Team Hikaru Raises Over $358,000 For Charity

Team Hikaru Raises Over $358,000 For Charity

| 65 | Chess Event Coverage

One of the chess highlights of 2020 happened shortly before the end of the year, and you might have missed it. On December 30, commentators IM Anna Rudolf and IM Levy Rozman raised $355,720 on GM Hikaru Nakamura's Twitch channel for CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere).

The broadcast took place concurrently with the fifth day of the Airthings Masters tournament. Amazingly, even before the round started, over $20,000 had already been raised. In just four hours, the amount grew to a staggering $355,720.

Five days later, the amount is currently listed at $358,573 on the special donation page where you can still donate. Note that each donation is matched two times to help CARE fight hunger, defeat poverty, and save lives.

CARE is a major international humanitarian agency delivering emergency relief and long-term international development projects.

 Founded in 1945, it is active in almost 100 countries, supports numerous poverty-fighting projects and humanitarian aid projects, and reaches many millions of people.

CARE Yemen
Currently, CARE is focusing on the terrible humanitarian situation in Yemen.

The idea of doing this fundraising stream began to take shape a couple of months ago, when Nakamura offered a 77-board online simul, effortlessly raising around $10,000 for Doctors Without Borders. It became clear that higher goals might be possible.

"Since Hikaru’s audience is truly global, we knew that we wanted to raise money towards an international charity. So we chose CARE, one of the most reputable global charities, that first came up with the concept of ‘care package’ in 1945," said Nakamura's manager Chessbae.

It is remarkable that the highest single donation received was "just" $2,000, and only a handful of them surpassed the amount of $1,000. That means the participation was really massive with a huge number of people donating small amounts. The stream was watched by 885,216 people with 23,844 average viewers and reached its peak at 38,031 spectators.

"I'm incredibly proud of Anna and Levy for running this charity stream and thrilled that Chessbae set up the details and helped run the event," said Nakamura. "I was astonished that the stream raised over $350,000 in four hours and because of the success, we all hope to do it again. It's our goal to raise three million U.S. dollars through the length of the Champions Chess Tour. It's a high goal, but I think we can make it."

The broadcast happened on the day when Nakamura was eliminated from the tournament alongside three other favorites: GMs Magnus CarlsenIan Nepomniachtchi, and Wesley So. After playing, Nakamura joined the stream to continue discussing the games still underway.

A day later, on December 31, Nakamura won the award for Creator of the Year for his sweeping impact on the online chess community. His Twitch and YouTube channels have garnered huge followings, regularly hosting tens of thousands of live viewers. 

"The growth of chess was one of the few positives of 2020, and I think it is our duty as the game’s ambassadors to set a positive example and give back to people who need it most," said Rozman. "The day of the stream, the chat was absolutely electric. We shattered our initial expectations by 250 percent, and the community was excited to keep pushing for a higher goal. We are growing the game of chess and trying to help humanity—can there be a better job?"


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