Grandmaster likely cheated more than 100 times, investigation finds

Leadership

Hans Niemann, the 19-year-old American grandmaster who last month was accused of cheating by World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen after a shocking upset, was found to have “likely cheated” more than 100 times, according to an investigation by Chess.com, the world’s largest online chess platform.

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The Chess.com report revealed that dozens of chess grandmasters have been caught cheating on the platform, including four players who are ranked among the top 100 in the world. All four confessed, according to the report. The platform’s cheating bans are typically dealt with privately, according to the Journal.

The controversy surrounding Niemann’s alleged cheating began early last month at the in-person Sinquefield Cup in St Louis, where Niemann–the lowest ranked player at the tournament– defeated Carlsen in the third round, marking the first time in two years that the Chess World Champion lost a match. Carlsen later withdrew from the tournament altogether without explanation, only posting a cryptic social media post that was widely interpreted as an accusation of cheating against Niemann. During their highly anticipated online rematch weeks later on Sept. 19, Carlsen made just one move against Niemann before abruptly resigning from the online chess game. Carlsen unequivocally accused Niemann of cheating Sept. 26, saying in a statement that Niemann has “cheated more–and more recently–than he has publicly admitted.” During their match in St. Louis, Niemann “wasn’t tense or even fully concentrating” during critical moments of the game, despite playing in a way that Carlsen said “only a handful of players can do.” Chess.com is set to acquire Carlsen’s “Play Magnus” app for nearly $83 million as part of a deal announced in August, but the report said Carlsen “didn’t talk with, ask for, or directly influence Chess.com’s decisions at all.”

This article was first published on forbes.com

Chess Investigation Finds That U.S. Grandmaster ‘Likely Cheated’ More Than 100 Times (Wall Street Journal)

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen Accuses Hans Niemann Of Cheating

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen Resigns From Match After Just One Move Against Player At Center Of ‘Cheating’ Scandal