Popular chess videos on the Internet

by ChessBase India
4/30/2019 – Which is the most popular chess video on the Internet? How many people watched the record-breaking YouTube video? And who is the star of the show? Magnus Carlsen? Garry Kasparov? Neither. It is a 13-year-old boy named Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu. Really! A single video of him beating a 2650 GM in blitz chess was watched by close to 21 million viewers — chalking up 82 million watch minutes. And that's not all: other games by Pragg have been watched many millions of times as well.

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20 million views

Here's the YouTube video that broke all records. It was recorded five months ago, at the first super tournament on Indian soil, the Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz 2018, held in Kolkata. The ChessBase India team was covering the event and shot many of the blitz games in high definition videos. One of them showed 13-year-old Praggnanandhaa beating GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly, rated 2650. It is just under 20 minutes long and has become the most popular Internet chess video of all time. Currently 20,817,731 have viewed it, and it has chalked up 156,000 likes. Want to make it one more?

And here are the moves of the game, for you to replay and analyse (the fan icon switches on an engine):

[Event "Tata Steel India blitz"] [Site "Kolkata"] [Date "2018.11.14"] [Round "17"] [White "Praggnanandhaa, Rameshbabu"] [Black "Ganguly, Surya Shekhar"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B80"] [WhiteElo "2530"] [BlackElo "2615"] [PlyCount "191"] [EventDate "2018.11.13"] [EventType "tourn (blitz)"] [EventRounds "18"] [EventCountry "IND"] [EventCategory "19"] [SourceTitle "Mega2019 Update 03"] [Source "Chessbase"] [SourceDate "2018.11.16"] [SourceVersion "1"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.11.16"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. O-O Be7 7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bd7 9. b3 O-O 10. Bb2 a6 11. Nce2 Rc8 12. c4 b5 13. cxb5 Nxd4 14. Nxd4 axb5 15. Qe2 Qb6 16. Rfd1 b4 17. e5 dxe5 18. Qxe5 Bd6 19. Qg5 h6 20. Qd2 Be5 21. Re1 Bb8 22. Nc2 Rfd8 23. Qxb4 Ba7 24. Qxb6 Bxb6 25. Ne3 Bb5 26. a4 Ba6 27. b4 Bd3 28. Bxf6 gxf6 29. Rac1 Rb8 30. Red1 Bxe3 31. fxe3 Rxb4 32. Rc3 Rb1 33. Rxb1 Bxb1 34. Rc1 Ba2 35. a5 Bd5 36. Rd1 f5 37. Bxd5 exd5 38. Kf2 Kg7 39. Kf3 Kf6 40. Kf4 Re8 41. Rxd5 Re4+ 42. Kf3 Ra4 43. Rb5 h5 44. Rb6+ Ke5 45. a6 Ra2 46. h3 Ra3 47. Rh6 Ra1 48. Rxh5 Rxa6 49. g4 Ra1 50. Rxf5+ Ke6 51. h4 f6 52. Rb5 Kf7 53. Rb2 Kg6 54. Kf4 Rf1+ 55. Kg3 Rg1+ 56. Kf3 Rf1+ 57. Rf2 Rh1 58. Kg3 Rg1+ 59. Kf4 Rh1 60. h5+ Kg7 61. e4 Ra1 62. Rf3 Ra5 63. Rb3 Ra1 64. Rb7+ Kh6 65. Rb6 Rf1+ 66. Kg3 Kg7 67. Rb2 Rg1+ 68. Kf3 Rf1+ 69. Rf2 Ra1 70. Re2 Rf1+ 71. Kg2 Rf4 72. Kg3 Rf1 73. e5 Rg1+ 74. Kf3 Rf1+ 75. Kg2 Rf4 76. Kg3 fxe5 77. Rxe5 Rf1 78. Kh4 Kf6 79. Rb5 Rh1+ 80. Kg3 Rg1+ 81. Kf3 Rf1+ 82. Kg2 Ra1 83. g5+ Kf7 84. Rb7+ Kg8 85. Kg3 Ra4 86. h6 Ra1 87. Kg4 Rg1+ 88. Kh5 Ra1 89. Rb5 Ra6 90. g6 Ra8 91. Kg5 Kh8 92. Rf5 Kg8 93. h7+ Kg7 94. Rf7+ Kh8 95. Kh6 Rb8 96. g7# 1-0

Amruta Mokal and Sagar Shah in action

Responsible for the massively successful YouTube publications are Amruta Mokal and Sagar Shah, the driving forces behind ChessBase India, who have attended numerous tournaments in India and abroad — at the end of May they will be reporting on the Lindores Abbey Chess Stars Tournament, which will take place in the Lindores Abbey Distillery located in Newburgh, just an hour north of Edinburgh in Scotland. The stars are Carlsen, Anand and Ding Liren. Of course Praggnanandhaa (go on, try it: prag-na-nan-da) will be missing, but Sagar's videos are still bound to receive a very large number of viewers.

For the massively watched videos ChessBase India, which posted them, received a silver play button from YouTube. In the accompanying letter the CEO wrote:

"You have done something that very few YouTube creators accomplish. You had an astonishing 100,000 people subscribe to your channel. We know that numbers on YouTube can get really big, but we hope you do not lose sight of the reality behind the six-digit milestone. Each and every person who has subscribed has been touched by what you created. They were inspired, challenged or entertained. You achieved this milestone with hard work, perseverance, and probably a healthy sense of humour too. What you have accomplished can't be taken away from you. We would like to recognize you and all your hard work with this silver creator award – a small token of our esteem and respect. We know that you don't do this for rewards. You do it because you have a drive to create and share, and because you found an audience that cares. Believe us when we say that we can't wait to see what you do next. A million subscribers may seem a long way off right now, but you are closer than you think – and we are rooting for you. Congratulations, yours sincerely, Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube.

Sagar Shah and ChessBase India contributor Avathanshu Bhat unboxing the YouTube award

Sagar tells us that ChessBase India started uploading YouTube chess videos in late 2017, and in the beginning they were getting 20 or 30 views. But they kept at it, publishing 2400 videos in the next year and a half. That comes to an average of four videos each day! That consistency brought 151,000 subscribers, making it one of the most popular chess channels in the world with coverage of not just local events but tournaments and players all across the world, sometimes reaching millions for individual videos. Here are some more for you to watch:

Praggnanandhaa versus Anand – 7.9 million views

Vishy Anand vs Praggnanandhaa rematch – 4.6 million views

Nakamura vs Praggnanandhaa – 2.6 million views

Praggnanandhaa beats World Champion challenger Sergey Karjakin – 1.7 million views

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fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 5/1/2019 12:10
Was thinking the same thing.
KevinConnor KevinConnor 4/30/2019 03:14
Not a big surprise is it? India has 1,5 billion inhabitants, Norway has a little over 5 million.