Niemann vs. Carlsen Chess Cheating Controversy Is a ‘Tragedy’ for Both Parties | Chess
Jhe chess world descended into further turmoil and resentment after an investigation revealed that American teenager Hans Niemann had received “unlawful assistance” in more than 100 online games – while four of the top 100 great masters of the world have also privately confessed to cheating.
Chess.com’s 72-page report is the latest twist in a saga that began more than a month ago when world champion Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the $500,000 Sinquefield Cup after losing against Niemann, before timidly hinting that his opponent might have cheated.
Since then, a cloud of suspicion has hung over the sport, along with increasingly wild theories about cheating using vibrating anal beads. The #chessdrama hashtag, which to many bewildered viewers must sound like an oxymoron, is now regularly trending on social media.
Niemann strenuously denied cheating in outboard matches, including against Carlsen. However, last month he admitted he cheated twice at online events, when he was 12 and 16. Still, Chess.com says it has identified 11 occasions, encompassing more than 100 games, where he cheated.
Notably, Ken Regan, an independent expert in the field of chess cheating detection, expressed his belief that Hans cheated in title Tuesdays in 2015 and 2017, as well as numerous matches against other professional players in 2020. “, he says in his report.
Although it highlighted “a lack of concrete statistical evidence that he cheated in his game with Magnus or any other outboard game”, the investigation also questions Niemann’s rapid rise through the ranks.
“Hans became the fastest rising classical chess player in recorded modern history,” he points out, calling him “statistically extraordinary.”
However, opinion in the chess world remains sharply divided between those who think Carlsen was right to speak of an existential threat – and others who think it was reckless to drop napalm without hard evidence. of wrongdoing in matches on the chessboard.
“Anyone here looking for a really clear narrative between the good guys and the bad guys is going to be disappointed,” Scottish grandmaster Jonathan Rowson told The Guardian. “The tragedy here is that both sides are right. People are right to be angry that Hans cheated online, although I take issue with the idea that once a cheater, always a cheater.
“But the other big story here is that Magnus screwed up a tournament and shocked the chess world for something he has absolutely no evidence for: that Niemann cheated on him. Chess.com’s investigation does not Chess.com claims that its cheat detection software has found that “less than 0.14% of players cheat”. Yet they also say they have caught “hundreds of titled players” and that four out of 100 top grandmasters have actually confessed to cheating.
However, Rowson wonders why Niemann seems to be chosen by the chess world. “It’s not just Hans who has cheated online, but also a lot of strong players. So what you have here, potentially, is a kind of scapegoating process – where Hans takes all the heat from the whole of the systemic problem.
Meanwhile, English chess grandmaster Daniel King offered a similar assessment to Rowson when asked about Carlsen’s behavior.
“Carlsen basically threw Niemann under the bus and everyone else piled in,” King said. “If he did it before the Sinquefield Cup, that’s fine. But to do it after a defeat makes him look like a sore loser. There was a camera on Niemann the whole game. Carlsen didn’t very well played. And Niemann didn’t play perfectly.
However, Carlsen has received support from several of the world’s greatest grandmasters, including Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi, who is cited as a victim of Niemann in the Chess.com report. “I don’t believe in some major transformations,” Nepomniachtchi said of the American. “I don’t believe in transfiguration.” Despite the furor surrounding Niemann, he is not suspended for playing chess overboard and was back in action on Wednesday in the first round of the US Chess Championship, winning his opening match against 15-year-old Christopher Yoo. .
However, shortly before Niemann made his first move, Russian grandmaster Peter Svidler wondered if the sport was tough enough for cheaters.
“I’m a little tough on it,” he said. “I make very little distinction between live cheating and online cheating. I think the attitude of chess players as a community towards online cheating has been very, very lax and much more forgiving than it should be.