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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A Alekhine A Alekhine 10/5/2022 12:55
We already know Niemann cheated on chess.com. He has already admitted it and apologized for it. I do not condone cheating, but it occurred in online chess which no one takes as seriously, and Niemann was a teenager (he is still a teenager!). Even Carlsen, at a much older age than Niemann, is on the record as accepting help from another player in an online competition--only once that we know of, but this incident underlines the lack of seriousness in online chess play.

What we are looking for is some explanation from Carlsen that would justify Carlsen's behavior in the over-the-board tournament in St. Louis, when Niemann beat Carlsen and Carlsen withdrew from the tournament in a fit of pique, and Carlsen's later behavior the next week, in throwing a game against Niemann that directly affected the tournament standings. Many people, including former world champion Kasparov and the president of FIDE, have criticized these actions by Carlsen.
northwolf northwolf 10/5/2022 12:54
if a clever hans slowly gain elos and success what kind of behaviour chess community apply against him. genius ??????????????????????????????????????????.wunderkind,new tal,fisher reborn???.maybe carlsen,so naka and others apply their cheat formula better way ??we need concrete proof.!!!!!!!!
Jack Nayer Jack Nayer 10/5/2022 12:51
Now the Americans are going to say that it is not true, because the facts don't count.
chessgod0 chessgod0 10/5/2022 12:48
This should come as a shock to no one. Niemann was---and still is---a cheater.

He should be banned. At the very least, his participation in top-flight invitationals should dry up.
Green22 Green22 10/5/2022 12:44
Exactly I agree on the 2 posts prior to mine Saturn23 $CS Vermont, and this is just another write up with no proof but "likely"is the keyword lmao its all speculation. Of all the events / match listed did he win any prize $$$? where is that info.?

I wouldn't waste an ounce of energy doing any more interviews. Why? its up to Magnus to PROVE OTB cheating with Hans and he can't, and never will. I love Kasparov had to say in the other article.
physica physica 10/5/2022 12:38
"The die is cast." - Caesar

"God does not play dice." - Einstein

"Brace yourselves." - Mr. Bean 💺🍿🥤
saturn23 saturn23 10/5/2022 12:29
ChessSpawnVermont: "Carlsen has made an accusation that Niemann cheated against him in a specific otb game in St. Louis, but has thus far offered NO proof to support his accusation".

This is exactly what I argued for in another thread on this website. Carlsen needs to provide evidence that Niemann cheated against him in Sinquefield Cup.
ChessSpawnVermont ChessSpawnVermont 10/5/2022 12:12
he mantra of Niemann cheated online is wearing very thin because a) it has no demonstrable relevancy to the otb game at issue in St. Louis and b) Carlsen has not presented any factual proof that Niemann cheated otb in St. Louis (factual proof as in factually detailing HOW Niemann cheated against him otb).

Given the corporate business dealings between Chesscon and Carlsen, the innuendo raised by Danny Rensch and Chesscon is suspect. Chesscon and Danny Rensch have a business motive to support Carlsen and his bald otb cheating accusation against Niemann knowing full well that online cheating is far easier to accomplish than otb cheating at a tournament like the one at issue in St. Louis.

Carlsen has made an accusation that Niemann cheated against him in a specific otb game in St. Louis, but has thus far offered NO proof to support his accusation. As the one leveling this serious charge, Carlsen and Carlsen alone has the full burden of proving the charge. Niemann has no obligation/burden whatsoever to prove that he did not cheat otb against Carlsen in St. Louis. Contrary to Carlsen's false and self-serving claim that he has asked Niemann to allow him (Carlsen) to present his evidence, Niemann has no such obligation and Carlsen does not need Niemann's permission to present clear and convincing proof of how Niemann cheated otb in St. Louis.

Where's the beef Magnus? Where?