Hans Niemann ‘not going to back down’ amid cheating allegations

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.

Hans Niemann Innocent Until Proven Guilty!

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?

Magnus Carlsen, left, and Hans Niemann in the third round of the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis on Sept. 4. Mr. Carlsen accused Mr. Niemann of cheating in this game and others in a statement on Monday.Credit…Crystal Fuller/Saint Louis Chess Club https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/28/crosswords/hans-niemann-magnus-carlsen-cheating-update.html

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

Viktor Korchnoi, the challenger, with his infamous reflective shades. Date unknown but mid-life. http://www.positivelyfilipino.com/magazine/the-wacky-1978-chess-world-championship

allegations that the Soviet Union was using hypnotism to undermine him in his 1978 world title match with Anatoly Karpov;

Anatoly Karpov, the 1978 champion, in recent years. Karpov first met Torre at a Manila Zonal in 1976.
http://www.positivelyfilipino.com/magazine/the-wacky-1978-chess-world-championship

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

https://www.cityam.com/elon-musk-to-face-defamation-trial-over-pedo-guy-comments/

unhelpfully suggested that he was using unusual methods; Niemann countered by offering to strip naked.

https://whatstrending.com/is-elon-musk-smoking-weed-on-joe-rogans-podcast-a-big-deal/

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

Pro Poker Player Accused of Using ‘Hidden Vibrating Device’ to Help Her Win

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.

Poker newcomer Robbi Jade Lew, 35, right, won an all-in hand for a pot of $269,000 against Garrett Adelstein, 36, who lost the hand, who believes she cheated during the game

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.

Adelstein’s cards saw him draw a 9 and then an ace with most poker player suggesting Lew should have folded rather than commit her entire stack of chips

‘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.’

He has now refused to say if he believes Niemann was cheating during both of their games in an interview

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.

Carlsen poses with the FIDE World Chess Championship trophy, at the Dubai Expo 2020 in the Gulf emirate, on December 12, 2021
Chess genius, Hans Niemann, 19, (pictured) lost in the quarter finals of the Julius Baer Generation Cup on Thursday. The teen has been accused of cheating in a slew of different and imaginative ways, including using vibrating anal beads to communicate with his coach

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11269073/Pro-poker-player-accused-using-hidden-vibrating-device-help-win-130-000.html

Pot (Kasparov) Calls Kettle (Carlsen) Black

Over the years more readers have viewed these two posts more than any others:

Garry Kasparov Cheated Judit Polgar
https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/garry-kasparov-cheated-judit-polgar/

Confirmation Garry Kasparov Cheated Judit Polgar
https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/confirmation-garry-kasparov-cheated-judit-polgar/

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/)

Magnus Carlsen is a Disgrace to His Championship

What follows is the second comment, by Brian Lafferty, made by readers in reply to the article at Chessbase, Carlsen’s public statement: “I believe that Niemann has cheated more” (https://en.chessbase.com/post/carlsen-statement-on-niemann/1#discuss)

ChessSpawnVermont
No substance whatsoever to Carlsen’s accusation. His belief is meaningless absent concrete factual proof that Niemann cheated otb in St. Louis.

NOTE to Carlsen: You do not need Niemann’s permission to set forth factual proof that Niemann cheated otb against you, if you have relevant facts as opposed to subjective feeling about Niemann’s demeanor during the otb game in St. Louis. Perhaps Niemann was just acting to psych you out. If so, it clearly worked.

All Carlsen has presented is supposition and suspicion regarding otb cheating by Niemann in St. Louis. Carsen (sic) is a disgrace to his championship.
https://en.chessbase.com/post/carlsen-statement-on-niemann#discuss

Magnus vs Hans: The Loser Is Chess!

One of the best things about the Atlanta Chess and Game Center was the multifarious people, who came from every walk of life while having one thing in common: Chess. I thought of this while reading an article in the New York Times, How to Change Minds? A Study Makes the Case for Talking It Out. Below the title one finds the main point of the article: Researchers found that meaty conversations among several people can align beliefs and brain patterns — so long as the group is free of blowhards. (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/16/science/group-consensus-persuasion-brain-alignment.html)

There were the habitués who would pontificate loudly, but usually anyone could get a chance to put in their two cents worth. There were a few blowhards and occasionally the Forhorn would blow. During the time spent working there it became obvious the blowhards were all far right of the political spectrum. One extremely strident wrong-winger lost it once, balling up his fist before slamming it into the glass counter top, shattering the glass. He was never seen again, thankfully.

