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Investigation finds American chess grandmaster ‘likely cheated’ more than 100 times

Jayden Collins

| Last updated 

Investigation finds American chess grandmaster ‘likely cheated’ more than 100 times

In yet another extraordinary twist in the saga that has gripped the world, the world’s top chess website has found grandmaster Hans Niemann has ‘likely’ cheated more than 100 times. 

It’s the story that has taken the chess community and beyond by storm, with world number one Magnus Carlsen accusing 19-year-old Niemann of being a dirty cheat.

Now, in an investigation conducted by Chess.com and acquired by The Wall Street Journal, it is believed the American has cheated in dozens of games.

Credit: Saint Louis Chess Club/YouTube.
Credit: Saint Louis Chess Club/YouTube.

The teen player has been dodging allegations since he defeated Carlsen in an over-the-board game at the Sinquefield Cup last month. 

Niemann subsequently made headlines when he was accused of using anal beads to defeat Carlsen.

The grandmaster denied such rumours, however, admitted that he had cheated twice when he was 12 and 16 years old while playing online on Chess.com.

Now, however, it is believed his alleged cheating is far wider than he publicly admitted.


The report alleges that Niemann received illegal assistance in more than 100 games, with the latest indiscretion coming as recently as 2020. 

The website used a variety of cheating-detection tools in its investigation, which includes analytics that compares human moves to chess engines that are incapable of losing. 

The report also states that Niemann privately confessed to cheating in Slack messages to the platform’s chief chess officer, Danny Rensch. 

The investigation noted Niemann’s improvement and rise through in-person chess had shown ‘many remarkable signals and unusual patterns’. 


It stopped short of making a conclusive statement about Niemann’s performances in person, however, believed that many of Niemann’s strongest moments merited ‘further investigation based on the data’. 

Magnus Carlsen.  Credit: Aflo Co. Ltd. / Alamy
Magnus Carlsen. Credit: Aflo Co. Ltd. / Alamy

The report read: “Looking purely at rating, Hans should be classified as a member of this group of top young players. While we don’t doubt that Hans is a talented player, we note that his results are statistically extraordinary.”

When Carlsen and Niemann met again following the Sinquefield Cup debacle, the world number one decided to make a statement by quitting the online game after making just one move.


Just a few days later, Carlsen confirmed his suspicions.

In a statement posted on social media, he said: “I believe that Niemann has cheated more—and more recently—than he has publicly admitted.

“His over-the-board progress has been unusual, and throughout our game in the Sinquefield Cup I had the impression that he wasn’t tense or even fully concentrating on the game in critical positions, while outplaying me as black in a way I think only a handful of players can do.”

Chess.com has historically handled its bans privately, however, have now felt ‘compelled’ to share its decisions.


LADbible has reached out to Hans Niemann for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Saint Louis Chess Club/YouTube. Sergio Delle Vedove / Alamy.

Topics: Sport, Weird

Jayden Collins
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