Accusations of cheating in the highest tournament levels of chess

Birdjaguar

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Yes. He is responsible for all this crap, due to his fit over losing to Hans.
:lol: The admitted cheater is responsible and Hans is an admitted cheater.
 

TheMeInTeam

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:lol: The admitted cheater is responsible and Hans is an admitted cheater.
hans isn't responsible for magnus' choices. even less so when magnus is accusing w/o evidence.

cheating online in 2020 isn't cheating otb. not trusting hans is different from requiring evidence. no evidence = misconduct by magnus in this context.
 

Kyriakos

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:lol: The admitted cheater is responsible and Hans is an admitted cheater.
Come on, you can distinguish between online and otb; it's been the focus of the thread (and the chess videos by serious commentators in that community) forever :) Cheating online does not magically mean you cheat otb and yet tech fails to pick it up time and time again despite increased checks.
It's not like Hans is the only gm who has cheated online either; I doubt anyone is suggesting all those are to be driven out of chess.

Pretty sure drewisfat covered the "no evidence" already (a couple of pages back). "not enough" is not the same as "none".

None for otb is none for otb ^_^

On another note:


Bye bye Magnus. Although Duda likely cheated, otherwise he couldn't have won :mischief:
 
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Kyriakos

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Some significant news, Hans sues Magnus and some others (Chess.com and the leech Hikaru ^_^ )


About time too, imo. The lawsuit is primarily for defamation, but also for conspiring (this is about Chess.com closing a deal with Magnus for chess servers) to force him out of professional chess-playing.

And even if you don't like this, you still should agree it will at least force Hikaru to shut up for a second and stop making money out of being a jerk :D
 
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Moriarte

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It's not like Hans is the only gm who has cheated online either; I doubt anyone is suggesting all those are to be driven out of chess.

Competitive chess. One can still play chess with their mates in a bar or a library. There is no magic world of online competitive chess, which exists in detachment on a separate server of reality. Online competitive chess isn’t a practice zone, or, as Dlugy put it, an “entertainment zone”, which isn’t real chess to have respect for. Both online and otb is one world under the banner of competitive, so if you misbehave in one area, don’t get all surprised you’re suddenly not welcome in the other. You can argue fine points of separation between the two all year to cover up the foul play in either online or offline section of competitive, gate keepers will still find a way to exclude you.
 

Birdjaguar

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Cheater Hans tries to bring down his chess enemies in the courts! Calling Hans a cheater after Hans admits to being a cheater sounds like a cool opportunity for attorneys fees.
 

FriendlyFire

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And even if you don't like this, you still should agree it will at least force Hikaru to shut up for a second and stop making money out of being a jerk :D

??? But Hans said he had cheated on Chess.com to grow hes "twitch channel" and because he needed "money"
Maybe Hans can sue himself for being a cheater, and making money on twitch.
 

Kyriakos

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Competitive chess. One can still play chess with their mates in a bar or a library. There is no magic world of online competitive chess, which exists in detachment on a separate server of reality. Online competitive chess isn’t a practice zone, or, as Dlugy put it, an “entertainment zone”, which isn’t real chess to have respect for. Both online and otb is one world under the banner of competitive, so if you misbehave in one area, don’t get all surprised you’re suddenly not welcome in the other. You can argue fine points of separation between the two all year to cover up the foul play in either online or offline section of competitive, gate keepers will still find a way to exclude you.
Keep it up and Hans will sue you too :D

Ben is funny, btw. Even if he is milking this from the opposite side from Leecharu.

 

TheMeInTeam

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Competitive chess. One can still play chess with their mates in a bar or a library. There is no magic world of online competitive chess, which exists in detachment on a separate server of reality. Online competitive chess isn’t a practice zone, or, as Dlugy put it, an “entertainment zone”, which isn’t real chess to have respect for. Both online and otb is one world under the banner of competitive, so if you misbehave in one area, don’t get all surprised you’re suddenly not welcome in the other. You can argue fine points of separation between the two all year to cover up the foul play in either online or offline section of competitive, gate keepers will still find a way to exclude you.
imo there is at least a degree of "how bad this is" for chess played professionally/for money vs played for fun/just to play (and thus it's notable and noted hans did the former). both are bad, but to me the former is clearly worse from an ethical point of view because the time/money wasted scales to more than the cheaters' direct opponents and is constrained to a larger % of the value (in $$$ terms) attached to the game of chess generally.

people care a lot more about lance armstrong drugging up than a random person who defeats opponents in local races with nothing at stake but who is declared winner. this thread is evidence of that too...a lot more time spent on topic (hans) than random < 1600 strength cheaters who operate at similar scale to what hans did in 2020 (or more) before getting caught and banned. imo people care more about hans doing it than some random average-to-below kid of his same age at the time for a reason.
 

ywhtptgtfo

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hans isn't responsible for magnus' choices. even less so when magnus is accusing w/o evidence.

cheating online in 2020 isn't cheating otb. not trusting hans is different from requiring evidence. no evidence = misconduct by magnus in this context.
Magnus can be viewed as a sore loser.

