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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Eine-Welt-Staat Eine-Welt-Staat 10/12/2022 12:16
What kinds of circles are you involved with, Mr. Friedel?
Michael Jones Michael Jones 10/12/2022 12:13
The commenters who cry "Once a cheat, always a cheat" would have an interesting time if they ever became lawyers. "Did the store cameras catch this man shoplifting?" "No" "Were any goods found on his person that he hadn't paid for?" "No" "So what evidence do you have that he did it?" "He's committed shoplifting before." Anyone who tried to prosecute based on that argument would be laughed out of court. If, when and how often Niemann, Dlugy or anyone else cheated is of course relevant for other reasons, but the key accusation in this matter is that Niemann cheated in his game against Carlsen at the Sinquefeld Cup, and so far neither Carlsen nor anyone else has produced a single shred of evidence that he did. Carlsen's accusation is based on no more than his refusal to believe that anyone rated nearly 200 lower than him could beat him. Alexey Sarana had chances to beat Carlsen at the Grand Swiss in 2019, when Carlsen was on an even longer unbeaten streak than he was before losing to Niemann - and Sarana was rated lower then than Niemann was at the time of the Sinquefeld Cup. Carlsen ultimately managed to draw the game, but if he had lost, would he have accused Sarana of cheating?
tauno tauno 10/11/2022 11:24
@A Alekhine. But it is strange that banned Niemann (after Carlsen's misbehavior) because they suspect that he has cheated specifically OTB. Especially since no other arranger or organization has found sufficient evidence that Niemann has cheated OTB. Is it right to do it this way?
AidanMonaghan AidanMonaghan 10/11/2022 10:38
Possible to construct a miniaturized, stand-alone, non-RF, engine containing device that responds to physical inputs, with cell phone-like vibrations, that could be contained within shoes for example and evade wanding or similar detection.
mc1483 mc1483 10/11/2022 10:21
I have read the reddit's discussion. Dlugy made a fool of himself, and his situation is now much worse. So much I'm afraid Niemann's too will get worse, although he's not been discussed.
A Alekhine A Alekhine 10/11/2022 10:02
I think everyone knows that online chess play is relatively insecure and we can't rely on those results to the same extent that we rely on OTB results. Cheating does occur in OTB chess, but at least it is more difficult and risky.

Apparently online cheating is rampant, to the extent that maintains lists of past cheaters.

Let me suggest that this article about Dlugy, interesting though it may be in its own right, sheds no light on Niemann's situation. We all know Niemann has cheated online, because he himself admits it.

However, Niemann's past online cheating does not prove anything about Niemann's OTB conduct. Niemann says he plays clean OTB chess and I for one see no compelling evidence to the contrary.

Magnus's fans just have to admit he lost to Niemann in St. Louis fair and square. I myself am a Magnus fan. However, that is not the same as saying, "I agree with whatever Magnus says or does, right or wrong."
shivasundar shivasundar 10/11/2022 07:42
herralex herralex 10/11/2022 07:26
In the immortal words of Eminem : "There's no such thing as a part-time crook."
tauno tauno 10/11/2022 05:35
In the current situation, players cannot know if their opponents are cheaters or not. - "Anonymity is promised in return for confession," as has put it (this applies to all players except those Magnus suspects of cheating).

But that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Since the situation is the same for all rated players (>99.99%), the system can be considered democratic. In addition, it increases the tension and gives the game a little extra nerve. It can also help reduce the number of draws that have become a major problem in modern chess.

Just for the record: In the name of fair play and equity in these uncertain times, should be the only organization allowed to host rated tournaments because, according to GM Hans Niemann, "they have the best cheat detection in the world."

