GM Dlugy on Carlsen-Niemann

by ChessBase
10/11/2022 – While the World Champion made his position on Hans Niemann quite clear, a later Tweet openly suggested that GM Dlugy had had a role in it as Hans Niemann's 'mentor'. Shortly thereafter, shared emails with Dlugy with the press. GM Dlugy has now released a very long and detailed statement regarding multiple aspects, including the accusations as well as his role and impressions of Hans Niemann.

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Although the Carlsen-Niemann affair seems well documented by now, even if no closer to a resolution than when it started, the World Champion implicated GM Maxim Dlugy when he cited him as Niemann's mentor, suggesting the American grandmaster had some role in the cheating accusations pointed at the 19-year-old.

A week later, private emails that Maxim Dlugy had exchanged with were leaked to Motherboard, a branch of the famous online news site Vice, regarding a tournament he had organized.

Report by Vice after the confidential emails were leaked to it

As a result, he found his name embroiled in the Hans Niemann affair as a 'person of interest'. Today the grandmaster released a lengthy and detailed statement regarding all aspects, including his relationship with Hans Niemann, and his impressions of the young American as a talent, his games in the actual events being cited by, and other details he feels need to be in the discussion. 

Link to the full statement


A grandmaster and a chess professional for more than 40 years, I have found myself dragged into the cheating controversy rocking the chess world, following the release of confidential emails by – a company with a huge financial stake in supporting the version of events pushed by chess world champion Magnus Carlsen.

In the end of August, less than two weeks before the affair blew up, made a bid for $82.9 million dollars to purchase all of Magnus Carlsen's companies.

The first bolt from the sky came when Magnus said that I was a mentor to Hans Niemann, a former student of mine with whom I’ve kept in occasional touch over the years, insinuating that I helped him cheat.

Then came calls from reporters seeking comment on two-year-old emails between and me that the website had agreed in written form to keep confidential and released without my consent. In a roundabout way, the exchanges could be purported to prop up claims made by Magnus…. with whom just happens to be negotiating a huge financial deal.

My Chess Career

I’ve been involved in chess for the vast majority of my life. I won my first chess tournament when I was 15. I won the World Junior Chess Championship in 1985, was the highest-rated blitz player in the World Blitz Chess Association in the period between 1988-1992.

In the 1988 World Blitz Championship, a knockout event, Dlugy narrowly lost to Garry Kasparov 2.5-3.5

Relationship with Hans

I met Hans during the World Youth Championships in South Africa 8 years ago when he was 11. I started working with him around October 2014. In the short three-four months, he went up from 2150 to 2350. I was not so much amazed by his progress, as I had students who demonstrated similar growth, but by his ability to digest the information I would give him and then improve on it.

Most of my sessions would take place between rounds of major tournaments on the West Coast and it was clear that Hans could take in information as quickly as a top GM could, immediately being able to implement it in the game he played.

Magnus Carlsen accusations

It looks like Magnus has been told by advisors to avoid direct accusations and work with insinuations. He insinuated that Hans cheated in their game, without saying as much, and when it came time to say something of note, he insinuated that Hans has a mentor, myself, who is doing a great job helping him to play well, which to Magnus now is equivalent to cheating. He then came out openly and claimed Hans has cheated and he will not be playing in tournaments with him anymore.  Magnus’ plan is to try to prove  “Guilt by association”. If Hans has a mentor who is a cheat, by definition Hans must be a cheat and therefore he did cheat in their game, as he looked relaxed or rather “not tense” when playing him. The public was then directed to check out my alleged cheating incidents in 2017 and 2020 on, which would firmly establish that since I admitted to violating Fair Play policies of, I clearly helped or advised Hans that the only way for him to make progress in chess is by cheating.

Since Hans has by then already admitted that he has cheated when he was 12 and 16, it would get social media firmly behind the World Champion’s plan of further implicating Hans by connecting one “cheat “ with another.

There are a number of problems with this concept:

Although to cheat with an actual device you do need an accomplice who has access to the device with a chess engine running on it, you also need a connection to the device which given the precautions taken at many of the modern tournaments, especially the Sinquefield Cup, is not even remotely a possibility.

None of the specialists tasked to find anything wrong with the actual Carlsen-Niemann game in question, came up with anything substantive pointing to any outside influence in generating moves. In fact, Hans has on at least two occasions during that game relinquished much of his advantage gained in the early opening phase, but Magnus failed to capitalize on it. Kenneth Regan, the accepted foremost authority on the subject presented a detailed report where he found no evidence of Hans using an engine neither in that particular game nor in any other Over the Board game.

A detailed interview with Dr. Ken Regan that details his analysis of Hans Niemann since September 2020, in which he declared firmly that he found no evidence of cheating from then on, online or over-the-board

A summarized video explaining his methods as per his own words in the aforementioned interview History

The emails submitted by showed that I indeed violated their Fair Play Guidelines twice in 2017 in two tournaments where one of my students in a class was shouting out moves together with other students while consulting with the engine. 

I realized that the accusations in 2017 had some truth to them a few months later only after I caught the student in question cheating. As soon as this happened I immediately reached out to Danny Rensch and admitted to the breach of fair play guidelines that I didn’t know I had committed until that moment.  I admitted this was a violation, though the recent videos of Magnus Carlsen receiving advice from one of the top British players David Howell to beat a major competitor in a money tournament on seems to be a larger violation, as he willingly played the move which won the game on the spot. It can be seen clearly in the video that Magnus didn’t take this too seriously, admitting that he was cheating on the spot.

In my case, I truly had no reason to believe that I had actually cheated and was adamant I did not cheat until I realized what was happening months later, as the thought that kids rated over 1000 points lower than me could be helping me play better never occurred to me. I think I was negligent in not imagining that such a thing could occur, but having apologized for it and having offered to return the prize money for the event, an offer Danny Rensch did not comment on, I think I did as much as anyone would under the circumstances.



In the Spring 2020 tournament which I played in after my account was fully reinstated 3 years after the 2017 events, I was kicked out by during the 9th round of the tournament where I had a score of 6,5/8, while NOT USING ANY OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE!

I was shocked by this, as I was playing the tournament from my apartment and could not understand what occurred. I was informed that I was kicked out for Fair Play Guidelines violations and that given the past history, I would have 72 hours to confess to anything regarding Fair Play Guideline violations or my account would be closed permanently.

This created quite a dilemma. On the one hand, from my previous discussions with Danny Rensch on the subject, it became quite obvious that he believes in methodology more than in anything else, although having recently studied the materials on the website, I found out that it turns out that 5 or 6 appeals per month are actually satisfied and those accounts are reinstated. I simply didn’t have the time to deal with this situation, and since I took at their word that the email exchange would continue to be confidential and private as stated in all of their correspondence, I made the mistake of agreeing to admitting that I used some help in some of the games in the event. The flip side would be potentially worse. 

When you are kicked from, rumors start circulating immediately that you cheated and therefore were kicked out. Remembering the messages I got back in 2017, I decided that it’s best to admit to wrongdoing, and if they ever made this public, I would always be able to prove that I didn’t cheat by simply analyzing the games in question. Sadly, it has come down to this. Since can now not be trusted with keeping their promises, I will have to do what I do best: Analyze chess games. My analysis of the games in question are below.

I would also like to mention that since I “confessed” to violating Fair Play Guidelines, my account was reinstated by and until recently, I regularly played using this account, which I agreed with would remain anonymous. This account is known by a handful of my friends as well as my students. It is a titled GM Diamond account.

Analyzed games (courtesy of Maxim Dlugy):




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