Chess player Hans Neimann likely cheated 'more than 100 times'
An investigation into Magnus Carlsen's accusations against Hans Neimann finds that the latter likely cheated.
American Hans Neimann who has been accused by world champion Magnus Carlsen of allegedly cheating, has been under an investigation by Chess.com.
The platform has started a 72-page investigation into all the games Neimann had played and a preliminary statement says that the chess player has probably cheated "much more often" than he had previously acknowledged. However, there was no evidence that the player had cheated in his "over-the-board" games against Norwegian chess grandmaster and world champion, Magnus Carlsen, who had initially accused Neimann. In fact, there is no evidence of Neimann cheating in any of the "over-the-board" games he's played.
19-year-old Hans Neimann had been previously accused of cheating, even admitted doing so once when he was 12, in an online tournament, and when he was 16 while streaming unrated games. He is currently banned from Chess.com, the world's most popular chess website.
Earlier this month, Carlsen withdrew from a $500,000 tournament (Sinquefield Cup), held in St Louis, following a defeat by Neimann. Magnus announced the decision through a tweet while adding a video of Jose Mourinho saying: "If I speak, I am in big trouble.”
Hikaru Nakamura, the world's best blitz chess player, claimed that Carlsen's action was due to suspicion that his American opponent had "probably cheated."
It is worth noting that while Neimann admitted cheating before on two separate occasions years ago, he stated that he was now clean and "never cheated in an over-the-board game,” adding that to prove his innocence, he is ready to play in “a closed box with zero electronic transmission.”
What the investigation found
Chess.com believed the chess player cheated as recently as 2020, including in cash prize events and against highly rated "well-known" players in the game.
Its investigation compared Niemann's moves to those advised by chess computers, which are significantly superior to even the most elite players. Additionally, the investigation assessed the likelihood of his results, among other factors.
The investigation report notes that "Overall, we have found that Hans has likely cheated in more than 100 online chess games, including several prize money events," adding that "He was already 17 when he likely cheated in some of these matches and games. He was also streaming in 25 of these games."
The site also identified "anomalies" in Niemann's rate of growth, which has seen him rise from approximately 800 in the world to the top 50 in classical chess in less than two years.
Prof Kenneth Regan, widely considered the world's foremost specialist on chess cheating, conducted a statistical study of Niemann's over-the-board games and found no indication of cheating.