Let's Check: the elite are better than you know

by Albert Silver
10/17/2022 – There are several ways to check a player's performance using an engine. One is to simply ask an engine to analyze every move and highlight every disagreement however small. Another is to use the tool in ChessBase and Fritz known as Let's Check. Here are the results from the recent Sinquefield Cup including a 100% match and the curiously high results by...

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There are three main ways today to evaluate a player using an engine. This is not to be confused with annotating a game.

The most sophisticated one is used by analysts such as Dr. Ken Regan, who compile the average error rates of players per level. For example, I might lose an average 0.15 pawns per move compared to the engine's best, while a top GM might lose only 0.02. His system will go deeper than this, but that is still the foundation on which it lies and it will be better at catching 'smart cheaters' than a more basic system such as below.

The simplest is just to analyze a game with an engine and ask it to highlight every move it disagrees with, however small the difference. Obviously the risk is that in some positions, there might be three roughly equal moves that three engines play slightly differently.

Imagine you are analyzing with only Stockfish, and it says that five moves out of ten are not a match. This might overlook that two of the moves that don't match its choices, are chosen by another top engine such as Komodo Dragon 3. In other words, only five match Stockfish, but seven in all match top engine choices. That is the underlying point of Let's Check. When you analyze a game with it, it will not only tell you what a variety of engines thought of each move, it will give you a summary called Engine Correlation at the top, showing the percentage of times a player's moves matched the top choice of an engine.

However, unlike a plain engine comparison, it won't compare with just one top engine move, it will compare with several, and if the move matches any of those engines, then it is a match for Engine Correlation. 

Komodo Dragon 3

The new Komodo Dragon 3 engine has gained 100 Elo points in playing strength over its predecessor when using a processor core in blitz. That's a huge improvement for a program that already reached at an Elo level of over 3500!

Sinquefield Cup

Recently there were several claims about high Engine Correlation matches between Hans Niemann's games and the Let's Check choices, so out of curiosity I ran a complete Let's Check on all the games in the recent Sinquefield Cup and I must say the results were unexpected.

The first result to come out was that one player did actually obtain a 100% match. This was not the result of some ultra-short draw, since Let's Check will ignore theory moves, and games with too few moves played. I.e. a game that was 28 moves long but had 20 moves of theory will not be eligible for an Engine Correlation result. Who is this engine matching wonder? Wesley So.

In his game against Ian Nepomniachtchi, the American player achieved a 100% Engine Correlation score. However, he was not the star performer overall in terms of such measurements, since it was his only game over 80%. No, one player managed to score three times in excess of 90% engine correlation. Aha! I hear you cry out. We have him! So who is this chess engine-like god?

Levon Aronian had several of the highest quality games according to Let's Check

Meet Levon Aronian, late-bloomer extraordinaire, who had an engine correlation of 92% against Caruana (who himself has a 96% correlation in that same game) over 45 moves, 91% against Wesley So in 43 moves, and 91% against Magnus Carlsen in 36 moves. Plus two more games with over 80%.

He was not quite alone though, and none other than Ian Nepomniachtchi had two as well, plus several over 80%, showing the quality of play that led him to win the Candidates this year. Note that he had an average 78% engine correlation for the entire Candidates, 11% more than second-best Caruana.

The burning question on your mind, dear reader, is what about Hans? In terms of engine correlation, Hans was the worst. His best game, with an 88% match over 55 moves, was in round seven against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. In his game against Carlsen it was a modest 68%, but of course Magnus was playing dreadful that day, and had only 37%. 

The mythical 100%

So how rare is 100% after all? It is rare but not as rare as you might think. I ran some random checks through games in 1999-2000 as I was curious about Kasparov and Kramnik. All in all I had some 150 eligible games, maybe less, yet it turned up a higher-than-expected number of perfect matches.

For example, the rapid games Amber tournament had several 100% perfect games, including Jeroen Piket in one, and Kramnik in another. And against Topalov no less... Memories of Toiletgate. There were also two(!) by Kasparov in Bosnia in 1999, another in Bosnia in 2000, one more by Kramnik in the World Knockout event against Korchnoi over 41 moves and later one by Michael Adams against Vlad in that same event.

However, there is a caveat that must be mentioned when using such tools. It is eminently possible to game the system to show a 100% match where it normally might not. You see, when doing a Let's Check analysis within Fritz, you have the option of providing your own engine, and then telling it to only use it for moves that did not match engine choices. In other words, you are trying to find an engine it will match. And if it does.... the engine correlation will improve.