From the article:

“Conversation is our greatest tool to align minds,” said Thalia Wheatley, a social neuroscientist at Dartmouth College who advises Dr. Sievers. “We don’t think in a vacuum, but with other people.” The new study “suggests that the degree of similarity in brain responses depends not only on people’s inherent predispositions, but also the common ground created by having a conversation,” Dr. Leong said.

The experiment also underscored a dynamic familiar to anyone who has been steamrollered in a work meeting: An individual’s behavior can drastically influence a group decision. Some of the volunteers tried to persuade their groupmates of a cinematic interpretation with bluster, by barking orders and talking over their peers. But others — particularly those who were central players in the students’ real-life social networks — acted as mediators, reading the room and trying to find common ground. (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/16/science/group-consensus-persuasion-brain-alignment.html)

There were myriad “meaty conversations” at the House of Pain. The President of the Georgia Chess Association, Scott Parker, was also the Tournament Director at many events. Scott was called, “The Sheriff” behind his back because he did not care to be called “Sheriff,” but with his ramrod straight deportment it fit. When The Sheriff was in the House the conversations may have been “meaty” but they were “conversations,” not shouting matches. Scott was, whether he likes it or not, The Sheriff because of the respect everyone at the House had for him.

Writing these words caused me to reflect upon those days and nights at the House and how little conversation has been engaged during the pandemic. A phone call is not the same as actually watching someone engaged in conversation; nor is an email. With that in mind I have recently been reading comments left at various websites concerning the Magnus Freak Out affair. I spent time reading the comments left by Chess fans at various websites and after copying one, wondered why I did not copy an earlier comment, so I scrolled backward and did just that. What follows could be considered modern day conversation:

Chumlychess
@DohnalSteven
Replying to
@ChampChessTour
Always admired the World Champion but unless he speaks out to his proof this seems like a wussy move

B
@damnthecatt
emotional damage for niemann his chess career is done

kiran.sol 🔮🦉
@kiranjaimon
He has an impeccable record with no controversy. If he believes something is wrong, I am inclined to agree

David Gil de Gómez
@ITStudiosi
Why anyone would defend Magnus here is beyond me.

Khan Explorer
@khan_explore
Unfortunately Magnus has too many dick riders who will keep defending him.

dd df
@dddf08021173
Disqualify Magnus for this behaviour.

Steve Holloway
@JSteveHolloway
A good lawyer sees a defamation suit against Magnus

Indian Sports Fans
@IndianSportFan
King 👑 Magnus does it again.
Magnus Carlsen vs. Hans Niemann game today, a recap:

Magnus Quits.. Why. Can anyone explain. Pls. #chessdrama #chess

CryptoSala🔁
@CryptoSala
Magnus should not participate in events with Hans in that case. Or provide evidence for Hans cheating.

Neil Merryll 👌🥀
@Neilmerryll
True its unsportsmanlike and he has no integrity

Praava 🇮🇳
@Praava97
Magnus losing all his fans really quickly. Going down the Fischer lane..

Praava 🇮🇳
@Praava97
I’m a huge fan of Magnus but this sort of behaviour is just bullish to say the least. It’s high time now that Magnus should come forward and SPEAK on the matter.

Gerry Last
@PatzerGod
I feel this is some kind of massive troll, or publicity stunt. Most likely wrong but this just doesn’t make any sense.

https://www.chessdom.com/the-carlsen-niemann-conflict-is-more-recent-than-everyone-thinks/

Vishesh Kabra
@visheshkabra
This is the new Queen’s Gambit Declined

DK
@DaleKerr
Magnus should have been sanctioned after the Sinquefield Cup, either he makes a full statement and provides some evidence, or he is banned from future tournaments. His actions are disrupting tournaments and every player, not just himself and Hans.

Martin Hansen
@bondegnasker
If he isn’t sanctioned, that raises another point about a wealthy and influential player owning his own chess server and how that affects fair play.

