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Nakamura Hosts Jokers Gambit Event On May 5-6

Nakamura Hosts Jokers Gambit Event On May 5-6

PeterDoggers
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45 | Chess Event Coverage

UPDATE: Hikaru Nakamura has officially cancelled Jokers Gambit for now. Join him on April 21st for his sub battle with GM Ben Finegold. On April 24th Hikaru will be playing in the next Champions Chess Tour starting at 10 a.m. PST, 1 p.m. EST, 19:00 CEST. Follow the broadcast at Twitch.tv/gmhikaru with guest commentators IMs Anna Rudolf and Levy Rozman.

The Jokers Gambit, an event that will be hosted on GM Hikaru Nakamura's Twitch channel on May 5-6, will see top poker players participate in a Pogchamps-style chess tournament. They will be playing for a trophy while the stream will once again be supporting a charity.

The fact that there is an overlap between chess and poker has been known for decades. A number of strong chess players are known to have played poker (some of them professionally), such as GM Alexander Grischuk, GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov, GM Jan Gustafsson, GM Joe Gallagher, IM Almira Skripchenko, and WGM Jennifer Shahade, to name a few.

The intersection between chess and poker also works the other way around: a number of top poker players are known to have an interest in chess. Examples are Dan Smith, who won over $36 million as a poker player after reaching a 2100 level at chess as a teenager, and Daniel Negreanu, a six-time World Series of Poker winner and participant in the recent Pogchamps 3.

Currently, 25 poker players have been registered to play in Jokers Gambit. Besides Negreanu, there is for example 2003 WSOP winner Chris Moneymaker, 2016 WSOP winner Fedor Holz, 2020 WSOP winner Daniel Dvoress but also Xuan Liu, the only woman to be at the final table at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) main event, and Liv Boeree, the only female player in history to win both a WSOP bracelet and the European Poker Tour.

Joker's Gambit Hikaru Nakamura poker chess
As with Pogchamps, the players will have dedicated chess coaches. These include, for instance, IM Anna Rudolf, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, IM Danny Rensch, and IM Levy Rozman. See the top image for a full list of players and coaches.

The format will be announced live prior to the event on May 5th. What is known is that the first day (May 5th) will feature a combination of rapid and blitz all-play-all type events, while the second day (May 6) will be knockout.

There will also be a charity component of which details will be announced soon. Two weeks ago, "team Hikaru" raised over $360,000 for the humanitarian agency CARE, setting the total donation sum over three fundraiser streams at over $1 million.

The event will take place May 5-6, 2021, and can be watched Nakamura's Twitch channel. If you're a strong poker player and are interested in playing in this event, please contact teamhikaru@unitedtalent.com or press@chess.com.

Willum Morsch X Purling London Art Chess Ornament ‘Trojan Dazzle Knight #2’
At stake is this trophy: the Willum Morsch X Purling London Art Chess Ornament ‘Trojan Dazzle Knight #2’. Image: Purling London.

Players

The following players have already agreed to participate in the tournament. The list below is being updated as new players join the event.

Coaches

The chess players below will be coaching the participants for the event:

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