Breaking News: Hans Niemann is suing!

by ChessBase
10/20/2022 – The news broke out minutes ago. Hans Niemann posted on his Twitter the official complaint against Magnus Carlsen, the Play Magnus Group, Chess.com, Daniel Rensch, and Hikaru Nakamura. The complaint states that he is seeking "damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but no less than One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000)". The text of the complaint does not mince words.

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It was a step many speculated might happen. Hans Niemann has filed a complaint in the United States District Court, in the Eastern District of Missouri. The complaint cites  Magnus Carlsen, the Play Magnus Group, Chess.com, LLC Daniel Rensch, and Hikaru Nakamura, seeking damages of no less than one hundred million dollars, with a jury trial demanded.

The full 44-page complaint can be read here.

Quoting very lightly the complaint, the text does not mince words:

Carlsen, having solidified his position as the “King of Chess,” believes that when it comes to chess, he can do whatever he wants and get away with it.

(...)

8. Notorious for his inability to cope with defeat, Carlsen snapped.  Enraged that the young Niemann, fully 12 years his junior, dared to disrespect the “King of Chess,” and fearful that the young prodigy would further blemish his multi-million dollar brand by beating him again, Carlsen viciously and maliciously retaliated against Niemann by falsely accusing Niemann, without any evidence, of somehow cheating during their in-person game and demanding that the organizers of the Sinquefield Cup immediately disqualify Niemann from the tournament.   

9. When tournament officials refused to comply with Carlsen’s corrupt and cowardly demand to baselessly eliminate Niemann from competition, Carlsen lashed out again, this time by boycotting the remainder of the Sinquefield Cup in protest—an unprecedented act for a top chess professional, let alone the reigning World Champion.

Hans Niemann is represented by Oved & Oved and Gartner Firm.

Needless to say, the Twitterverse is already exploding. USA Today Sports reporter Tom Shad already commented:

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wermoll wermoll 10/24/2022 03:08
also Amber thought she could get away with
eastyz eastyz 10/24/2022 02:04
@dumkof: Cheating is dishonest. Falsely accusing somebody of cheating is equally dishonest. It has a greater impact that isolated instances of cheating. As to Carlsen, you have too high an opinion of him. Why don't you, for example, look at expert analysis of the game between Carlsen and Niemann? Carlsen with his "highest chess understanding" played poorly. Many a chessplayer would have beaten Carlsen on the day.
dumkof dumkof 10/24/2022 12:59
Hans will get kicked out of the court and probably sued by the judge himself, for taking the precious time of the court.

Hans has already cheated multiple times and admitted it himself. He will carry this dirt all his life. He'll naturally get accused of cheating more than others, he'll be searched by detectors more intensively than others, he'll be disliked more than others... That's the price a cheater has to pay. Cheating is theft. He has stolen undeserved rating points and prices from others. And he's stolen the attention and time of the chess fans. Theft leaves dirt that he'll carry all his life. He'd better get used to this. And instead of rising his voice, he'd better bake little breads (as Germans say), because scientific and statistical proof is relevant. It's easy to calculate the probability of a 2600 player playing with a 2850 rating performance in a 50 game marathon for instance. All these are proof also.

Carlsen, with his intuition and highest chess understanding, would surely evaluate much better than anyone else, if Hans has cheated or not. His statement isn't a proof of course, but surely very valuable for all us chess fans. As far as I remember, Carlsen hasn't accused anyone else of cheating so far.
Science22 Science22 10/24/2022 12:24
@Aighearach : I have analyzed more than 100 of Niemann's winning games OTB live broadcast 2018 - 2022. When the situation demands it, when he has to make an only win move, he does it in seconds. Every time.

More than 400 ony - win - moves in seconds. It is not possible for a human being. Not so many times, not with so few seconds. It is only possible for a computerprogram.

However I dont believe this observation will be important in the trial as no normal jury would understand anything about statistics at that level. I think it will be a wittness giving information. about cheating.

A witness who intentionally lies under oath could be convicted. The crime of perjury carries the possibility of a prison sentence and no matter how confident Niemann is that no one who helped him cheating will tell it is a complety new game in court.