However, if we look at it in the perspective of other disciplines, it's quite normal for cheaters to be widely ostracized. This includes sports where people are often banned from tournaments for years over the use of drugs and academia where scholars can be disgraced for LIFE if they are caught with plagerism.

Once someone is caught cheating, it puts into question of every accomplishment he has ever made in that area.
 

TheMeInTeam

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However, if we look at it in the perspective of other disciplines, it's quite normal for cheaters to be widely ostracized.
those situations are not typically analogous to this one:
  • while precise scale was not known, previous cheating was known in advance of the event
  • the event itself provided no new information; thus presumably either hans shouldn't have been there yet at all, or the behavior by magnus was inappropriate. the fact remains hans got invited though. imo you can also make a convincing case that quitting in the middle of a round robin tournament was bad form regardless.
  • there is an apparent conflict of interest here as covered earlier in the thread. i would be surprised if the courts don't want to at least take a look at the deal between magnus + chess.com alongside the timing of this. it's bad optics at minimum. i could see this being considered relevant even if the defamation side of the claim fails.
    • which might be the motivation of the lawsuit. hans really might just be trying to drag everyone into the mud as a distraction or as retaliation. chess.com only taking a harder look at him now with pressure from magnus years after the offenses is a bad look when trying to defend conspiracy. even more so if discovery shows that hans' conduct was similar to other gms, while he specifically was treated differently due to magnus' behavior. if that happens, such retaliation would be successful in that it will make a lot of people look very bad in addition to hans, who will also still look bad
    • if discovery turns up that a large number of gms cheat, it will be a scandal, but it is also better than this going undetected or only outing one of them because that guy in particular beat magnus during a mood swing
  • very few sports/competitive disciplines have one of the competitors influencing the governing bodies to penalize one cheater in particular. this isn't chess.com specifically outing hans again with new/more recent information. fide didn't analyze him and detect cheating in otb. the circumstances in this case make hans look bad. they *also* make magnus and chess.com look bad
    • hikaru makes hikaru look bad in the context of this story
 

ywhtptgtfo

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those situations are not typically analogous to this one:
  • while precise scale was not known, previous cheating was known in advance of the event
  • the event itself provided no new information; thus presumably either hans shouldn't have been there yet at all, or the behavior by magnus was inappropriate. the fact remains hans got invited though. imo you can also make a convincing case that quitting in the middle of a round robin tournament was bad form regardless.
  • there is an apparent conflict of interest here as covered earlier in the thread. i would be surprised if the courts don't want to at least take a look at the deal between magnus + chess.com alongside the timing of this. it's bad optics at minimum. i could see this being considered relevant even if the defamation side of the claim fails.
    • which might be the motivation of the lawsuit. hans really might just be trying to drag everyone into the mud as a distraction or as retaliation. chess.com only taking a harder look at him now with pressure from magnus years after the offenses is a bad look when trying to defend conspiracy. even more so if discovery shows that hans' conduct was similar to other gms, while he specifically was treated differently due to magnus' behavior. if that happens, such retaliation would be successful in that it will make a lot of people look very bad in addition to hans, who will also still look bad
    • if discovery turns up that a large number of gms cheat, it will be a scandal, but it is also better than this going undetected or only outing one of them because that guy in particular beat magnus during a mood swing
  • very few sports/competitive disciplines have one of the competitors influencing the governing bodies to penalize one cheater in particular. this isn't chess.com specifically outing hans again with new/more recent information. fide didn't analyze him and detect cheating in otb. the circumstances in this case make hans look bad. they *also* make magnus and chess.com look bad
    • hikaru makes hikaru look bad in the context of this story
There's another crucial factor that's not discussed, which is Hans' credibility.

Regardless of whether or not Chess.com has a collaboration with Magnus, there appears to be evidence that Hans has greatly understated the amount of cheating he engaged in during his time with the online platform.

Furthermore, his inadequate post-game analysis and sketchiness of his rating increase pattern appear to further put into question on how authentic he is as a player. These aren't factors that prove he cheated in that match, but are potential red flags.
 
