Red Bull signs Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura has been signed as a sponsor by one of the most recognizable global brands, Red Bull. The energy drink company is known for its caffeine-ladened formula and has sponsored some of the most daring athletes including the skydiver Felix Baumgartner who made a 128,100-foot jump from space. While Nakamura has not done skydiving from such an insane height, he is perhaps the most daring chess player on the planet. His style is accented by constant energy, risk-taking, and an incessant will to win.

Currently the eighth-ranked player in the world, he has won a number of events including the 2013 London Chess Classic last December. He is currently on the professional circuit and will play in the Vugar Gashimov Memorial starting on April 20th in Shamkir, Azerbaijan. World Champion Magnus Carlsen will also compete. In a interview with Peter Doggers, Nakamura speaks on his relationship with Redbull:

“I think working with Red Bull might give chess more exposure; it’s a first step in changing the image.” (read interview)

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  1. Chess is a game and a sport. For example, I do think tennis for example is also very mental. When Federer and Nadal play, they always have an idea of what they’re trying to do, they try to think ahead. You can’t understand their thought process, but you still can see the shots, it’s very visual, so you still are seeing part of the game whereas with chess it’s really the exact opposite, with the exception of blitz. The action of moving the pieces is what you see, but you don’t see the whole mental side of it. That’s the biggest difference.

    ~GM Hikaru Nakamura

  2. There he goes again with “chess is a sport”. The only thing I can say on his side of the argument is that chess is a mental gymnastics competition of the highest order– and gymnastics is a sport LOL.

  3. I know business is business but is it just me or are their others who think that Red Bull and chess will not “play well” with young scholastic players and parents?

      1. I am sure Red Bull would not intentional aim for the up and coming scholastic players! Never the less parents will surely have to deal with the spill over effects of young kids thinking that Red Bull will help their performance. I would think that a product that potentially increase heart rate would be a detriment to the needed mental process of a slow methodical game like chess.

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