I am very curious as the OTB difference given above is well known. How is it possible to ignore the critics again and again for all fans of Niemann ? I am aware that aighearach means light – hearted in Scottish Gaelic and that is so beautiful. But could you please be serious for a moment. Which Tibetan prayer scroll should I set in motion to get in sprituel contact with your logical senses ?
Science22 Science22 10/24/2022 12:04
Aighearach : “The only statistical anomaly in Hans' OTB games, according to Ken Regan (world-leading statistician) is that his opponents tend to make more mistakes against him than against other players. “

Answer : Niemann's performance differs statistically significantly in 19 tournaments with OTB live transmission and OTB without live transmission 2019- 2020.

https://twitter.com/atl_kings/status/1568656197812891653

OTB wih live transmission ELO performance 2610 ( + 131)
OTB no live transmission ELO performance 2404 ( -112)

Ken Regan has not differentiated between these two types of tournaments and it is a significant mistake when the question is whether Niemann is cheating with outside help. Of course he can't do that if the games isn't broadcast. A statistical model is no more correct than its assumptions. This is the first thing I tell my students in statistics..
Martas Martas 10/23/2022 11:30
"When tournament officials refused to comply with Carlsen’s corrupt and cowardly demand to baselessly eliminate Niemann from competition" (point 9 in the complaint)
Is he able to prove this?
"Carlsen lashed out again, this time by boycotting the remainder of the Sinquefield Cup in protest—an unprecedented act for a top chess professional" (point 9 in the complaint)
Does Niemann consider Mamedyarov not to be top chess professional? His old incident with Igor Kurnosov in Aeroflot was exactly the same matter and it started to diverge after Niemann's public statements.
I have no opinion on cheating in that one OTB game, obviously the outcome was strongly affected by psychological matters, Carlsen was entitled to leave the tournament if he didn't feel playing was acceptable for him afterwards, all the rest is PR which was IMHO not handled well by Niemann. I really wonder whether trying to prove or refute cheating will be the main point in that court.
eastyz eastyz 10/23/2022 10:48
@tuano: Doing the "best they can" and destroying a career is not acceptable. You can't treat people like that. There has to be proper evidence of cheating or else it is unjust. That is how the systems of justice work around the world. There was a time when people were sent to the gallows on suspicion. Hopefully those days are past us and we honour the principle of innocent until proven guilty.
Science22 Science22 10/23/2022 10:44
@Elroch : I cant stop laughin.

There most be a film about this, Con Man (2). A guy invent accidentially a chewing gum that makes it possible to calculate 20 moves ahead in chess. Unfortunately it affects the brain so he cant even remember the rules of chess if not constantly chewing. One day he swallow the gum and lose the game because of constant illegal moves...

A piece of advice to Magnus Carlsen who is on his way to retirement and will no longer be World Champion in short time. Before you disappear into the beautiful Norwegian nature you should sue Hans Niemann for 1 billion NK (Norwegian Kroner, around 100 mio. US ) with the demand that he has to appear in a courtroom in Norway.

The assertion could be " Crimes against Human Chess ". Naturally the answer form his laywers would be that no American can be asked to leave USA an appear in a courtroom outside USA. Then you answer should be : OK, Quid Pro Quo, then I also stay in Norway !

Of course the jury have the worst situation. First they have to learn to play chess, then they have to learn how to calculate ELO rating and evaluate moves that is statistically significant correlated with different computer programs. Finally, as Matthias Ruff has already predicted they must learn from CIA how to hide a receiver in an apfel strudel.
clkauto clkauto 10/23/2022 08:19
I think he hides something in that beehive of his hair. There has to be that, as otherwise there is no other plausible explanation for it. Lighten up people, too much negativity around all this.
Matthias Ruf Matthias Ruf 10/23/2022 05:28
The dream to get rich in America