Originally, this game was only a 90% match, with no engine choosing Garry Kasparov's 16.cxd5 for example. After trying several, I found an engine that chose it, and entered it as another Let's Check choice. Now the tally reads:

So yes, the results can absolutely be manipulated by the unscrupulous. A telltale sign might be in the engines listed. If a new game shows Stockfish 14+, Komodo 12+ and so on, it should be fine, but if you see some very old engines or odd names for that same new game, be on your guard, as they may have been used only to get an extra match. 

Mega Database 2022

The ChessBase Mega Database 2022 is the premiere chess database with over 9.2 million games from 1560 to 2021 in high quality.

Regardless, here is the signature win by Kasparov with notes from Mega Database:



Does this in any way invalidate the use of a tool such as Let's Check? Of course not, but as all such tools, they must be used with good sense and judgement. The fact that modern elite players can rattle off multiple games with such extraordinarily high engine matches is a testament to the increasing overall quality of the chess players, since the engines they are matching today, are also hundreds of Elo stronger than engines of a decade ago. These players are also studying and learning from the engines, and that increase in pure ability is a consequence of it.


Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.
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arzi arzi 10/24/2022 09:26
No beam theory? No electromagnetic force, no voice, no telepathy, no mind reading, no gravitational force, no strong nuclear force, no weak nuclear force? What do we have any more left or what can the arbiter do?
Jacob woge Jacob woge 10/23/2022 02:00
“OK, we have laughed enough of the laser beam theory”

The joke being, of course, that there never was any “laser beam theory”.

The positioning method has been shown to work in a packed playing hall. Still, it has been discovered. Pattern recognition is the chess players foremost quality. In round robins, a quiet playing area,you pretty much need for the arbiter to be the accomplice.

Telepathy ruled out? Reading opponents mind?
mc1483 mc1483 10/22/2022 07:56
OK, we have laughed enough of the laser beam theory. If we want to stay serious, we need to remember how the security works in big tournaments. Spectators are not allowed to bring electronic devices inside the playing hall, sometimes not even inside the building. So I think the only method that would work is the "Feller" protocol: two accomplices are needed and some sort of code must be arranged between the player and the first accomplice. When the player is in need of assistance, he signals the first accomplice (scraping head, looking at watch, something like that). The first accomplice exits the playing hall and meets outside (the hall or the building, it depends on the security measures) the second accomplice, who's got an electronic device; he's given the position and in a matter of minutes communicates the engine's move to the first accomplice (inside the building or, if necessary, outside). The first accomplice then re-enters the playing hall and signals the move to the player by means of the code.

This maneuver could be repeated twice, maybe thrice before raising suspicion. According to many great players (page 8 of the Chess.com report) that's enough to change for best someone's career.

If Niemann is a cheater, that's the way he does it, of that I'm almost sure. Unless spectators are locked inside the playing hall, or forbidden to re-enter it (I've never seen such drastic measures - until now) the method will work. He could really play naked, and live broadcast would not be necessary. I also think Ken Regan's tools would probably fail. Problem is, during the US championship only a selected audience could enter the playing hall, nevertheless Niemann performed at exactly 2699. Either he's got the smartest accomplices, or he is not a cheater.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/22/2022 12:56
@Jacob Woge interesting. I wonder about the details of the conspiracy-theory. The talking chewing gum theory was funny :)
Jacob woge Jacob woge 10/22/2022 09:52
“If he was cheating, then how? Are we to believe the conspiracy-theory about a laser beam getting through a wall exactly into Niemann's ear, or is there a better conspiracy-theory? ”

If I understand this correctly, the theory is not exact location, but exact frequency, or frequency band. The signal is ambient, and picked up by any substance that vibrates within that band. So, not laser but a radio broadcast on a very unusual carrier wave. Akin to a microwave oven with a message, I am no expert. Not energetic enough to fry someone’s brain, I hope.

I guess it could be done, but I am reluctant to believe a theory involving talking chewing gum. So far I have not seen any Plan B.

As for the transmission delay, the longer the delay the more effective. At the US CH, broadcast started 15m after official kick-off time? That is my recollection, I have been unable to find intel at the tournament web site. Re-watching, the broadcast does not begin 15m into the games, conversely games begin 10m into the broadcast. So it could even be 25m.

But already 15m inhibits help from the outside to an extent so large that the player cannot rely upon it. Half hour, better still of course but the difference could be marginal.

It has been stated that such a delay does not constitute a problem - you just transmit variations, to cater for possible answers. I do not agree. I think it is crucial that instructions pertain to the position on the board. It changes too quickly, and especially the speed with which difficult endgames are played out by Niemann (which Btw I find very surprising) does not agree with transmission of variation trees rather than singular moves that you play rightaway. There is a lot to remember, and you cannot ask questions back.