Kela Siame
@TheRealKela
You’re in fantasy world sir.

dot
@dot16060982
Magnus should be banned from chess tournaments

Big Alex
@Big__Alex
this summed to the fact that he will not defend his title is really a shame. He should have been punished!

Mark J. Moser
@mjmoser
I lost all respect for Magnus. Whatever Niemann did or not. Magnus should communicate and not just fan the flames of gossip and ruin the reputation of Niemann. The loser is chess!

Hic.
@TheHigherSpace
Everybody turning against Magnus .. This is weird ..

Saltybird
@saltcod1
Naa.. Hugely impressive move by Magnus in my opinion. Brutal forcing strategy.. no sweeping it under the carpet now and it will ALL come out.

The Memphis Legend B.B.Cunningham sings his 1967 #12 hit by The Hombres “Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)” with Jeffrey and The Pacemakers at Nocturnal in Memphis on August 22, 2009.

As The Chess World Explodes

A new article inspired by the Cheating Scandal appeared today in The Atlantic magazine and it is an excellent article. Excerpts follow:

Chess Is Just Poker Now

A cheating controversy involving two grandmasters shows how computers have transformed the game.

By Matteo Wong
September 17, 2022

It was as if a bottom seed had knocked out the top team in March Madness: At the Sinquefield Cup chess tournament in St. Louis earlier this month, an upstart American teenager named Hans Niemann

2022 Hans Niemann Chess Cheating Controversy https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/2022-hans-niemann-chess-cheating-controversy

snapped the 53-game unbeaten streak of world champion Magnus Carlsen,

Chess Cheating Scandal: Why Did Magnus Carlsen Leave The Tournament?https://www.boomlive.in/explainers/magnus-carlsen-chess-tournament-cheating-scandal-19299

perhaps the game’s best player of all time. But the real uproar came the following day, when Carlsen posted a cryptic tweet announcing his withdrawal that included a meme video stating, “If I speak I am in big trouble.” The king appeared to have leveled an unspoken accusation of cheating—and the chess world, in turn, exploded.

Some of the biggest names in chess launched attacks on Niemann in the subsequent days, while others rushed to defend him. No concrete evidence of cheating has emerged, and the 19-year-old grandmaster vehemently denied accusations of misconduct in St. Louis, vowing to an interviewer that he has never cheated in an over-the-board game and has learned from prior mistakes.

Whatever really happened here, everyone agrees that for Niemann, or anyone else, to cheat at chess in 2022 would be conceptually simple. In the past 15 years, widely available AI software packages, known as “chess engines,” have been developed to the point where they can easily demolish the world’s best chess players—so all a cheater has to do to win is figure out a way to channel a machine’s advice. That’s not the only way that computers have recently reshaped the landscape of a 1,500-year-old sport. Human players, whether novices or grandmasters, now find inspiration in the outputs of these engines, and they train themselves by memorizing computer moves. In other words, chess engines have redefined creativity in chess, leading to a situation where the game’s top players can no longer get away with simply playing the strongest chess they can, but must also engage in subterfuge, misdirection, and other psychological techniques. In that sense, the recent cheating scandal only shows the darker side of what chess slowly has become.

The computer takeover of chess occurred, at least in the popular imagination, 25 years ago, when the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue defeated world champion Garry Kasparov.

Newsrooms at the time declared the match a “Greek tragedy,” in which a silicon “hand of God” had squashed humanity. Yet 1997, despite its cultural resonance, was not really an inflection point for chess. Deep Blue, a nearly 3,000-pound, one-of-a-kind supercomputer, could hardly change the game by itself. Its genius seemed reliant on then-unthinkable processing power and the grandmasters who had advised in its creation, to the point where Kasparov, after losing, could accuse IBM of having cheated by supplying the machine with human assistance—a dynamic that today’s accusations of foul play have reversed.

As engines became widespread, the game shifted. Elite chess has always involved rote learning, but “the amount of stuff you need to prepare, the amount of stuff you need to remember, has just exploded,” Sadler said. Engines can calculate positions far more accurately and rapidly than humans, so there’s more material to be studied than ever before. What once seemed magical became calculable; where one could rely on intuition came to require rigorous memorization and training with a machine. Chess, once poetic and philosophical, was acquiring elements of a spelling bee: a battle of preparation, a measure of hours invested. “The thrill used to be about using your mind creatively and working out unique and difficult solutions to strategical problems,” the grandmaster Wesley So, the fifth-ranked player in the world, told me via email. “Not testing each other to see who has the better memorization plan.”

