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Ian Nepomniachtchi: I was unhappy to hear Hans Niemann will replace Rapport in Sinquefield Cup

Ian Nepomniachtchi published a video on his official youtube account where he speaks about tournaments in Saint Louis, the recent happenings related to Carlsen – Niemann case, cheating in chess…

Nepo said that he was not happy when he heard Hans Niemann will replace Richard Rapport in the Sinquefield Cup as Rapport couldn’t make it to the USA and needed to cancel his participation: “I think I wasn’t the only person who was quite unhappy about this particular replacement, this substitute, because somehow I felt things could be a little bit wrong. (…) 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“. He added that he understands Magnus and his decision, but it wasn’t good for the tournament and the overall atmosphere.

Ian then spoke about cheating in chess explaining that cheating exists for a long time already, online but over the board as well. He mentioned the recent cases where it was confirmed the players were doing unallowed things at the tournaments and how they were doing it. He added that he personally experienced the opponents cheating against him in online games on chesscom: “This is a quite common thing“.

Moving to the Carlsen – Niemann case, Nepo explained he didn’t know about Hans Niemann until the pandemic. “I played quite a lot of games against him on chesscom and some of the games were more weird than others, but he had like 2800, 2900 (rating on chesscom) and he was streaming all the time, so it was not too suspicious“. He then shared what he finds weird about Hans Niemann’s play and his recent success mentioning that it is kind of surprising that his play was slowly getting better, but his rating was getting higher with consistency: “Hans was living in a suitcase and played tournament after tournament, coming with some small amount of earned elo rating from 90% of the tournaments. (…) This was some of the things which really surprised me and this is something that indicates that this is a unique case. It’s pretty much uncommon“. Ian added that he didn’t like what Hans said in the interview at the Sinquefield Cup 2022 where he admitted cheating on chesscom: “He said something like, alright I admit it, it was when I was 12 and 16, but he also said it was only to gain some rating to play against stronger opponents. This is, I guess, a very very common thing and common explanation, because it sounds like yeah, I am doing some bad things, but it is for the greater good in the end“. Nepo mentioned FM Punin’s video where he analyzed Niemann’s games and concluded that Niemann’s play was very impressive and that this drew attention.

He added that he might have a different point of view on the case because he had weird games against Hans online: “Maybe I am taking a little bit wrong position from the very beginning because I think I had some very weird games online in some Blitz against Hans. (…) Some of these games felt really weird“. He added that Niemann’s performance at all the tournaments in the last period were a statistical anomaly because he was always gaining some elo rating: “I don’t believe in some major transformations. I don’t believe in metamorphosis.“.

Speaking about Hans’s performance and play in Saint Louis (Sinquefield Cup tournament), Nepomniachtchi said that his games were not ideal: “Obivously, the games he played there (Sinquefield Cup) are not ideal. It’s not something absolutely computerish and you can say statistically that his games are clean and good. But let’s get back to metamorphosis. As I understand, Hans was supposed to play in the Turkish league and he played there in the end. But before he got a wild card for this Miami tournament and he scored not that great well. He was losing all his matches, okay he won some games, but overall I think his performance was far from something really bright. Then immediately he moved to Turkey to play in the Turkish league, and his performance was very much up and down. Immediately after the tournament he got back to US, and it was a different person. It was a different player. I mean okay, I checked some of his games in Turkey and it was a different story. (…) For me it’s weird having two not so brilliant performances in a row, and then coming and screwing some of the top players. The metamorphosis I can see there is quite weird“.

Nepo added in the end that he still waits for the announcements from FIDE, chess.com, and Magnus Carlsen which would help the controversy to be solved. See the complete video below

The timetable of happenings related to Carlsen – Niemann case can be found below the video

The timetable of happenings related to Carlsen – Niemann case:

DateNews
5-SepBREAKING: Magnus Carlsen withdraws from the Sinquefield Cup 2022
5-SepPossible reasons of Magnus Carlsen’s withdrawal from the Sinquefield Cup 2022
5-SepHans Niemann was thoroughly checked before the fourth round of the Sinquefield Cup (VIDEO)
5-SepSinquefield Cup’s players and organizers react to Carlsen’s withdrawal from the tournament
5-SepHans Niemann R4 post-game interview: At least I got to beat Magnus Carlsen before he left
6-SepSinquefield Cup 2022 improves anti-cheating measures after Carlsen’s withdrawal
6-SepFabiano Caruana: Can’t wait to hear more about the Hans effect on The Magnus Effect
6-SepReactions to Magnus Carlsen’s withdrawal from the Sinquefield Cup 2022
6-SepNiemann’s emotional confession R5 post-game interview: I cheated in random games on chess.com and this was the biggest mistake in my life
7-SepReactions to Hans Niemann’s interview
7-SepHans Niemann: I’d like to see what Nakamura has to say now
8-SepHans Niemann R6 post-game interview: The silence of my critics speaks for itself
8-SepElon Musk comments on accusations towards Hans Niemann
8-SepGarry Kasparov about Carlsen’s withdrawal: It’s an act with no precedent in the past 50 years
9-SepChess.com explains its decision to remove Hans Niemann from the platform in the official statement
9-SepDaniel Rensch about chess.com’s statement: This tweet speaks for itself
9-SepHikaru Nakamura reacts to Hans Niemann’s interview
9-SepSusan Polgar about Niemann – Carlsen case: The professional reputation of many parties is at stake
9-SepGarry Kasparov: Unless the chess world is to be dragged down into endless pathetic rumors, clear statements must be made
9-SepNiemann keeps analyzing his game with MVL while getting checked with the anti-cheating device (VIDEO)
9-SepHans Niemann R7 post-game interview: It is absolutely ridiculous to play chess under these conditions
10-SepHikaru Nakamura and Daniel Naroditsky speak about cheating in chess
10-SepHans Niemann’s fans gather in front of the Saint Louis Chess Club
10-SepSinquefield Cup Chief Arbiter’s statement: We have no indication that any player has been playing unfairly in the Sinquefield Cup 2022
11-SepNew allegations within Niemann – Carlsen case: Hans Niemann performs much better with live DGT boards
11-SepNigel Davies, “If Carlsen does not speak soon, the FIDE Ethics Commission should act”
11-SepAlexander Grischuk about Niemann – Carlsen case: Magnus freaked out for a reason
11-SepRichard Rapport suggests a polygraph test to manage cheating in chess and protect players who are falsely accused
11-SepAlexei Shirov: Hans Niemann’s last GM norm looks suspicious
12-SepHans Niemann after the end of the Sinquefield Cup 2022: It was a lot to handle and I wasn’t able to manage my nerves
13-SepS.L. Narayanan: I believe FIDE has to take more stringent measures for both online as well as OTB
13-SepHans Niemann and Magnus Carlsen to meet at the Julius Baer Generation Cup
14-SepHans Niemann to be back at the Saint Louis Chess Club for the 2022 Fall Chess Classic
15-SepFabiano Caruana on Carlsen’s withdrawal: I do not think Niemann cheated in this tournament
16-SepLeonard Barden for Guardian on Niemann – Carlsen case: It is time for FIDE to step in
16-SepStephen Colbert jokes about the latest accusations against Hans Niemann in his late night talk show
18-SepAlejandro Ramirez shares his insights on Carlsen’s withdrawal: I don’t think Hans cheated
19-SepMagnus Carlsen resignes against Hans Niemann in the second move
19-SepSusan Polgar on Carlsen’s resignation against Niemann: Definitely a protest move!
19-SepHammer says Carlsen should be sanctioned in live Norwegian TV program
19-SepFair-Play specialist Kenneth Regan: Niemann played well, but not too well
19-SepLevon Aronian: I believe Niemann hasn’t been the cleanest person when it comes to online chess
19-SepMagnus Carlsen applauds Pragg for the fantastic game
19-SepReactions to Magnus Carlsen’s resignation
19-SepNiemann’s and Carlsen’s facial expressions during their 2-move game
20-SepCarlsen will not give any interviews during the tournament
20-SepAnish Giri: we know about online cheating by multiple other chess players
20-SepNakamura on Carlsen – Nieman Julius Baer game
20-SepMartin B. Justesen: Carlsen is handling the Chess.com merger like Elon Musk did with the purchase of Twitter
20-SepCarlsen’s resignation is the top story in Norwegian newspapers
20-SepWhy was Hans Niemann invited to the Julius Baer Generation Cup?
20-SepNaroditsky: I am pretty confident that Magnus believes Niemann has cheated over the board before Saint Louis
20-SepThe Carlsen – Niemann conflict is more recent than everyone thinks?
20-SepWhat if Magnus Carlsen and Hans Niemann meet in the Julius Baer Generation Cup Knockout phase?
21-SepLevon Aronian on 21-move loss to Niemann: Hans played very strange moves
21-SepFIDE closely follows Carlsen – Niemann case, a statement to come
21-SepEmil Sutovsky: FIDE is concerned about recent developments of Carlsen – Niemann case
21-SepBREAKING! Magnus Carlsen: cheaters should not be taken lightly either online or OTB
21-SepNiemann’s mentor whom Carlsen mentions in the interview was banned from chess.com for cheating?!
22-SepSusan Polgar: Sadly, the performances of other young talents are overshadowed
22-SepAnish Giri about the recent chess drama: It’s moving in circles a little bit
22-SepFabiano Caruana: I would take Regan’s analysis with a large grain of salt
22-SepMagnus Carlsen: Some people were more supportive privately than publicly

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