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Cheating is Everywhere: The Ongoing Chess Cheating Scandal (by Atencia )

In the past few weeks, international media as well as a surprising amount of well-known internet personalities have been covering what is currently happening in the world of professional chess. Naturally, people who normally publish chess content on YouTube, such as GothamChess and GMHikaru, have been discussing the cheating scandal. GMHikaru, Hikaru Nakamura, is a Grandmaster (GM), which is the highest possible chess title, aside from world champion, and the title is granted to players with an Elo rating above 2600 or 2700, with the latter being more common these days. GothamChess, Levy Rozman, is an International Master (IM), the rank below GM.

Additionally, bigger creators such as Charlie (MoistCr1TiKaL/penguinz0) and Ludwig (Ludwig/Mogul Mail) have both been covering the scandal. As Ludwig said in a recent video, cheating seems to be in the wind these days.

Professional chess is rarely getting the same media attention as many other professional sports and sport related events. However, what is currently happening in the world of chess is getting a lot of media attention. Now without much further ado, why is this getting attention, and what is actually happening?
The debacle started September 4th 2022, after the reigning world champion in chess, Magnus Carlsen, unexpectedly lost a match against American GM Hans Niemann at the chess tournament Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, Missouri. At the time, Niemann was barely ranked within the top 50 players in the world, while Carlsen has been ranked as the number one player for over a decade straight. The following day, on the 5th, Carlsen withdrew from the tournament. In addition to withdrawing, Carlsen posted a message to Twitter which contained a video of the football manager José Mourinho saying “If I speak I am in big trouble”. Naturally, this sort of behaviour did not go unnoticed; people were quick to interpret it as Carlsen cryptically accusing Niemann for cheating. On the 8th, Niemann denied cheating against Carlsen, while also admitting that he had cheated on the website Chess.com when he was 12 and 16 years old. Two days later, the main judge of the Sinquefield Cup stated that there were no indications that Niemann had cheated. After this, the interest in cheating accusations decreased.

However, this “calm” would only be temporary. On the 19th, Carlsen controversially withdrew from a game against Niemann after mere seconds, despite the match having officially started at the point. This meeting was in an online tournament, Julius Baer Generation Cup. This was immediately questioned by experts, few - if any, were capable of making sense of Carlsen’s actions at this point. Carlsen’s conduct was by many considered to be immature. On the 23rd, Carlsen was publicly criticised by the international chess federation (FIDE) in a press release. Two days later, Carlsen chose to be more explicit in his criticism of Niemann, claiming that he believes that Niemann has cheated more, and more recently, than what he has admitted. On the 29th of September, FIDE announced that both Niemann and Carlsen would be investigated. Both players risk being penalised for their conduct.

October 6th, the “Chess President” of Norway admitted to cheating in a tournament which took place a few years ago. Around the same time it was revealed that a chess player in the international chess “elite” had been allowed to remain anonymous after Chess.com discovered that he had cheated, which also occurred a few years ago. At this stage, it does not seem unlikely that other players will either by their own admit to cheating, or be “outed” as cheaters in the following weeks.
People, predominantly online, have been speculating that Hans Niemann was cheating by using an electronic device inside his rear end (to describe it more ‘appropriately’, and thus less direct). Naturally, there is no evidence whatsoever which indicates that this is in the same realm as the truth. This speculation is among the most frequently “reported” aspects of the ongoing cheating scandal, but it is nothing other than a wild speculation. It is worth noting, at this point, that it is difficult to find evidence Niemann has cheated in physical games, and he has only confirmed cheating in online matches. It is unclear how it is possible to cheat in physical, “over-the-board”, matches, but as will be covered later, there are strong indications that he has cheated more than what he has claimed to in online games.
Before discussing the presented evidence, or possible evidence, it is important to stress that cheating in chess does not equate to cheating in every single move you make. Instead, it could be cheating in only one move in a game, and it is still cheating. In online matches, cheating is easier to do because it is not always possible to tell if other people are in the room, or what the player is seeing on their screen(s). Over-the-board cheating, however, is more challenging to conduct, because it is often easier to detect if a player is cheating. Hence the absurd and wild conspiracy theory briefly covered in the previous section of this article.

