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Hikaru Nakamura Net Worth

Who knew “if takes, takes, Queen to B2 . . . ” would result in the popular streamer and chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura having multimillion dollars in net worth?

Nakamura sure has made a hefty amount from his chess career. The Reddit community also gossiped about him having a higher net worth than the rest of the top 10 richest pro chess players combined. Media portals talk about him having a net worth of $50 million. But does the 5 times US chess champion have the money the internet claims he has?

And what does Hikaru Nakamura, the man himself, reveal about his net worth?

Let me take you on a ride to Hikaru Nakamura’s net worth and earnings from winning countless tournament victories, online streaming, brand endorsements, and investing.

Hikaru Nakamura’s Net Worth At A Glance

Name Hikaru Nakamura
Source of Wealth December 9, 1987, Osaka, Japan
Nationality Japanese-American
Height 5 feet 7 inches
Main Profession Chess Player
Estimated Net Worth$15 Million
Source of WealthChess Events and Tournaments, Streaming, YouTube Adsense, Brand Endorsements, Investing, Book Sales, etc.
Twitter https://twitter.com/GMHikaru
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/gmhikaru

Born to a Japanese father and an American mother, his humble path toward a professional career in the United States has been a commendable journey. He is still into chess and is exploring more ways to add millions to his name.

Millionaire Chess Player, Hikaru Nakamura Giving Pose With Chess Materials
Hikaru Nakamura Made A Whopping Sum From Chess

How Did Hikaru Nakamura Make His Money?

According to our research, Hikaru Nakamura has a US $15 million net worth. Hikaru made a major portion of his wealth from his chess involvement. He makes a decent sum as a streamer, YouTuber, and social media personality. He also has a huge chunk of his net worth tied to the stock market.

  1. Chess Tournaments (Lifetime Proceeds: $10 million)
  2. Streaming and Content Creation
  3. Book Sales
  4. Brand Endorsements and Sponsorships
  5. Media Appearances
  6. Investments

Chess Tournaments (Lifetime Proceeds: $10 million)

Hikaru Nakamura had started making big splashes in the chess scene long before attaining the hailed Grandmaster title at 15. He is a five-time U.S. Chess Champion and the reigning World Fischer Random Chess Champion.

The U.S. Chess Championship winner takes home a hefty sum of $250,000. Apart from these, he has also won the:

  • Tata Steel Chess Tournament
  • Gibraltar Chess Festival
  • Zurich Chess Challenge
  • London Chess Classic
  • Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival
  • Gibraltar Chess Festival
  • Gibraltar Chess Congress

And these are only the major tournament victories we’re talking about.

Nakamura, for example, has also won chess.com’s Titled Tuesday 70 times as of writing. The 1st-place finisher is awarded a $1,000 victory prize, meaning he has bagged himself a lifetime proceeds of at least $70,000 from this event alone. The top-5 finishers in each Titled Tuesday also get monetary prizes, and we only included his first-place finishes in our calculation.

PlacePrize
1st$1,000
2nd$750
3rd$350
4th$200
5th$100
Highest female player$100
Total (tournament)$2,500
Total (week)$5,000
Chess.com Titled Tuesday Prize Fund as of 2024

Nakamura has also played in the FIDE Candidates Tournament three times in his career. However, Nakamura revealed that players actually lose money during the course of the tournament.

Combining all his chess victories, we conclude that Hikaru Nakamura has bagged total proceeds of at least $10 million from chess tournaments alone.

However, note that professional chess players incur huge expenses such as travel costs, tournament entry fees, and coaching fees. Hikaru Nakamura did not take the entirety of his victory prizes home.

Hikaru Nakamura Showing His Trophy
Hikaru Nakamura Flaunting His Trophy

Streaming and Content Creation

Hikaru Nakamura is a big-time YouTuber and chess streamer to the likes of another online chess creator, Levy Rozman (GothamChess). He claims he is a full-time streamer first and a chess player second.

“Who cares,” he says.

This is because, unlike content creation where influencers like BluKitsune9 and Karla De La Torre earn well, professional chess has very little money.

Nakamura primarily streams on Kick in recent times but was previously active on Twitch and Discord.

Here’s a breakdown of his presence on various online platforms:

PlatformGMHikaru (Main YouTube account)
GMHikaru (Main Youtube account)2.33 million subscribers
GMHikaru Clips197K subscribers
More GMHikaru156K subscribers
GMHikaru (Discord)20,876 members
Hikaru Nakamura (Twitter)563.1K followers
gmhikaru (Kick)
gmhikaru (Twitch)
Chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura’s presence on online platforms as of April 25, 2024.

With over 2.33 million subscribers on his main YouTube channel, Hikaru Nakamura generates revenue through YouTube Adsense, with estimated monthly earnings of $10,000. Twitch, Kick, and Discord subscriptions, donations, and sponsorships further contribute to his income, totaling $10,000 – $20,000. Furthermore, affiliate marketing on these platforms also boosts his overall earnings, totaling anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 monthly.

Books (Royalties) and Merch Sales

Although more popular in the digital world via video platforms, Nakamura has also invested his effort and expertise into authoring books.

In 2009, Nakamura published Bullet Chess: One Minute to Mate. However, this isn’t the only book he has authored. Little known to many, Nakamura has co-authored several books like Sos Secrets of Opening Surprises – Volume 7, New in Chess, and even a chess book in Russian.

However, his royalty income can’t be estimated and is subject to the success of these books.

Meanwhile, he has an elaborate list of merchandise on sale on Streamlabs, ranging from printed cups and shirts to stickers. The priciest item was a $39.99 hoodie and the cheapest was a $9 art sticker.

