Just days after the chess governing body said it would investigate allegations that Hans Niemann had cheated, a report from an online chess site concluded that the American grandmaster had cheated in at least 100 games online.
While Niemann has publicly admitted to cheating, saying he only did it twice in his youth, the 72-page report from Chess.com, the world’s most popular chess platform, frequented by many leading players, disputes it.
He concluded that he “probably received illegal assistance in more than 100 online games as recently as 2020,” reported The Wall Street Journal, which reviewed the Chess.com report.
The newspaper added that the site uses a variety of tools to detect cheating, “including analytics that compare moves to those recommended by chess engines, which are capable of beating even the greatest players every time. humans”. It also monitors behaviors such as players opening other browsers while playing.
The Chess.com. The report, which was published on Tuesday, added that Niemann confessed to the allegations privately, leading the site to ban him for a time.
He also noted his meteoric rise in the rankings of non-virtual competitions, adding that his improvement has been “statistically extraordinary”. However, he stopped short of accusing her of cheating in the over-the-board format.
The chess world has been rocked by controversy for weeks, since Magnus Carlsen of Norway withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup in the United States after losing to the 19-year-old American.
Carlsen’s abrupt withdrawal from a match against Niemann in the Julius Baer Generation Cup online tournament in September rekindled fury and the 31-year-old Norwegian then openly accused his American rival of cheating, writing in a letter posted on Twitter : “I believe that Niemann has cheated more – and more recently – than he has publicly admitted.”
Niemann has admitted to cheating online twice, when he was 12 and 16, but says he has never cheated in a one-on-one match and is even willing to play naked to prove his honesty.
The International Chess Federation, Fide, said it was carrying out its own investigation into the Niemann-Carlsen case. He will set up an inquiry committee made up of three members of his fair play committee to look into the allegations.
“The purpose of the investigation would be twofold: to verify the world champion’s claims of alleged cheating by Niemann and Niemann’s self-reporting regarding online cheating,” Fide said.
The Chess.com report also noted that Niemann isn’t the only one cheating. He said dozens of grandmasters had been caught cheating on the website, including four of the top 100 players in the world who had confessed. AFP