Is GM Hans Niemann Insane?!

Postition after 38…f5 with White to move

The above position was reached in the seventh round game played between GMs Hans Niemann and Jingyao Tin at the III Elllobregat Open being held at Sant Boi de Llobregat, Spain. The game is a dead draw that most, if not all, Grandmasters would probably have split the point long before arriving at this position. Two class B players would, most probably, have agreed to a draw in the position. A case could be made that lesser players should play out these positions because anything can happen. It is simply unfathomable that any GRANDMASTER would play the move next played by Hans Niemann:

Position after 39 Ra5+

If you showed the first position to every human holding a Grandmaster title none of them would play the losing move played by Niemann. Let me be clear, no GM, zero, nada, zip, would play such a losing move even if completely inebriated, or high as a kite on whatever. Why would Niemann play such a losing move? There is always a reason and I cannot wait to learn what could have possibly motivated the young man to give away a half point and lose a completely drawn game. As can be heard here in the South, something “ain’t right.”

Hans Moke Niemann (2699) vs Jingyao Tin (2562)
III Elllobregat Open Chess
Rd 7
ECO D12: Slav Defense: Quiet Variation, Schallopp Defense

  1. c4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nh4 Be4 7. f3 Bg6 8. Qb3 Qc7 9. Bd2 Be7 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Nxg6 hxg6 12. O-O-O Nxc3 13. Bxc3 a5 14. a3 b5 15. Bd2 a4 16. Qc3 Qb6 17. Kb1 O-O 18. h4 Na6 19. Qc2 b4 20. Bxa6 Rxa6 21. axb4 Bxb4 22. h5 Bxd2 23. Rxd2 a3 24. b3 a2+ 25. Ka1 Ra3 26. Rd3 gxh5 27. Rxh5 Rb8 28. Rc5 Rxb3 29. Rxb3 Qxb3 30. Qxb3 Rxb3 31. e4 Rd3 32. Rxc6 Rxd4 33. Rc2 g5 34. Kxa2 Kg7 35. Kb3 Kf6 36. Kc3 Ke5 37. Ra2 Rd1 38. Ra7 f5 39. Ra5+ Kf4 40. exf5 exf5 41. Ra4+ Ke3 42. Ra5 g4 43. Rxf5 g3 44. f4 Kf2 45. Rg5 Kxg2 46. f5 Rd5 47. Kc4 Ra5 48. Kd3 Kf3 49. Kd4 g2 50. Kc4 Ra4+ 0-1

13…a5 is a Theoretical Novelty

The Time Has Come For Chess

This position was reached in the game recent game between GM Matthias Bluebaum (2651) …

and GM Hans Noke Niemann (2699)

played at the III Elllobregat Open played in Sant Boi de Llobregat, Spain, during the sixth round:


GM Matthias Bluebaum (2651) vs GM Hans Moke Niemann (2699)
III Elllobregat Open Chess
E10 Indian Defense: Anti-Nimzo-Indian

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Qc2 c6 9. Rd1 b6 10. Bf4 Ba6 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. dxe5 Ng4 14. h3 Rc8 15. Nc3 Nxf2 16. Kxf2 Bc5+ 17. Be3 Bxe3+ 18. Kxe3 b5 19. Qd2 Qb6+ 20. Qd4 Qb8 21. Qb4 Qb6+ 22. Qd4 Qb8 1/2-1/2

The game could, should, and would have continued if Blueballs Bluebaum had played the move considered best by the Stockfish program at, 21 b3, or the move preferred by the Stockfish analysis program at, 23 Kf2, which can be seen below. Take another look at the position. When one inputs the position into the analysis program at the Stockfish program there considers the best move to be 21 Kf2, a move that has been attempted four times according to (

The same moves as played in the Bluebaum vs. Niemann game had been played in an earlier game:

GM Santosh Gujrathi Vidit vs GM Sergey Karjakin
Event: Tata Steel India Blitz
Site: Kolkata IND Date: 11/13/2018
Round: 4.5
ECO: D02 Queen’s pawn game
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 O-O 7.O-O Nbd7 8.Qc2 c6 9.Rd1 b6 10.Bf4 Ba6 11.cxd5 cxd5 12.Ne5 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Rc8 14.Nc3 Ng4 15.h3 Nxf2 16.Kxf2 Bc5+ 17.Be3 Bxe3+ 18.Kxe3 b5 19.Qd3 Qb6+ 20.Qd4 Qb8 21.Qb4 Qb6+ 22.Qd4 Qb8 23.Qb4 Qb6+ 24.Qd4 ½-½

I decided to input the game into the analysis program at and this is what came out the other end:

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Qc2 c6 9. Rd1 b6 10. Bf4 Ba6 11. cxd5 cxd5 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. dxe5 Ng4 14. h3 Rc8 15. Nc3 Nxf2 16. Kxf2 Bc5+ 17. Be3 Bxe3+ 18. Kxe3 b5 19. Qd2 Qb6+ 20. Qd4 Qb8 21. Qb4 Qb6+ 22. Qd4 Qb8 23. Kf2 b4 24. Nxd5 exd5 25. Rac1 Rce8 26. Rc5 Rxe5 27. Bf3 Rfe8 28. Rxd5 Rxe2+ 29. Bxe2 Rxe2+ 30. Kf3 Qb7 31. Qxa7 Re8 32. Qxb7 Bxb7 33. Kf4 Bxd5 34. Rxd5 Ra8 35. Rb5 h5 36. Rxb4 Rxa2 37. Rb5 f6 38. Kf5 Kh7 39. g4 Kh6 40. Ke6 h4 41. Rh5+ Kg6 42. b4 Ra3 43. b5 Rxh3 44. Kd7 Kf7 45. b6 Rb3 46. Kc6 g5 47. b7 Ke6 48. Rh8 Rc3+ 49. Kb5 Rb3+ 50. Kc6 Rxb7 51. Kxb7 Ke5 52. Rf8 Kf4 53. Rxf6+ Kxg4 54. Kc6 h3 55. Kd5 h2 56. Rh6 Kg3 57. Ke5 Kg2 58. Ke4 h1=Q 59. Rxh1 Kxh1 60. Kf3 Kh2 61. Kg4 1/2-1/2

Games like the one “played” between Bluebaum and Niemann are the reason the Royal Game has increasingly become less interesting. Whether or not there was any conclusion prior to the game being “played” cannot be ascertained, but games like this lend credence to what Oscar Al Hamilton believed when saying, “Everything’s rigged!”

This writer has followed Chess for over half a century and has watched as Chess has become less and less interesting because of the plethora of draws. The time has come for those involved with Chess to randomly choose the opening to be played prior to the round so the players will have no time to “book up” on one particular opening.