What with the recent onslaught of negative publicity concerning the obviously rampant cheating in Chess I had not intended on watching the US Chess Championships thinking it akin to watching a train wreck. Then again, inquiring minds wast to know and there I was, again glued to the screen watching, and listening, to the action. Younger people accustomed to seeing the game as it is being played will not understand what it means to we wily ol’ veterans who had to be there, as I was in San Antonio in 1972,
to watch the action. To not watch the US Chess Championships emanating from the house that Rex built and miss all the drama and excitement when the first round began was simply not possible. After all, how many train wrecks have been seen with these old eyes? I did not want to read about it, but wanted to see for myself what has become a soap opera, “As The Chess World Turns.” As round time approached my thinking gravitated to something my friend Brian McCarthy was so fond of saying, “Just get me to the round on time!” The coverage of the US Chess Championships has again been excellent and I have immensely enjoyed watching the games.
The plan for today was to show the picture that follows with a headline of, “Is that a banana in your pocket or are trying to cheat me?”
There was a picture of players still in line waiting to be checked out by Mr. Security after the round had already started. Irena Krush was pacing like a caged animal with Hans Niemann standing near her, also waiting to be examined. “Trust, but verify” is obviously the M.O. of the Chess tournament.
That was prior to seeing the headline of the lead article at Chessdom, which has become one of, it not the best sources of information on the internet:
Yeah, well, Hans Niemann is playing for the title of US Chess Champion, Naka, and where are you?
Then there is GM Ivan Sokolov:
Cheating in chess discussions… Many claim cheating online is not as bad as OTB. Sorry! It is exactly the same! The ONLY reason online cheaters do not do OTB is they did not (yet) figure out how to do it but -would LOVE to! Cheating – life time ban! Game has to be clean!
Sounds nice, Ivan, until you realize that if the true numbers are ever published by Chess.com there would not be enough players left for the game to survive because if one wants to win at Chess.com one MUST CHEAT! GM Solokov obviously lives in a fantasy world, oblivious to the current situation at Chess.com.
Then there was the article seen this morning with my first cuppa Joe: KNIGHT MARE Chess ‘cheat’ goes through full body scan at US Championships – including his BUM
“A TEEN chess champ accused of cheating got a full body scan — including his bum — before his latest tournament.
A security guard checked out Hans Niemann and raised a laugh when he got to his rear.”
Chess has been pilloried and ridiculed in the press and made a laughingstock by the media, yet I still love the game and cannot wait to see what today will bring. How about you?
Chess grandmaster Hans Niemann ‘not going to back down’ amid cheating allegations
By George Ramsay, CNN Published 5:32 AM EDT, Thu October 6, 2022
Chess grandmaster Hans Niemann said he is “not going to back down” as accusations of widespread cheating intensify.
On Tuesday, an investigation by popular online platform Chess.com claimed Niemann “likely cheated” in more than 100 online matches, a week after world champion Magnus Carlsen explicitly accused the American of cheating in over-the-board games.
The 19-year-old Niemann has only admitted to cheating twice in his chess career at the ages of 12 and 16, and on Wednesday said his “chess speaks for itself” after defeating Christopher Yoo in the first round of the US championship in St. Louis.
“This game is a message to everyone,” Niemann said after his victory. “This entire thing started with me saying chess speaks for itself and I think this game spoke for itself and showed the chess player that I am.
The following comment by Brian Lafferty was the first one published at Chessbase in reply to the article, Wall Street Journal:Niemann ‘likely cheated’ more than 100 times
ChessSpawn Vermont The 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.
the man who defeated the Play Magus Group (https://playmagnusgroup.com/), decided to publish his latest salvo in the late afternoon prior to the beginning of the United States Chess Championships. This was a reprehensible act for which only Mr. Rensch can explain. The AW is calling you out, Rensch! You are welcome to leave a comment at this blog post explaining why you chose to publish your screed the day before the US Championships were to begin. If you decide to leave a comment please explain how you came to the decision to “rain on the US Championship parade.” In addition, please answer the question on the minds of many, “Why have you decided to destroy Chess?” While you are answering questions concerning your questionable behaviour, how about publishing the name of each and every player you suspect of having cheated at your website, Chess.com. How widespread is cheating at Chess.com? What percentage of players cheat at Chess.com? What is the total number of players you consider to have cheated at Chess.com? Why not “let it all hang out?” You, sir, need to “come clean” because your actions have been those of a dirty, rotten, scoundrel.