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Birdjaguar

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Chess Scandal Was ‘Ticking Time Bomb’
BY ANDREW BEATON AND JOSHUA ROBINSON; WSJ

A month before Magnus Carlsen and 19-year-old American grandmaster Hans Moke Niemann found themselves battling each other at the center of a high-profile chess cheating scandal, they were two guys pushing pawns on the beach in Miami.
Hanging around for a tournament promotion, they played on a board in the sand, watched by only a handful of people, including Dutch grandmaster Anish Giri. The games were casual, but the results were decisive. Mr. Carlsen, the five-time world champion from Norway and the highest-rated player of all time, wiped the beach with Mr. Niemann, according to Mr. Giri.
Over the following days, Mr. Niemann’s play hardly improved as he toiled through a tournament in Miami. He lost every series of games and ended with zero points. Mr. Niemann’s performance, combined with his showing on the beach, advanced Mr. Carlsen’s doubts about his opponent’s abilities, said a person familiar with Mr. Carlsen’s thinking.
So when Mr. Niemann beat 31-year-old Mr. Carlsen weeks later at a prestigious September tournament in St. Louis, Mr. Carlsen was stunned. After the jarring upset, Mr. Carlsen quit the tournament in protest, setting the chess world on fire.
On Thursday, Mr. Niemann filed a $100 million federal lawsuit against Mr. Carlsen, the platform Chess.com and others for slander, libel and colluding to blacklist him. Mr. Niemann in the suit alleges that tournament organizers have shunned him after allegations of cheating surfaced.
“Hans Niemann has an admitted history of cheating and his lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt to deflect blame onto others,” said Craig Reiser, Mr. Carlsen’s lawyer.
There is no evidence Mr. Niemann cheated in the game against Mr. Carlsen. But his acknowledgment of cheating in the past—and his especially skillful showing against Mr. Carlsen—stoked persistent suspicions about him among elite players and drew the attention of the wider world. “Probably when he saw Hans’s play in Miami, and on the beach…it didn’t match with the level of the play in the actual event,” said American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura. “When you combine it with the long-existing rumors, Magnus became convinced something was off.”

Mr. Carlsen declined to comment. In his only statement explaining the incident, he wrote, “I believe that Niemann has cheated more—and more recently—than he has publicly admitted.”
The allegation set off a frenzy of speculation and outrage. Grandmasters picked sides. Some questioned whether it was fair of Mr. Carlsen to level an accusation without evidence. Others branded Mr. Niemann a fraud.
Last month, Mr. Niemann publicly acknowledged cheating in online games in the past. The brash young New Yorker, who made a meteoric rise through world rankings, called them youthful mistakes and said he never cheated in face-to-face games. Mr. Niemann didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Niemann’s suit alleged that Chess.com colluded with Mr. Carlsen because the company is buying Mr. Carlsen’s “Play Magnus” app for nearly $83 million in a merger the complaint said would “monopolize the chess world.”
Lawyers for Chess.com called the suit meritless. The company has previously said it didn’t consult with Mr. Carlsen about any of its deci-sions regarding Mr. Niemann.
Just about everyone who has ever pushed around bishops and knights has been speculating in past weeks about how Mr. Niemann could have cheated. Unless a player is caught in the act, it is near impossible to prove, according to fair-play experts, because a grandmaster might need help only on a handful of moves to tilt the balance. FIDE, the game’s world governing body, has opened an investigation. Whether or not Mr. Niemann cheated to beat Mr. Carlsen, elite players who have been pushing for better security say this type of scandal was inevitable. “It was a ticking time bomb,” said grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez, who recorded interviews with players, including Mr. Niemann, after matches at the St. Louis tournament. “Cheating in chess is something that was bound to happen at some point. It’s too accessible. It’s too easy.”

These days, smartphone apps and websites can deliver moves lethal enough to beat the world’s best players. Chess has already had more than one so-called Toiletgate scandal, involving players caught sneaking into bathrooms to consult their phones.
In 2020, grandmaster Fabiano Caruana brought up security issues with FIDE and twice with the St. Louis Chess Club, which hosted the tournament Mr. Carlsen quit.
Last year, St. Louis required players to walk through a metal detector.

Opening moves
Mr. Niemann transferred in the 11th grade to Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, an upscale private school in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Daniel Levkov, another highly rated chess player at Columbia Prep, said he met Mr. Niemann playing chess as a 10-year-old. He recalled Mr. Niemann’s unusual independence, attending tournaments abroad when he was 13. Mr. Niemann lived alone in a studio apartment near school, and taught chess at tony private schools to pay the rent, according to his lawsuit and Mr. Levkov. He often missed classes and assignments while traveling for tournaments, Mr. Levkov said. “I have always been a single- minded person,” Mr. Niemann wrote in a 2020 blog on the US Chess Federation’s website. “That spirit was reignited when I realized that if I dedicated everything to chess, I could be up on that stage holding that 1st place trophy.”


