The Nepo Shuffle -- The 2021 World Chess Championship

SumnerH

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The whole affair is a fascinating exercise in conformation bias. Many people idolize Carlsen and so they leap to the conclusion that he would not have implied cheating without having some evidence. Many think that Niemann's fake accent is goofy and so he is a fake, and he couldn't have beaten Carlsen over he board, and therefore must have cheated and his fast rise is suspect.

But there are other possible explanations. Carlsen has acted rashly in the past (walking out of press conference in Fabi match), and perhaps he did so here because he lost to a kid, and cant believe it happened. And so he casts blame on Nieman rather than accept the loss (and the possible start of the erosion of his grip on he chess world).

By contrast, the fact that Nieman cheated online at 12 and 16 can be attributed to the rash actions of a child. Its fa harder to pull that off at a premier over the board event. And so perhaps his recent rise and defeat of Carlsen show a ate blooming talent.

Agaard's take on all this resonates with me
I totally agree that trying to read the tea leaves re: Niemann's accent, post-game analysis, etc is essentially an exercise in confirmation bias. And Niemann definitely comes off as believable to me in this video.

OTOH, Aagaard is obviously full of shit when he claims that Nakamura's is “void of an actual accusation of cheating”. Hikaru starts off hemming and hawing, but by the end of that stream he has explicitly said that Niemann cheated in the past, and has all but said that he thinks he's cheating now. The real problem there is that Hikaru's a fucking blowhard who has a history of making provocative claims with no evidence.

I don't really believe that Carlsen cares about his grip on the chess world at this point. If he did, he'd be defending his title. He's fully in DGAF moment with respect to the greater chess world now. Hell, listen to him on the Fridman podcast recorded before this incident but that came out today: he honestly sounds like someone who wants people to challenge him and beat him, even advocating for a tournament where top-10 players play each other anonymously so that nobody's intimidated when they play him.*

And he didn't go off the rails when other young players beat him in the past (Aagard acknowledges this with Praag); he's been around for a couple of decades and this is unprecedented. I think he truly believes something is up. But his withdrawal is the only real piece of evidence we have in this case, and that could very easily be mistaken or confused.

Niemann's prior cheating is problematic; dismissing it is unrealistic. Yeah, it could be dismissed as the rash actions of a child. Alternatively, one could argue that he's a proven cheater over a more than 5-year span, most recently less than 3 years ago, and even his explanation of it in this video had internal contradictions that didn't make sense (as I said above, I think that's attributable to simple misphrasing, but it's still there). I get why that's something that sticks in people's craws, and it certainly doesn't earn him the benefit of the doubt.

To me, his denial in the video rings true. If no other evidence comes out, I'm inclined to believe him.

But that's a big if. We're still super early in the process, as much as the Internet has lit itself on fire and micro-analyzed everything in a manner that seems like it's taken forever. It's basically up to whether either Magnus turned over any actual evidence and/or an investigation finds anything concrete.


Sidebar: GothamChess, Eric Rosen, and Naroditsky have been level-headed throughout this. Danya did mention during stream that cheating in live chess events is far easier than people think, but that was in a pretty abstract manner and was followed up quickly by a statement that he doesn't have any evidence that Hans did so. And he ended his discussion saying Magnus “needs to shit or get off the pot.” All 3 of them have , thus far, avoided big hot takes. Levy kind of had to address it since he's recapping the tournament and has one of the biggest chess platforms, but he did so without fanning the flames:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-q64bPo0J0

*Magnus from that interview:

...the only world championship after that that I really enjoyed was the one in 2018 against the American Fabiano Caruana. And what made that different is that I'd been kind of slumping for a bit and he'd been on the rise, so our ratings were very very similar. They were so close that if at any point during the match I'd lost a game, he would have been ranked as number 1 in the world...

