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Sunday, January 29, 2023

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‘I’m not going to back down’: Chess star accused of cheating speaks out after beating 15-year-old



Accused chess cheater Hans Niemann says “he won’t back down” after beating a 15-year-old at the US Championships.

The American grandmaster was accused of cheating more than 100 times by major online platform Chess.com, prompting Niemann to offer to play naked to prove he was clean, while also admitting he did cheat twice in his life, aged 12 and 16.

Speaking during an interview on Wednesday after winning his US Championship game, the 19-year-old said his victory sent a message.

“This game is a message to everyone,” he said after defeating 15-year-old grandmaster Christopher Yoo.

“This entire thing started with me saying, ‘Chess speaks for itself,’ and I think this game spoke for itself and showed the chess player I am.

“It also showed I’m not going to back down, and I’m going to play my best chess here regardless of the pressure.”

Niemann then cut the interview short.

“You can leave it to your own interpretation, but thank you, that’s it,” he said when the interviewer tried to ask more questions.

“That’s all I can say. Because it was such a beautiful game I don’t even need to describe it.”

Five-time world champion Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup in early September after losing to Niemann, who was playing with the black pieces.

Carlsen 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.

Niemann categorically denied that he cheated in the Sinquefield Cup, which was played over-the-board and not online.

Chess.com in its report said it had no evidence that Niemann had ever cheated over-the-board or in his game against Carlsen.

However, the report said Chess.com found aspects of the Sinquefield Cup game “suspicious”.

Niemann’s next opponent at the US Championships is 21-year-old Jeffery Xiong.

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