Aside from the instances of cheating that Niemann has himself confirmed, other evidence for cheating has been released over the past few days. Chess.com published a 72-page report in which they claimed that Niemann likely received illegal help in over 100 online matches, including games in which prize money was at stake. These alleged instances of cheating occurred as recently as 2020, back when Niemann was 16-17 years old. It is noteworthy, however, that Chess.com is in the process of buying Magnus Carlsen’s chess oriented Play Magnus Group for more than $80 million, so some may claim that they are perhaps not a 100% unbiased source in this conflict, as it would not be ideal for them if Carlsen’s reputation suffers amidst this figurative storm.

The evidence presented is largely comparisons of the moves made by Niemann compared to the recommended moves provided by powerful supercomputers, which suggest that there may have been cheating involved. However, this type of data cannot alone without doubt prove that Niemann has cheated, even if the presented data strongly suggest that there is something rather peculiar with Niemann’s moves, simply because they are “too perfect”, or more accurately “statistically extraordinary”, compared to other highly ranked players and supercomputers. Notably, the possible, and very alleged, instances of cheating have all occurred in online matches, not over-the-board games, like the match Carlsen lost against Niemann on September 4th. Thus, the over-the-board matches Niemann has played does not appear to have had any clear indication of cheating. Niemann’s development as a chess player, however, is noteworthy as it clearly differs from the development of other greats in chess history, including Carlsen’s development around the same age which Niemann is currently.

When Niemann admitted to cheating on Chess.com in 2020, he was not among the “best” cheaters. In the Chess.com-report, they have a table where they list anonymous players who have admitted to cheating. At the time, Niemann was “only” an IM, as he obtained the title of GM in 2021. In the table, Niemann is only above eight anonymous GMs who have admitted to cheating, there are 16 GMs above him. Recall from earlier that GM is the highest title in chess, and the title is for life. Thus, Niemann was well within the lower half of admitted cheaters on Chess.com at the time. Essentially, the core of the Chess.com-report is that they could not at the time find any evidence that Niemann had cheated in over-the-board games, while the more general media is focusing on the possibility that Niemann cheated in 100+ online games. The report did say that they found abnormalities in six over-the-board games, which should be further investigated. The report is not as conclusive as people would have hoped, although it clearly suggests substantial cheating online.

Hikaru Nakamura published a video where he, together with a player who has played against Niemann in multiple online games, Daniel Naroditsky, looked at a few of the games in which Niemann allegedly cheated. Nakamura commented that some of the matches which were labelled as possible instances of cheating were not obvious that it was cheating, some of the games, however, were interestingly well-played by Niemann. Nakamura views the games as appearing to be quite normal, although both Nakamura and Naroditsky add that considering that Chess.com published the report, they believe that there has to be some rather solid evidence indicating cheating.
This story is still ongoing, and more information is likely going to surface as time passes. Niemann has been temporarily banned from Chess.com, but has not faced any punishment or reaction from FIDE. As stated earlier, it is predominantly online games which have been examined for possible cheating. Up until recently, online chess games have not had the same prestige as over-the-board games, so even if Niemann is without doubt proven to have cheated online, it is uncertain what kind of effect it will have on over-the-board playing. Nevertheless, even if he is not labelled a cheater, it is possible that other players will be unwilling to play against him in the future. This will, naturally, have an impact on his future as a chess player.

Niemann is not the only person in this which may be facing consequences, Carlsen may expect some reaction from FIDE due to his unacceptable conduct. His conduct is not what one expects from a reigning world champion, and there is really no way to defend how he has approached this, even if it is the case that Niemann did cheat. Carlsen has, however, recently announced that he will not be defending his world championship title in 2023, although he intends on remaining an active player beyond that.

Essentially, this will continue until the FIDE report is published, and hopefully that report will bring clarity to this entire thing and answer all possible questions. As with everything else, it is unlikely that anything will be perfectly solved bringing satisfaction to all possible parties involved in this.