To understand just how superior machines have become, consider chess’s “Elo” rating system, which compares players’ relative strength and was devised by a Hungarian American physicist. The highest-ever human rating, achieved by Carlsen twice over the past decade, was 2882. DeepBlue’s Elo rating was 2853. A chess engine called Rybka was the first to reach 3000 points, in 2007; and today’s most powerful program, Stockfish, currently has more than 3500 Elo points by conservative estimates. That means Stockfish has about a 98 percent probability of beating Carlsen in a match and, per one estimate, a 2 percent chance of drawing. (An outright victory for Carlsen would be almost impossible.)

Yet if computers set the gold standard of play, and top players can only try to mimic them, then it’s not clear what, exactly, humans are creating. “Due to the predominance of engine use today,” the grandmaster So explained, “we are being encouraged to halt all creative thought and play like mechanical bots. It’s so boring. So beneath us.” And if elite players stand no chance against machines, instead settling for outsmarting their human opponents by playing subtle, unexpected, or suboptimal moves that weaponize “human frailty,” then modern-era chess looks more and more like a game of psychological warfare: not so much a spelling bee as a round of poker.

In that context, cheating scandals may be nothing less than a natural step in chess’s evolution. Poker, after all, has been rocked by allegations of foul play for years, including cases where players are accused of getting help from artificial intelligence. When the highest form of creativity is outfoxing your opponent—as has always been true of poker—breaking rules seems only natural.


Matteo Wong is an assistant editor at The Atlantic.
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2022/09/carlsen-niemann-chess-cheating-poker/671472/

Chess and Sex Toys

It has been said that all publicity is good publicity. I hope that holds true for Chess, but I have my doubts… I noticed the following article a couple of days ago and read it, hoping it was a one off kinda thing, but unfortunately, that was not the case. I refused to touch it, but now that it has exploded all over the world…

Player at St. Louis Chess Cup Accused of Using Anal Beads To Cheat
By Ryan Krull on Mon, Sep 12, 2022 at 12:48 pm
https://www.riverfronttimes.com/news/player-at-st-louis-chess-cup-accused-of-using-anal-beads-to-cheat-38449269

You will see this if you click onto the link, but for those who will not, this twit is from the article:

Babble
@Babble____
Currently obsessed with the notion that Hans Niemann has been cheating at the Sinquefield Cup chess tournament using wireless anal beads that vibrate him the correct moves.
https://twitter.com/babble____/status/1567437910361751552

Chess world rocked by cheating allegations after 19-year-old beats one of world’s top players
Speculation has been wild. Elon Musk even tweeted about a conspiracy theory that Niemann had used a vibrating sex toy to relay the correct plays to him

Author of the article:
Tyler Dawson
Publishing date:
Sep 13, 2022
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/chess-world-rocked-by-cheating-allegations-after-19-year-old-beats-one-of-worlds-top-players

Huge chess world upset of grandmaster sparks wild claims of cheating — with vibrating sex toy
By Natalie O’Neill
September 14, 2022 3:10pm
https://nypost.com/2022/09/14/huge-chess-world-upset-of-grandmaster-magnus-carlsen-sparks-wild-claims-of-cheating-with-vibrating-sex-toy/

From the article:

Von Zeppelin
If I am reading this article correctly, Hans must prove that he is not guilty of cheating? Perhaps I missed something.

Ring Ranger
It was a close match, but he managed to pull the win out of his… well you know.

Theorists Think 19-Year-Old Chess Player Used Vibrating Beads To Cheat In Win Against World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen
By Isaac Serna-Diez — Written on Sep 14, 2022
https://www.yourtango.com/news/did-hans-niemann-cheat-against-magnus-carlsen

Illegal Use Of Sex Toys At The Center Of Major Competitive Chess Scandal

by Connor Toole September 14, 2022
https://brobible.com/sports/article/competitive-chess-cheating-scandal-hans-niemann-sex-toy-accusations/

If you asked most people to rank sports based on the amount of drama they have the tendency to generate, I have a feeling competitive chess would probably be near the bottom of every single list (if it even made the cut in the first place).

