournaments on Chess.com and Lichess. He streams with a face cam and gives minimal commentary on the game. Overall, his streams are really casual. He is less focused on educating viewers and more worried about having a good time.
If you are interested in seeing one of the greatest chess players in the world casually play bullet chess, subscribe to Magnus Carlsen.
Botez sisters — BotezLive
Alexandra is only 25-years-old. She already holds the title Woman FIDE Master and has a very good FIDE Elo rating of 2020. Her younger sister Andrea, 18, peaked at 1773 in FIDE classical chess rating and holds a 2164 rating in Chess.com’s bullet category.
The sisters joined Team Envy as content creators in December of 2020, tying themselves to the growing online chess content movement happening on Twitch. In addition to her work as a streamer, Alexandra Botez has also covered a number of online and offline events as a professional commentator, including commenting at the most recent online PogChamps event.
BotezLive streams and videos typically feature the Botez sisters solving chess puzzles, chatting about chess with their audience, and playing chess competitively online. Their Twitch channel exploded in popularity recently, gaining hundreds of thousands of subscribers over the past year. The Botez sisters are a fantastic educational and entertainment resource for anyone who is looking to get more into chess.
Hikaru Nakamura — GMHikaru
Hikaru Nakamura, who goes by just Hikaru online, is an American chess grandmaster who has won the U.S. world championship five times. Hikaru signed with TSM in August of 2020 and has become the face of chess as an esport over the past year.
Like Magnus Carlson, Nakamura was a chess prodigy, first earning the title of Grandmaster at 15. At the time, he was the youngest Grandmaster in history, but that title has since been taken by Samual Sevian who achieved Grandmaster at 13. Hikaru currently holds a FIDE rating of 2736 and peaked at 2816 back in 2005.
Like Alexandra Botez, Hikaru is a frequent commentator for online chess matches, most recently casting the PogChamps 3 celebrity chess tournament.
Hikaru’s Twitch and YouTube content typically features him playing chess online and explaining his moves to the audience as he plays. He also makes occasional chess reaction videos and other miscellaneous content surrounding the world of chess. His videos are easy to understand and specifically designed to help introduce more people to the game.
Levy Rozman — GothamChess
Levy Rozman, who goes by GothamChess online, is a 25-year-old chess International Master and Twitch streamer. He rode the Queen’s Gambit wave to the top of the online chess world, accruing millions of views on videos that broke down the games presented in the Netflix miniseries.
GothamChess’s popularity was aided by his partnership with Chess.com that he’s had since 2017. As part of his work with Chess.com, he has commentated on a number of online tournaments, including the PogChamps tournament series.
Rozman’s YouTube and Twitch channels are dedicated to chess education. As a scholastic coach for 10 years, Rozman built up a wealth of knowledge in how to help chess players improve. He brings all of that expertise to his online videos and has even published full courses on his website. While watching all of these influencers will help you improve, GothamChess is perhaps the most structured chess streamer when it comes to delivering educational content.
Anna Rudolf — Anna_Chess
Anna Rudolf, known as Anna_Chess on Twitch, is a Hungarian Woman Grandmaster and International Master who has worked as a commentator and analyst for World Chess Championship events. Most recently she was a commentator for the PogChamps 3 event.
Anna Rudolf has been involved in chess for over 20 years and has a peak FIDE rating of 2325. She has not competed professionally since 2017 and has been instead focusing on building her online presence and teaching chess.
Rudolf’s Twitch streams are typically casual but educational, while her YouTube content is dedicated to more structured instruction and game analysis. She often streams with Hikaru, the Botez sisters, and GothamChess, with the group sometimes completing chess puzzles together and other times commenting on live professional matches.
She is an awesome content creator who makes some really interesting and engaging chess videos and broadcasts.
Everyone on this list is part of the small but growing community of chess professionals who have chosen to place their primary chess outreach on Twitch and YouTube. Their content is helping to spread the knowledge and love of chess to an entirely new generation, and we can only expect more growth from them and the chess Twitch category going forward.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.