December 1, 2022

Chess.com investigation alleges 'possible' fraud by Hans Niemann

Chess.com investigation alleges ‘possible’ fraud by Hans Niemann

In a 72-page report released Tuesday night, a major online chess platform found that Hans Niemann “probably cheated” on its site more frequently and at a much later age than he publicly admitted.

Nieman, a 19-year-old American teacher, was in The center of a storm in the world of chess Since early last month, when the shock victory over world number one Magnus Carlsen followed, Carlsen hinted that something terrible had happened. Nieman later He said He cheated in matches on Chess.com when he was aged 12 and 16, but insisted he has not since repeated what he described as a “very, very big mistake”. Neiman added that he had never cheated “in a tournament with prize money.”

Then Carlsen, a great Norwegian teacher, organized a protest against Niemann Withdrawal from the rematch After playing only one move. Late last month, Carlsen gave voice to his actions and Niemann accused of “cheating – more recently – than he has publicly admitted”. Tuesday report from Chess.comwhich bills itself as “the number one online chess platform,” added some support to Carlsen’s unspecified accusations.

Referring to its “best in class” cheat detection system, the site claimed that Niemann was “probably cheated” in more than 100 online games, including some that occurred after he turned 17 and occurred at prize money events.

In the game of chess, a long history of cheating, deception, and cold war hoaxes

Meanwhile, Chess.com said its investigation failed to uncover an abundance of “concrete statistical evidence” that Neiman cheated in his big win (that is, in person) over Carlsen or in a number of other OTB games. Toys. However, the site added that it found certain “suspicious” aspects of this victory, which broke Carlsen’s winning streak in the 53 OTB games even though Neiman played from a slightly unfavorable black position and noted that he was “statistically exceptional.” rise in sport.

Niemann has not publicly commented on Chess.com’s results, which were first mentioned By The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. is assigned to compete at the American Chess Championship, which begins Wednesday in St. Louis. Louis Chess Club, which hosts the OTB tournament, did not specifically address Neiman in response to a request for comment, but did express the club’s commitment to preventing cheating in general.

“We are proud to be able to host the best chess players from around the world at the St. Louis Chess Club,” CEO Tony Rich said in a statement Wednesday morning. “As with all events, it is essential that we maintain high standards of fair tournament play. We have always had – and will continue to have – extensive anti-fraud measures.

“As we prepare for the upcoming US Chess Championship and the US Women’s Chess Championship, we expect to host another successful event, complete with strict protocols to ensure that the best chess players in the country can continue to compete on an even playing field.”

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Chess.com said it had removed Niemann from its platform and barred him from participating in a major competition it was organizing. The site said that it dealt with him in complete secrecy, while adhering to his usual policy, and did not begin to announce it until formulations About his situation after talking about their dealings. Chess.com said Niemann had previously been suspended from the site and admitted to cheating, after “the cheat detection program and team exposed a suspicious game” at the time.

“We believe Hans is an incredibly strong player and talented individual,” Chess.com stated in their report. “However, given his history on our site, we did not believe we could guarantee that he would play fairly in our online events so that we could re-evaluate our evidence and protocols. However, to be clear, it is not our position that Hans should be restricted or banned from playing chess. OTB”.

The International Chess Federation (FIDE), the sport’s governing body, announce In late September, it launched an investigation into Carlsen’s accusations of cheating and Neiman’s comments on the matter. FIDE said the investigation will be led by members of the Fair Play Committee and will include “the possibility of inviting consultations with external experts where analysis is required”. Chess.com has indicated a willingness to cooperate with the FIDE investigation if requested to do so.

Cheating by a chess player, particularly in an online game, may involve connection to a computer or chess engine, capable of playing at a higher level than any human can access.

Chess.com noted: “Most chess engines use neural networks that have been trained on millions of high-level chess games to gain the deepest strategic understanding of chess.” “They also have almost infallible tactical computations, where they can look at more than 40 moves deep into the center and calculate potential outcomes.”

Niemann allegedly used such an engine in OTB matches, although his means to do so is still in the realm of speculation.

Carlsen said that during his loss last month, he “had the impression that [Niemann] She wasn’t nervous or even fully focused on the match in the crucial situations, while I was being swayed as black in a way that I think only a handful of guys could do.”

Arousing the suspicions of others was Niemann’s gentle response after Carlsen made a relatively unusual opening. Nieman He said Then “by some miracle” he explored the possibility of that sequence happening earlier in the day, adding, “It’s so absurd that I checked it out.”

In its report, Chess.com noted other post-game comments by Niemann, in which he suggested a move that would have been taken and then asked to see an engine rating for the move.

The report stated that “this analysis and reliance on the engine appear to conflict with the level of preparation Hans claimed to have in the game and the level of analysis required to defeat the world chess champion.”

Chess.com claimed that its cheat detection system — which uses comparisons of both the engine-recommended moves and a given player’s competitive profile, as well as input from a “panel of trained analysts” — led to confessions from four players in the FIDE Top 100. In addition, the system was said to have resulted in the closing of online accounts of “dozens” of the greats, as well as hundreds of other notable players.

The site reiterated that it “was not aware of any concrete evidence that Hans cheated on the board or that he had ever cheated on the board.” Chess.com added that while some of Niemann’s recent online play seemed suspicious, it was unaware of evidence that he cheated after August 2020. Chess.com also played down the potential for widespread fraud on its platform, saying it estimates it to be less than 0.14%. of its users engage in such behaviour.

“Our events are largely free of fraud,” Chess.com said in the report. “We firmly believe that chess cheating is rare, preventable, and far less widespread than is currently portrayed in the media.”