Chess grandmaster Hans Niemann cheated in over 100 matches: Report
According to an investigation conducted by Chess.com, American chess grandmaster Hans Niemann has cheated "more than 100 times" in the past. The Wall Street Journal reported it days after world champion Magnus Carlsen publicly accused the former of cheating. Last month, Magnus resigned from a Julius Baer Generation Cup match against Niemann in the wake of the cheating controversy that rocked the chess world.
Why does this story matter?
The cheating row emerged after Carlsen suspected foul play in the Sinquefield Cup match against Niemann. Carlsen then pulled out of his Julius Baer Generation Cup match against the 19-year-old. After withdrawing, Carlsen put a tweet, "If I speak, I am in big trouble". Days after this indication, Carlsen, in a lengthy statement, stated that Neimann has "cheated more than he has publicly admitted".
A look at the latest developments
As per The Wall Street Journal, Chess.com concluded there are "unusual patterns in Hans' path as a player". The online platform added that Niemann's performances "merit further investigation based on the data". Even Carlsen pointed out that Niemann's "over-the-board progress has been unusual". Earlier, a report in The Guardian stated that Niemann admitted to cheating in an online tournament as a 12-year-old.
Here is Carlsen's full statement
Niemann has denied cheating allegations in past
Denying the allegations, Niemann, in a recent interview, said he was ready to play "naked" in order to prove his innocence. "I can completely strip, you want to do any fair play check to me you want I don't care because I know that I'm clean," he said. Niemann added that he could even "play in a closed box with zero electronic transmission".
The meteoric rise of Niemann
Niemann, ranked number 40, has risen to prominence in recent times. It is important to note that his Elo rating (measures the strength of a chess player compared to his counterparts) has increased by 350 points in just four years. Notably, Carlsen tops the list.
Chess.com accuses Niemann of 'blatant cheating'
The report by Chess.com accused Niemann of "blatant cheating" to improve his rating. It added that Niemann cheated at 17, which compelled the online platform to close his account. As per the report, Niemann also confessed to cheating in a call with Danny Rensch, the online platform's chief chess office. The youngster was banned from the Chess.com Global Championship event.