Finally, it was good that all this came up so we can make things better (as they say in crisis management).
mstefa mstefa 10/11/2022 05:12
all the cheaters sound the same. He was "crowdsourcing moves" Like he's 9 and doesn't know the rules .. These excuses these people offer are beyond weak. He knew or should have known and is guilty of cheating. So is his protege. Oh I cheated once maybe twice.. when they need several hundred games to actually prove you're cheating.
with_cheaters_you_lose with_cheaters_you_lose 10/11/2022 03:41
I would add that is mind-blowing why most here defend and side with the cheaters and, proven to be, pathological liars. Is there no moral integrity left?
vounaros vounaros 10/11/2022 03:13
Why do you let cheaters confuse people?
calvinamari calvinamari 10/11/2022 02:45
This in hardly a difficult question. Dlugy does not really think he cheated notwithstanding that his moves were crowdfunded and computer assisted, both in violation of the rules. Let’s put the question to his opponent who was defeated on this basis. What do you think he or she would say based on these facts? What would you say if you lost under such circumstances? The question does not exactly open a large field of speculation in this regard.
tauno tauno 10/11/2022 02:38
When banned GM Dlugy in the second case, the evidence must have been overwhelming if they applied the same standard as for other players:

IM Danny Rensch, Chief Chess Officer at, gave the following statement:

“We know many are wondering why we didn’t close his [IM Joachim Birger Nilsen’s] account or remove him from play based on those four games, and 119 total "plies". Consider this:

Imagine that his level of play can be achieved by a player of his strength only one out of 1,000 times. That sounds incredibly improbable.

Now consider that every month thousands of titled players play on If we closed accounts based on a 1/1000 chance of being wrong (false positive), that would mean that every month we could potentially close several titled player accounts unfairly. So, should we have closed Nilsen's account even though adjusting our standards might result in some accounts being unfairly closed?”
Pwijk Pwijk 10/11/2022 01:40
One should really understand/research the power of investment and who is pulling the strings behind the scenes!
Sure all business models contain a conflic of interest, we do anything to keep ahead of the competition.
As do most people follow the line of hiërarchie wen caught in this trickery of deflecting attention, this unatural obedience to power structures and its never ending greed to controle!

It looks to me that all the popular chessplatforms nowadays competing, have gained some vallue and interest in world of human interactivities the last 10 years? Then most of these people are used, unknowingly or playfully willing to feed the AI systems behind these platforms to increase AI abillity and follow a agenda of trans-humanisme and eugenics. In the end most of all these organasations are owned by the same group of investers.... You do the math, researche the flow of money and you may see why conflic is being made to increase populairity.... Offcourse negative/positive data increases attention to the Problem Reaction Solution model but I gues they have allready the answer waiting to inplement at the right time...
In the end its a battle to controles/own the mind of the masses by raising conflict!
Think, act and be likewise if you dont care about the living, wanna live forever or buy your happiness by destroing others, you follow their needs and desires and if that's the way to go? Like most of us have a choice....

So please put this unatural behavior of competition aside and stop increasingly making havoc in this survival of fittest contest. Its inbarrasing how people are handeling themselfs nowadays in taking care of this planet and the given circumstances!

With kind regards, a troubled guy!
ChessSpawnVermont ChessSpawnVermont 10/11/2022 12:27
The Cold War is over. We now live in an International corporate Capitalist world where return on investment rules and overrules truthful, ethical behavior. At one political extreme (Russia under Putin) we see the rise of fascist states. As Mussolini observed, “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” The prevailing paradigm in most Western states is more subtle corporate control of politics and life as in the UK and the United States. Regardless of the nation, corporate interests trump human values of truthfulness, honesty and simple human decency. The Carlsen/Chesscom corporate vendetta against Niemann is merely one of the more overt symptoms of late stage consumer Capitalism's assault on human decency. Read your Herbert Marcuse (One Dimensional Man) and weep......
framece framece 10/11/2022 12:20
Why only released Niemann and Dlugy's names as online cheaters? There are other higher rated GMs who cheated online. Is it because Magnus only complained about Niemann?
ChessSpawnVermont ChessSpawnVermont 10/11/2022 12:05
Dlugy is correct to point to the corporate aspect of this affair. Chesscom, Carlsen (and his company being purchased by Chesscom making him a reported shareholder in Chesscom) lookis increasingly like a corporate vendetta against Niemann to stroke Carlsen's damaged ego. Here are some of the corporate ownership aspects of Chesscom.

Whao owns Chesscom?
From a very quick online check to be done more deeply in future:
Chesscom is presently owned by PokerStars which appears to be a corporation based in the Isle of Man. PokerStars was acquired by Paddy Power Betfair, a Dublin, Ireland based sports betting and gaming operator.