“I do not exclude his cheating. But, the allegations are unproven so far. And this is the point upon which we agree, as far as I know.”

Yes, when it comes to the latest two tournaments. Historical, I will be getting to that.
mc1483 mc1483 10/21/2022 02:37
Also: let us believe that the accomplice succeeded in locating Niemann's ears through walls/windows, at a distance of 100 meters or more, pointing the laser beam with a precision that even the best snipers cannot achieve. Then Niemann should have sat perfectly still for hours, without ever getting up, ever moving the head, not even when moving the pieces, and with each opponent not finding extremely weird such a behaviour. Also, how could the accomplice stop the transmission every time some other player got up and looked at Niemann's chessboard, possibily intercepting the signal? No to mention the fact that the transmission would have lasted another 30 minutes after the end of the game, making it even easier for casual passers-by to intercept it. It's so difficult not to laugh that I'm afraid I can't hold it back.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/21/2022 01:43
@Jacob Woge there was a transmission delay the the USA championship and enhanced security, yet, Niemann performed accordingly to his rating. So, either his rating is as strong as his play, or he was cheating despite the security measures.

If he was not cheating in the USA championship, then why would we think that his similar performance at other tournaments were due to cheating?

If he was cheating, then how? Are we to believe the conspiracy-theory about a laser beam getting through a wall exactly into Niemann's ear, or is there a better conspiracy-theory?

I do not exclude his cheating. But, the allegations are unproven so far. And this is the point upon which we agree, as far as I know.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 10/21/2022 11:45
“Are you giving us the answers where there are two equally likely possibilities: "Yes and No." “

Fair enough.

Given the Niemann 2019-20 OtB tournament history (difference in performance broadcast vs. not) I now think he has cheated OtB. And not come clean.

I am unsure exactly which constraints to impose. Simple combinatorics: if no. of rating loss/gain tournaments are both fixed at 9 (this is a constraint) the probability of a chance occurrence is roughly 1:500 . If no constraint, that figure squared, i.e. 1:250,000. As I see no reason to constrain, the higher figure is probably more true. Still, good to know the lower limit.

This is a strong indication Niemann has cheated OtB in said period. Method unknown, related to live broadcast. So at least one other person involved. If this constitutes a conspiracy theory, then so be it.

In a world where truth is eventually revealed, no doubt, my money is on cheating. Gambling odds at 50-50, I fully expect to double my money.

Sinquefield and US CH, in neither of these am I willing to bet.

The games as such tell me nothing.

The overall performance is inconclusive. Not incriminating, not exonerating.

The videos during games, and interviews I find extremely odd. I do not see or hear a person deeply involved in the game for 4-5 hours. But all that it gives me is suspicion, nothing tangible. Given the OtB cheating history, something authentic really was in demand.

So here I sit, ten grand in hand, and cannot decide. Black, or red? Try out the exercise. How much would you bet, and on what? Me, I keep my money.

There are two points from US I find worth mentioning.

The far prediction from someone of Niemann going from minus to plus turned out to be right. Well done. The guy could have a point.

The aggressive Sevian incident, which Seirawan tried to laugh away. I do not see Niemann with a second voice in the ear while unexpectedly spoken to. Lawsuit being in the mail explains post-game brush-off.
arzi arzi 10/21/2022 06:15
Jacob woge:"On the US CH - there were two predictions out there after round 7..."
"But regarding the US CH as such - to be honest, I’m on the fence..."

Forgive my stupid question, Jacob, but what are you talking about? Are you giving us the answers where there are two equally likely possibilities: "Yes and No." or do you offer us some conspiracy theory? You seem to have a habit of speaking in completely roundabout sentences without any clarity as to what you really want to say. I guess you meant all by your roundabout sentences that "You don´t know if Niemann has cheated in US CH.", right? Please correct me if I am wrong about the content of your thoughts. I`m no mind reader as science22.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 10/20/2022 10:28
But regarding the US CH as such - to be honest, I’m on the fence.

Ca’n’t tell, and I am not sure new tournaments can be lumped together with pre-covid. Which I find pretty revealing: 9 out of 9 BCed tournaments with rating gain, 9 out of 9 non-BCed with rating loss. Doesn’t get much more suspicious than that.

With high enough rating practically everything you participate in will be broadcast. And - Going on plus everytime is what got Rausis nailed. Nobody does that. Pun fully intended ...

The US result itself falls in the still very small “undecided” group of no gain, no loss.

If I should point to anything that made me raise my antennae, it would be the endgame vs. Sevian. A sequence of anything but obvious moves played matter-of-factly, after very little thought. But that is nothing but a hunch.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 10/20/2022 09:36
On the US CH - there were two predictions out there after round 7, when Niemann stood at 2.5 pts :

- Niemann will crash and burn
- Niemann will finish the tournament on a high note, with a number of wins.