...right before the World Championship match, there was this young player, Alireza Firouzja who had a dramatic rise. He rose to second in the world rankings, he was 18 then, he's 19 now. He qualified for the Candidates, and it felt like there was like at least a half realistic possibility that he could be the challenger for the next World Championship. And that sort of lit a fire under me. I liked that a lot. I loved the idea of playing him in the next World Championship… So that made me think, "you know, this actually motivates me."...

...I think people would play a lot better if they played against an anonymous me. I would love to have a tournament online where let's say you play 10 of the best players in the world, and for each round, you don't know who you're playing.


[Unrelated]

It is quite fascinating that all those years ago, they created the knights and the bishop without probably realizing that they would be almost equally strong with such different qualities.
 
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CSteinhardt

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The problem is that proving cheating in chess is essentially impossible. Rausis was essentially known to be cheating for a couple of years before he was finally caught. A consequence of the computers being so much stronger than the humans is that you don't even need to enlist an expert to help, pretty much anybody with a phone. So it's pretty much always going to be a circumstantial case. Further, the nature of classical chess is that a strong (but not 2800-level) player doesn't need help on most moves; one or two key moves during a game is often enough to swing the outcome. Cheating isn't nearly as hard as we'd like it to be.

With that said, the circumstantial case is pretty compelling.

First off, the player we're talking about has cheated twice before. He was a minor at the time, but he's also only 19; cheating at age 16 isn't all that long ago (it was during the early stages of the pandemic). The explanation he gave was that he was underrated and just wanted a chance to play higher-rated players. Well, that's exactly what he said about his classical chess in an interview a few months ago. So the idea that he wouldn't cheat doesn't really work here.

There have also been whispers about this for well over a year now, like with Rausis (who took over two years before he was caught). And like Rausis, there has been an immediate major jump in strength.

Further, the interviews he's giving with analysis are crazy. When he was asked about key positions in the game, he wasn't able to produce strong analysis. People forget their prep all the time, even at this level. So it's not crazy that he'd misremember a game he played a couple of years ago or something like that. But no player at pretty much any serious level would finish playing 5 hour game in which they spent those 5 hours calculating variations and be unable to discuss the variations they considered. Usually the first thing players do when a result is reached is discuss some of their analysis with each other to find out whether their opponent calculated key ideas in the same way. I cannot understand how any human player would play chess at that level without calculating variations and considering different lines. It's just not how you play chess.

Finally, the prep he was talking about is also insane. Players definitely get the dates wrong, but they always remember the games. If the only game you've ever seen from a player gets there by transposition, that's not where you'd focus your prep. And nobody else in the tournament plays that line (at least given the draw for colors), so it's not prep against another player. Oh, and if he's talking about prepping 20 moves deep for this position, the 2019 Carlsen-So game deviates much, much earlier. So that deep prep is for some sort of weird side line that Carlsen has never played. It's possible that he's done the prep for some other reason and didn't want to disclose what prompted it, but you'd never prep this as a g3 Nimzo. The explanation he gave in his interview was more convincing - that you'd prep it as a transposition from the Catalan. But of course that also means he was lying with the explanation he gave for his prep before.

So it doesn't add up, and the top players, who are around him more regularly and have more of a chance to see his analysis, are clearly convinced he's cheating. Carlsen's withdrawal is a clear indication that he's certain about it.

But that also doesn't mean he's actually cheating. And if he is indeed cheating, it's unlikely to be proven anytime soon. If Carlsen had any direct evidence of cheating, he wouldn't be the one that exited the tournament. So it's going to continue to be only a circumstantial case and a matter of opinion, and that's bad for everybody involved.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Computer aided cheating is not that hard to detect. Or at least to build a decent case. Non-human moves stick out and players have a track record that can be analyzed. Using an engine to give you optimal moves but then dumbing them down to play a human-looking game is hard. It is especially hard over the board I would think.

Neimann played a very human game well within the bounds of avoiding engine outliers. Carlsen played an inaccurate game. I haven’t seen a single person analyze the game and say there were engine like moves. Danya and Levy know cheating in about 5 seconds when they stream against cheaters. Not even Nakamura is alleging that.

