the fiery cheating scandal consuming the world of chess over the past month seems to be coming to an end and it looks like 19-year-old grandmaster Hans Moke Niemann has found himself in checkmate.
A newly released Survey Chess.com first seen by The Wall Street Journal claims that Niemann likely received prohibited assistance in more than 100 online games, with some of the cheating occurring repeatedly just two years ago. In addition to online games, the investigation revealed numerous “irregularities” in Niemann’s in-person games. Niemann himself apparently privately confessed to some of the cheating allegations, according to the report.
“Overall, we found that Hans likely cheated in more than 100 online chess games, including several prize events,” a screenshot from the survey reads. The investigation reportedly includes a letter sent to Niemann noting instances of “blatant cheating” to improve his grades.
Niemann allegedly confessed the cheating allegations to Chess.com chess director (yes, that’s a thing) Danny Rensch, in a phone call in 2020. The investigation notes that Niemann’s suspicious moves synced with the times he opened up new screens on his computer, suggesting he might have been sneakily using an illegal chess engine to inform him of his best move options.
“Although we have no doubt that Hans is a talented player, we note that his results are statistically extraordinary,” the report said according to the Log.
The explosive revelations follow weeks of dramaand finally cheat allegations of world chess champion Magnus Carlsen. For those still catching up, Carlsen shocked the chess world by withdrawal of the 2022 Sinquefield Cup after losing to Niemann Carlsen posted a rather cryptic tweet after his withdrawal seeming to suggest that Niemann had cheated. A few weeks later, Carlsen faced Nielmann again in the Julius Baer Generation Cup online and cut his stream after only two movements, probably in protest. Carlsen continued to silently allude to cheating before finally making an official statement last week, where he described cheating as “an existential threat” to chess.
“I believe Niemann cheated more – and more recently – than he has publicly admitted,” Carlsen wrote. “His progress on the board has been unusual, and throughout our game in the Sinquefield Cup I got the impression that he wasn’t tense or even fully focused on the game. in critical positions.
Chess.com’s new investigation appears to bolster Carlsen’s claims. Niemann previously admitted to cheating when he was 12 and 16, which he describe as “the biggest mistake of my life”. If so, the new report suggests that Niemann certainly hasn’t learned his lesson.
Chess.com says it uses numerous analytics to determine whether or not players are viewing chess engines or other illegal applications. The company monitors players’ past performance and also reportedly compares players’ moves with those recommended by chess engines. However, it’s much harder to confirm cheating claims in over-the-board physical games. Chess.com wouldn’t definitively say one way or another if Niemann cheated in person, but did say some of his best performances “deserved further investigation based on the data.”
The findings of the investigation are likely to send shockwaves through the chess world. Unfortunately, as far as we know, the inquest declined to comment on the theory that Niemann received removal instructions via vibrating anal beads rolled up her ass.
You can read the full report below.