However, it turns out that particular pastime is very capable of producing some borderline unbelievable turmoil based on what’s unfolded over the past week or so courtesy of a scandal involving the top-ranked player in the world and an up-and-coming prodigy who’s been accused of resorting to a very unconventional strategy to beat him.

A summary of the drama between Magnus Carlsen and Hans Niemann that’s tearing the chess world apart

A summary follows if you click on the link. I will give the bro with a bible the last word. Amen, Brother!

The Sound of Magnus Carlsen’s Silence is Deafening

The Chess World Isn’t Ready for a Cheating Scandal

Magnus Carlsen, the World Chess Championship winner, withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup after losing to Hans Niemann.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/13/crosswords/hans-niemann-magnus-carlsen-cheating-accusation.html

By Greg Keener
Sept. 13, 2022Updated 2:05 p.m. ET

When Hans Niemann beat Magnus Carlsen, the world chess champion, in the Sinquefield Cup on Sept. 4, he ended Carlsen’s 53-game unbeaten streak in classical over the board tournaments, and set into motion a debacle that has turned into one of the biggest chess scandals in years.

The next day, Mr. Carlsen withdrew from the tournament, which is an exceedingly rare move, especially among top players in elite events. He also tweeted a cryptic video of José Mourinho, the Portuguese soccer manager, saying, “I prefer really not to speak. If I speak, I am in big trouble.” In the video, Mourinho is speaking at a news conference after a game in which his team might have lost because of questionable officiating, so online observers interpreted Mr. Carlsen’s post as insinuating that Mr. Niemann cheated in some way during the game. A representative for Mr. Carlsen did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Irina Krush, a grandmaster who has played against both Mr. Niemann and Mr. Carlsen, said, “I did play against Hans at the Marshall Championship at the end of 2019, where he made his second GM norm and tied for first in the tournament. So from that point on, I knew he was a very strong and up-and-coming player.” She added, “I think it would be good if Magnus also gave his side of things because it’s just a bad situation for the chess world to have this hanging without a resolution.”

The above is from an article in the New York Times. The question in the Chess World is, “Why has Magnus nutted-up?”

If you are wondering who is Greg Keener he informs readers a few paragraphs later in this paragraph:

In addition to these past cheating incidents, Mr. Niemann is notorious in the chess community for his abrasive personality. As an arbiter in FIDE, or Fédération Internationale des Échecs, the governing body of professional chess, I have known Mr. Niemann since he was a talented scholastic player, and have had to navigate his difficult behavior on more than one occasion. Just a few years ago, Mr. Niemann was not yet a grandmaster and would play regularly at the Marshall Chess Club in New York City, where I work as an assistant manager.

Say what? Where do I begin? How about this dude is working in New York City and has the audacity to call anyone from outside the city “abrasive”?! Give me a break… This poor dude has had to “navigate his difficult behavior on more than one occasion.” Do tell… GIVE ME A BREAK! What kind of work does this guy do in New York City? I worked at the Atlanta Chess & Game Center and part of the job description was “navigate difficult behavior!” Out of all the Chess players, and parents, you have encountered in NEW YORK CITY, you chose to single out Hans Niemann for having “difficult behavior”?! What does any of what is contained in the paragraph have to do with anything other than being an attempt to disparage Hans Niemann. I’ve been to New York City and this is the kinda crap one reads in a tabloid…in NEW YORK CITY!

Hatchet job Keener continues in that vein when writing: “Statistical analysis by Pawnalyze, a chess analysis blog, showed that Mr. Niemann had consistently outperformed his rating strength to an astonishing degree.”

Give me a break. The same could be said about most, if not all, top rated Grandmasters on their climb to the top. Fortunately, there is one New Yorker who speaks for most of the Chess world, Grandmaster Michael Rohde.

https://premierchess.com/uncategorized/match-against-grandmaster-michael-rohde

Michael Rohde, a grandmaster, worked with Mr. Niemann as a student at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School. “Hans was the captain of the C.G.P.S. chess team,” Mr. Rohde said. “I wouldn’t necessarily say I was his coach. He was autonomous and very hard-working.” He added, “It makes perfect sense to me that he is 2700 now.”

