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Chess Grandmaster Banned On Twitch After Streaming Dr. Disrespect Match

Popular chess streamer and Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura thought it would be okay to watch Dr Disrespect play chess on Twitch. He was wrong, it seems. A chess prodigy, the five-time US champion is one of the best in the world. At age ten, he was then the youngest American to beat an International Master. At 13, he was also the youngest American to be given the title Grandmaster. His now-suspended Twitch channel offers a thorough, yet approachable take on chess.

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“Today I was banned from Twitch because I showed some chess games that were being played between Dr Disrespect and Dr Lupo on YouTube the other day,” said on Nakamura on YouTube.

As of writing, Nakamura’s Twitch channel has the following ban notice.

Kotaku reached out to Twitch for confirmation and clarification that watching Dr Disrespect play chess caused the three-day suspension, but did not hear back prior to publication.

While the ban is for only three days, the timing seems particularly lamentable with the FIDE Grand Prix chess tournaments underway. For many, the ban won’t come as a surprise, given Disrespect’s fractured relationship with Twitch. Dot Esports reports that during the stream, viewers express concern that watching the footage could induce a ban. “Chill out, you guys,” said Nakamura. “Do you think I care? This is chess.”

In June 2020, Twitch banned Guy “Dr Disrespect” Beahm, with sources telling Kotaku that the ban was permanent. A year later, the streamer sued Twitch, and in early March 2022, Dr Disrespect provided an update on Twitter, writing, “I have resolved my legal dispute with Twitch. No party admits to any wrongdoing.”

According to Nakamura, he had been under the impression that the tweet meant that the permaban was no more. “Now, incorrectly at the time, I assumed that because Dr resolved his issues with Twitch, there would be no problems with showing that on my stream”, he said on YouTube. “As it turns out, Dr is still banned and apparently was only referring to legal issues.”

In the Twitter replies to Nakamura’s ban announcement, Twitch streamer Asmongold chimed in that the ban seemed weird because other Twitch streamers, including himself, had reacted to the drama surrounding Dr Disrespect’s game studio and NFTs. “The rules are clearly not black and white and three days for not understanding an unstated nuance seems unfair,” tweeted Asmongold.

On YouTube, Nakamura stressed that the ban was only temporary. “This is not permanent in any way shape or form. And while it’s unfortunate, it has happened, and again, I’m looking forward to returning to Twitch as soon as possible.”

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