But, you know, a device in the shoe sending good but suboptimal moves during an over the board game? I am skeptical. Plus, the entire chess world has been highly motivated to find engine looking moves in Neimann’s games since he was 16. Have you seen any?

So what are we talking about? Hacking? A mole?

Reading tea leaves from Neimann’s post game comments is the worst kind of evidence to me. Some players are pinpoint accurate in post game comments. Others come across as borderline incoherent. If getting a little spacy about positions in post game interviews is evidence of cheating, then Alireza is the biggest cheater of all time.

I am with Sumner. The strongest evidence of cheating here is the fact that Carlsen has alleged it. And while he may be a little more of a prima donna than his public perception, there is no doubt to me that he understands the gravity of what he has done, and he is comfortable letting Neimann twist in the wind under the burden of the allegation. This would be a cruel thing for Magnus to do if he did not actually believe there was foul play. And I do not think he is cruel. So he believes it, I believe.

That is very strong evidence to me. He would be in a very good position to know. But it is the only thing that points to cheating to me, other than the fact that Neimann has done it before online.
 

CSteinhardt

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Computer aided cheating is not that hard to detect. Or at least to build a decent case. Non-human moves stick out and players have a track record that can be analyzed. Using an engine to give you optimal moves but then dumbing them down to play a human-looking game is hard. It is especially hard over the board I would think.

Neimann played a very human game well within the bounds of avoiding engine outliers. Carlsen played an inaccurate game. I haven’t seen a single person analyze the game and say there were engine like moves. Danya and Levy know cheating in about 5 seconds when they stream against cheaters. Not even Nakamura is alleging that.

But, you know, a device in the shoe sending good but suboptimal moves during an over the board game? I am skeptical. Plus, the entire chess world has been highly motivated to find engine looking moves in Neimann’s games since he was 16. Have you seen any?
Catching online cheaters is usually easy because online cheaters generally aren't very good. If I simply replace myself with an engine, it's not going to look very human. And most online cheaters aren't very good players, so that's the only option they have. But a clever cheater is much harder to catch, and I'm certain I could use an engine to raise my rating a few hundred points in a way that's undetectable.

The better plan (which is what Rausis was doing) is to get help on a couple of key moves each game, and good players generally know when it's a critical situation. The rest of the game will look entirely human, and so it's hard to detect what's going on. The most suspicious thing I've seen in this tournament is 19. Qg3 against Firouzja. And what really set alarm bells off is that his explanation was essentially not any sort of analysis - even if you play that essentially as a bluff, you definitely look at the variations and he didn't mention any. And even if he played it prematurely, he then got to sit there for 20 minutes waiting to see if Firouzja would go for dxc4. So he should definitely have calculated some variations. It's like Rosie Ruiz not knowing what splits she ran.

He's not sitting back and having an engine play for him - he's a GM capable of playing high-level chess without assistance. But I think you're underestimating how little help a 2600 needs to play like a 2800-level player. And that's really the problem - the margins are so small that unless you catch somebody with a phone in the bathroom like Rausis, a cheater who is also very strong is very difficult to detect.
 

Bread of Yaz

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Computer aided cheating is not that hard to detect. Or at least to build a decent case. Non-human moves stick out and players have a track record that can be analyzed. Using an engine to give you optimal moves but then dumbing them down to play a human-looking game is hard. It is especially hard over the board I would think.

Neimann played a very human game well within the bounds of avoiding engine outliers. Carlsen played an inaccurate game. I haven’t seen a single person analyze the game and say there were engine like moves. Danya and Levy know cheating in about 5 seconds when they stream against cheaters. Not even Nakamura is alleging that.

But, you know, a device in the shoe sending good but suboptimal moves during an over the board game? I am skeptical. Plus, the entire chess world has been highly motivated to find engine looking moves in Neimann’s games since he was 16. Have you seen any?

So what are we talking about? Hacking? A mole?