As it turns out, the answer to the perennial question:

“Does the tournament have live broadcast?”

would have told you where to put your money. Well predicted. I didn’t quite believe it myself, chose not to place any bet. Did anyone else?

“Put your money where your mouth is.”
Magic_Knight Magic_Knight 10/20/2022 06:51
@science22 - so is the world flat? I need to hear it from you. Because there is a chance (however small) that what you see is what you get when you look out on the horizon!
Jacob woge Jacob woge 10/20/2022 06:09
"Infrared radiation is in the range from 700 nm and all the way up to 1 mm"

Blocking the full infrared spectrum prevents this very (very, very) sophisticated method from functioning, but does not tell us if it was attempted.

I imagine this in the playing hall or vicinity: a rack of gels, each perceptive to a distinct wave length band. As the signal is not directed it will be picked up in general by a compatible substance. So, if one gel in the rack starts talking chess, in a tiny, uncanny voice, someone in the playing hell is probably receiving.

The range of frequencies seems to indicate it's not feasible. Too many gel samples required to cover full range.

But, feasible or not - it would make for a great chess scandal movie. And remember - the threat is often stronger than its execution.

Science22 Science22 10/20/2022 03:26
@With_cheats_you_lose : You said it all. But I am more optimistic. We are moving in the right direction.

The learning curve that chess has to go through is the same that many other sports have gone through. Namely that if you are afraid to take the showdown, if you try to accommodate out-of-character and completely unscrupulous fraudsters, then we will be sitting with a Lance Armstrong world champion in a few years.

No one dared speak against him, because he had become so rich and famous that he had enough money to ruin everyone with legal fees. It took 20 years before the fraud was discovered, and cycling has today taken the consequences because sponsors disappeared for a period. Now the athletes are not allowed to compete without having the right to check them unannounced before, during and after a competition.

This will also be the situation in the future at large chess events with high cash prizes. The sponsors will require the players to sign that the check must be unannounced before during and after the competition. In such a situation, even very advanced systems will be exposed. At the same time, the understanding of how to test fraud is growing.

Carlsen is not backing up. Nakamura is not backing up. Lots of top players are in no doubt, and Niemann will never be able to repeats his results in an international tournament with serious security.

So who should we believe : The active top players who thing there is something completely wrong or the wolf pack here ? Easy choice.
Science22 Science22 10/20/2022 03:20
When a game is live transmitted with a delay of half an hour, the help you can get from outside naturally depends on how quickly the moves are completed. If the game has not progressed very far before the live transmission begins, and it continues to be slow, then outside help becomes easier.

You can see the time consumption in all games from US Open, and almost without exception people at this level play quickly in the opening. They have a great knowledge of opening theory. After half an hour of play, the games may very well be around move 20.

But if you sit and wait for help from a computer, it is of course important to take the tempo out of the match and deviate from the usual opening theory early on. Which is exactly what Niemann does. He always spends an unusual amount of time in the opening and the opponent is tried to be pressured to spend a lot of time with unusual moves.

Then you can ask, should we delay further to 1 hour ? No, it will just ruin the joy for the audience. Instead the security systems most be better. That will happen.

So who should we believe : The active top players who thing there is something completely wrong or the wolf pack here ? Easy choice.
Science22 Science22 10/20/2022 03:18
Before it was published that Niemann had systematically cheated in online tournaments with cash prizes, criticism on the internet was extremely hateful directed at Magnus Carlsen. After that it stopped. Because he had cheated after the date he said he quit.

When his e-mail to Chess.com was published, the criticism for many turned towards Niemann. Because he wrote that he had only cheated to test the security at Chessbase.com. It turned out to be fine and therefore he would like to praise it now !It is a fact that everyone can study in the report, and it is an argument that you only hear from unscrupulous psychopaths who think they can lie their way out of any situation.

Then followed the interview in which Niemann rants outwards in fierce hateful criticism of Chess.com because they have published his email. There was an agreement that they would not do that if he admitted his guilt. Niemann was not the least bit upset that he had lied to us all about the extent of his fraud. He reversed victim and culprit, another psychopathic trait.

Gradually, the statistics about the difference between live and non-live broadcast tournaments came into place, and the picture became very clear. He cheated across the board, that was for sure. But how ? That was pretty much the only question left.

This is where we are now. He has cheated and deceived as often as he could get his hands on it. When he has been caught he only instead asked how the system of cheating could be improved. He is ahead of us, but the distance is getting more and more narrow.

