Hikaru Nakamura: Chess, Magnus, Kasparov, and the Psychology of Greatness | Lex Fridman Podcast #330

Hikaru Nakamura is a chess super grandmaster and is currently the #1 ranked blitz chess player in the world. He is also one of the top chess streamers on Twitch and YouTube. Please support this podcast by checking out our sponsors:
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EPISODE LINKS:
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Macauley Peterson’s video:

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OUTLINE:
0:00 – Introduction
1:41 – A private game vs Magnus Carlsen
9:29 – Chess openings
25:42 – Mental preparation
34:22 – Chess tactics
44:45 – Solving chess
50:26 – Aggression and ego
55:11 – Hans Niemann cheating scandal
1:05:03 – How to cheat in chess
1:19:26 – Greatest chess player of all time
1:29:43 – Hikaru’s immortal game
1:42:08 – Paul Morphy
1:43:52 – World Chess Championship
1:46:41 – Magnus Carlsen
1:50:16 – Sergey Karjakin
1:52:43 – Beauty of chess
1:59:38 – Day in the life
2:14:16 – Streaming
2:28:56 – Taking risks
2:34:25 – Depression
2:39:14 – Advice for young people
2:46:34 – Love

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500 Comments

  1. Hello Lex! I see that you don't have Spanish subtitles in your videos. This can help you grow your views and subscriptions by reaching the Spanish-speaking audience. I can help with Spanish subtitles and Spanish voice-overs. Reach out to me.⚡⚡⚡

  2. Lex asks some pretty funny questions if you have an understanding of chess, much like a curious child

  3. hikaru likening standing on top of giants is super interesting, if we think of the math greats lebiniz and we compare kolmogorov, shannon. its easy to say which math was more complex, but which developments were most impactful.

    super interesting perspective from Hikaru

  4. This explains why chess champions are champions for so long.

  5. 6:38 > "I mean why do you interpret that that's your weakness"

    yeah, i had this exact same question… as i recently watched the game of "Magnus vs Arjun" where Arjun also played a "13th well known move" and that gave him edge over Magnus as he wasn't able to save those. So, like with same parallel, i'd think that this was strength…

  6. Hikaru say he isnt naturally gifted at chess but became 2nd ranked only behind magnus if hikaru was born in the past or future theres a possibillity he is the no.1 rank

  7. I bet hikaru would be a master pool player also all sbout geomotry

  8. not going to lie lex is a good conversationalist

  9. Regarding the solution to cheating; how about a Faraday cage? Regardless of what's in your ass, heavy signal disruption (the broadcast data can be relayed via cable).

  10. even though he would have crushed you, you should have played a game at some point.

  11. Are all of his interviews this poorly prepped or is this just a "he doesn't know anything about chess" type of situation? Seems like very little planning went into this with the low effort questions and poor quality follow ups.

  12. Hikaru made me follow chess during the pandemic. A great communicator

  13. Thanks for providing this content! Beautiful!

  14. Exceptional podcast with a remarcable person!

  15. Hikaru's explanations are crystal-clear, even to lower level players.

  16. He just had to say he did lose because he was drunk. He lost because Magnus is so much better. Which crazy because hirco is unbelievably good

  17. 44:48 Of course it will be fully solved one day. It’s solved for 7 pieces right now. It’ll could take hundreds of years for computing to be strong enough to solve from move 1 but it’s inevitably going to happen one day.

  18. "you build a pawn the giants of the past" – hikaru

  19. Didn't Hikaru also gain a chance to understand Carlsens playstyle?

  20. typical biden supporting leftist dtriple vaxed blm rioter

  21. hikaru is such a likeable guy. for a chess superstar that is bloody awesome! he is funny and he can take a joke here an there. i think…..?

  22. 1:27:53: "But it's sorta like… who has.. who has the better like brain?" 🤣🤣Savage

  23. I wonder if Lex would like to talk with former World Champion Vishwanathon Anand? That would be very interesting.

  24. Regardless of the fact that Hikaru is one of the greatest to ever play the game, what makes him stand out to me is that he genuinely inspires others to take up chess. He did for me (he's def my favourite) and I'm sure he did with a lot of others. Thanks Lex for inviting him and for bringing more attention to chess recently

  25. I love listening to Hikaru and the interviewer has good lead ins but I just wish he could adapt to the guest instead of that weak, soft and kind of dead voice tone. I know he is interested but it sounds like he is talking in his sleep.

    I am grateful for the vid anyway!