Reading tea leaves from Neimann’s post game comments is the worst kind of evidence to me. Some players are pinpoint accurate in post game comments. Others come across as borderline incoherent. If getting a little spacy about positions in post game interviews is evidence of cheating, then Alireza is the biggest cheater of all time.

I am with Sumner. The strongest evidence of cheating here is the fact that Carlsen has alleged it. And while he may be a little more of a prima donna than his public perception, there is no doubt to me that he understands the gravity of what he has done, and he is comfortable letting Neimann twist in the wind under the burden of the allegation. This would be a cruel thing for Magnus to do if he did not actually believe there was foul play. And I do not think he is cruel. So he believes it, I believe.

That is very strong evidence to me. He would be in a very good position to know. But it is the only thing that points to cheating to me, other than the fact that Neimann has done it before online.
But Carlsen has given no details, comments or evidence to support his decision to withdraw. How is his unsupported (at the moment) opinion that Neiman heated "evidence"? I have seen zero so far. (Lawyer here)
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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But Carlsen has given no details, comments or evidence to support his decision to withdraw. How is his unsupported (at the moment) opinion that Neiman heated "evidence"? I have seen zero so far. (Lawyer here)
It's not "evidence" in the courtroom sense. I can use a different word if that's better.

Carlsen believes that Neimann cheated. To me, that's important and worth considering. If others disagree, I understand.
 
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When I think about Neimann, I keep also thinking about Patrick Reed - any other golf fans here? (I mean, if you squint and give them similar hairstyles, they almost look a bit like each other as well.) The main difference being that for some reason, I like Neimann and really want his win over Magnus to be legit.

Where does everyone else stand in terms of your rooting interest here? I mean, I hope we're all rooting for Neimann to be clean here...but do you guys like him or not like him? For that matter, do you like Magnus or not like Magnus?
 

SumnerH

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I like Magnus. I don't really have any opinion on Neimann. I hope that he's not cheating and there's clear evidence of that and that Magnus apologizes.

But I'm not sure what evidence of not cheating would look like, which makes accusations without supporting evidence super shitty.
 

Bread of Yaz

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The thing that is driving me a bit crazy is Carlsen just up and leaving without providing the basis for his belief that Nieman cheated. The best explanation I can surmise is that the tournament organizers discussed the situation with him, and for whatever reason didn't find the evidence compelling enough to kick Nieman out right then and there (perhaps feared a lawsuit). And so Carlsen was a miffed and decided to pull up stakes, and perhaps they asked him as a compromise to keep things under wraps until the tournament was over. Anyone else make sense of the way it went down?
 

SumnerH

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The thing that is driving me a bit crazy is Carlsen just up and leaving without providing the basis for his belief that Nieman cheated.
Isn't it against FIDE rules to make evidence public? “All information about complaints and investigations shall remain confidential until an investigation is completed by the FPL.”

You report to the TD/FIDE and they handle it.

Hence his tweet, which said he was withdrawing and then linked the Mourinho “If I speak I am in big trouble” clip.
 

Bread of Yaz

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Isn't it against FIDE rules to make evidence public? “All information about complaints and investigations shall remain confidential until an investigation is completed by the FPL.”

You report to the TD/FIDE and they handle it.

Hence his tweet, which said he was withdrawing and then linked the Mourinho “If I speak I am in big trouble” clip.
Except Carlsen is the world champion, and can pretty much do what he pleases. Plus, this is one of the premier chess events in the world, and so the silent withdrawal has generated a torrent of speculation that seems to me to be creating a rather negative portrait of the game. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, as Justice Brandeis said.
 

SumnerH

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Except Carlsen is the world champion, and can pretty much do what he pleases. Plus, this is one of the premier chess events in the world, and so the silent withdrawal has generated a torrent of speculation that seems to me to be creating a rather negative portrait of the game. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, as Justice Brandeis said.
Carlsen can't go public with allegations without being sanctioned by FIDE. His initial “not really an allegation but obviously an allegation” tweet looks kinda shitty, for sure; if you can't go public, don't “go public”.