In another fairy tale, as I already mentioned 'Hans in Luck', nothing at all remained in
his pockets when he returned in the house of his mother. My prophecy is
that this story will be repeated. Hans Moke Niemann could end up just as
insignificant and even have his grandmaster title revoked from FIDE. The
best German player and former World Youth Champion Vincent Keymer has
cancelled a well-paid duel. Without the million-dollar lawsuit, the
chess world probably wouldn't have known about it. It is noticeable that
world-class chess players distance themselves from Niemann and perhaps
the weak patzers, rise up to the biggest defenders with their comments.
As a conclusion, I would not be surprised if the US intelligence
agencies get involved in the investigation because of the great
interest. Emails and computers, as we know, can be investigated without
us knowing. The scandal is also heating up for possible accomplices.
That promises plenty of excitement.
tauno tauno 10/23/2022 04:46
@Elroch

We all know how rotten the American justice system is: completely innocent people can be tortured and sentenced to death. And it's still far from the cruelest things it can do.

Not everyone will agree with the outcome of the upcoming trial, but the jury's decision will stand and be enforced, whether you accept it or not.

Many will complain and cry bitterly (many already do) about how much money will end up in Hans' pockets, but don't blame him for the American legal system - he just wants to defend his constitutional rights.
tauno tauno 10/23/2022 04:44
@with_cheats_you_lose. I think that in the times when Borislav Ivanov was falsely accused of cheating (according to your opinion), there were no ardent Hans fans yet. Maybe an occasional Borislav fan, but no Hans fans.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/23/2022 04:07
@with_cheats_you_lose

I do not see Hans fans here. I cannot speak for others, but I do not speak up against the accusation because I would be a fan of Niemann. I do not even like the guy. I stand by a principle: innocent until proven guilty.

In the case of Ivanov he was asked to take off his shoes because there was a suspicion of him using a device in his shoes. He refused and stormed out from the tournament hall and the chess world. So, in the case of Ivanov a correct procedure was followed: a suspicion arised and, instead of accusing him of anything, they tried to investigate the matter. If Ivanov was innocent, he had the possibility to take off his shoes and awkwardly smile. But he refused to do so, which is equivalent to a recognition of being a cheater.

In the case of Niemann the accusation preceded the investigation. You and likeminded people are already treating him as if he was cheating in his game against Carlsen. The other side, of which I am a member of considers this to be premature.

I recognize that there is a close correlation between Carlsen's fans and those who accept his premature accusation as fact, but members of the other side are mostly not fans of Niemann. Equating the accused Niemann, who is willing to take off everything with Ivanov, who refused to comply with the investigation is premature and illustrates the bias of the author of that statement.
Elroch Elroch 10/23/2022 03:06
The lawsuit looks like it was written by a group of drunk, trashy scandal sheet journalists completely ignorant of the people involved (by contrast with those of us who have followed chess for a lifetime), who knew (and care) nothing about the facts and have the confidence that they could fool an ignorant court and jurors with no knowledge of the reality by dirty manipulation and unjustified character assassination. It is full of false insinuations to the extent that it is a shame it cannot itself be the basis for a libel suit by the innocent parties (as far as I know). The amount of trash in it and the lack of any genuine substance may lead to be it being dismissed as frivolous at the first hurdle, but it will probably be given a little more time to be thrown in the trash, hopefully at as much cost as possible to Oved and Oved and/or Niemann and their reputations.
with_cheats_you_lose with_cheats_you_lose 10/23/2022 02:56
Where were all these ardent Hans fans when Borislav Ivanov was falsely accused of cheating and boycotted out of tournaments?
tauno tauno 10/23/2022 01:33
@eastyz

Everyone does the best they can to detect cheating, based on their abilities and understanding. So did Carlsen, and so do we others.

Giving a definition of cheating is easy, but standardizing the methods of detecting cheating - as I think you meant by that - is a bit tricky, because cheating methods can be very varied and creative and the techniques are constantly evolving. Therefore, cheat detection methods and technologies need to be constantly developed and improved – it is a dynamic process, not a static state that can be defined.