  26. What an arc… 10 years ago this man was considered toxic by the vast majority of the chess community. He's since not just redeemed himself, but in my humble opinion has become an example to live by. Is some of that due to… luck… money… yes. But he could retire today, and does not. His love for people is sincere.

  27. 1:06:00 Imagine future when you will need to scan players for e.g. Neuralink implants in their skull to make sure they don't communicate with computers. I guess we cannot ask people to shave bald and then search for scars in the skull either.

    Maybe the war has already been lost and we shouldn't be playing full knowledge games for money because cheating will be so lucrative if we keep doing that and the cheating methods will be harder and harder to catch.

    Or maybe full body MRI scans before entering the room and broadcast is delayed 1 or 2 turns.

  28. Hikaru could fit in with the rest of the devil may cry 5 characters with that thumbnail

  29. "Don't Try" means that unless you are willing to "go all the way," be "all in," then don't try. Going all the way and being all in means: Staying up or hungry for days, enduring enormous amounts of pain, absorbing failures, criticisms, etc.

  30. I was lost in the first 2 minutes. He says they all want to win when he didn’t give any effort in at least one game if not 2-3 at the candidates. He lost his chance at the championship by not trying to win.

  31. I strongly believe that when it comes to cheating, chess organisers shouldn't look for chess experts, but experts in cheating, such as illusionists or magicians.
    The illusionist James Randi framed, for instance, faith healer Peter Popoff and his claims to know the name, address and illness of the people attending his healing gatherings: he secretly tuned to Popoff's earpiece radio frequency, which was connected to his wife's radio, after that the wife herself had gained info about some of the crowd by befriending them before the gatherings. And it happened in the mid-80s, when that kind of cheating wasn't easily imaginable.
    A person like an illusionist can expose these tricks better than anyone else, and at times they are way more obvious than they looked.

  32. Very nice reference to Buk. That is a very strange connection, but it fits. Either you are a fan, or you have a good team or you have some weird asymmetric algorithm running for strange tangential connections. Regards, neat. Also, Hikaru being a boss.

  33. Hikaru is such a great guest as well! (calm, collected, attentive, passionate)

  34. Hans himself has admitted cheating in crucial games, in the past. If nothing is done about it, nothing will change and the problem will just get worse, making chess an unattractive game for everyone. So I think Magnus is doing the right thing to call out Hans. On the other hand, he should do it with gentleness, since what if he were in Hans' situation? Also, perhaps studying positions with a computer a lot teaches one to find "computer moves", thus making it look like one is using a computer?

  35. Well, as I know, he didn't say "get out of here", so I'm still here, waiting

  36. My humble suggestion how to measure, who is the best chess player of all times must be measured by who has won Tata Steel Chess Tournament the most times. This Tournament has been around for over 80 years and all the top players in their time has played this tournament multiple times. The one that has won it the most times should be the greatest player of all times as all the best has been tested against their best of their time in this tournament.

  37. 8:12 LEX: "Are you able to appreciate the epic-ness of this ?" referring to the legendary hotel-room 40-game sequence Hikaru played with Magnus.
    The question itself is epic, for it represents such a careful and admiring prod into the thought processes of Hikaru that it cannot but bring out the absolute best from him. And both rise to the occasion.
    That's the mark of a great interviewer…!

    Lex… your interviews are beyond merely informative and entertaining… they are truly inspirational amd lay bare for us the very best of your guests. Thank you

  38. Here are the timestamps. Please check out our sponsors to support this podcast.
    0:00 – Introduction & sponsor mentions:
    – Mizzen+Main: https://mizzenandmain.com and use code LEX to get $35 off
    – InsideTracker: https://insidetracker.com/lex to get 20% off
    – NetSuite: http://netsuite.com/lex to get free product tour
    – SimpliSafe: https://simplisafe.com/lex
    1:41 – A private game vs Magnus Carlsen
    9:29 – Chess openings
    25:42 – Mental preparation
    34:22 – Chess tactics
    44:45 – Solving chess
    50:26 – Aggression and ego
    55:11 – Hans Niemann cheating scandal
    1:05:03 – How to cheat in chess
    1:19:26 – Greatest chess player of all time
    1:29:43 – Hikaru's immortal game
    1:42:08 – Paul Morphy
    1:43:52 – World Chess Championship
    1:46:41 – Magnus Carlsen
    1:50:16 – Sergey Karjakin
    1:52:43 – Beauty of chess
    1:59:38 – Day in the life
    2:14:16 – Streaming
    2:28:56 – Taking risks
    2:34:25 – Depression
    2:39:14 – Advice for young people
    2:46:34 – Love

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