14 February 2021

The Responsibility of Fame

Like him or hate him, GM Hikaru Nakamura is here to stay. Every month I prepare a short list of videos to feature on this blog, and every month at least one of his clips makes that list. It's been six months since a pair of previous Naka videos were turned into posts -- Pogchamps (June 2020) and Political Pundits and Pogchamps (August 2020) -- so it's high time for another. The question posed in the video's title was motivated by a report from GM Carlsen's chum Tarjei Svensen: Carlsen & Nakamura missing in 2021 Grand Chess Tour field (chess24.com).

Is Hikaru Retiring From Chess? (18:57) • '[Published on] Jan 21, 2021'

The answer was streamed on the GMHikaru Youtube channel. The clip's description said,

Hikaru talks about the Grand Chess Tour, why he and Magnus are not playing and what the chess calendar looks like throughout the rest of the year.

As you might guess, one of the main reasons is covid uncertainty, but another is GM Nakamura's increasing online popularity and the parallel responsibility to his fans and sponsors. Like any other sporting celebrity, he has to take advantage of the circumstances while he's still in demand. Fame is often fleeting.

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