Regarding the most recent allegations of cheating, Mr. Rohde said, “I don’t understand exactly what the allegation is. I haven’t seen any evidence or anything specific. It’s just accusations based on his results.”

The article concludes with these two paragraphs:

“Nonetheless, Mr. Niemann’s meteoric rise raises important questions for professional chess. FIDE and the organizers of large tournaments owe the community of players and fans clear guidelines and procedures for how to handle what is likely to be an increasingly common phenomenon.”

“When asked if Mr. Niemann would be invited back to the St. Louis Chess Club, Mr. Rich, its executive director, said, “Yes, Hans has already accepted an invitation to play in the fall classic, so I already have him signed up for the next tournament at the club.”

Comments on the Magnus Carlsen Affair

I often wonder how many viewers actually read the responses left by Chess fans in the comments section. I admit to having occasionally read comments, and used a few on this blog, but have not made a habit of reading the comments, but an exception was made because of the firestorm caused when the current World Chess Champion withdrew after losing to the young American Hans Moke Niemann in the ongoing 2022 Sinquefield Cup at the St. Louis Chess Campus. What follows are only a few of the myriad comments left, and still being left at Chessbase (https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-carlsen-niemann-affair). If you have not read the article you may want to do so before reading any further. In addition, there is a link provided in the article, the best I have ever read at Chessbase (https://en.chessbase.com/), and that is really saying something because Chessbase has featured an untold number of excellent articles over the years, to another excellent and thought provoking article, Paranoia and insanity, by GM Jacob Aagaard (https://forum.killerchesstraining.com/t/paranoia-and-insanity-by-jacob-aagaard/856/1).

The first comment, and arguably the most pertinent, is from Brian Lafferty, a well known contributor to the USCF Forum:

ChessSpawnVermont 9/8/2022 01:33
As a semi-retired US litigation attorney (NY State and Federal Bars), former Assistant District Attorney and Judge, I find it fascinating to watch Mr. Nakamura dig the defamation of character litigation hole that he now finds himself sitting in. Unless he can demonstrate with specificity how Mr. Niemann actually cheated in his otb game against Mr. Carlsen, he will likely have no viable defense should Mr. Niemann sue him for defamation of character seeking monetary damages for injury to his reputation and career. What Mr. Niemann may have done as a twelve or sixteen year old in online competition will likely not be probative at trial and may well be ruled inadmissible at trial. Likewise, suggestions that Mr. Niemann subject himself to a polygraph examination will not be probative. Polygraph examinations are not reliable and are generally not admissible as evidence at trial. (I have seen people lie and pass polygraphs. It’s a skill that is taught and can readily be learned)

Chess.com has also created needless potential liability for itself by barring Mr. Niemann from its site and competitions absent a clear finding that Mr. Niemann cheated otb against Mr. Carlsen. Note also, that at a trial, it is likely that Chess.com will be forced in discovery to reveal to Mr. Niemann’s experts any algorithm used by them forming the basis of a cheating accusation against Mr. Niemann.

I suspect that Mr. Carlsen has received the benefit of legal counsel as he has clearly refrained from making a direct charge of cheating against Mr. Niemann.

Thanks you for an excellent and comprehensive article.
https://en.chessbase.com/post/the-carlsen-niemann-affair/1#discuss

Leavenfish
At this point, this is all on King Magnus. Will he offer proof…or are we witnessing the sad undoing drama worthy of a Shakespearean King?

  1. He does the one thing any professional would unlikely do: abdicates his crown.
  2. His business empire started crumbling – so much so that PMG seemed ‘forced’ to sell itself to the ‘evil empire’ that is chess.com. How much of a slap in the face must this feel?
  3. Young Princes from different parts of the world (Praggnanandhaa, Niemann…) are mortally and routinely wounding him on the battlefield he once dominated. Some treachery must be afoot!

All this in just the past few months. Have the walls of the castle… simply begun to crack?

Yannick Roy
Great article. But to those throwing stones at Carlsen, let’s remember that chess, to a certain extent, induces paranoia. It pitches a mind against another mind. Losing to a young prodigy on a meteoric and quite atypical rise has to be very hard. It is true that after looking into the game and hearing all the declarations of those involved, it is becoming more and more difficult to believe that there was cheating. Carlsen’s mistake on the board pretty much dispels the suspicions one might have had.