FIDE should have made some sort of public statement by now, even if it's just “we've started an investigation, we'll let you know what we find.”

chess.com's statement is a bombshell. It's clearly saying that they believe Hans lied in his interview, and showed him evidence thereof.
 
Especially after his loss yesterday, I'm kina surprised Hans doesn't withdraw from the tournament as well - there's no way he can be fully cope with all of the pressure he's feeling and continue to play his best chess, is there? (Unless he's a psychopath, which doesn't seem to be 100% out of the realm of possibility...)
 

Bread of Yaz

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Especially after his loss yesterday, I'm kina surprised Hans doesn't withdraw from the tournament as well - there's no way he can be fully cope with all of the pressure he's feeling and continue to play his best chess, is there? (Unless he's a psychopath, which doesn't seem to be 100% out of the realm of possibility...)
I watched his interview again and this is in fact a real possibility. Its possible that he used the vigor of his defense of the allegations to obscure what is going on. And that he made a partial admission of past cheating to generate sympathy for the current fight.

In a "the lady doth protest too much" moment, he said something along the lines of "chess is my whole life" and "I would do anything to get better at chess" - both of which suggests an unhealthy fixation which could explain why he decided to cheat to improve his rating.

Chess drama better than NBA drama?
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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When I think about Neimann, I keep also thinking about Patrick Reed - any other golf fans here? (I mean, if you squint and give them similar hairstyles, they almost look a bit like each other as well.) The main difference being that for some reason, I like Neimann and really want his win over Magnus to be legit.

Where does everyone else stand in terms of your rooting interest here? I mean, I hope we're all rooting for Neimann to be clean here...but do you guys like him or not like him? For that matter, do you like Magnus or not like Magnus?
Really good question.

I like Magnus a lot. He's arrogant and he doesn't always wield his immense power in the chess world with the most grace and class, but he does pretty well in those departments. I think he's honestly refreshing and although his Scandinavian bluntness can come across as insincere or immodest, I don't actually see it that way. He's actually subversively funny. I think he has a healthy respect for the game, but he's not sycophantic about it. In athletic sports, other than the Patriots because I was born to them, I generally am repulsed by front runners. Duke, Notre Dame, the 1980s Cowboys, whatever. I hate them all and want them to lose. But I root for Magnus to win. I like how he plays chess.

I also like Neimann. I very much want the story of him having early morning prep that helped him fairly take down the champ with the black pieces to be true. I want the story of a reformed online cheater who dedicated himself to chess and who sometimes says things that kids say during interviews and who is a new force in chess to be true. I like that story, and he would be a good guy to have that story.

My biggest thought about all this is that it would be intolerably unfair for what's happening to him to be happening if he didn't cheat. It would be a dramatic pile on, enforced by a this-can't-happen hierarchy and status quo in chess, and I respond very poorly to that kind of unfairness. And so I think the burden should be heavy on trying to avoid that.

The life of this story so far has been very long in internet terms, but very short in chess terms. So we may just need to let it play out. The idea that Magnus can withdraw, post a snarky video plainly implying foul play but taking refuge in "I can't talk about it," and not follow up at all to clarify while Neimann twists in the wind may or may not be ok. It's ok if Neimann cheated. It's intolerable if he didn't. I really don't care about what FIDE regulations say about what Magnus can or can't say. What are they going to do to him if he issues some follow up -- even just "people should not jump to conclusions and let the process take its course" or whatever? He lit a fire and he's letting it burn, and I cannot imagine that doing something like that would cause him to be brought up on ethics charges.
 

Bread of Yaz

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I’m not much of a chess fan since playing it with my dad as a kid. I’m hoping my mom finds the set we used to play on…anyhow. Despite not thinking of chess much in decades beyond watching “The Queen’s Gambit” here’s a headline I’d never thought I’d see.

https://www.sportbible.com/other/chess-anal-beads-magnus-carlsen-20220914.amp.html
This shows why the Internet is so lame/dangerous/etc: it started as a total joke by Hansen on his stream the day after the Niemman news broke. It was not an allegation or anything remotely serious
 

SumnerH

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A quantitative analysis undertaken by Ken Regan concludes no cheating by Niemann.

