Chess’s Governing Body Delays Report on Cheating Scandal
In September, five-time world chess champion Magnus Carlsen caused an uproar when he accused a 19-year-old American player named Hans Niemann of cheating at a tournament in St. Louis. rice field. Carlsen hinted that his opponent was covertly playing moves relayed from an outside source, which Niemann vehemently denied.
When the famous Sinkfield Cup controversy made international headlines, the game’s governing body, the International Chess Federation, known as FIDE, promised a full investigation. The report, which was completed in February, was originally scheduled to be published in April, but According to the organization’s blog post.
Well, I’ve waited a lot longer for an answer.
On Wednesday, federation official Dana Reisnees-Ozola said the organization had “decided to put the matter on hold until at least October of this year due to the possibility of further developments in civil litigation between the parties.” He said the report was late.
The lawsuit at issue follows a $100 million defamation claim filed by Neiman last year against Carlsen, the world’s largest chess website, and Chess.com, which accused Neiman of cheating in online games. is. Top Rank player Hikaru Nakamura was also named in the lawsuit and accused of amplifying Carlsen’s remarks in an online video.
It’s unclear why FIDE thinks it should avoid litigation in which it isn’t a party, but Niemann’s attorney, Terrence Oved, thinks it’s a matter of money. He noted that Chess.com acquired Carlsen’s company, Play Magnus, last year, and that FIDE has financial deals with Play Magnus’s two subsidiaries Chessable and Chess24. For example, in 2021 Chess24 purchased the broadcast rights to FIDE events through 2026..
“Given the strong economic ties between FIDE, Chess.com, Play Magnus and Magnus Carlsen,” Oved wrote in an email. He has been very positive about Neiman and has raised serious concerns that this scandal is more serious than expected. ”
FIDE’s director of communications, David Llada, said the decision to postpone the release of the report and any possible disciplinary action was made by the organization’s ethics and disciplinary committee, not by the organization’s president or senior officials. .
“EDC is professional and acts in the best interest of FIDE and the chess community,” said Llada. “They also act with the utmost independence from FIDE to remain impartial.”
In the chess world, there was hope that this report would reveal exactly what happened last year in St. Louis, one of the strangest and loudest chess controversies in the history of the game.
It started when Niemann defeated Carlsen, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, in an early match in the round-robin Sinkfield Cup. A surprising win, but quickly overshadowed by Carlsen’s quick exit from the tournament. The internet was soon flooded with theories about how Niemann secreted a radio device into his body. In a post-match interview at the Cup, Niemann offered to play naked in a room where radio signals were blocked to prove he was playing clean.
Two weeks after the tournament ended, Carlsen made it clear that he was leaving in a hurry.
“I believe Niemann has committed more wrongdoing than he has publicly admitted, and more recently,” he said. Carlsen wrote on Twitter. He continued that Niemann didn’t seem particularly nervous in the crucial moment and beat him “in a way that only a handful of players think they can”, which made him suspicious, he continued.
This was far from conclusive evidence, but it’s not long after Carlsen’s tweet, Chess.com. Published a lengthy report on Neimann’s online playand said it was very likely that he had cheated more than 100 times.
In an interview last year, Niemann admitted to cheating in an online game when he was younger and said he deeply regretted it. I stressed that I never cheated.
Many in the chess world did not believe him. In a lawsuit filed in October, Neiman’s attorneys said their client was “severely” defamed by Carlsen and Chess.com, putting them at the “center of what is now widely reported as the biggest chess scandal in history.” rice field.
Chess.com CEO Erik Allebest said: Magnus Carlsen’s father and adviser Henrik Carlsen declined to comment.
The Sinkfield Cup match between Carlsen and Neiman has become one of the most studied in decades. Rather, they said, Carlsen made some very uncharacteristic mistakes. Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand said:
The full report remains confidential, but one important detail is known. FIDE retained his science professor of computer science at the University of Buffalo named Kenneth Regan, who developed what is widely considered the world’s most sophisticated fraud detection algorithm. pulse.
Reagan was asked by the Chess Federation to study Niemann’s play in the Sinkfield Cup and other board tournaments. Did he find evidence that Niemann was deceived?
“Definitely no,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “And there is nothing more to say about it.”
Time is slowly adding weight to this verdict. Niemann continues to play in professional tournaments and he keeps getting better and better. His rating is higher than it was during his Cup at Sinkfield and now exceeds the threshold of 2700 that separates simply good players from the most elite. He was ranked 49th in the world when the Sinkfield Cup started. Today he is ranked 31st.