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the man come and take you away
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/buffalospringfield/forwhatitsworth.html

Mel Griffin
I agree with aleenyc2015 and Soprano.I can’t remember the last time Carlsen lost in a mature manner. If it’s not slamming down pens, or storming off from the podium when Ivanchuk was crowned Rapid Champion. Disrespectful. When Sergey Karjakin was the first to win a game in the World Championship Magnus left the press conference before Sergey even arrived.
If Carlsen wasn’t fined for that he damn well should have been.
Champs like Fischer, Kasparov and the current one have all gotten away with certain things that no other would. Pointed out by Kramnik years back( he was in fact talking exclusively about Kasparov). Talk to Judit

and Naka about Kasparov’s touch rule ignorance. (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/garry-kasparov-cheated-judit-polgar/)(https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/confirmation-garry-kasparov-cheated-judit-polgar/) In an interview with Nakamura after Kasparov released the piece during a game and then picked it up again and moved it to another square. Naka shrugged his shoulders in a dismissive manner and stated something along the lines of “Its Kasparov”…whatcha gonna do attitude. The DGT board actually registered Garry’s first move.


However, he’s all in for roasting Hans with ZERO proof.
It’s obvious that Magnus quit the tournament believing Neimann cheated.
If he does not believe this, he should have made a statement to clear up this witch hunt and slander. Magnus need to step up to the plate and be a man.
However, being 31. Living with your parents and reading Donald Duck comics…I don’t expect this anytime soon. Pathetic.
So Hans blew a couple of analysis lines with the commentator. Big f#%king deal. How many times has Svidler corrected Seirawan during this tourny alone. As far as social media goes. Regardless of subject, it explodes with a plethora of experts who irresponsibly hang a young man’s future in their hands.
This is so sad for the world of chess.

fede666 9 hours ago
I find this article by far the most informative and unbiased one on this matter on all chess sites … great work

Cato the Younger Cato the Younger
Kudos to the author for a superb article.

The impressions left of the two bad actors in this saga are not particularly flattering. Magnus, no doubt acting on the advice of his attorney, heading for the tall grass following his hit-and-run non-accusation. And Hikaru, maniacally pouring gasoline on a campfire

and engaging in what seemed like Schadenfreude. Neither of them expressing the slightest regret or admission of culpability. Well, nobody’s perfect.

But to me the worst villainy emanates from Chess.com. The public expects that a mature, serious business–a behemoth in the sport–would be run with wisdom and probity. But no, instead we see their senior policymaker(s) ‘privately’ imposing dire career-limiting sanctions on a teenager who has been tried and convicted of doing what, exactly? This is an unbelievably gratuitous and unjust action that needs to be reversed immediately with a humble apology, not that this would fully compensate for the damage done. Otherwise, Chess.com’s position amounts to gross misconduct.

Cato is not the only Chess fan who feels strongly about the “villainy” of Chess.com:

Toro Sentado
@tweeterbull
·
19h
Replying to
@DanielRensch
and
@chesscom
And you just happened to do this to him the day after Magnus withdrew and you offer no explanation as to why? Incredibly tone deaf – yes. Also incredibly unprofessional. Did Magnus order this? Why is this being done in public? Awful awful awful. (https://twitter.com/danielrensch/status/1568033316347203584)

How has Mr. Rensch responed to the vast number of Chess fans criticizing him and his company?

Daniel Rensch
@DanielRensch
Replying to
@DanielRensch
and
@chesscom
My intention was to add some humor 🤷🏻‍♂️ not be vindictive. Sorry to everyone if it was tone deaf. Despite the hate and opinions all around, I legitimately want what’s best for Hans (and chess).

Hoping to hear from him…
8:27 PM · Sep 8, 2022
·Twitter for iPhone

https://www.chessdom.com/susan-polgar-about-niemann-carlsen-case-the-professional-reputation-of-many-parties-is-at-stake/

The reputation of the Royal Game is on the line and this clown wanted to “…add some humor.”

I started a joke, which started the whole world crying
But I didn’t see that the joke was on me, oh no
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/beegees/istartedajoke.html

If you are a paying customer of Chess.com my question to you is, why are you paying to play online when you can play free at Lichess.com?