Hans Moke Niemann, back to camera, and Magnus Carlsen playing chess on the sand at the Eden Roc Miami Beach Hotel on Aug. 12. Anish Giri stands on the right. Below, Mr. Niemann, left, and Fabiano Caruana competing in the U.S. Chess Championship on Oct. 8. MELTWATER CHAMPIONS CHESS TOUR

WHITNEY CURTIS FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

When Mr. Niemann was 11, he started working with Russian- American coach Maxim Dlugy, a grandmaster who runs chess academies in Manhattan. Mr. Dlugy, who spent his childhood in the Soviet Union, earned a world junior title and later worked with chess champions Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. He said Mr. Niemann was the most impressive chess student he had ever seen. “I feel like I’m his mentor,” Mr. Dlugy said. Mr. Niemann’s lawsuit said Mr. Dlugy was neither his coach nor his mentor.
Mr. Carlsen last month drew attention to their work together, which raised scrutiny about Mr. Dlugy’s own fair-play violations. Mr. Dlugy has twice been banned by Chess.com for receiving illegal assistance during games, in 2017 and 2020. The first allegation, Mr. Dlugy said, was a misunderstanding. He privately acknowledged the wrongdoing to Chess.com in the second instance. But recently, he said he was innocent and had falsely confessed to avoid being banned permanently.

Endgame
Mr. Niemann acknowledged cheating in online games at ages 12 and 16 during his post-match interview with Mr. Ramirez last month. He called the incidents the biggest regrets of his life. The only time he cheated in a game with prize money on the line, he said, was as a preteen. Yet a recent investigation by Chess.com, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, found that Mr. Niemann had likely cheated in more than 100 online games—some when he was 17 and in several events offering prize money.
Mr. Niemann also said he never cheated while streaming games. Chess.com found 25 instances in which he likely had. The Chess.com investigation said Mr. Niemann, when confronted by the platform in 2020, admitted to the violations, and the site privately banned his account. Mr. Niemann’s lawsuit disputed the validity of the report’s findings and said he had never confessed.

After the ban, Mr. Niemann said he dedicated himself to winning games in person. “I decided the only way to make up for my mistake was to prove to myself and prove to others that I could win.” Mr. Dlugy said Mr. Niemann went on to play hundreds of in-person games in such far-flung places as Niksic, Monte-negro, and Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He qualified for the title of grandmaster. By 2022, Mr. Niemann was receiving invitations to the richest, most exclusive tournaments. One was the FTX Crypto Cup, in Miami, where Mr. Niemann lost the pair of friendly games to Mr. Carlsen on the beach. Mr. Niemann lost every series he played but beat Mr. Carlsen in one game. “The chess speaks for itself,” Mr. Niemann said after beating Mr. Carlsen, who later won the tournament. At one point during the Crypto Cup, Mr. Niemann went on a profanity-filled tirade after his computer crashed, typical of behavior that has made him stand out in the hushed-tone atmosphere of high-level play. “Hans is just like this kind of bombastic guy that speaks his mind,” said Mr. Ramirez. “He’s still a teenager, so he acts like it.”

When Mr. Niemann was added as a late replacement to the Sinquefield Cup, an invitation- only tournament in St. Louis, Mr. Carlsen said he considered pulling out of the tournament. Instead, Mr. Carlsen withdrew after losing to Mr. Niemann in a game that ended Mr. Carlsen’s 53-match unbeaten streak in classical chess. Tony Rich, the St. Louis Chess Club’s executive director, was critical of Mr. Carlsen’s decision to withdraw from the Sinquefield Cup. “Did his actions achieve his goal? I think we’ll have to wait and see,” he said. “Certainly he’s right. People are talking more about fair play than ever.” At a subsequent tournament, Mr. Carlsen forfeited a game against Mr. Niemann after one move. Mr. Carlsen nonetheless went on to win the event.

Days later, Mr. Carlsen accused Mr. Niemann of cheating in a statement and called for more attention to potential fair-play violations. Mr. Niemann next surfaced at the U.S. Chess Champion-ship, also in St. Louis, which began the day after the Chess.com investigation was reported. Security for the tournament was high. There was a 30-minute broadcast delay and a high-end silicon scanner that can detect electronic devices, whether or not they are turned on. When Mr. Niemann walked through, a security guard scanned even the banana he carried.

Mr. Niemann finished the U.S. Chess Championship in the middle of the pack and filed his suit the day after.
 
