Wall Street Journal: “Niemann ‘likely cheated’ more than 100 times”

by ChessBase
10/5/2022 – A few hours ago, the Wall Street Journal published a lengthy article sharing the findings emerging from an investigation conducted by chess.com. According to the piece, chess.com asserts that Hans Niemann “likely received illegal assistance in more than 100 online games, as recently as 2020”, including in many tournaments with prize money on the line. Niemann did not respond to requests for comments.

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Chess.com shares its investigation

A bombshell article by the Wall Street Journal sheds more light into the controversy that took over the chess world during the last month. Following the scandal at the Sinquefield Cup, where Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the tournament after losing to Hans Niemann, the US grandmaster was banned from chess.com’s Global Chess Championship.

In an impassioned interview a day later, Niemann questioned the platform’s decision, which compelled chess.com to “share the basis for its decisions” despite historically handling its bans privately.

The Wall Street Journal reviewed the 72-page report, asked Niemann to comment (he refused to do so) and shared the results. The salient points are the following:

  • Chess.com’s report alleges that Niemann likely received illegal assistance in more than 100 online games, as recently as 2020, including in tournaments with prize money on the line, in some of which Niemann was streaming live.
  • Niemann privately confessed to the allegations.
  • The report describes Niemann’s quick ascent in over-the-board chess as “statistically extraordinary”, and states that it “merits further investigation based on the data”.
  • Chess.com informs that although Carlsen’s actions at the Sinquefield Cup prompted them to reassess Niemann’s behavior, Carlsen “didn’t talk with, ask for, or directly influence chess.com’s decisions at all”.

Read the article in full at wsj.com

Read Chess.com’s full report

Hans Niemann, chess.com

Photo: chess.com

Hans Niemann, chess.com

Photo: chess.com

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