A scandal is sweeping the world of chess with a new report revealing that teenage chess star Hans Niemann “likely cheated” in over 100 online matches.
On Tuesday, the explosive 72-page document was published on Chess.com, the world’s most popular chess-playing website hosting over 10 million online games daily. In the report, the website explained their decision to ban Niemann was based on the fact that he admitted to cheating on Chess.com as recently as 2020. The company says they believe the now 19-year-old swindled over 100 games, including several that included prize money, when he was about 17.
In addition to banning Niemann from the website, they have also revoked his invitation to the Chess.com Global Championship. Suspicions surrounding the renowned chess player arose when he defeated Magnus Carlsen at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis on September 4th, winning a $350,000 prize. The shocking loss ended Carlsen’s 53-game winning streak. Two days after the match, Niemann admitted that he’d cheated in the past but denied cheating in tournaments that involved money. Chess.com believes that was also a lie meant to cover up his long-running scheme.
While Chess.com is certain that Niemann cheated on their platform, they admitted that they don’t have any proof of him cheating during in-person matches.
“We believe Hans is an incredibly strong player and a talented individual. That said, given his history on our site, we did not believe we could ensure that he would play fairly in our online events until we could re-evaluate the evidence and our protocols,” the report read.
Niemann has not responded publicly to the report or the ban.