19-year-old twitch streamer and grandmaster Hans Niemann is stirring up the chess world. World Champion Magnus Carlsen had to play against Niemann again on Monday 19 September, made a move and then resigned the game. It is said that 19-year-old Niemann is cheating. But there is no evidence of this.
What has happened there?
Casters are completely shocked by the action
This is the scene: You can see the whole action in the video. After 2 moves by Niemann, Carlsen’s camera just goes off. The casters are stunned.
Another said that when Carlsen showed up for the match, you thought: well, now we can concentrate on chess again. But the opposite was the case:
Why is that so important? Magnus Carlsen is the five-time world champion and is considered by many to be the greatest chess player who ever lived. Normally he hardly ever loses – he is on the hunt for a fabulous ELO value and is therefore not allowed to give up any games.
Carslen implies that Niemann might cheat – but never says so
What’s his problem with Niemann? Carlsen had surprisingly lost in a chess duel with white against the outsider Niemann two weeks ago. After that, Carlsen had withdrawn from the tournament.
There was an implied accusation that Twitch streamer Hans Niemann must have cheated somehow. Some have suggested he may have circumvented strict security by using a vibrating sex toy stuck up his butt. But an absurd gag seems to have taken on a life of its own.
As a child and teenager, Niemann was twice banned from the chess.com platform for cheating, but insists that everything is going right now and that he never cheated on the “board”.
Chess: 19-year-old twitch streamer flies up twice for cheating, now beats the world champion – he leaves the tournament angrily
Is Carlsen saying the Twitch streamer is cheating? Not directly. In a statement, Carlsen says:
Unfortunately I can’t go into detail about that, but people will be able to draw their own conclusions, and they certainly have. I have to say: I’m very impressed by Niemann’s game and I think his mentor, Maxim Dlugy, must do a great job.
In addition, Carlsen said: Whether it’s a massive problem or not, he’s pretty easy to cheat in chess – so generally speaking. He believes that cheaters should not be taken lightly in the future, neither online nor on the board.
Twitch is always good for a surprise:
Integrity of the chess game under discussion
What is the problem? In order to be able to cheat live, a player really only needs access to a chess computer that has an absurdly high playing strength, like Stockfish. It is enough for a top player to consult such an engine once or twice in a match to gain significant advantages.
But the question is how Niemann could get access to such information live on the board. But apparently Carlsen seems to suspect that Niemann is cheating and that is the only way to explain his rise in rating from 2484 (January 2021) to 2688 (September 2022).
But how Niemann is said to have cheated on the board in the live tournament remains a mystery.
In any case, the behavior of the world champion indicates that chess could have an integrity problem when the accusation is always floating around: he won, so he must have cheated.
Since the success of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, chess has taken off on Twitch. Individual chess players have become influencers, using the streaming platform Twitch to reach new audiences:
Chess grandmasters discover Twitch, talk fast, play faster