Brand Endorsements and Sponsorships

Grandmaster Hikaru heavily promotes the chess.com platform on his content. Recently, he was also seen promoting other brands like Red Bull and Stake.

Media Appearances

As a popular figure in the chess world, numerous media companies, movies, and drama series have approached Hikaru Nakamura for guest appearances. Nakamura is famously known for his appearance in Billions (2016), Kiiroi Namida (2007), and Guest House (2020).

A celebrity figure receives approximately $10,000 to $20,000 for such guest appearances. Nakamura is no exception. It might actually be true: riches attract more riches.

Investments

Hikaru’s financial portfolio extends beyond his online presence. He diversifies his income streams which in turn contributes to his overall wealth.

Hikaru Nakamura once disclosed on his YouTube reaction video that a huge chunk of his net worth is tied to investments in the stock market.

On a live stream on Kick, he was also seen discussing investing in the automobile maker Tesla soon.

This indicates his active involvement in financial decision-making and interest in expanding his investment portfolio beyond traditional avenues.

Hikaru Nakamura’s Comment on His Net Worth

Hikaru Nakamura has also commented on his net worth estimation made by the popular website Money Inc. Hikaru claims only to have a net worth of $5 million, most of it tied up in stock investments.

The article ranked him as the richest chess player of all time, with a net worth of $50 million. However, Hikaru was quick to dismiss this claim. In perspective, the article also ranked the five-time World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in second place with a net worth of $50 million. (Note that the Money Inc. article has been updated slightly after Hikaru made his reaction video.)

He also further provided commentary on the article and his estimation of the richest chess players’ net worth.

According to Grandmaster Nakamura, Anatoly Karpov is the richest professional chess player of all time. Karpov was the Soviet favorite chess player for at least 15 years, and Nakamura believes this has resulted in lucrative financial gains for him. However, he added that Karpov’s net worth doesn’t come from chess primarily. He said that Karpov owned a country house or a villa that was sitting on top of a natural gas deposit.

Meanwhile, Hikaru ranked Grandmaster Garry Kasparov as the second-richest chess player at an estimated net worth of $50 million. In contrast, he estimated Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen’s net worth to be around $20 million.

Here’s an estimation of the richest chess players’ net worth made by Money Inc. in comparison to the correction suggested by Hikaru Nakamura. We’ve used the article’s latest claims.

Pro Chess PlayerMoney Inc. Estimated Net WorthNet Worth Estimated by Hikaru Nakamaura
Garry Kasparov$6 Million$50 million
Teimour Radjabov$5 Million$20 million to $25 million
Magnus Carlsen$50 Million$20 million
Viswanathan Anand$3 Million$15 million to $18 million
Hikaru Nakamura$50 Million$5 million
Judit Polgar$5 Million$5 million or less
Vladimir Kramnik$2 Million$4 million to $6 million
Levon Aronian$3 Million$3 million
Fabiano Caruana$13 Million$2 million to $3 million
Maxime Vachier Lagrave$5 Million$1 million to $2 million
Hikaru Nakamura’s estimation of the net worth of the richest chess players. Source: YouTube

Diving into Hikaru Nakamura’s Past

Apart from streaming chess content in his signature pineapple shirt, it seems that Hikaru is good at making money. But how did he start his journey?

The 36-year-old social media star was born to a mother, Carolyn Merrow Nakamura, a classically trained musician, and school teacher, and Japanese father Shuichi Nakamura.

He along with his brother, Asuka, and his family moved to the United States when he was only two years old. Being raised in White Plains, New York by a single mother, he started playing chess at the age of seven.

Hikaru Nakamura In A Restaurant With His Food
Hikaru Nakamura Is A Talented Chess Player

Reportedly, Hikaru got coaching in chess from his Sri Lankan stepdad named FIDE Master, and a chess author named Sunil Weeramantry.

At the young age of 10, the chess player became the youngest American person to beat an International Master after he defeated Jay Bonin at the Marshall Chess Club.

At the same time, he held the accolade of the youngest player to achieve the title of chess master from the United States Chess Federation. He got the title breaking the record previously set by another American chess player, Vinay Bhat.

Later, he grabbed his grandmaster title at the age of only 15, the youngest American to do so in 2003.

Moving onwards, the mixed ethnicity holder, Hikaru was able to grab the 56th position in the 30th annual World Open tournament held in Philadelphia in July 2002.

On June 20, 2005, Nakamura received a grant of $32,000 as the 19th Frank Samford Chess Fellow with the hope to run furthering his chess education and competition.

Till now, the chess grandmaster has won 5 US Chess Championships. Similarly, he is still actively involved in the game and is making new records.

A Quick Look Inside His Luxurious Life

The American streamer cum chess player, Hikaru lives a luxurious life with his earnings. He often visits various places as his holidays and never forgets to post them on his social media accounts. His vacations in Dubai, Berlin, London, and other parts of the world show his wealthy lifestyle.

Further, the YouTuber lives a quality life thanks to his chess and social media career. He often flaunts his luxuries on his Instagram handle. He along with his wife, Atousa Pourkashiyan, an Iranian chess player often visits various locations to enjoy their spare time.

Likewise, Nakamura has houses in Naples, Italy, and Sunrise, Florida. His earnings from various platforms have helped him lead a lavish lifestyle with his family members. He reportedly splits his time between Italy and the United States.

Besides, he is seen enjoying holidays in desert safari, attending various games as well as events in various locations.

With his continuous involvement in chess and chess-related content on various platforms, he is still making huge money. Also, many social media users are speculating him to be a billionaire. Well, he has yet to achieve that mark.

You may like to read about other social media stars like Sarah Langa and Stephen Hung.