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The saga of accused chess cheater Hans Niemann has taken another turn after an internal investigation has found that he has likely cheated as many as 100 times.
The scandal started rocking the chess world after Niemann defeated grandmaster Magnus Carlsen who then floated the idea that the 19-year-old American may have cheated.
The report was put together by the online chess platform Chess.com and obtained by the Wall Street Journal. While it doesn’t specify Niemann’s methods, it does point to statistical irregularities that seem to indicate that something was amiss.
It found that Niemann was the fastest improving player in modern chess history.
“Outside his online play, Hans is the fastest rising top player in Classical [over-the-board] chess in modern history,” the report reads.
“Looking purely at rating, Hans should be classified as a member of this group of top young players. While we don’t doubt that Hans is a talented player, we note that his results are statistically extraordinary.”
Things Are Starting To Look Bad For Niemann
The report also mentions that Niemann’s post-match analysis of his win over Carlsen seemed to lack the expected level of understanding from a player of his caliber,
Chess.com wasn’t impressed. They found Niemann’s analysis “to be at odds with the level of preparation that Hans claimed was at play in the game and the level of analysis needed to defeat the World Chess Champion.”
And how is thought to have cheated at chess? Well, people had ideas:
If true, using some sort of vibrating device is the most significant advancement in cheating technology since hitting a trashcan to let a batter know a slider is on the way.
Cheating is big right now. It has even made its way into the fishing world.
Whatever his tactics turn out to be, it’s starting to look pretty grim for Neimann. Especially as more and more details emerge about his competitive history.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle