By Beau Cline
Competitive chess number 1 competitor, Magnus Carslen has recently been involved in a cheating scandal against 19 year old Hans Nimemann. Cheating in chess isn’t a new trend, but with the rise in popularity of online chess, cheating has been seen at an even higher rate than ever before. Chess.com has come out saying “Cheating has plagued online chess websites.” They ban approximately 500 accounts a day for cheating.
However this scandal covers a different type of cheating. Hans Nimemann, the 19 year accused of cheating, entered the 2022 Sinquefield round robin tournament where he faced Magnus Carlsen in the first round. This should have been a fairly simple match for the number 1 Grandmaster in the world, seeing as he was chosen to be the white pieces. Which he had a 53 game winning streak with. In competitive chess the white pieces play first, giving them a slight advantage. However, that was not the case for this match. Nimemann Played an outstanding match against Carlsen putting his 53 game winning streak to an end.
Immediately after the match Multiple Grandmasters decided to investigate the match. Infamous Ken Regan, a chess investigator known as “The world’s greatest chess cheating expert”, said “Niemann played well. But not too well.” After hearing this from Ken that should’ve been the end of this controversy. However Carlsen continues to imply that Nimann cheated in his match, but when asked about it after resigning from his most recent match against Nimann he discloses “Unfortunately I cannot particularly speak on that.”
While Carlsen continues to imply that Niemann cheated, other GMs have pitched in on the topic. The man who defeated Niemann later on in the tournament, Levon Aronain defended Hans in a post game interview. “Well, I think it quite often happens when young players play very well. There is all these accusations toward them. All of my colleagues are pretty much paranoid,”.
While most of the evidence points to Hans Niemann not cheating, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. Until Magnus Carlsen comes out with his statement against Niemann we can count his win as a legal victory.