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Sunday, January 29, 2023

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Chess grandmaster accused of cheating in more than 100 games


The American chess grandmaster at the centre of the sport’s biggest scandal has been accused of cheating more than 100 times on a major online platform.

Hans Niemann, 19, has been the talk of the chess world after five-time world champion Magnus Carlsen accused him of cheating during their Sinquefield Cup game in September.

Niemann denied he cheated and even offered to play naked to prove he was clean, but did admit to cheating twice in his life, aged 12 and 16. 

However, major website Chess.com has released a 72-page report that highlights more than 100 games where the platform believes Niemann cheated.

The games are dated between July 2015 and August 2020.

The majority of the alleged cheating offences happened in games in 2020, when chess gained a surge of popularity online as the world dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We present evidence in this report that Hans likely cheated online much more than his public statements suggest,” the report states.

“Consistent with the letter we sent Hans privately on September 8, 2022, we are prepared to show within this report that he, in fact, appears to have cheated against multiple opponents in Chess.com prize events, Speed Chess Championship Qualifiers and the PRO Chess League.

“We also have evidence that he appears to have cheated in sets of rated games on Chess.com against highly rated, well-known figures in the chess community, some of which he streamed online.

“These findings contradict Hans’ public statements.”

A table from the Chess.com report highlights expected cheating from Hans Niemann.(Chess.com)

Carlsen withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup in early September after losing to Niemann who was playing with the black pieces.

The world champion did not make an official accusation of cheating until the end of the month, but a cryptic social media post alluded to him believing there was foul play in that game.

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