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LeleDE wrote on 08-10 14:26:
LeleDE wrote:
Really lovely layout, wow ❤
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Giveaway2022 wrote on 08-10 12:18:
Giveaway2022 wrote:
Wow coole layout!
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MasileinDE wrote on 08-10 12:08:
MasileinDE wrote:
Klasifikovany wrote:
MasileinDE wrote:
Klasifikovany wrote:
I've heard some theories about the alleged vibrating, such as that it possibly only would occur when there are critical moves but idk.. it sounds a bit too wild to be worth considering as the truth, unless it's actually proven, but it would still be insanity. 

Yeah, cheating isn't really a surprise. My theory is that if it is possible to cheat, people will cheat, and I don't think you can truly succeed in any type of sport without cheating in some way these days. Especially considering that people are caught cheating, and often nowhere near the top when it happens. Either they suck at cheating, or everyone else is just better at cheating than them. Allegedly, in my opinion. 
Oh, I'm just invested in this scandal if it is true and he ends up telling everyone how it works. This is basically my only request when it comes to this whole affair.

Definitely. I mean the same goes when it comes to doping and shit. As soon as there is competition and something to gain, people will go out of their way to assure being the one on top.
We'll have to wait and see really, it's not even 100% sure he has been cheating more than he himself have admitted to, it's really difficult to prove anything. Either way, though, his reputation will remain tainted so if he has cheated, it would be better to admit it and talk about how, and pursue a career in combating cheating, rather than actively playing himself. 

Might as well allow doping at this stage honestly. 
I mean I love that meme of someone saying we should make a doping olympics and just see how far humans can take it. Like how far can they really run, how high really jump. Just fuck some guys up, they get payed enough they obviously don't care about their health. Go on and just make a special olympics and call it "sports unlimited" or something.
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Atencia wrote on 08-10 11:40:
Atencia wrote:
Djinn wrote:
the layout is absolutely stunning. 
thank you 🤍
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Private wrote on 08-10 03:12:
Claire wrote:
i want to believe in the anal beads
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Djinn wrote on 08-10 01:09:
Djinn wrote:
the layout is absolutely stunning. 
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Private wrote on 07-10 22:36:
Wug wrote:
MasileinDE wrote:
Klasifikovany wrote:
MasileinDE wrote:
What made me wonder most when there was this claim of Niemann cheating with the help of electronic anal beads or whatever they said it was ... HOW THE FUCK???? Like, would he have to memorise a specific vibrating pattern to figure out which figurin to move to which spot??? Sending out such a sequence would probably take way too long considering the time limits they have for making their move.

Like I'm not surprised at the cheating. Not in the lest bit surprised at half of the top players being cheaters and earning a shitton money like that. It's a sport with financial reward for winning, OF COURSE there will be people who will cheat for as long as it goes undetected. But I seriously need someone to explain to me how the communication of that vibrating device was meant to function, because holy shit, this is just pure gold.
I've heard some theories about the alleged vibrating, such as that it possibly only would occur when there are critical moves but idk.. it sounds a bit too wild to be worth considering as the truth, unless it's actually proven, but it would still be insanity. 

Yeah, cheating isn't really a surprise. My theory is that if it is possible to cheat, people will cheat, and I don't think you can truly succeed in any type of sport without cheating in some way these days. Especially considering that people are caught cheating, and often nowhere near the top when it happens. Either they suck at cheating, or everyone else is just better at cheating than them. Allegedly, in my opinion. 
Oh, I'm just invested in this scandal if it is true and he ends up telling everyone how it works. This is basically my only request when it comes to this whole affair.

Definitely. I mean the same goes when it comes to doping and shit. As soon as there is competition and something to gain, people will go out of their way to assure being the one on top.
We'll have to wait and see really, it's not even 100% sure he has been cheating more than he himself have admitted to, it's really difficult to prove anything. Either way, though, his reputation will remain tainted so if he has cheated, it would be better to admit it and talk about how, and pursue a career in combating cheating, rather than actively playing himself. 

Might as well allow doping at this stage honestly. 
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MasileinDE wrote on 07-10 21:37:
MasileinDE wrote:
Klasifikovany wrote:
MasileinDE wrote:
What made me wonder most when there was this claim of Niemann cheating with the help of electronic anal beads or whatever they said it was ... HOW THE FUCK???? Like, would he have to memorise a specific vibrating pattern to figure out which figurin to move to which spot??? Sending out such a sequence would probably take way too long considering the time limits they have for making their move.

