Chess - Carlsen-Niemann controversy

I don’t know chess well enough to analyze the moves.

The players are searched. This article says Magnus started with a bad opening. He wasn’t playing well.

I’m bothered that an unspoken and unproven allegation by Magnus Carlson is putting Hans Niemann’s reputation and career in jeopardy.

How does anyone defend themselves against a suspicion? This sound like sour grapes. The champion had a bad game and created this unproven rumor.

I have almost no knowledge of chess, but is the argument that Carlsen played so mysteriously bad that people began to claim it was cheating, and when Carlsen withdrew, that greatly confirmed such suspicions?

Like as if Michigan lost to Appalachian State - which, while embarrassing, is still plausible - but then Michigan suddenly started to act shifty and weird?

I’m more a checkers guy, but I thought Niemann’s play was too good to believe.

Carlson pulled out of the tournament. Posted an old video of some coach saying he couldn’t comment without getting into trouble.

It immediately created all kinds of rumors.

Upsets are common in football and basketball. I’m not surprised when an over confident, top-rated team gets beat by the underdog with nothing to lose.

Hans Niemann will have to beat other grand masters to prove this win wasn’t a fluke or worse.

I would expect officials to search him even more throughly.

In the background are a few of things that argue against Niemann:

  • his meteoric rise in rating
  • he was caught cheating twice on, and even admitted it
  • his claim in a post-match video that he had analyzed a 2018 game of Carlsen’s that did not in fact exist (except by transposition, in a 2006 game)

On the other hand, in his defense:

Whatever the case, Carlsen handled this badly.

The salient point is: did Niemann consistently find the best or near-best moves (as specified by Stockfish*) throughout the game? If so, this is very suspicious because GM’s are only human, and shouldn’t play like a computer.

*Chess software widely used to analyze games. And used by cheaters for their moves.

I see your point.

Friends have told me they can usually tell when someone cheats during online games. The people playing are just casual chess players. A series of brilliant moves stick out.

Tournament Officials will have to search all the players more carefully.

There was something on The Late Show about some player may have had a vibrating Anal Bead that would send him moves after a confederate consulted AI with the opponent’s last move.

Ain’t that some shit right there?

I wonder what the vibrating anal bead signal would be for en passant?

Wouldn’t the wanding though have detected it? Unless it’s the worlds worst wand.

Just to be clear, the anal beads were a Reddit joke that took off. Also, games are broadcast with a delay, so the beads would have to time travel as well to be effective.

No. Carlsen lost a game he wasn’t expected to lose, then withdrew from the tournament with a cryptic message that many have interpreted as an allegation that his opponent was cheating (by somehow receiving and using the best moves as determined by a computer).

As I understand it, a key part of the circumstantial evidence against Niemann is that when his games were being broadcast live, he played very well (including against Carlsen), whereas when the organisers put a 15min time delay on the broadcast (which would make it virtually impossible for an accomplice to put the position into a computer and then secretly communicate the best move to Niemann in a timely fashion), he played relatively badly.

I haven’t read/watched a huge amount about this case, but I think 2 things are clear:

  1. It can never be conclusively proved that Niemann cheated in this case (barring a confession);
  2. Chess tournament organisers should take reasonable steps to prevent cheating (such as the time delay mentioned above) for the good of the integrity of the game.

I’m surprised a short time delay isn’t standaed procedure for televised matches.

A 15 minute delay makes no difference to viewers enjoyment at home.

Stephen Colbert lied to me???

No good cheater is going to follow Stockfish moves for too long — it’s too much a tell. This is my understanding from reading and watching a ton about this controversy. It seems to be that they both didn’t play particularly well. I thought Magnus knew something we didn’t, based on this being very out of character for him, but after going back and forth about this, I don’t see any reason to suspect Hans cheated, and Magnus displayed poor form in dropping out of a round robin tournament (which messes up the rest of the players.)

It’s horribly irresponsible then for major news outlets to lead with CHESS GAME POSSIBLY FIXED USING ANAL BEADS and other variations I’m seeing then.

Ugh, I missed the part where Elon Musk amplified the whole thing.

But even this headline is misleading, because Niemann didn’t mention the electronic device specifically.….

My understanding is that Carlsen played a very unusual opening, which Niemann countered perfectly. The latter apparently later said he just happened to study that exact opening that morning.


Niemann had declared he’d been prepared to counter the world champion’s moves because that morning he happened to rewatch a 2018 game between Carlsen and Wesley So in London, where Carlsen had employed a similar opening move to the one he used against Niemann. But as chess fans pointed out, Carlsen and So never played each other in London that year - though they did play in a 2019 match in India, where Carlsen deployed a different version of the move in question. However, as Defector reported, Nakamura and So himself argued that the [2019] game’s different structure nullified comparisons between the two.”