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Pucks and Pawns - Nakamura Teams With Hockey

  • FM MikeKlein
  • on 3/13/14, 1:09 PM.

Chess and hockey may not seem like a natural fit, unless you're the U.S. number one. Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, a longtime fan of the NHL, will finally get his chance to play chess at a hockey game. This Sunday, March 16, he will host a chess exhibition before the Florida Panthers home game in Sunrise, Florida.

Previously, Nakamura has been invited down to the field as a special guest at St. Louis Cardinals (baseball) and St. Louis Rams (American football) games. But if you've ever talked sports with him, his hockey knowledge is probably better than yours.

GM Hikaru Nakamura on the Jumbotron at the inaugural Sinquefield Cup in 2013

Starting at 1:00 p.m., two hours before gametime, you can play chess with fellow fans. As part of the "Checkmate Pack", which is $25, you get a ticket to the game and you'll also get a chance to meet the highest-rated player in U.S. history. He's also the owner if a shiny and new 2900 bullet rating on Chess.com. There will also be appearances by the Lady Panthers and Stanley C. Panther.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to local chess clubs.
The visiting team is the Vancouver Canucks, and since Nakamura used to live in Vancouver, the best bet is that he will side with them.
The event was put together through a combination of people. The Mayor of Sunrise, Mike Ryan, has made it a concern of his to boost area chess clubs. The city runs a free weekend club. The Viola family, owners of the Panthers, are originally from Brooklyn and grew up playing chess. Add to that the involvement of Robert McLellan, the executive producer of the documentary "Brooklyn Castle" and current NSCF marketing director - www.nscfchess.org - and chess and hockey came together.
Nakamura, who played in a hockey jersey, and GM Gata Kamsky, after their game at the 2010 U.S. Championship (photo: Betsy Dynako)
You can order tickets here and if you enter the promotional code "Panthers" you get $5 off.

5292 reads 34 comments
5 votes

Comments


  • 7 months ago

    Incredibletactic

    Canucks won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 7 months ago

    unbeatable123

    I was lucky enough to attend the event from Miami and was the only one who got to play Hikaru Nakamura!!  What a thrilling experience it was (though I lost in 24 moves...)  Thank you for the game Nakamura and best of luck in becoming the world champion!!

  • 7 months ago

    jediel73

    I've been a Blues fan since Mike Liut was their goalie--probably before you were born! I think, Hikaru, you have the potential to be the greatest ambassador for the the game of chess to those who refuse to see it as a sport.  Good luck today (not that you need it) and God bless.

  • 7 months ago

    ExchangeMaster

    Good to hear that you play tennis, i also play the game n chess

  • 7 months ago

    Nkonitshek83

    Blues look good, Hikaru. Will you be going to any playoff games? Go Kings Go!

  • 7 months ago

    Katoris

    Um... Go Leafs Go?

  • 7 months ago

    Pacific_Square

    Come to Montreal.

  • 7 months ago

    Incredibletactic

    Gillis has been leading us to nomansland. Congrats to the Blues, 6-2 over Edmonton. Canucks must win tonight.

  • 7 months ago

    GM Hikaru

    Oh dear, I completely forgot that I had been to 2 Blues games at Scottrade!

  • 8 months ago

    oleppedersen

    Can I just say how impressed I am that the GM takes time to respond to the comments here! Great to see a top player in the world so approachable (but I will still root for Carlsen when you meet in a future WC match ;-) )

  • 8 months ago

    TaiwanGuy

    Hikaru, you got to make a Blues game when you're in St. Louis some time. Love the pic with the Cards hat!

  • 8 months ago

    GM Hikaru

    I played a fair amount of street hockey during my days in Vancouver and Seattle, but I wasn't very good. Tennis is the only sport which I have spent significant time on throughout the years. 

    I will comment on the candidates at a later date!

  • 8 months ago

    JBades6310

    Hikaru, did you ever play any hockey yourself? You strike me more as a tennis player than a hockey player

  • 8 months ago

    alexcross90226628

    Hikaru, while you are here what is your take on Anand-Aronian game and do you have a prediction for Candidates? Will you be doing any commentary on the event like you did for the WCC( a bit)? Thanks!

  • 8 months ago

    GM Hikaru

    @JEMORANGE Nobody ever roots for the Leafs regardless of whether they are American or Canadian!

    @Incredibletactic Correct on all accounts, although I forgot to mention that I went two of the hockey games during the 2008 Vancouver Olympics as well. I have been to LA, San Jose and Anaheim, but I have never gone to hockey games. I doubt I'll be rooting for the Canucks especially with Gillis not being sent packing yet...

    @haleys Wrong sport, Messi is soccer. 

  • 8 months ago

    Incredibletactic

    Canucks are in Washington tomorrow. Florida has just lost 5-4 to Tampa Bay.

  • 8 months ago

    bigbikefan

    GO RANGERS!! :)

  • 8 months ago

    Incredibletactic

    I'll be watching the canucks. Are you actually going to cheer for Vancouver, Hikaru? They'll probably show you on TV.

    Let me guess:

    MSG-New York Rangers

    GM Place/Rogers Arena-Vancouver Canucks

    Bell Centre-Montreal Canadiens

    Pepsi Center-Colorado Avalanche

    BB&T-Florida Panthers

    Correct?

    Have you been to Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose?

  • 8 months ago

    Jarb_Rafel

    It will become very exciting to see you in Fide candidates tournament Gm Hikaru.

  • 8 months ago

    JEMORANGE

    Its awesome youre a hockey fan Hikaru, but too bad youre a fan of two teams I really hate. Go Leafs Go!

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