But it would be great if the cheat detection methods were the same for all players, at least in the same tournament, which doesn't seem to be the case in chess today.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/23/2022 01:23
@Jacob Woge "There’s staring and there’s looking. Paying attention to and focusing on something else. Judge for yourself from the Sinquefield live stream. "

One can form a personal opinion that way. But, in the context of cheating allegations, facts, evidences and proofs are the elements that are relevant. Maybe we agree upon that. And I'm not saying Niemann was not cheating. I merely say that there is no objective reason to say so. If he was cheating, he did it well. Anyway, keeping an eye on him is a good idea, just in case.
Science22 Science22 10/23/2022 01:16
Yesterday, Belarus declared that they could no longer pay off the country's debt. 69 million US should have been paid.

We are talking about an entire nation that cannot pay an amount that is only 69% of the amount that a single chess player from the United States is demanding. With all respect it is raving mad.

We can safely stop the debate here. It won't move anywhere. The conspiracy theory is that all the rich and powerful chess players in the world have got together to stop a small crippled teenager from the USA, who now cannot put food on the table and survive anymore.

It is not a true picture. There is no conspiracy. Everybody who say he cheat OTB concludes that because of indiviual evaluations.

@Woge : If Carlsen had played a flawless opening and 9 only moves to win and 54 moves out of 57 who was within Stockfish choices I would have called it almost impossible. But if he did it while at the same time having great fun, jumping around in the room, firing only win moves of in seconds, chewing gum, studying other games like Niemann did I would say Carlsen definitely cheat.

Niemann underlined his cheat by saying afterwards that it was a home preparation. Carlsen had played it all before up to 20 moves. Now that was of course a lie too. In conclusion, we are not allowed to trust what we hear and see , we are forced into yet another American conspiracy theory.

Try to stop Trumpism and those powerful Americans who tell us there has been no schoolshootings i US. You cant. Internet trolls, spin doctors, crazy no -cure -pay lawyers , supersmart computer programmers, chicken thieves, aggressive monkeys ... they all support a con man who has lied so many times that an encyclopedia of quotes could be published.

In the meantime, we're celebrating in Europe because we won't see this new Armstrong on the road again.

Goodbye to insanity .
Jacob woge Jacob woge 10/23/2022 11:13
There’s staring and there’s looking. Paying attention to and focusing on something else. Judge for yourself from the Sinquefield live stream.
saturn23 saturn23 10/23/2022 04:09
Why are you deleting my messages? What's the point of posting here if you keep deleting my messages???
eastyz eastyz 10/23/2022 02:59
One fundamental problem with these methods is that they employ an arbitrary definition of cheating. Define "cheating" in the language of these methods. That is the scientific approach. You have to get the definition right. Only then can you have a rational debate as to whether the methods work. Until then, it is idle speculation as to whether they work. Carlsen's definition might go something like: "Hans is too relaxed when he should be concentrating". That is clearly a flawed definition. Maybe it is home preparation for Hans. Maybe Hans is being reckless. Maybe Hans has gambled on playing quickly by feel, hoping to get his opponent into time trouble. Maybe Hans is a creature from another world that does not have sweat glands.
Aighearach Aighearach 10/23/2022 02:43
Some people are really drifting away from/forgetting the arguments/analysis that has been done, and are getting it way wrong.

The only statistical anomaly in Hans' OTB games, according to Ken Regan (world-leading statistician) is that his opponents tend to make more mistakes against him than against other players. The most obvious potential reason is as Carlsen complained; that he acts like he isn't paying attention when he's sitting at the board. Which is an absurd thing to seriously say, because when you're sitting across the board from somebody, you can't see inside their head. Thinking doesn't make a sound. Thinking doesn't involve visible motion. So, he is able to use body language and facial expressions that manage to psych out his opponents! Good for him. Kasparov was a master at doing that, and people credited him for it. There was also another famous American WC who was know to have this skill. It is not cheating to pretend you're not paying attention. Every one of these top players is GM strength and blindfold chess; when they're at the board, they don't need to stare at the board to see the position. They can stare at the ceiling half the game and it won't affect their calculation. Personally, I think his opponents are distracted by his hair, and they would never admit that, so they make these silly arguments about being able to *see* how hard he is thinking.