Like I'm not surprised at the cheating. Not in the lest bit surprised at half of the top players being cheaters and earning a shitton money like that. It's a sport with financial reward for winning, OF COURSE there will be people who will cheat for as long as it goes undetected. But I seriously need someone to explain to me how the communication of that vibrating device was meant to function, because holy shit, this is just pure gold.
I've heard some theories about the alleged vibrating, such as that it possibly only would occur when there are critical moves but idk.. it sounds a bit too wild to be worth considering as the truth, unless it's actually proven, but it would still be insanity. 

Yeah, cheating isn't really a surprise. My theory is that if it is possible to cheat, people will cheat, and I don't think you can truly succeed in any type of sport without cheating in some way these days. Especially considering that people are caught cheating, and often nowhere near the top when it happens. Either they suck at cheating, or everyone else is just better at cheating than them. Allegedly, in my opinion. 
Oh, I'm just invested in this scandal if it is true and he ends up telling everyone how it works. This is basically my only request when it comes to this whole affair.

Definitely. I mean the same goes when it comes to doping and shit. As soon as there is competition and something to gain, people will go out of their way to assure being the one on top.
Report | Quote | X
Private wrote on 07-10 21:21:
Wug wrote:
MasileinDE wrote:
What made me wonder most when there was this claim of Niemann cheating with the help of electronic anal beads or whatever they said it was ... HOW THE FUCK???? Like, would he have to memorise a specific vibrating pattern to figure out which figurin to move to which spot??? Sending out such a sequence would probably take way too long considering the time limits they have for making their move.

Like I'm not surprised at the cheating. Not in the lest bit surprised at half of the top players being cheaters and earning a shitton money like that. It's a sport with financial reward for winning, OF COURSE there will be people who will cheat for as long as it goes undetected. But I seriously need someone to explain to me how the communication of that vibrating device was meant to function, because holy shit, this is just pure gold.
I've heard some theories about the alleged vibrating, such as that it possibly only would occur when there are critical moves but idk.. it sounds a bit too wild to be worth considering as the truth, unless it's actually proven, but it would still be insanity. 

Yeah, cheating isn't really a surprise. My theory is that if it is possible to cheat, people will cheat, and I don't think you can truly succeed in any type of sport without cheating in some way these days. Especially considering that people are caught cheating, and often nowhere near the top when it happens. Either they suck at cheating, or everyone else is just better at cheating than them. Allegedly, in my opinion. 
Report | Quote | X
Private wrote on 07-10 21:18:
Wug wrote:
Lemon wrote:
crazy that sum ppl are saying he has been using... 18+ item-ms for cheating lol
it's truly wild
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Private wrote on 07-10 21:18:
Wug wrote:
Rottomilko wrote:
this is actually kinda interesting
lmao i'm glad someone found it to be in the realm of interesting 
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MasileinDE wrote on 07-10 18:55:
MasileinDE wrote:
What made me wonder most when there was this claim of Niemann cheating with the help of electronic anal beads or whatever they said it was ... HOW THE FUCK???? Like, would he have to memorise a specific vibrating pattern to figure out which figurin to move to which spot??? Sending out such a sequence would probably take way too long considering the time limits they have for making their move.

Like I'm not surprised at the cheating. Not in the lest bit surprised at half of the top players being cheaters and earning a shitton money like that. It's a sport with financial reward for winning, OF COURSE there will be people who will cheat for as long as it goes undetected. But I seriously need someone to explain to me how the communication of that vibrating device was meant to function, because holy shit, this is just pure gold.
Report | Quote | X
Private wrote on 07-10 18:38:
Lemon wrote:
crazy that sum ppl are saying he has been using... 18+ item-ms for cheating lol
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Private wrote on 07-10 18:36:
Rottomilko wrote:
this is actually kinda interesting
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Klavier wrote on 07-10 18:15:
Klavier wrote:
ElaVampire wrote:
...okay..?
???
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ElaVampire wrote on 07-10 18:12:
ElaVampire wrote:
...okay..?



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