Chess suspicions hit the chess world once more

Chess suspicions hit the chess world once more

Since the computing power of computers began to outpace players, the possibilities of cheating have multiplied, especially at the highest level.

Strategy to win illegally or witch hunt? World chess champion Magnus Carlsen unleashed a storm of suspicion by accusing one of his rivals of cheating during a game.

Frenchman Alireza Firouzja won the Sinquefield Cup in the United States on Sunday (11), but the spotlight was not on him.

In a post on Twitter, the Norwegian Carlsen shook the chess world.

“I am withdrawing from the tournament. I always enjoyed playing for the St. Louis and I hope to come back”, wrote the five-time world champion after his defeat in the third round, on September 5, to the 19-year-old American Hans Niemann, 43rd in the world and a last-minute guest for the competition.

Carlsen added a 2014 video that shows Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho, then in charge of Chelsea: “I’d rather not talk, if I talk I’m in serious trouble,” he said in a post-match interview after his team lost and he was sent off.

The accusation is cryptic, but it had consequences: the tournament organization decided to delay the broadcast of games by 15 minutes and examined the players with an x-ray.

hidden microchip

American streamer Hikaru Nakamura, popular on the live video platform Twitch, accused Niemann of cheating. And the world’s largest online chess platform, Chess-com, has banned Niemann’s account.

Accusations of cheating are frequent in the history of chess.

In front of the board, the main means of cheating has been to enlist the help of the public and establish a communication strategy.

But since the computing power of computers began to outpace players, the possibilities for cheating have multiplied, especially at the highest level.

Gaioz Nigalidze, the Georgian grandmaster, was hunted down in 2015 because his toilet visits were too frequent.

More discreetly, a microchip allows an accomplice to help a player from a distance, particularly while games are broadcast live.

Another hypothesis was a possible leak of Carlsen’s strategy, developed by his team, which would have reached Niemann’s hands.

Since writing his controversial tweet, Carlsen has remained silent and there is no evidence of possible cheating.

Several participants in the tournament came out in support of Niemann, such as the French Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, lamenting the ‘witch hunt’ effect, or the “paranoia”, according to the American Levon Aronian.

“I know I’m clean. If I need to undress completely, I do it, I don’t mind,” Niemann said in a post-match television interview with the Saint-Louis chess club, which organizes the tournament.

The American finished the tournament in seventh place, starting with the lowest position in the world rankings. He managed only one victory, with two defeats and five draws.

Source: AFP

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