As to people *still* claiming Hans had an unusually fast rise, once again this is untrue; it is a blatant lie to be saying this after the analysis has already been done. Giri's rise was faster. Done. Refuted for all time. It is not an arguable accusation. Furthermore, there are other young players *right now* with similar rating levels who have had similarly fast rises. None of them are being accused of anything.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/23/2022 02:05
@mc1483 "So I reckon Ken Regan did not think Niemann could have cheated before october 2020."

He knew he was cheating before that, I think that the reason as of why the analysis starts in 2020 was to determine whether Niemann was ever cheating again since 2020.

@with_cheats_you_lose the supposed accomplice then would confess his/her crime, something not very probable, partly, because there might be no cheating at all, or there is cheating without an accomplice and, if there is a cheating with accomplice, then the accomplice probably does not want to be exposed. But, what if some people, eager to earn some money falsely claim they were the accomplices? How would one determine whether they were accomplices?

And, finally, if there was cheating and there was an accomplice involved, would you really want to reward him/her for being an accomplice in cheating?
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/23/2022 02:05
@odeshog

"Notably, Ken Regan, an independent expert in
the field of cheat detection in chess, has expressed his belief that Hans cheated during the 2015 and 2017
Titled Tuesdays, as well as numerous matches against other professional players in 2020. See Image 2
below, in which Ken shared his views with us."

Page 5 outof 72 of the chess.com report.

You are correct in stating that there is only one email from Ken Regan where he expressed his agreement, but I think it's highly probable that especially since Ken Regan is an expert in the field, he relied on actual analysis rather than feelings or opinions.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/23/2022 02:05
It becomes clear that the person insulting and abusing many here is a fan of Magnus Carlsen. So, if he/she makes an insult against someone here, then saying something critical about Carlsen is uncomfortable for this person.

So, if he/she says "To all of you who wonder if the world stops with the Niemann trolls here. "

Then a proper answer is "The lifetime score between Carlsen - Niemann is 0-2 in Niemann's favor, no draws, a 100% performance for the youngster."

So, eventually he/she will learn to act in a more civilized manner. Or not.
odeshog odeshog 10/23/2022 01:16
That is not the point, the point is for us to trust Regan's method he should actually demonstrate he can detect cheating in this case where the person has admitted to it. @Albert Silver can you point me to where it says in the report about this? I had a brief look and all I see is an email from Regan where he agrees about hans cheating earlier. He does not say on what basis at all.
mc1483 mc1483 10/23/2022 12:56
@odeshog: probably because Niemann's ELO only rose in the last two years, since october 2020, and did not change much during the previous two years (2439-2465). So I reckon Ken Regan did not think Niemann could have cheated before october 2020.
odeshog odeshog 10/23/2022 12:40
@Albert Silver, interesting, I have not read chess.com's report in detail. Why Regan did not analyze earlier games for his initial statment (which you covered btw) is beyond me.
saturn23 saturn23 10/22/2022 11:51
Frederic - someone needs to moderate the comments. People like Science22 have been spreading misinformation, without any consequences, on every single thread about Niemann.
saturn23 saturn23 10/22/2022 11:44
with_cheats_you_lose - there are many people like you that just assume, without any kind of evidence, that Niemann cheated in over the board chess. Have you actually considered that there might not be any accomplice because Niemann never cheated in over the board chess? What makes you so sure that Niemann cheated?
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 10/22/2022 09:07
I suspect chess.com's methods are extremely good and Niemann cheated in all 100 games that they claimed he did. One can get an idea of how hard it is to spot because there is a video where Nakamura and Naroditsky go over a few games in which Niemann cheated and they don't see anything amiss. Also I think ppl overestimate how easy it is to cheat while avoiding statistical detection. Even a few moves per game for several games is not going to evade detection.

