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Chess.com Report: Hans Niemann Likely Cheated More than 100 Times

According to a Chess.com investigation, Niemann may have cheated "far more frequently" than he has admitted

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UNITED STATES: Hans Niemann, an American grandmaster, is suspected of having received unlawful aid in more than 100 online games, even as recently as 2020, according to a 72-page report submitted by Chess.com, a popular website where top players compete.

Magnus Carlsen, the current world champion, has accused Hans Niemann of cheating. However, it did not uncover any proof that he had cheated in his match with Carlsen or any other “over-the-board” games.

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According to a Chess.com investigation, Niemann may have cheated “far more frequently” than he has admitted. Although the American has already admitted to cheating in casual games, he insists that he never did so in games that were intended to be competitive.

The 19-year-old, who has been contacted for comment, has previously accused Carlsen and Chess.com are attempting to destroy his career.

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Now, Chess.com, where the majority of the world’s best players participate, including for monetary prizes, has published a 72-page study of Niemann’s games on the website.

The results of the thorough inquiry, which were made public on Tuesday night, revealed that Niemann had privately admitted to the charges and had been temporarily barred from Chess.com, the most well-known chess website.

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Beginning of Controversy

The controversy began in September when Niemann ended Carlsen’s 53-game winning streak in traditional over-the-board games by defeating him while using the black pieces at the $500,000 (£433,000) Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis.

Hikaru Nakamura, the American grandmaster who was once ranked No. 2 in the world, among others, accused Niemann of cheating following the unexpected loss and Carlsen’s resignation.

Carlsen immediately withdrew from the competition, which was nearly unprecedented for a reigning world champion and was perceived as a protest, after being unsatisfied with Niemann’s claim that he had somehow predicted what opening the Norwegian would play. Carlsen tweeted, making a strong hint at improper behaviour on the part of his rival, “If I speak I am in huge trouble.”

When Carlsen and Niemann faced off again in the sixth round of the online Julius Baer Generation Cup, the controversy increased two weeks later when the world No. 1 sensationally retired after making just one move.

One week later, Carlsen eventually made clear his oblique allusions in an official statement, claiming he was unwilling to “play against guys that have cheated repeatedly in the past” and that he thought Niemann had cheated “more than he has admitted.”

In his comments from last week, Carlsen implied Niemann had cheated in their match at the Sinquefield Cup in Missouri, claiming Niemann “wasn’t tense or even fully concentrated” while he outplayed him using the black pieces in a fashion that “I think only a handful of players can do.”

Additionally, he claimed that Niemann’s recent “extraordinary” progress had made him sceptical of him. Others have countered that Niemann’s development, while quick, is comparable to that of other elite youth athletes.

Chess.com stated that Niemann’s post-game explanation was one of several aspects of the game that were suspicious.

The website also referred to anomalies in Niemann’s rate of development, which has seen him rocket up the traditional chess rankings from about 800 to the top 50 in less than two years.

Chess.com noted that this rise had happened “far later in life than his peers” and was the “fastest in modern recorded history.”

Niemann vehemently denied the allegations when the topic first surfaced earlier this month, stating that he was prepared to play the game naked to demonstrate that he was not hiding any equipment that would allow him to cheat.

“I don’t care, because I know I am clean. If you want me to play in a closed box with zero electronic transmission, I don’t care. I’m here to win and that is my goal regardless.”

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