23 August 2020

Political Pundits and Pogchamps

For this edition of The Sociology of Chess (November 2016), we return to Pog Champs (June 2020). That was our sociology post of the month when the world was emerging from covid lockdown.

Hikaru on Bobby Fischer, Chess Drama, Iranian Chess Players and other issues (23:24) • '[Published on] Aug 4, 2020'

The description of the video says,

Hikaru [Nakamura] and David Pakman discuss Bobby Fischer, Chess Drama, Levon Aronian, the Iranian chess players and officials, and other controversies in chess.

What does that have to do with 'Pog Champs'? A recent announcement, Chess.com Announces The Next Pogchamps (chess.com; July/August 2020), explains,

Chess.com is announcing the second edition of Pogchamps, the critically-acclaimed Twitch streamer chess tournament featuring some of the most well-known content creators in the world. [...] In preparation for this Pogchamps, top streamers have already begun their training with coaches, including political pundit David Pakman, League of Legends star Gripex90 and others.

Political pundit Pakman has his own Youtube channel: David Pakman Show. Comparing his '962K subscribers' with GMHikaru's '347K subscribers' gives one side of the story, but the clip embedded above has more than 125K views, which would be a decent number even for Pakman.

Why are the two thirty-somethings talking to each other? See The Endgame With David Pakman - A Beginner's Chess Lesson for a Pogchamp (youtube.com; GMHikaru), 'Hikaru gives Pogchamp2 Player David Pakman a beginner chess lesson'. It's called training, but as we all know, there's more to chess than two armies fighting on 64 squares.

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