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Hikaru Nakamura reacts to Hans Niemann’s interview

After losing to Hans Niemann in the third round of the Sinquefield Cup 2022, Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the event without detailed explanations. Possible reasons of Magnus Carlsen’s withdrawal can be found here. Rumors started spreading over social medias that Hans Niemann has a history of cheating and Hikaru Nakamura confirmed in his live stream that Niemann has done “unallowed things” at the online chess tournaments. Sinquefield Cup improved anti-cheating measures and Carlsen’s results got annulled. Niemann decided to tell his truth after the 5th round. He confessed cheating in random chesscom games and added that he will not let chesscom, Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura slander his reputation. He also asked for an answer from Nakamura, saying that he would like to see what Nakamura has to say now. Niemann explained that his chesscom account was banned and that he was uninvited from the Global Chess Championship after Carlsen withdrew from the event.

Hikaru Nakamura reacted to Niemann’s interview during his stream yesterday. He first spoke about Niemann’s preparation for the game against Magnus Carlsen. As Niemann explained, he was prepared for the very rare line Carlsen chose to play against him in the third round as he followed the possible transpositions to the Catalan. “I think he is very lucky in terms of how he hit it (the opening) though, because when he played Bb4, I looked through the database, Magnus has never played Nc3, he’s only played Bd2. (…) However, one of his seconds for the World Chess Championship, Daniil Dubov has played Nc3 many times. It is possible that Hans was looking at the games of Magnus’s seconds, like Daniil Dubov and others, and that’s how he reached this conclusion. And then of course, he looked the line that leads to transposition“, said Nakamura about Niemann’s preparation.

Hans said that I directly accused him on cheating“, added Hikaru, “But there are many instances where I said that he did not cheat over the board. The one thing that I did say is that he did cheat online, and he himself admitted that he did. So I want to be very clear on that, I never made direct accusations about over the board chess“. In regards to decision to ban Hans Niemann from playing on the platform after Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup 2022, Nakamura said: “I had no idea of this, I am actually quite shocked to hear this. It’s very surprising and I think has to answer in some way, make a statement, whatever it might be. Not to speculate, but I find it very hard to believe that Magnus gets angry over game and they ban him (Niemann) for that. I mean, I find it hard to believe, but nobody knows. So I want to hear a statement from“.

Speaking about accusations towards Hans Niemann, Hikaru explained that he doesn’t believe that any of these accusations relate to the Sinquefield Cup 2022: “I don’t believe that anybody who’s had suspicions or said things, it relates to Sinquefield Cup. If you look at the history of Hans over the last couple of years, he’s had probably the most meteoric rise in the entire history of chess of any 17-year-old by far. If you look at the other juniors who are around 2700 they became grandmasters about 14, 15, even 16. But to go from 2480 IM to 2710 or 2720, whatever it might be, in the last two years, I think a lot of grandmasters are definitely suspicious of that. It’s unprecedented in the entire history of chess. (…) There are people, I will not give names, who have said some things differently publicly, who actually have over the last couple of years been telling me this nonstop, and I’ve always thought they are completely crazy and I’ve always believed in Hans’s point of view. I heard this from someone in Saint Louis, during rapid and blitz, who said that they are basically certain that Hans has done something. And then Magnus withdraws from the tournament, so it’s very very strange“.

Hikaru concluded that it is very good that Hans admitted cheating and that he hopes to see the statements from and Magnus Carlsen: “There has to be some kind of statement. That’s the bottom line“. See the complete video below yesterday published the official statement, explaining the decision to remove Hans Niemann from the platform and Daniel Rensch commented on it shortly after.

Read more: Elon Musk commented on accusations towards Hans Niemann, while Garry Kasparov called Carlsen’s withdrawal as an act with no precedent in the last 50 years. Susan Polgar about Niemann – Carlsen case: The professional reputation of many parties is at stake

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