So who should we believe : The active top players who thing there is something completely wrong or the wolf pack here ? Easy choice.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/20/2022 02:22
@m1483 thanks for pointing that out!

@with_cheats_you_lose no offense, but in the case of any allegations, self-moderation is a civilized approach. If it turns out that Niemann was cheating, I will agree with you in condemning him. But that did not happen so far, so it is perfectly logical and normal that we do not treat him as a cheater, we do not prejudicate until factual proof is being presented. You are very much suspicious about Niemann and your suspicion is possibly correlating to reality. But this was not proven yet.

@Magic_Knight I agree with you. DNA is a physical sample. When DNA is taken at the crime seen, then we know that:

1. The perpetrator is physically linked to the DNA sample
2. A crime has been perpetrated

In the case of Niemann we do not even know whether a crime has been perpetrated, the accusers also assume this, albeit it's implicitly built into the assumption that the perpetrator is Niemann.

If we presuppose that, in the Carlsen - Niemann game cheating has happened, then the probable perpetrator is Niemann, given the prior chances and result. But, if we do not presuppose this, then it's just a good game played by Niemann with some inaccuracies.
Magic_Knight Magic_Knight 10/20/2022 01:40
LOLLLL @science22.....his claim of DNA being simply probabilities is nothing short of a laughing stock! And....it's so small that it's intangible? Ironic how your name has the word 'science' is it yet the world of science truly eludes you. I'm going to take a wild guess and say you believe the world is flat too??
arzi arzi 10/20/2022 01:39
So, with_cheats_you_lose, do you think that US Chess Championship 2022 failed to control the tournament or are you more disappointed that Niemann's final result matches his initial number? It is funny that you talk about Niemann´s inability of explaining his moves but you are not able to explain us how, when and where Niemann has cheated in this tournament. Maybe you have some exciting and funny conspiracy theory to give?
with_cheats_you_lose with_cheats_you_lose 10/20/2022 01:23
I am quite pessimistic about the outcome of this cheating scandal, regarding the future of competitive classical chess. As it is evident by now, the security of all chess tournaments is a joke, any amateur level magician can easily win chess tournaments, provided he knows the basic rules of chess. He just does not have to be greedy and win all his games. Then, renowned Dr. Ken Reagan will approve his abysmal performance, making sure to include all the losses and draws in the statistical samples.

I am also pretty sure FIDE will not do anything about it, just a slap on the wrist. A serial cheater mocks and lies to all the chess community, plays the victim role, and still gets away with it. As long as he throws off some games, here and there, he will continue to play and cheat in tournaments, even though he cannot explain his moves, it is based on "intuition". Who needs to calculate any move if you have this supernatural ability?
mc1483 mc1483 10/20/2022 11:58
@lajosarpad: Niemann DID gain 0.1 points on the live ratings. So it will be enough to modify the underlying theory from "he wanted to surpass 2700" to "he wanted to gain ELO points, even a small fraction of point, even just in live ratings". :-)
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/20/2022 10:40

"Your claim that we don't know about such things because "classified" is not credible. "

Agreed. I would really doubt that there is no researcher looking into this and sharing his/her findings independently of what his/her state says. As about being classified... There are many countries in the world and I doubt all have classified it. But, if we accept for the moment that it's classified, like a military secret, then I doubt such a device would be used for commercial purposes to a chess player

@Arzi yup, our debates were epic. No hard feelings.

Here in this discussion (and others) both of us represented what seemed to us the truth and this time, we had a similar view of this topic, while at other times we disagreed.

"Did Hans Niemann cheat in this tournament or was he playing purely on his own? What is your scientological opinion?"

He/she predicted that Niemann will win the last game in order to surpass 2700. When reality stubbornly refuses to confirm a prediction, then the prediction and the underlying theory needs to be revised.

As about the word "scientological" I have a two-charactered reaction: :)
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/20/2022 10:39
Even though I'm not Romanian, but a member of the Hungarian minority of Romania, I find it reprehensible that a whole nation is being mocked and ridiculed with the aim to offend me, even if that nation does not happen to be my own.


"This can produce heat or at best noise, but no meaningful sound."

Intuitively this seems to be true, but I have no expertise about radio signals, so I cannot confirm that. I think in theory one could send such a signal through a wall, but the signal would need to be very strong. Supposing this was possible (while I totally agree with you that there is reason for skepticism) without burning the wall during the process, there are several problems:

- the wall could divert the shape or the direction of the signal (optical cable in the way, oups...)
- it's very difficult to find one's head's exact location from a distance (this is why, when snipers are hunting people, they rarely get close to the window) and direct a laser to that direction
- some people may get into the way, hearing some esotheric voice, whispering the meaning of life: 42... Bd2!!
- Niemann is moving his head during the game, if he was cheating in the way suggested here, then we would probably see his head being awkwardly positioned for hours in a single place, remember, this is one-way communication, so, if the beam forces Niemann to sit awkwardly, he has not chance to complain about it
arzi arzi 10/20/2022 07:35
To science22,

US Chess Championship 2022, Hans Niemann (2699) 7,0 points, 4 wins, 3 lost games, 6 draws (2698).

Did Hans Niemann cheat in this tournament or was he playing purely on his own? What is your scientological opinion?
arzi arzi 10/20/2022 07:00
lajosarpad:"The funniest was that even though we had our disagreements, we were entered into the same list along with Arzi as the persons who are to be removed from Chessbase. I think I'm in good company ;)"

That is the funniest thing. We, lajos and me, were fighting earlier with words towards each other but we did NOT make false statements, maybe we misunderstood each other's thoughts, but we didn't lie. If I`m banned along side with lajosarpad, so be it, but I wouldn't want to be compared to science22.

Jacob woge, am I FSB spy?
adbennet adbennet 10/20/2022 03:41
@Science22 - Yes you are right, the red light on the remote is not from the IR. So some could in theory be signalling through a window without any telltale. But IR (or FIR) laser passing through a wall? This can produce heat or at best noise, but no meaningful sound. Your claim that we don't know about such things because "classified" is not credible.
Science22 Science22 10/20/2022 01:33
@adbennet further: With a radar, today you can hear the heartbeat of a person behind a wall. At the longest wavelengths of FIR close to radar , you can easily send 100 m. But I don't need to point out that a technology in the area of FIR - radar that can create acoustic signals in the ear without others being able to listen is not exactly something you can find a lot of articles about. They are classified given what it can be used for.

Other IR signal can reach everywhere in space with no obstacles. One of the reasons why we believe there has been a Big Bank is the infrared background radiation, which you can read about. It was created 13.7 billion years ago and you can calculate the distance it has moved at 300,000 km per second. IR can pass through dense regions of gas and dust in space with less scattering and absorption than visible light. Thus, infrared energy can reveal objects in the universe that cannot be seen in visible light using optical telescopes.

Having said all this, I must point out that Niemann will be judged based on statistical analyses. Because if he doesn't have any equipment on him, how can one prove that he is involved in a signal transmission ? He can always claim that some people want to frame him. Physical evidence is irrelevant. Blocking signals is not.

If Niemann is innocent I will be the first to admit I was utter wrong. As for now I have rarely seen anything so clear.It is simply two different persons with live transmission and not. Live he creates extremely complicated positions and play them without a single blunder. Never a serious mistake, an the opponents look like a piece of toy. Lets try this or lets try that . Never mind, in the end my program will exhaust him to a blunder....
Science22 Science22 10/20/2022 01:19
@adbennet : The short answer is that you can send signals in the infrared range from a laser over 100 meters today and through walls. The long answer is a bit complicated, but I'll try because your question is relevant. Everything from here in within the metric system.

Visible light lies in a narrow range from 380 - 700 nm.
Infrared radiation is in the range from 700 nm and all the way up to 1 mm
Radio waves are in the range of 1 mm to 100,000 km

At 700 nm, visible light is red, and it is correct that infrared radiation in this range can be perceived by the eye with a red color. But even if your remote control for the television is close with perhaps 940 nm, you cannot see the infrared light. The red color is due to an indicator that tells you if the batteries are working.

At the other end of the spectrum we are close to the properties of radio waves. We call it the FIR area (far infra red). For example, the laser that creates acoustic signals in water is 1907 nm or 0.19 mm. Other lasers move above the FIR limit to radio waves without being possible to detect with normal equipment because the shortwave radio only goes down to a few meters. Between FIR and shortwave radio we have radar signals (approx. 1 cm - 3 m), and the US open is nowhere near detecting such sophisticated signals.
Science22 Science22 10/20/2022 01:15
@ Magic_Knight : DNA can only be used because the probability of two persons have identical DNA. It is so small that we can use it as evidence. We can link a specific person to a specific DNA. The fact that DNA is a physical thing in itself is completely irrelevant.
What physical evidence do you want ? If you find a signal transmitter 100 meter away sending chess moves to the playing hall , and Niemann himself has nothing on him except two ears, what will you conclude then ? Will you claim that he cheat because he has two ears ? Will you arrest the ears ore demand them cut of in a new Van Gogh styled tournament ?
Magic_Knight Magic_Knight 10/20/2022 12:48
@science22 - Sorry to burst your bubble but DNA is more than just statistics, DNA is physical evidence. Has anyone (especially Magnus and his fan club) provided any shred of evidence other than statistics?….which by the way, Magnus didn’t even use statistics as an argument for his accusations, he relied on his hunch instead. Bahahahahaha!
Science22 Science22 10/19/2022 11:19
Every single day there are people who confess to crimes they did not commit. There are also witnesses who say they saw the previously convicted Romanian chicken thief at the chicken farm where he was actually out in another chicken farm and wreaking havoc

Forensic scientists use statistics as their main weapon. Statistics based on DNA and fingerprints are very good weapons. It allows them to conclude something beyond reasonable doubt. All the rest is circumstantial evidence. They can be important, but not with such a high probability.