Is Hans Niemann cheating? - World renowned expert Ken Regan analyzes | ChessBase
If you listen to what he says, he says he couldn't detect if cheating was only used for a move or two in a game. Which is what all the GMs say is how cheating works at high levels.

His approach is also only a small part of the full system that chess.com uses; their full system does more than just looking at the moves in order (they also look at the time to make moves, tab switching events in the browser, etc). Not only did it find that Niemann cheated, but Niemann himself admitted that and served his time without protest.
 

Bread of Yaz

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If you listen to what he says, he says he couldn't detect if cheating was only used for a move or two in a game. Which is what all the GMs say is how cheating works at high levels.

His approach is also only a small part of the full system that chess.com uses; their full system does more than just looking at the moves in order (they also look at the time to make moves, tab switching events in the browser, etc). Not only did it find that Niemann cheated, but Niemann himself admitted that and served his time without protest.
I did listen to what he said. He analyzed the last two years of games -- which is after the cheating that Niemann admitted to as a 12 and 16 year old that Chess.com detected.

He also said that he shared his findings (that Niemann's moves were not outside of the expected range) with Chess.com. it will be interesting to see whether they respond to his work.

PS Where did Chess.com publish their full system for analyzing fair play?
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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AFAIK if there's an investigation ongoing then he's not allowed to say anything.
Then he should have played yesterday and he should not have posted the Mourinho video. Can't have it both ways.

Plus, I agree that there's nothing that would happen if he made a simple statement that was something like, "I plan to make a full statement at the appropriate time."
 

SumnerH

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Then he should have played yesterday and he should not have posted the Mourinho video.
Absolutely agree that posting the Mourinho video was BS. If you know you can't talk about things, don't make insinuations.

Whether he should've played yesterday depends on exactly what he thinks Nepo did and how certain he is.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Absolutely agree that posting the Mourinho video was BS. If you know you can't talk about things, don't make insinuations.

Whether he should've played yesterday depends on exactly what he thinks Nepo did and how certain he is.
Ha! Now it's Nepo's fault. :0)

Yeah, I guess there's something to that but it's getting harder and harder to believe that he has some ironclad cheating evidence that nobody else has. Aronian did take a bit of a seeming swipe at Neimann though saying that he was making unusual moves.
 

SumnerH

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Ha! Now it's Nepo's fault. :0)
Oops.

Yeah, I guess there's something to that but it's getting harder and harder to believe that he has some ironclad cheating evidence that nobody else has. Aronian did take a bit of a seeming swipe at Neimann though saying that he was making unusual moves.
Aronian originally started in Neimann's corner but even before the game today had begun vacillating a bit publicly. OTOH, if you listen to the "strange moves" interview, he goes on to downplay the allegations later on.

The real fun comes if Magnus and Hans meet in the knockout round. If Magnus drops out there, I'll start thinking his intent is to take down FIDE (or their current leadership).
 

SumnerH

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FIDE's Norwegian VP says and director Sutovsky confirms that they're aware of the situation and to expect a statement in a few days' time.

View: https://twitter.com/chess24com/status/1572613460806057986

EDIT: Top comment on the tweet is “This is going to be such a non-comment it's funny”, which has me half hoping that FIDE's statement is something like “We're aware of the allegations and continue to monitor the situation closely.”
 

SumnerH

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View: https://twitter.com/ChrisBirdIA/status/1572615484654358529


To all the folks who contacted me looking for comments/interviews: As Chief Arbiter of the 2022 #SinquefieldCup I would only say "one player withdrew for personal reasons, and there is no indication that any player played unfairly in any of those games."
The “we have no indication that any player played unfairly” part is fine.

The “withdrew for personal reasons” part is pretty weaselly. The Sinquefield Cup immediately increased anti-cheating measures following Magnus' withdrawal.
 

