Hikaru, but I’ve been known by my handles: Smallville, CapilanoBridge, and Star Wars

Hikaru Nakamura

Always try to win at all costs.

Hikaru Nakamura plays chess with statues of US Presidents in Williamsburg, VA on October 21, 2016.
© Ben Franke/Red Bull Content Pool

Hi, my name is Hikaru Nakamura. My discipline is Chess. My friends call me Hikaru, but I’ve been known by my handles: Smallville, CapilanoBridge, and Star Wars. I was born on 9 December 1987 in Osaka, Japan. My special talent is trying to win at all costs. My philosophy of life is live every moment, every game as though it is your last. The most important person in my life is my mother. My favorite food is pasta. My favorite music is a mix of rock and folk/indie.


His stepfather and brother helped expose Hikaru to the world of chess. They were both strong chess players, with his stepfather winning national championships and brother winning many scholastic national championships.

Chess became Hikaru's first and favorite sport from the moment he started playing.

He knew he made it when he started competing with the best players in the world -- and not only was he holding his own, he was actually winning.

What makes his style so unique is the aggressiveness, determination and will to always try to win at all costs, while playing highly entertaining and combative chess.

While he was attending college back in 2006, he took a break from the chess board for nine months to focus on school. During his Thanksgiving break, he traveled to Philadelphia and competed. He won the tournament convincingly, and after that moment, he knew he would be insane to not come back and play professionally.

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Career Highlights

  1. 2016
    1. 1st Place: 42nd Chess Olympiad

      Baku, Azerbaijan

  2. 2016
    1. 1st Place: The Paris Grand Chess Tour

      Paris, France

    2. 1st Place: Zurich Chess Challenge

      Zurich, Switzerland

    3. 3rd place: United States Chess Championships

      St. Louis, Missouri

  3. 2015
    1. United States Chess Champion

  4. 2014
    1. London Chess Classic Rapidplay Champion

  5. 2013
    1. Tal Memorial Blitz Champion

      Moscow, Russia

  6. 2012
    1. United States Chess Champion

      St. Louis, Missouri