The Guardian view on chess cheating claims: innocent until proven guilty
The world champion, Magnus Carlsen, has cast doubt on the success of a younger grandmaster, Hans Niemann. Where’s the evidence?
Sun 2 Oct 2022 13.25 EDT
Chess generally hits the headlines only for reasons external to the game itself: Bobby Fischer’s eccentricity; Viktor Korchnoi’s
allegations that the Soviet Union was using hypnotism to undermine him in his 1978 world title match with Anatoly Karpov;
the Toiletgate furore that marred the 2006 world championship.
Now, the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen’s airing of suspicions over the play of the 19-year-old US grandmaster Hans Niemann has put chess into the spotlight again.
Carlsen has been world champion since 2013. Niemann is a tyro who has made astonishingly rapid progress recently. Carlsen has publicly questioned that trajectory, saying on Twitter last week that “his over the board progress has been unusual”. These days, most elite players become grandmasters in their early teens – Carlsen was 13. Niemann, a charismatic character who says his life has been devoted to proving critics who said he wasn’t good enough wrong, was a late-developing 17, and his rise to super-GM level has been meteoric.
The controversy erupted when Niemann beat Carlsen last month in the Sinquefield Cup. Niemann said he had somehow guessed what opening Carlsen would play. It was Carlsen’s first defeat in 53 classical (long-form) games, and he reacted by withdrawing from the tournament, making gnomic references to something being not quite right. “If I speak I am in big trouble,” he tweeted. Some of his supporters filled in the blanks, with claims that Niemann had computer help. Elon Musk
unhelpfully suggested that he was using unusual methods; Niemann countered by offering to strip naked.
Carlsen and Niemann met again last month in an online game, and the world champion sensationally resigned after making just one move. Carlsen said he was unwilling to “play against people that have cheated repeatedly in the past”, and that he believed the younger man had cheated “more than he has admitted”. Niemann has acknowledged cheating online as a teenager, but insists he has never done so in an over-the-board game and angrily denies the new claims. “Once a cheat, always a cheat,” chorus his detractors, but Niemann should surely not be condemned for youthful misdemeanours in games where little was at stake. There is no evidence that he cheated when he beat Carlsen.
The world champion is right to say that cheating poses an existential challenge to chess – there have been many examples at less exalted levels of the sport. But he is wrong to muddy the waters around Niemann without substantive evidence. Britain’s former world title contender Nigel Short says that the young American is at risk of suffering “death by innuendo”. (https://www.inkl.com/news/the-guardian-view-on-chess-cheating-claims-innocent-until-proven-guilty) Experts reckon Carlsen played unusually poorly in his defeat to Niemann. Maybe it was just a bad day at the office. Or perhaps it was the result of paranoia: once a player believes their opponent is cheating, that inevitably affects their own play. Carlsen needs to produce concrete evidence – ideally as part of the inquiry announced on Thursday by the International Chess Federation – or let Niemann get on with his career. Only by playing over a long period will the latter’s true playing strength emerge – while any repeated cheating in the rarefied conditions of elite tournaments would soon be exposed. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/oct/02/the-guardian-view-on-chess-cheating-claims-innocent-until-proven-guilty
Fishing Contest Rocked by Cheating Charges After Weights Found in Winning Catches
Two competitors stuffed walleye with lead balls in a scheme that was caught after the tournament director and attendees grew suspicious.
By Vimal Patel Oct. 2, 2022
Jason Fischer became suspicious when the five fish he estimated to be about four pounds each — or 20 pounds total — weighed in at nearly 34 pounds. Attendees at a fishing tournament in Cleveland on Friday also had doubts. “No way,” one man said.
Mr. Fischer, the director of the tournament, known as the Lake Erie Walleye Trail, inspected one of the walleye and felt a hard object in its stomach that seemed unnatural. “It’s not like they’re eating rocks,” he said.
He grabbed a knife and sliced open the fish as Jacob Runyan, one member of the two-person team that presented it for weighing, looked on. The next moments rocked the competitive fishing world.
