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    Hans Niemann is suspected of multi-party cheating

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    The loudest scandal in chess in recent years, at the center of which was the young American grandmaster Hans Niemann, who was accused of cheating by world champion Magnus Carlsen, has developed. The most popular online chess platform Chess.com has published the results of its research. Its authors claim that Nieman used “illegal help” in more than a hundred online games. Chess.com also noted the “statistical extraordinaryness” of the American’s results and ranking progress in the traditional offline format, calling for an investigation into him. However, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) has already managed to initiate it.

    Chess.com, the most popular chess platform, which has about 100 million registered users and constantly hosts fairly large tournaments, including featuring well-known grandmasters, published a 72-page report. It was the result of a study launched by resource specialists based on an extremely high-profile scandal.

    It broke out in early September at the Sinquefield Cup supertournament in St. Louis. It was where world champion Magnus Carlsen withdrew from prestigious competitions before the fourth round, immediately after losing in the third to the low-ranking 19-year-old Hans Niemann. Carlsen did not officially explain the reasons for refusing to compete, but made it quite clear that he suspected the young American of cheating, that is, using hints. — Julius Baer Generation Cup. Meeting with Hans Niemann again, Carlsen surprised the audience with another demarche. In the game, he made only one move, and after the second move by his opponent, he announced that he was giving up and disconnected from the broadcast. This time, however, the Norwegian did not limit himself to hints, but directly said that he did not want to “play against people who were engaged in cheating in the past.” Moreover, he clarified that, in his opinion, Nieman resorted to him “much more often” than follows from his confession. Magnus Carlsen was referring to the interview with the American, in which he said that he did indeed use hints in online games, but only twice and a long time ago, at the age of 12 and 16.

    chess community. However, there was no consensus on whether the champion’s actions were justified.

    Meanwhile, the Chess.com report clearly speaks in favor of those who support Magnus Carlsen. His conclusions are based on an analysis of Hans Niemann’s games played in recent years both at the chessboard and in front of a computer screen. And conducting it, the experts took into account several factors. The main one is traditional for everyone who is trying to detect cheating: this is the percentage of moves made by a chess player that coincides with the “first line” of the “engine”, that is, with the strongest moves according to a powerful chess computer program. In addition, Chess.com resorted to consulting analysts and “monitoring” the behavior of the player during the game. In this case, experts first of all look at whether he opens some other sites on the same device during it or not.

    The summary of the platform seems shocking and completely refutes the claims of Hans Niemann. Its experts believe that it is “very likely” that Nieman used “illegal help” in “more than a hundred online games”, including games in tournaments with prize money at stake.

    As for performances Hans Niemann offline, Chess.com refrained from making such unambiguous conclusions. However, the authors of the study, in fact, fully agreed with the remark of Magnus Carlsen, who called the progress of the American “unusual”. They also drew attention to the rapid and spasmodic changes in his rating. Back in the middle of the previous decade, it was quite modest, fluctuating around the 2300 mark, but then it began to grow rapidly. Chess.com emphasizes that Nieman managed to add 350 points in four years, although even phenomenal prodigies take longer to progress. And during this ascent in Hans Niemann’s career, there was an incredible productivity segment lasting only three months, when he raised his rating from 2500 to 2600. he is only one point away from what is considered to be exceptional skill.

    Chess.com, describing the impressions that arose during the analysis, called Niemann’s rise, as well as at least some of his tournament results, “statistically extraordinary.” In addition, the study states that no player in “modern history” has made such rapid ascents in the rating. that the features of his career “deserve further investigation”. However, this investigation has already been initiated by the leading structure in chess. FIDE announced last week that it was creating a special group of three members of the federation’s fair play commission to hold it.

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