After Hans Niemann defeated the World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in the third round of the Sinquefield Cup 2022, Carlsen decided to withdraw from the tournament without detailed explanations. Rumors that Magnus Carlsen suspected Niemann was cheating started spreading over social medias and Hikaru Nakamura claimed in his live stream that Niemann has done “unallowed things” during the online chess tournaments. Sinquefield Cup improved anti-cheating measures and Carlsen’s results got annulled. The Chief Arbiter of the Sinquefield Cup 2022 Chirs Bird responded to rumors and allegations with the official statement that can be found below.
“In response to the recent rumors circulating the chess world, I can confirm that we currently have no indication that any player has been playing unfairly in the 2022 Sinquefield Cup. This includes all rounds played to date.
We have been running all the Grand Chess Tour events, including the Sinquefield Cup, and other major tournaments here in Saint Louis, for many years with the same strict anti-cheating measures that were in place for rounds 1-3, and we are not aware of any fair play violations during these past events. These measures included scanning of players with metal detectors prior to games and randomly after games, close observation of the players and fair play analysis by Professor Kenneth Regan using the FIDE Game Screening Tool.
However, on behalf of all the players and the event, I consulted with Grand Chess Tour Chief Arbiter, IA David Sedgwick, and together we advocated that additional anti-cheating measures be enacted after round 3. These measures included the scanning of players with RF scanners and a 15-minute delay on the live broadcast. I am very thankful to the organizers in Saint Louis who immediately agreed to these requests, despite additional expenses, last-minute technical issues and the loss of a truly live broadcast.
The arbiter team will continue to remain vigilant, and all of the anti-cheating measures that have been in place will continue to be so for the remainder of this event.
IA Chris Bird
Chief Arbiter, 2022 Sinquefield Cup
Grand Chess Tour Deputy Chief Arbiter”
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