Chesscom is funded by General Atlantic, NYC investment firm and Flashpoint, a London ,UK based investment firm.

Flashpoint's two General partners are Alex Konoplyasty and Michael Szalontay.
In January, 2022, Chesscom raised an undisclosed amount of financing through private equity firm General Atlantic based in New York, NY.
General Atlantic: Anton Levy is co-President and managing director; Tanzeen M. Syed is a managing director.
Data above sourced from

Alexander Konoplyasty was educated at Moscow State Institute of International Relations. (Source: Bloomberg)
Michael Szalontay educated at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary (source: Linkedin)
See this general article of interest as to their investments.

Anton Levy: born in South Africa, undergrad Univ. of Virginia. H as an MBA from Columbia University.
Tanzeen M. Syed: BA Macalester College, St. Paul, MN. (Linkedin)

Layer upon layer of equity investors. I can't help but wonder how they view the mess that Danny Rensch and Magnus Carlsen have created and can't seem to stop fomenting.
Wiles Wiles 10/11/2022 12:00
My conclusion, after looking at some games, is that Chess.Com never had any real way of stopping a sophisticated internet chess cheater of around 2500 plus, that is just using a computer just at critical junctures. therefore opted for a "anti cheater" approach which is based on "thinking that its likley this player is cheating" rather than "knowing" cheating is going on. Most probaly this was a good approach until, they started commentating on individuals under suspicion. Now they have broken their side of the deal, ie: "we will keep it all strictly confidential" they will need a new approach as there is nothing in it for those accussed, to play along and admit involvement.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/11/2022 10:50
All this story is very shady. And I do not mean Niemann and Dlugy. Niemann was cheating earlier and he was caught. Good. Dlugy claims that he himself was not cheating, but was more or less forced into admitting it. I cannot tell whether that's true, I do not know whether he cheated and lies now, or he falsely admitted for an offense he did not commit. repeated the mantra in its report about Niemann that they really wanted to keep this private. Yet, in the case of Dlugy they did the exact opposite of what they wanted in the case of Niemann. They helped Carlsen to associate two supposed cheaters in North Korean style, yet, repeatedly denies that they were even discussing the topic with Carlsen. This is inrceasingly difficult to believe, given the fact that, according to this article Carlsen insinuated Dlugy was a cheater before released the conversation they had with him

"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."

So, should not promise confidentiality of they do not mean it and it is very strange that they just ban Niemann when Carlsen accuses him and then release a private conversation when Carlsen frames Dlugy. It very much looks like an authority using his corporation to revenge a loss.

They break their word given to Dlugy in order to serve Carlsen's interest, they make the private correspondence public, but in Niemann's case they claim they wanted to keep it private... I may add: until Carlsen's interests suggest otherwise.

The very act that they accuse someone, close his account (which automatically pressurizes him, as others will wonder what happened, has he cheated or not) and then give an ultimatum for the person to confess resembles Mao's China with the "self-criticism" people had to do under the pressure of the Party.
Supergm79 Supergm79 10/11/2022 10:46
@flachspieler/Frederic: I entirely agree with the comment from flachspieler. Even more, with respect to GDPR / privacy, there should be clear policies with respect to publishing / reporting on possible cheating activities.
This could already avoid for the entire discussion as to whether they can remain silent on cheating behavior or not from someone vis-a-vis the outside world. Or, to the arbitrarily decisions with respect to reinstating a cheater or not with a new account can also be tackled...
Frederic Frederic 10/11/2022 10:08
@flachspieler: Ingo, can you email me? I cannot locate your email address. I am working on a general anti-cheating strategy together with a leading security expert (anti-spy for the US government). He is also a contact magician, which is important. They are the leading experts in surreptitious signalling. Perhaps you can join our discussion. We will be publishing our suggestions and strategy in due course.

Cool hat.
flachspieler flachspieler 10/11/2022 08:53 is a very big player in the chess scene, and some sort of Big Brother with the lots of data they have collected. Unfortunately, they do not use their power carefully.