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I play chess regularly at www.chess.com

I know of stronger players in England, and one personally in Norfolk,
who were banned from it because the system flagged them as cheats.

I cannot see why they'd bother to cheat as money was not at stake.
I think it is a bit like Covid tests; false positives and false negatives.

Anyway it now seems it will be a game that only the lawyers really win at.
 

Narz

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Chess Scandal Was ‘Ticking Time Bomb’
BY ANDREW BEATON AND JOSHUA ROBINSON; WSJ

A month before Magnus Carlsen and 19-year-old American grandmaster Hans Moke Niemann found themselves battling each other at the center of a high-profile chess cheating scandal, they were two guys pushing pawns on the beach in Miami.
Hanging around for a tournament promotion, they played on a board in the sand, watched by only a handful of people, including Dutch grandmaster Anish Giri. The games were casual, but the results were decisive. Mr. Carlsen, the five-time world champion from Norway and the highest-rated player of all time, wiped the beach with Mr. Niemann, according to Mr. Giri.
Over the following days, Mr. Niemann’s play hardly improved as he toiled through a tournament in Miami. He lost every series of games and ended with zero points. Mr. Niemann’s performance, combined with his showing on the beach, advanced Mr. Carlsen’s doubts about his opponent’s abilities, said a person familiar with Mr. Carlsen’s thinking.
So when Mr. Niemann beat 31-year-old Mr. Carlsen weeks later at a prestigious September tournament in St. Louis, Mr. Carlsen was stunned. After the jarring upset, Mr. Carlsen quit the tournament in protest, setting the chess world on fire.
On Thursday, Mr. Niemann filed a $100 million federal lawsuit against Mr. Carlsen, the platform Chess.com and others for slander, libel and colluding to blacklist him. Mr. Niemann in the suit alleges that tournament organizers have shunned him after allegations of cheating surfaced.
It's a bit like steroids in bodybuilding. Obviously gains are possible but when someone goes from moderately strong to crazy strong in an extremely short amount of time it's rather suspicious.

The story is anecdotal of course w no evidence but it reminds of me of people who come out of the wordwork w stories when someone's been accused of a sexual crime. To be taken w a grain of salt but certainly considered.
 

Kyriakos

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those situations are not typically analogous to this one:
  • while precise scale was not known, previous cheating was known in advance of the event
  • the event itself provided no new information; thus presumably either hans shouldn't have been there yet at all, or the behavior by magnus was inappropriate. the fact remains hans got invited though. imo you can also make a convincing case that quitting in the middle of a round robin tournament was bad form regardless.
  • there is an apparent conflict of interest here as covered earlier in the thread. i would be surprised if the courts don't want to at least take a look at the deal between magnus + chess.com alongside the timing of this. it's bad optics at minimum. i could see this being considered relevant even if the defamation side of the claim fails.
    • which might be the motivation of the lawsuit. hans really might just be trying to drag everyone into the mud as a distraction or as retaliation. chess.com only taking a harder look at him now with pressure from magnus years after the offenses is a bad look when trying to defend conspiracy. even more so if discovery shows that hans' conduct was similar to other gms, while he specifically was treated differently due to magnus' behavior. if that happens, such retaliation would be successful in that it will make a lot of people look very bad in addition to hans, who will also still look bad
    • if discovery turns up that a large number of gms cheat, it will be a scandal, but it is also better than this going undetected or only outing one of them because that guy in particular beat magnus during a mood swing
  • very few sports/competitive disciplines have one of the competitors influencing the governing bodies to penalize one cheater in particular. this isn't chess.com specifically outing hans again with new/more recent information. fide didn't analyze him and detect cheating in otb. the circumstances in this case make hans look bad. they *also* make magnus and chess.com look bad
    • hikaru makes hikaru look bad in the context of this story
Chess.com was hasty enough to release a smug multi-paged report where they admitted they only banned Hans because Magnus said he is cheating, without meaning to ban him if that didn't happen. At the same time, being in talks to buy Magnus' chess app.
Even if Hans doesn't win the lawsuit elsewhere, this will be very juicy for the court and won't leave many chances to Chess.com not paying Hans a few of the 100 million he asks.

Imo it will be good if otb tournaments are where prizes only exist. Online... is an area you can't ever prevent (for all in a tournament) use of engines; going by some videos it is only easy to pick up (still assumption, but has more merit at least) if the person is low elo and somehow wins consecutive games against very higher elo. This isn't much help when you are trying to show cheating by gms or supergms who tend to be close ranking-wise.
After all, a good example is Magnus losing so many games lately, against lower-ranked opponents online. And he still doesn't dare mumble anything about them cheating ;)
 
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