Magnus Carlsen comments on accusations of cheating in chess

Magnus Carlsen has received equal support and criticism for accusing another master of cheating, although he has yet to provide any meaningful proof of his allegations.

Magnus Carlsen has received equal parts support and criticism for accusing another master of cheating, although he has yet to provide any meaningful evidence of his allegations.
Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos (Getty Images)

These ongoing failures cheating controversy becomes as exhausting as playing 50 consecutive games of chess with your 7-year-old niece. We’re approaching a month away from that, but without hard evidence of a chess scam, we may never see the end of it.

Monday night, one of the best chess players in the world Magnus Carlsen finally broke his silence around the chess cheating controversy. In a published statement, the grandmaster finally came out with all of his previous insinuations that rival master Hans Niemann was cheating at chess both online and in person.

Carlsen said he believed Niemann “cheated more — and more recently — than he publicly admitted.” He goes on to offer a very sketchy account saying the young master’s board progress was ‘unusual’ and in his previous Sinquefield Cup game against Niemann he came away feeling his opponent wasn’t stretched enough. or concentrated at critical points. All this while the young chess player was “outdoing me as a black in a way that I think only a handful of players can do”.

The Norwegian grandmaster added that while he could offer more, “I am limited in what I can say without Niemann’s explicit permission to speak openly.” It’s still unclear what he means by that statement, though some, like chess grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, have speculated that it could mean Carlsen needs some affirmation. Niemann won’t prosecute if Carlsen comes out with more evidence.

Beginning of September, 31 years old Carlsen faced 19-year-old US-based Niemann in the 2022 Sinquefield Cup. After the legendary chess master lost his game against his young opponent, he suddenly withdrew from the tournament. He then offered a highly cryptic tweet that implied that Niemann had cheated. In his final statement, Carlsen said that once he saw Niemann being invited “at the last minute” (Niemann was replacing another player who couldn’t make it to the United States), he “strongly considered to withdraw before the event”. I finally chose to play.

Niemann has admitted to having cheated twice in online chess when he was younger, at 14 and 16, although he says that is all behind him and he has never cheated in a tournament. On Friday, the president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), Arkady Dvorkovich critical Carlsen said, “We strongly believe there were better ways to handle this situation.” The FIDE president added that they would investigate specific accusations of cheating “when adequate initial evidence is provided and all parties involved disclose the information available to them.”

Carlsen’s sudden escape from the tournament has caused a storm of controversy in the chess world and opened Pandora’s box considering the ability of modern technology to help players cheat in one of the greatest tabletop games. in the world. Later that month, at the Julius Baer Generation Cup hosted online, Carlsen faced Niemann again. After just two shots, Carlsen close your stream and refused to play with his young opponent. Although he made no statement at this time last week he spoke to the Chess24 stream to do another subtle accusation of cheatingpointing to Niemann’s supposed mentor and alleging Cheat Maxime Dlugy.

Many chess masters came to support Carlsen. Some have noted how serious of a problem cheating has becomeespecially in the online chess game even with the systems set up to stop it. Masters, who play thousands and thousands of games to get really good, are able to notice subtle differences in play and attitude, so if a player seems to be playing too fast for their skill level or making too many moves “correct”, they are more eager to notice.

Yet, despite the hubbub and commotion of shit, Carlsen still won the Julius Baer Cup, clinching the title after winning the final in the fewest matches possible. Niemann lost in the quarterfinals. The 19-year-old chess player previously lost to Carlsen this year at the FTX Crypto Cup in Miami.

And despite all these accusations of cheating, we’re still lacking hard evidence that Niemann used anything, whether it was his chess AI or his vibrating anal beads (to, uh, you know, let him know the trick , I guess) to help him win his games.

Although some have tried. Like us noted in our previous report, analysis of Niemann’s games by renowned chess researcher Kenneth Regan did not determine that the young man was using a programmed aid. Yosha Iglesias, a chess grandmaster, said Monday that Regan’s algorithm does not calculate time spent per move, which could indicate how badly a player can cheat. she posted detailed figures examining Niemann’s past games, then compared it to other chess players like Indian chess grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi to show how Niemann once played games remarkably close to perfection.

Gizmodo has reached out to Regan for comment and we’ll update when we hear return.

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