Although chess might not be the flashiest of sports, it requires patience, intellect, and years of constant training to be the best. Most grandmasters have spent their entire life learning chess and the seemingly infinite possibilities sixty-four squares hold.
More recently, Magnus Carlsen, a five-time World Chess Champion, withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis following a third-round loss to newcomer Hans Niemann, the first-ever withdrawal by Carlsen in his entire career.
Other chess grandmasters later weighed in, accusing Niemann of “cheating.” On 8th September 2022, Chess.com banned the accused player after finding “evidence” supporting these striking allegations.
Chess.com Bans Hans Niemann Over Claims Of Cheating
Despite Niemann denying ever cheating in real matches and stating these online acts were made when he was much younger, the nineteen-year-old player was banned from Chess.com. In a Tweet, Chess.com said, “we have reached out to Niemann to explain our decision to privately remove him from Chess.com and our events.
- Hansen says Hikaru is "the most disliked grandmaster"
- Nakamura sets new world record In Bullet Chess speedrun
- Carlsen beats TSM Nakamura in $100k New in Chess Classic
- OpTic Gaming Signs CodeMiko, JustaMinx, and Botez Sisters
"We have shared detailed evidence with him concerning our decision, including the information that contradicts his statements [about] the amount and seriousness of his cheating on Chess.com,” the Tweet continued.
Chess.com confirmed that they had “invited Neimann to provide an explanation and response with the hope of finding a resolution where Neimann can again participate on Chess.com.”
These allegations rose when Carlsen withdrew for the first time in history at the tournament.
Although he didn’t speak up about the underlying reason behind his decision, Carlson stated on Twitter, “I've withdrawn from the tournament. I've always enjoyed playing in the Saint Louis Chess Club and hope to be back in the future.”
In his Tweet, Carlson added a clip of the football manager José Mourinho, saying, “‘I prefer not to speak. If I speak, I am in big trouble; I don’t want to be in big trouble.’’
Other chess grandmasters weighed in on the allegations against Niemann, including Carlsen’s long-time rival, Hikaru Nakamura.
The latter picked apart their game and pointed out the unusual qualities and moves during the Carlsen versus Neimann match.
Although Neimann had a history online of cheating, his actions during the tournament allegedly didn’t point to any of it, despite being thoroughly checked by security before the fourth round started.
Most critics claim Niemann was called out, especially against playing Carlsen, because of his meteoric “rise” pointed out by Nakamura, which seemed "unusual."
The silence of my critics clearly speaks for itself. If there was any real evidence, why not show it? @GMHikaru has continued to completely ignore my interview and is trying to sweep everything under the rug. Is anyone going to take accountability for the damage they've done?— Hans Niemann (@HansMokeNiemann) September 7, 2022
In spite of these allegations, Neimann had admitted to cheating online when he was “twelve years old” but has denied all of the accusations about his match against Carlsen. To prove himself innocent, Niemann stated he’d play “naked” if need be.
Feel free to watch Nakamura’s full video on the controversy above.
For more information or content about chess, feel free to visit our dedicated section on chess for news, guides, and more.
Featured image courtesy of Chess.com and Instagram via Hans Neimann.