Hans Niemann is beyond a reasonable doubt cheating over the board based on statistics.It is my conclusion and I am confident it will be the conclusion from FIDE. But I am not happy about it. There is nothing happy about this tragedy.

For sponsors, the race is long over. The point of a sponsorship is to get positive advertising value. Without the risk of being negatively exposed by a fraudster. Tell me which sponsor outside US will take the risk after so many incorrect statements from the accused. Perhaps Gazprom?
Science22 Science22 10/19/2022 11:10
Thank you to many friends for given me the advice to stop all communication with the trolls here. But it is still nice that you can use them as a test if you have said something important. Then they can't stop insulting you.

An internet troll here : "A statistical-only research can only say that his cheating is likely or unlikely. It cannot say that he was cheating or he was not cheating. For such factual claims we need proof. "

Read this a couple of times and try not to laugh.

The prosecutor: Forensic scientists use DNA found at a crime scene to identify an individual, such as the accused. Each human being is separated by 6.4 million base pairs. The chance that two people have the exact same DNA genetically identical is (0.5) to the power of 6.4 million. It is such a small number that it is essentially zero. We therefore conclude based of statistical facts that the accused was on the scene of the crime.

The defense : You cannot use statistics this way. We can say that the probability my client was at the crime scene is extremely high. But to convict him for being at the crime we must have facts on the table. A proof.

The prosecutor: Pure nonsense. It is precisely the high probability that allows us to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that your client was at the scene of the crime. It is a fact based on statistics.

Judge: I have heard all and I hereby judge the accused guilty. I further order the defense to undergo an elementary course in statistics and the meaning of the term "beyond reasonable doubt"
adbennet adbennet 10/19/2022 10:30
Science22 wrote: "When a move on the board is transmitted to the internet, a switched-on computer with the right programs can analyze the position and activate an electronic device that sends the infrared signal vwith variations directly to Niemann's ears. The entire system can be in a car, an apartment or, for that matter, in the pocket of a person outside the arcade. It doesn't take much more today."

lajosarpad already mentioned the 30-minute-delay hurdle, but there is a further _scientific_ difficulty. IR is only suitable for line-of-sight transmission over short distances. Think of the limitations with any remote control device, e.g. for a television. Anybody in a car, apartment, or otherwise outside the arcade would be unable to communicate with any of the players using IR. Of course they could point it through a window, although eventually someone would notice the red light.
with_cheats_you_lose with_cheats_you_lose 10/19/2022 09:46
"It's only cheating if you get caught."
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/19/2022 08:48
@mc1483 I guess you are right, Andy, excuse me for wasting your time by replying Science22. My habit to casually and amiably reply anyone, no matter how reprehensible or faulty their reasoning is got the better of me. It would not be a great problem if it was just him/her and me in the discussion, but I recognize how boring it is for the rest of the readers. I guess you can ignore the sections starting with "@Science22" from my comments and I will try not to respond him/her in this thread.

The funniest was that even though we had our disagreements, we were entered into the same list along with Arzi as the persons who are to be removed from Chessbase. I think I'm in good company ;)

mc1483 mc1483 10/19/2022 08:19
@lajosarpad: are you really giving some merit to unScience22's conspiracy-Bond-movie theory? BTW, he's already replied to the 30 minutes delay problem: "Delay of the transmission is not so important if a person can talk to you all the time and give variations in critical positions. If the opponent do this or that, then play this or that. You are prepared for different options.". Now imagine this poor guy, sitting for hours faking concentration, all the time with an incessant whisper in his ears, with hundreds, if not thousands of variations constantly being repeated and updated with every move, and him memorizing every bit of information in order to play "like a machine". No wonder he's acting strange, especially after the games.
UnScience22 is making fun of us all, don't you see? Still discussing with the guy? All of us, we should have better things to do.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/19/2022 07:39

"Example of style : "Statistics can never solve the question if Hans Niemann has cheated. Now that we have this fact I would like to ask the question : ""

Why do you quote something which nobody said? Isn't this the very fact you accused us with? But you actually fabricated maliciously such a text. Fabricating a text is a kind of cheating.