In their "Niemann Report" from October 04, 2022, is included a list of "Anonymous Confessed GM", on pages 9 and 10. But just this list takes away the anonymity. The names of the players are not given but their FIDE Elo ratings. It is easy to find the true names behind several of these players with simple detective work:

From April 2020 to October 2020 there were almost no chess tournaments due to the Covid pandemy. As a consequence, the Elo ratings of most players were frozen in those months. Simultaneously, improved their cheating detection just in those months (this was sort of necessary because more and more players switched from OTB to online, due to Covid).

In the list in the report, two players with very high ratings are included: one with 2686, the other with 2685. In the rating list from Summer 2020 two players with 2686 are mentioned, and exactly one with 2685. From the two 2686'ers exactly one stopped using his in the end of June, 2020. This means: with almost 100 percent, two of the anonymous players are identified. With similar arguments several more players from the anonymous list can be identified. has lots of data and thus a lot of responsibility. They should be much more careful in making use of it.

Ingo Althoefer (Full Professor of Mathematics).
tom_70 tom_70 10/11/2022 05:28
Are we still beating this dead horse? Let it go.
DeepThought42 DeepThought42 10/11/2022 04:44
I'm not saying he's innocent or guilty, but regarding the comments saying why would someone confess to something they weren't guilty of, look no further than the US justice system. People take plea deals all the time, pleading guilty in a crime they didn't do in fear that if wrongly convicted they would suffer drastic consequences like jail time. it's a bit of the prisoners dilemma, if you admit guilt with a quiet punishment, that's better than potentially being found guty and having a severe punishment.
adbennet adbennet 10/11/2022 04:30
Once again big thanks to ChessBase for their continual even-handed coverage, allowing the GM to speak for himself.
shivasundar shivasundar 10/11/2022 03:03
@saturn23, he is now saying that he himself did not cheat, simply that one of his students did. And that he only knew that later since he caught said student red-handed: "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 agree with Everden's view also - that it is Kafkaesque. It's like a 'black box' - the process, the appeals, etc. all are opaque. I suspect this is because the statistical evidence can never be bulletproof - and hence they need to cover themselves in legalese and protect themselves from any potential lawsuits. However, they also need to keep dishing out Diamond to all the titled 'former' cheaters, funneling (regular paying public) money while titled players don't pay a single dime. This way, they can 'buy' credibility by saying 'oh look! most of the top players play for us' and get more eyeballs/bigger dollars from the bigger sponsors. Very shady operation, IMO.
Magic_Knight Magic_Knight 10/11/2022 03:00
Are we suppose to believe Maxim unwillingly admitted to cheating even knowing that he had not cheated?! C'mon now. Who the heck would do that????? Maxim you need a more compelling alibi than that!
Everden Everden 10/11/2022 02:21
@saturn23 On the face of it, you're right, but perhaps you're unaware of the way operates. As a suspected wrongdoer, you receive an email telling you your account is suspended for violating's terms and conditions. No evidence is offered, and more bizarrely, you're not even told what it is you're supposed to have done wrong. However, if you confess to your unspecified misdemeanours, then you are allowed to open another account and continue using the server. Otherwise, you're out. The line of least resistance, even if you're completely innocent, or if you're unable to figure out what you're actually being accused of, is to admit guilt and carry on playing there, and I'm sure that's what a lot of people do. Personally, I find this Kafkaesque approach at best patronising and at worst downright sinister, but as is the biggest kid on the block, they can do whatever they like, until enough people vote with their feet and play somewhere else.
saturn23 saturn23 10/11/2022 02:18
shivasundar - I understand what he is saying. On reddit people are trying to defend this position. But I still find it very strange, especially considering that he got caught cheating before.
davide2015 davide2015 10/11/2022 02:06
Long time ago, I heard GM Dugly was also kicked out from ICC for the same problem. Could someone at Chessbase kindly verify or ask ICC?
shivasundar shivasundar 10/11/2022 02:05
I think he is saying "I was forced to say 'I confess'" - just to keep his ccom account, so he could a. continue teaching b. continue having an ID on the platform for other reasons. [Just like you would to some priest - thinking there are no consequences; just an example].

"...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. "
saturn23 saturn23 10/11/2022 01:39
To be honest it sounds very strange to "admit" that you cheated when you haven't done anything wrong.