The Top Chess Players in the World

GM Daniel Naroditsky

Naroditsky at the 2015 Qatar Masters tournament. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Full name
Daniel Naroditsky
Born
Nov 19, 1995 (age 26)‎
Place of birth
San Mateo, California, USA
Federation
United States
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Bio

Daniel "Danya" Naroditsky is an American grandmaster, author, commentator, streamer, and chess celebrity. Naroditsky is a former World Youth Chess Champion, tied for first place at the 2014 Millionaire Chess Open, and reached his peak FIDE rating of 2647 in May 2017. He graduated from Stanford in 2019.


Chess Career

Naroditsky learned how to play chess at the age of six from his father. At the age of 11, he became the youngest player to win the Northern California K-12 Championship and then won the under-12 division of the World Youth Chess Championship.

Naroditsky wrote two books for New In Chess in 2010 and 2012, becoming one of the youngest published chess authors ever. He tied for second-fifth places alongside GMs Alexander Shabalov and Varuzhan Akobian at the 2010 U.S. Open and participated in the 2011 U.S. Chess Championships.

He was awarded the Samford Chess Fellowship in 2014 and tied for first at the 2014 Millionaire Chess Open—Naroditsky started writing his well-known endgame column in Chess Life magazine around this time. 

Daniel Danya Naroditsky chess
Naroditsky. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Naroditsky has a universal style like many of today's strong grandmasters—he has no noticeable weaknesses and can win games with devastating attacks, endgame grinds, tactical shots, and many other fashions. 

In this example of outplaying the strong GM Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez, Naroditsky gets a noticeable advantage in the opposite-colored bishop and heavy piece ending after 27...Be5. His opponent gives up the exchange in an attempt to relieve some of the pressure, but after 35...Qg6 Naroditsky has set up a powerful battery, and it is over quickly.

You can watch Naroditsky himself as he covers this game in this video lesson.

In this second game example, we see Naroditsky score a quick win in the PRO Chess League against GM Kannappan Priyadharshan. A tactical shot presents itself on move 22, and Naroditsky doesn't hesitate—the game is over only a handful of moves later.

Chess Channels

Naroditsky is an extremely popular chess streamer—his Twitch channel has over 80,000 followers as of December 2020. Whether he is doing speed runs to 3000, chatting about chess, playing Titled Tuesday tournaments, or just playing blitz, his stream is always entertaining. Here is Naroditsky playing 10-second games with GM Andrew Tang:

Naroditsky's YouTube Channel is also very popular and has over 80,000 subscribers as of December 2020. His channel has over 5.5 million views, and among his most popular video playlists are his Speedrun series, his Stream Highlights series, and Chess Mastery Explained. He has many collaborations with other chess celebrities, like WFM Alexandra Botez.

Chess.com Content

As mentioned, Naroditsky is a commentator for many Chess.com events, and was named lead commentator in 2021.

He has been a coach and commentator for PogChamps and was directly responsible for the most memorable moment in the tournament. In the following clip, he coaches MoistCr1tikal and shows him an opening trap:

When MoistCr1tikal actually played this against xQc during the tournament, hilarity ensued and chess history was changed forever—this is still the most-viewed chess clip on Twitch:

Aside from his commentating and coaching, Naroditsky has also created other top-notch content for Chess.com. He has been writing articles for Chess.com since 2014, and his video lesson series "How To Be Lucky In Chess" is very popular.

Daniel Danya Naroditsky chess
Naroditsky's Chess.com lesson "How To Be Lucky In Chess" is popular.

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