"Also notice how often lajosarpad fish for personal information. He wants personal scientifc papers ( which of course has a name) , and he constantly attack I use a nickname. "

That's so blatantly untrue. I would have no trouble with your anonimity if you would act like a decent human being. When you engaged into slander, personal attack (now, apparently, your new slander is that I'm connected to the FSB), then I have asked who you are. I also explained why I asked for that: I wanted to see whether you take responsibility for what you say. You do not. As about asking for papers you have written: I thought that, if you are a scientist as you claim and you had some papers relevant to this topic, then you would be happy to share it. For instance, if I was asked to share scientific papers I have contributed to, then I would be happy to do so, but I have no reason to think you have any connection to science.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/19/2022 07:38

"I believe they belong to the same service organisation that is here to disrupt. Arzi claims he is from Finland in an older comments and not a sociopath from FSB. Ok, let it be. But his comments are FSB stuff like lajosarpad. Disrupt the West on every social platform. Exhaust all sanity. Create hate. It beats me why chessbase.com cant see it and remove them."

And here's another conspiracy theory! What do you have at your disposal? Some comments disagreeing with you. So, what could be the reason? No. You know, absolutely know, that the FSB is behind these comments. And who's spreading hate here? You are the person and the other unnamed "brave" person who constantly attack others here. Also, there are two main positions: the first is spreading hate against Niemann based on unproven allegations. You and the other unnamed person are members of this hate group. The other position says that Niemann might have cheated, but a proof is needed in order to establish that as a fact. This moderate side of normality is represented by Arzi and myself.

It's quite strange that, after constantly attacking, accusing others, while spreading myth about yourself, you are calling others, who are using their actual names "trolls" and you call for the silencing of others. The level you have shown in our debates was less than satisfactory and no, personal attacks, accusations are not making you right.

"[...] and then they ask agressive questions"

What's this aggression? I really wonder about the details about your conspiracy theory. If you present a theory, be prepared for skepticism and questions. What's so surprising or bothering about that?
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/19/2022 07:37

"When a move on the board is transmitted to the internet, a switched-on computer with the right programs can analyze the position and activate an electronic device that sends the infrared signal vwith variations directly to Niemann's ears. The entire system can be in a car, an apartment or, for that matter, in the pocket of a person outside the arcade. It doesn't take much more today."

But you do realize that chess24 claimed that there is a 30 minutes delay in transmission. Which means that the operator does not have live information and Niemann would have to wait for quite a while to make sure that the operator provides him valuable information.

"They don't check for that in the US open. That is another false assumption you use."

Here you are factually wrong. I did not say they are checking for that, so your statement is untrue.

I wonder: how will Niemann and only Niemann receive the signals? Do they point a laser beam towards his head?

I wonder: if Niemann has such a system, then are there traces of him buying such a system or someone close to him? After all, there are not too many sellers, nor too many buyers, so, if we take your conspiracy theory seriously, then reaching out to the seller and asking some investigative questions may be helpful. Assuming that you really think he was cheating and you want to be able to prove it. Mind you, if the seller would provide an information that could be traced to Niemann, then that would convince me he is a cheater, unless he has a very good explanation why he needed such a system. But the investigative work needs to be done before we condemn someone for cheating.

"Of course Niemann never blunder in the horrible complications. Never. Only humans blunder."

I would like to remind you that he has lost quite a few games.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 10/19/2022 07:37
@arzi indeed, expensive equipment requires financing. Another aspect in investigating this conspiracy theory is to see whether Niemann could have funded it or whether there was another person who would have funded it for him or whether there is any trace of him getting such an equipment.

@with_cheats_you_lose I take the fact that you want to silence me as a compliment to the validity of my arguments. Thank you! As about ridiculing others, I would like you to illustrate your claim. By the way, your current nickname is better than the former.


"As usual, you are making false assumptions. First you assume something false is true, and then you ask a question that must be answered as if the false statement was true. In Denmark it is called manipulations, I dont know the name in Romania."

If I'm making a false assumption, then I'm wrong, rather than manipulating. But I would like to know what the false assumption was from the following:

- as far as I know you have presented a conspiracy-theory
- chess24 has written that the transmission is delayed by 30 minutes
- therefore, the operator helping Niemann does not receive information in time
- in half an hour moves are being made, the operator does not know them yet

So, the operator may speak to Niemann, but there is almost zero chance to foresee what the opponent has played in the last half an hour, especially after the opening. So - and this is my thought, not an assumption -, someone from the audience needs to help the operator with fresh information. Otherwise I do not really see how the cheating would be effective with one-way communication with a lag of 30 minutes from the sender's perspective.