World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen today published the official statement on the recent “Carlsen – Niemann” controversy and accused Hans Niemann of cheating more than the 19-year-old American admitted publicly. Hikaru Nakamura commented on Carlsen’s statement during his live stream saying that he believes Carlsen thinks that Hans Niemann cheated in the game they played at the Sinquefield Cup 2022. Hans Niemann defeated Magnus Carlsen in the third round of the Sinquefield Cup, and Carlsen decided to withdraw from the event day after. Two weeks later, Magnus refused to play against Hans Niemann at the Julius Baer Generation Cup and resigned his game after only two played moves.
The chess coach bronze medalist for India at Chess Olympiads 2014 & 2022 Ramesh RB commented, “Immense respect for the world champion for taking a principled stand on an important issue, forcing the world to pay attention to it at a huge personal cost. Ideally, the chess world and FIDE should have devised a good practical solution to the cheating problem years ago.” FIDE have published an official position, which criticizes Carlsen to certain extent, but more is expected from the World chess governing organization.
Ramesh RB continued “Hopefully, a full enquiry will be conducted by FIDE & steps taken to avoid a similar scenario in future. A reasonably strong player does not need external help throughout the game, indication at a few (even 1) critical moment(s) is sufficient to tilt the game in his favour. I don’t believe that % of moves matching with an engine is the only way to prove a player has taken external help. By default, all major chess events should have basic protocols in place: a) physically PREVENT gadgets (plastics/electrical/…)from entering the venue. b) jamming signals into the playing hall. c) delay live relay d) spectators should not carry gadgets into the venue etc. In India, there was a similar instance more than 10-15 years ago. Punitive action was taken much delayed despite players raising concerns. Of course, it is very easy to cast apprehensions on a player’s integrity by throwing unsubstantiated allegations. It has happened in the past. Innocent players were accused unfairly. So the accuser should be very responsible before making the accusation. The best solution is PREVENTION, as obtaining proof is almost next to impossible if the help was taken only once or twice in a game. A strong player can judge opponents’ analytical capabilities. At the lower level, it is most difficult.”
Ramesh RB concluded, “I trust the World Champions’ instinct in this instance. Even if the cheating has happened in the past, that is sufficient ground to avoid playing against that particular player. The best proof will be the players’ results in the next year, under public scrutiny.”
The timetable of happenings related to Carlsen – Niemann case: