The Top Chess Players in the World


Photo. Ludwig Ahgren.
Full name
Jul 6, 1995 (age 28)‎
Place of birth
United States


Ludwig Ahgren, popularly known simply as Ludwig, is an American Twitch streamer, YouTuber, Smash Bros player/commentator, and celebrity personality.

Ludwig was a player and commentator for the first PogChamps tournament. As one of the breakout stars of PogChamps (where he was a consolation bracket finalist), Ludwig became a commentator for PogChamps 2. He played in PogChamps 3 and again in PogChamps 4.

Streaming Career

Born in New Hampshire, Ludwig graduated from Arizona State University in 2017. He was originally known in the gaming community as a “Super Smash Bros. Melee” player and commentator. He started his Twitch stream in 2018, and later that year he ran the Ludwig Ahgren Championship Series for the game. It featured a $1,000 prize pool. When his popularity exploded in 2020, Ludwig followed up with a second championship series with an even greater pool of $10,000. A third followed in December 2020.

Ludwig’s stream, as well as his YouTube channel, really began to take off when he began playing “Pokemon” and “Super Mario 64” live. Chess and PogChamps helped take him to an even greater level. As of January 2021, Ludwig has more than 1.2 million YouTube subscribers and over 1.4 million followers on Twitch. PogChamps

Ludwig shared on YouTube that he actively sought an invitation to the initial PogChamps in June 2020. His persistence paid off, and he made it into Group D. After receiving a brief chess playing and learning session with GM Hikaru Nakamura, Ludwig won one of three games at the group stage playing under the handle Lud-Skywalker. His victory came against Swiftor in the final game, and he credited an unexpected source: “Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual” by IM Mark Dvoretsky.

One win wasn’t enough to put him in the running to win the entire tournament, but that did not discourage Ludwig during a strong run in the Consolation Bracket. He swept xChocoBars 2-0 and then edged xQc 2-1 to reach the finals against MoistCr1TiKaL. During the match with xChocoBars, Ludwig again credited Dvoertsky for his success.

While Ludwig lost the consolation finals, the outcome wasn’t all bad. His stream was seen by over 70,000 concurrent viewers after Arizona wildfires led to a Twitch raid of his channel (where one streamer sends their viewers to another). 

Also, each game took more than six moves—which was how long Cr1TiKaL needed to beat xQc in the most viral moment of the tournament. It was a moment Ludwig enjoyed live, demonstrating that he could be an entertaining chess streamer even when not actively playing a game. PogChamps 2

Ludwig got his feet wet as a commentator in the first PogChamps, joining Nakamura and GM Robert Hess to call the consolation quarterfinal between xQc and Fuslie. 

That experience led to a commentary gig for PogChamps 2 (in which he didn’t play). Along with Hess and IM Danny Rensch, Ludwig added his PogChamps experience, brand of humor, and insight to the tournament, as the following segment illustrates.

While Ludwig commentated, his girlfriend QTcinderella played in PogChamps 2. She advanced to the semifinal of the consolation bracket. PogChamps 3

Ludwig returned to PogChamps as a player again for the third edition of the event in February 2021. His rapid rating then was about 1100. PogChamps 4

Ludwig returned as a player again for the fourth edition of PogChamps in August 2021. Tune in to see what he will do both in terms of the moves on the board and in front of the webcam.


Best Game