Caught hook, line and sinker! Moment LEAD WEIGHTS are found in professional fishing duo’s catch and they are stripped of tournament title and $5,000 prize – as furious crowd berates them
Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyon were stripped of their winning title after a tournament official discovered lead weights inside the fish they caught The anglers had been competing in the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship Suspicions were raised at the weigh-in when their fish weighed almost double their closest competitor In the world of competitive fishing, by adding the weights to the fish, Cominsky and Runyon’s total poundage increased and put them on top of the leaderboard When the weights were discovered, the duo was disqualified from the event The waiting crowd were furious once the officials announced they had cheated Prior to the scandal, Cominsky and Runyon were leading the season standings for the professional fishing team of the year Cominsky and Runyon have been embroiled in controversy in the past At last year’s Fall Brawl fishing tournament, the duo was disqualified following their win after one of them failed a polygraph test
This story, coming on the heels of the recent avalanche of stories concerning cheating in Chess, is being posted because of the surprising connection to Chess at the end of the article.
By James Gordon For Dailymail.com Published: 01:26 EDT, 1 October 2022 | Updated: 09:29 EDT, 1 October 2022
A pro poker player is alleging that his opponent ‘clearly cheated’ during a livestreamed game of poker after she returned her earnings to her opponent. Garrett Adelstein has suggested that his female opponent, Robbi Jade Lew, could have cheated by using a ‘device hidden that simply vibrates to indicate you have the best hand.’
Lew, meanwhile, says she was taken outside of the gambling hall and threatened in a ‘dark hallway,’ by Adelstein. ‘Garrett blocked me. Guilty as charged. What an honest man. He cornered me & threatened me. If he has the audacity to give me the death stare ON camera, picture what it’s like OFF camera.’
Adelstein, 36, from Arizona, is a regular at the 24-hour Hustler Casino in California. He was playing a Texas hold’em game when he was stunned into silence by Lew, a relative newcomer.
Lew, 35, suddenly made a call to go all-in despite having a relatively poor hand, leaving Adelstein and observers agape. Those commentating on the game were in disbelief because the odds were stacked against her with online betting casino DraftKings calculating there were around 150 ways for Lew to lose, but only six ways for her to win – which she proceeded to do.
Adelstein forced Lew to go all in with her $130,000 hand and appeared shocked as her cards revealed her to have a ‘Jack high’, winning the game and taking the entire $269,000 pot.
Adelstein hails from Tucson and has been playing poker professionally for almost a decade. His specialty is on ‘live no-limit hold ’em cash games’ where he is known for his aggressive and large wagers. He became a public figure during the 2013 season of CBS’ Survivor: Cagayan, and began appearing regularly on live poker shows in 2017.
Robbi Jade Lew, meanwhile only started taking poker seriously after the coronavirus pandemic. She previously worked in a senior capacity for pharmaceutical company Bayer. During the game in question Garrett had needed a club, six or a jack, but Lew’s jack won the hand.
The look on Adelstein’s face as he lost the hand said it all as he stared on in disbelief and simmering rage. ‘I don’t understand what’s happening right now,’ he said.
‘You look like you want to kill me. I thought you had ace high,’ Lew said.
‘So, why call with jack high?’ Adelstein said. A jack high would have lost to ace high.
‘Because you don’t have s**t!’ Lew said.
Adelstein then got up and left the table. Lew has explained her unorthodox way of playing her hand was simply because she believed Adelstein’s cards were inferior to hers.
‘Get over it,’ she wrote on Twitter. Yet Adelstein later revealed on social media how Lew then offered to return the money he lost which he took as a sure sign of her guilt. Adelstein has now openly accused Lew of cheating. ‘Poker is an extremely complicated and nuanced game,’ he said adding that her hand had ‘very little equity’. He then went on to analyze some of Lew’s previous strategies and suggested that someone could ‘cheat’ by using a ‘device hidden that simply vibrates to indicate you have the best hand.’ ‘Another common way of cheating is someone has the technology to know who will have the best hand at showdown by hacking into the card reader.’
Adelstein has not provided any evidence whatsoever that Lew cheated or used such a device. He went on to note how after the game he told her: ‘Robbie, this is likely to be viewed by millions of people … I think you know now, you f**ked up.’ It was at that point Adelstein claims Lew offered to repay him the winnings. ‘Knowing a) this was likely the closest I would get to a confession and b) how impossible it is to get refunded in these cheating scandals … I took her up on her offer,’ he wrote. ‘Once she offered, of course I am going to accept my money back after being clearly cheated.’
