Hikaru Nakamura drops chessbae, apologizes for YouTube strike

By Nick Johnson


Apr 12, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

Hikaru Nakamura has publically apologized for the ongoing drama between himself and fellow chess grandmaster Eric Hansen, saying that he will take more control of his multi-platform chess content moving forward.

Nakamura denounced chessbae94 as part of his public apology. chessbae is a notable personality behind the scenes in the chess streaming world and was a business associate of Nakamura. Hikaru said that while he “appreciate[d] what she has done … for the world of chess,” it was time that she moved on following recent events.

Nakamura apologizes for chessbrah YouTube copyright strike

Nakamura stated that he “loved chess,” and that the ongoing chaos surrounding the situation was hurting the game’s community. While Nakamura didn’t apologize directly to Eric Hansen or Hansen’s chessbrah group in the public forum, Nakamura said that he would dicuss the matter with him in person.

Nakamura spent most of his apology addressing the broader chess community, outlining his plan to take a more involved role in the day-to-day management of his Youtube and Twitch channels than he has in the past. But Nakamura stopped short of taking responsibility for his channel’s strikes against Hansen, saying that would be more aware of his team’s actions moving forward before revealing that he had parted ways with chessbae.

“While well intentioned, I fully acknowledge that those working on my behalf with me should not have aggressively pursued the copyright strikes,” Nakamura said.

The drama started late last week when Hansen revealed that a copyright strike had been filed against his chessbrah YouTube channel, pointing the finger at Nakamura and, by extension, chessbae. Despite chessbae’s claims regarding the strike, she was let go from her moderator position at Chess.com as a result and has now been dropped by Nakamura as well.

To close, Nakamura offered another apology to chess fans as a whole before signing off.

“For those disappointed in how we all have acted, I truly apologize. Clearly I love this game, and my passion can at times get the best of me,” Nakamura said. “I hope we all can move forward from this, and focus on what matters most.”

Who is chessbae?

chessbae is an anonymous donor who became a prominent part of the online chess community after contributing thousands of dollars to a number of chess streamers. She notably contributed to the streaming careers of Hikaru Nakamura, Eric Hansen, and others. chessbae became a moderator in many top chess channels on Twitch, and was made an authority figure at Chess.com, one of the two biggest digital chess platforms.

Rumors have long circulated that chessbae could be a negative influence behind the scenes, using her financial contributions to empower herself. The latest controversy involving Nakamura and Hansen was enough to see her ousted from her most significant positions, though she remains a moderator on some chess channels.


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