BTW, Regan's and chess.com's methods cannot be compared because there are several important differences in the datasets of online and OTB chess.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 10/22/2022 08:30
An outside un-heated view, from on a community ridden with cheating problems - escalating as the game went on-line during covid. Even well-respected people went a little crazy, it seems, not perceiving it as being for real.. Historically OtB cheating in top echelons is a much larger problem than in chess. Hidden signals to partner, sitting across.

http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/more-on-carlsen-niemann-niemann-sues/
tauno tauno 10/22/2022 08:14
@with_cheats_you_lose. It will never happen. Niemann has already offered half of the future damages compensation to his accomplice.
with_cheats_you_lose with_cheats_you_lose 10/22/2022 07:34
A simpler solution to all of this would be to make an irrefutable offer to Hans Niemann's accomplice to bring public the proof on how Niemann is getting the chess engine moves in the tournaments. Let's say make a public offer of 1 million dollars, this would save money in the end, and the truth would eventually come out sooner rather than later, unlike the Lance Armstrong cheating scandal.
tauno tauno 10/22/2022 07:06
@reddawg07

Absolutely. Both Carlsen and Chess.com should have foreseen the far-reaching consequences these seemingly modest words and actions would have on Niemann's budding career.

Nakamura's situation is probably a little less serious, since he can't see that far. In his case, it's probably mostly just defamation, although his analysis and commentary on the infamous game has been very influential in shaping public opinion as well as being a major contributor to Chess.com's decision to ban Neumann.

We could compare the whole situation to a young promising soccer player at the top of the world, whose leg is broken by a vengeful player from the opposing team after a bitter loss. We don't know if the leg will ever heal completely and what career and financial consequences it will have for him in a lifetime perspective.

Perhaps the claims for damages that Niemann has made are not as unreasonable as they may seem at first glance.
reddawg07 reddawg07 10/22/2022 05:25
Actions or spoken words have consequences. In a jury trial on a defamation case like this that has been in the news these past few weeks "Alex Jones Ordered to Pay Sandy Hook Victims’ Families Nearly $1 Billion" or Amber Heard vs Johnny Depp with around 15 million dollars in liabilities against Amber Heard, anything is possible. Magnus and the other defendants will probably go unscathed in the end but have to spend thousands of dollars in lawyers fees not to mention the stress and anxiety such court litigations engender.

A solution would be to settle outside the court to a dollar amount that Nieman would agree to. And since, right now according to the internet, Magnus is worth around 50 million dollars and Chess.Com was in the process of acquiring or merging with 'Magnus Play' for 86 million dollars, there is enough money to spread around that shouldn't go to paying the very exorbitant fees that legal eagles extort from their clients.
tauno tauno 10/22/2022 04:35
In recent days, Nakamura has started to distance himself a bit from Carlsen, claiming that he no longer believes that Niemann has cheated OTB and that Niemann is a brilliant guy and so on. He has also begun to show humility by repeatedly saying that he is not a statistician. Is there anybody out there who knows him a little better and could explain these sudden changes in his manner and attitude?
mc1483 mc1483 10/22/2022 03:46
My forecast on the lawsuit:
- Fide won't find anything concrete against Niemann and will act solomonically, reprimanding Carlsen but nothing more, and recommending new, improved anti-cheating measures.
- Carlsen won't settle the lawsuit off-court, unless he changes his mind on Niemann (something I don't rule out).
- if the lawsuit will arrive in court after the Nepo-Ding match - let's say 6 months after or more - Niemann will likely be sacrificed for political matters, and forced to quit chess. Otherwise he should win easily.
mc1483 mc1483 10/22/2022 03:38
@Frederic: there is an old saying in Italy, "you cannot draw blood from turnips". In the present case, it means that no matter how many comments you delete, certain users will go on attacking others, because this is their way (Mando docet) of writing comments. If you want to avoid that while keeping the feedback, you have to block such users. Also, you won't have to check comments every now and then, afraid of finding there personal attacks, afraid of missing them.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 10/22/2022 03:09
“Hans Nieman consistently cheated over the board in his career, also in the game against Magnus Carlsen.”

I began to wonder, and have one question regarding the final statement. This means that if the colours were inverted, being Niemann-Carlsen rather than Carlsen-Niemann, we would have concluded that Carlsen cheated in that game. Or, at least, most probably.

Since the method of detection in single game is independent of the identity of the combatants.

Would we?

Disregarding live video and post-game interview, just the moves. To broaden it out, would any Sinquefield participant but Niemann be accused of cheating in that particular game?

Or am I overlooking something here.