‘Forget ranges or game theory optimal play, even the most novice players simply don’t ever make that call simply based on the strength of their hand. You can always bluff in poker, but once your opponent moves all-in for twice the size of the pot, that’s where the bluffing stops. Hustler Casino Live co-founder Nick Vertucci has said Lew is an inexperienced player who likely misread her hand. ‘There’s no possibility that there’s anything that could be cheating goes,’ Vertucci said. ‘We’ve checked everything.’ Hustler Casino has said neither player will be invited to return until the incident had been investigated.
‘We completely understand the magnitude of the situation and the accusations. We take this extremely seriously,’ the casino said in a statement. ‘At this point we have no proof either way or any indication of any wrongdoing besides the accusations of parties involved.’ Adelstein has appeared more than 50 times on the casino’s livestreamed show and is its top player, winning more than $1.6million. By contrast, Lew has only appeared twice collecting just over $100k in winnings.
Poker is not the only table game to be rocked by allegations of cheating through vibrating devices. Last week, Magnus Carlsen, the world’s No. 1 chess player, was accused of ‘damaging’ the game after he sensationally resigned from a match against a fellow grandmaster after one move over fears his rival was using anal beads to cheat. In a statement last Friday, the president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), Arkady Dvorkovich, revealed he was not pleased with Carlsen’s behavior in withdrawing from the Sinquefield Cup and quitting his match against his 19-year-old opponent, Hans Niemann. The resignation came amid rumors that Neimann cheated using a vibrating anal sex toy. Dvorkovich took aim at the world Carlsen, saying the 31-year-old Norwegian has a ‘moral responsibility’ because he is ‘viewed as a global ambassador of the game.’
His actions impact the reputation of his colleagues, sportive [sport-related] results, and eventually can be damaging to our game. We strongly believe that there were better ways to handle this situation,’ he said. The statement did not ‘specify’ what situation they were referring to, although it is likely the sensational claim about the anal beads, which Neimann has denied. He is accused of using a vibrating, remotely-controlled sex toy to gain an advantage over Carlsen by getting an accomplice to buzz the device to guide him into making better moves. The president said the game’s governing body is looking creating a group of ‘specialists’ who will eradicate cheating from FIDE events. ‘FIDE is prepared to task its Fair Play commission with a thorough investigation of the incident,’ Dvorkovich said. The chess body boss said further evidence would be needed before any such probe could begin.
Garry Kasparov: Carlsen’s behavior was unacceptable
By nikita Posted on September 29, 2022
Garry Kasparov again spoke about the controversy that hit the chess world in the interview with Carl Fredrik Johansson from Uppsala Chess+ Academy, saying that Carlsen’s behavior was unacceptable. Speaking about Carlsen’s decision to withdraw from the World Chess Championship, Kasparov explained: “I was surprised by his decision to walk away, but I understand the pressure that was on him. I understand the motivation. It’s really tough to play tournaments and matches for years and years; anything but winning is a disaster. It’s tremendous pressure. He probably got tired“.
Talking about the happenings related to the Carlsen – Niemann case and the game in which Niemann defeated Carlsen at the Sinquefield Cup, Kasparov said: “I was in Saint Louis. I spoke to people who were involved directly in this case. I don’t see an evidence that could be convincing (…) I understand his frustration, but leaving the tournament is unacceptable. Even if he had proof, but there was no proof, there is zero evidence (of cheating) in that specific game. It was really bad for chess. It was bad for Saint Louis. This was one of the most important tournaments, if not the most important tournament in the world of chess. And I think that his behavior was unacceptable“. (https://www.chessdom.com/garry-kasparov-carlsens-behavior-was-unacceptable/)
In the press release given today, FIDE announces to form an investigatory panel for the Carlsen-Niemann controversy. Three members of the FIDE Fair-Play Commission will form the panel with the possibility to call external experts for consultation. The focus of investigation will be to check Magnus Carlsen’s claims of alleged cheating by Niemann and Niemann’s self-statement regarding online cheating.
“Following the recent developments in the Carlsen-Niemann controversy, FIDE’s Fair Play Commission (FPL) has decided to act ex-officio and create an Investigatory Panel (IP). Three members of the Commission will form this panel, and it will also have the possibility to call for a consultation with external experts wherever analysis is required.
The focus of the investigation would be twofold: checking the World Champion’s claims of alleged cheating by Niemann and Niemann’s self-statement regarding online cheating.
As stated by Fair Play Chairperson Salomeja Zaksaite, the FPL is ready to examine the circumstances, compile and analyze all the data and evidence available, and ascertain the facts and allegations that have been made public. The panel will ensure a fair ruling, protecting the rights of both parties during the investigation.