SumnerH

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And Magnus speaks. Sort of.

Basically says he can't say anything, then throws some more innuendo at the wall, then the interviewer adds some wild speculation, then Magnus says he hopes to say more after the tournament.

Q: The whole world is wondering, Magnus, what was the reason you withdrew from that game?
A : Haha. Yeah unfortunately I cannot...cannot particularly speak on that. But you know, people can draw their own conclusion and they certainly have. I have to say I am very impressed by Neimann's play and I think his mentor Maxim Dlugy must be doing a great job....

Q: Can you confirm or not confirm that it has to do with with suspecting him of cheating?
A: I will not comment on that.

Q: Magnus you mentioned a name there, I think maybe a trainer of Hans Niemann, that he is doing a good job, can you say more about that, is it because you think he is helping Hans in the games?
A: No, I will not say more about that subject.

Q: Will you at some point make some comment on all the fuss that is going on?
A: Yeah I hope to say a little bit more after the tournament.
For context: Dlugy has been banned for cheating himself, and is (or was) one of Niemann's coaches.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1l68GyraXk&t=13474s
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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And Magnus speaks. Sort of.

Basically says he can't say anything, then throws some more innuendo at the wall, then the interviewer adds some wild speculation, then Magnus says he hopes to say more after the tournament.



For context: Dlugy has been banned for cheating himself, and is (or was) one of Niemann's coaches.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1l68GyraXk&t=13474s
Yeah, the part that's rubbing me the wrong way is Magnus trying to have it both ways.

"people can draw their own conclusion and they certainly have."

In this kind of environment, that's just reckless and annoying to me. Maybe they know that the kid is dirty and that it's just a matter of time until it comes out and everyone knows it, in which case I'll view this all different in hindsight. But Magnus really has to recognize his status in the chess world and not to be this reckless.
 

SumnerH

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Exactly this.
I'd phrase it as “not be this reckless unless his intent is to burn the building down”. It's possible that's intentional.

Nepo's statements today sort of point at some unhappiness with the way FIDE's been handling things. “I asked the organizers for some extra measures to be taken to make the tournament more safe and clean, but none of this was done until this sad case of Magnus’s withdrawal” (explicitly as a response to Hans being picked as a replacement to play in Sinquefield) is the tagline, but the whole interview is interesting.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT7WhzbZPmE
 
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jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
63,156
I know close to nothing about this world, but have we discussed yet that there was some kind of merger/acquisition between chess.com and Magnus' company last month, so it's possible/likely that Magnus has access to more records about Niemann than have been made public? Apologies if any or all of that is wrong, like I said I really wasn't paying any attention to the chess world until this controversy got rolling.
 

SumnerH

Malt Liquor Picker
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Jul 18, 2005
29,732
Alexandria, VA
FIDE's statement is out and it says nothing, really. We're aware of Magnus's allegations, we don't like how he handled it but we share his concerns about cheating (in general) whether online or OTB, and we propose some Panel going forward to address it.

Nothing direct about the Hans situation.

https://www.fide.com/news/1999

First of all, we strongly believe that the World Champion has a moral responsibility attached to his status, since he is viewed as a global ambassador of the game. His actions impact the reputation of his colleagues, sportive results, and eventually can be damaging to our game. We strongly believe that there were better ways to handle this situation.

At the same time, we share his deep concerns about the damage that cheating brings to chess. FIDE has led the fight against cheating for many years, and we reiterate our zero-tolerance policy toward cheating in any form. Whether it is online or “over the board”, cheating remains cheating. We are strongly committed to this fight, and we have invested in forming a group of specialists to devise sophisticated preventive measures that already apply at top FIDE events.
...
It is our hope that this whole situation could have a long-term positive effect, if tackled properly. We propose to launch a dedicated Panel, that would include representatives of the leading chess platforms, Grandmasters, anti-cheating experts and FIDE officers, in order to fight this risk and prevent it becomes a real plague.