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Chess GM Hans Niemann Offers A Message As Update On Alleged Cheating Surfaces

by Victoria Marian Belmis / Oct 07, 2022 05:07 PM EDT
Hans Niemann

The chess scene witnessed an official move over the cheating controversy of one of it's grandmasters when Chess.com released a 72-page report to the public last Tuesday. The official document stated that the GM in the spotlight, 19-year-old Hans Niemann, "has likely cheated in more than 100 online chess games, including several prize money events." 

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This digit exceeds the number Niemann previously admitted of him cheating in his career, once when he was 12 and another when he was 16. Concisely labeled as the "Hans Niemann Report", both Chess.com and its Fair Play Team gave detailed answers to questions about the incident.

Early in the document, the platform elaborated on its decision to remove Niemann from the website and from the Global Chess Championship the day after he defeated the world chess champion, Magnus Carlsen, at the Sinquefield Cup. It also delved into detail on the extent of Niemann's cheating on the online site and commented about his over the board (OTB) play.

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"It must be emphasized that we never intended our concerns about Hans' fair play violations to be a public conversation. It has always been our general approach to handle account closures for titled players privately, as we have done for Hans in the past. Indeed, his recent removal from Chess.com and the CGC was also communicated privately. He chose to make these communications public. As a result, we feel compelled to share the basis for our decisions publicly with the community," said Chess.com

Various tables that highlighted the matches, dates, and instances of cheating can also be found in the report as well as a chart comparing the OTB strength improvement of chess players below 25 years old. The platform admits that its cheating-detection tools are specifically designed for analyzing online chess with fast time controls and mentions that the results of Niemann's OTB play "are statistically extraordinary." 

Chess.com finalized the report by saying that they have already shared their findings with the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and "will cooperate with any investigation or requests they pursue." 

Presently, Niemann made his first public appearance since the investigation at the 2022 U.S. Chess Championship and defeated 15-year-old Christopher Yoo in the opening round. In a news conference following the victory, Niemann described the game as a "message to everyone."

"This entire thing started with me saying chess speaks for itself, and I think that this game spoke for itself and showed the chess player that am. It also showed that I'm not going to back down and I'm going to play my best chess here regardless of the pressure that I'm under, and that's all I have to say about this game. Chess speaks for itself, that's all I can say," said Niemann.

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