Suspicions arose yesterday when the American chess Grand Master, Hans Niemann played magnificently against Magnus Carlsen in the Sinquefield Cup round 3 and won after which Magnus walked out of the tournament. Fans have speculated an oddity in the game played between the two. But it is very likely that Hans Niemann played flawlessly and won fair and square.
Hans was rated 2688, the lowest rated player in the Cup, before this game and soared to the 2700 mark afterward while Magnus was rated at 2861. The match was sought to be relatively easy as no one expected Hans to win so easily against the toughest chess player on earth. The difference alone was enough to add suspicion to foul play.
During the game, Hans played an obscure move that seemed blatantly incorrect to the players present but the accuracy of it was destructive. The first 20 moves played by Hans were almost played with a swiftness that is not the norm in playing classical chess. Usually, 3 to 4 minutes per move is the more regular approach for playing the classical game. But Hans was too quick in moving for the first 20 moves leaving him with surplus time on the clock.
Hans has been banned twice by Chess.com for cheating and using engines for his games in the past but was later allowed to play with a clean slate. His previous records of malpractice are also points under consideration by many. Also, his sudden rise to stardom and success is deemed suspicious by the viewers.
But Carlsen did not accuse Hans directly of cheating. He withdrew from the tournament and later “I’ve withdrawn from the tournament. I’ve always enjoyed playing in the @STLChessClub, and hope to be back in the future”. He changed his Instagram bio saying that “Beating someone once isn’t revenge.” This came as a shock because earlier Hans Niemann in the post-match interview said that “It must be embarrassing for the world champion to lose to me. I feel bad for him.”
Because of no allegations directly from Magnus, Hans Niemann is clear to play for the remainder of the tournament. However, there are a few speculations as to what Magnus really believes to be the case. But for the time being Hans is not in the grey area as he is innocent until proven guilty.