The five-time world chess champion, Magnus Carlsen, has publicly raised serious allegations against the 19-year-old Twitch streamer Hans Niemann: He accuses him of cheating. Carlsen hints he will no longer play against people like Niemann who have a history of cheating. Experts believe that this could have devastating effects on Niemann.
This is the situation:
Chess: A 19-year-old Twitch streamer makes 2 moves and the 5-time world champion folds
Carlsen will no longer play against Niemann, accusing him of cheating
Carlsen now says: In a statement that the chess world has been waiting for for a long time, Carlsen explains his allegations against Niemann in more detail.
I believe that Niemann has cheated more and more recently than he publicly admits. His progression in board games is unusual and during our game at the Sinquefield Cup I got the impression that he wasn’t tense or fully focused in crucial situations while he trumped me on black in a way only a handful of players do be able.
Carlsen says: When Niemann was invited to the second tournament at short notice, he already considered canceling, but then decided to play.
But in general, Carlsen doesn’t want to play against people who have cheated multiple times in the past because he’s not sure what they’ll do in the future:
I believe cheating is a big deal in chess and an existential threat to the game. I believe the Chess organizers and anyone concerned about the purity of the game we love so much should develop safety measures and methods to detect cheats on the board.
Carlsen did not want to comment more precisely. He could only do that if Niemann gave him express permission to talk about it.
But Carlsen makes it clear that he will no longer play chess against Niemann.
“Could be that Niemann played his last invitation tournament”
What does this amount to? In the end, Carlsen kicked the 19-year-old Niemann out of the world of chess. Because he indicates: If Niemann is invited to a tournament, then he, the world champion, will not take part in this tournament.
One of the most important chess YouTubers, agadmator, says:
The organizers will now have to decide whether to invite Magnus or Hans to events. Hans may have played his last game in an invitational tournament.
Twitch streamer xQc defends Niemann
Who defends Hans? Ironically, xQc, the largest Twitch streamer in the world, is helping Niemann. The streamer known as “the Juicer” posts screaming as usual in “All Caps”:
“Hey, believe me. Let me do irreparable harm because I want to.”
In addition, xQc posted a meme: “My proof is that I just made it up.”
HE CHEATED! BELIEVE ME! LET ME CAUSE IRREPERABLE DAMAGE BECAUSE I WANT TO! pic.twitter.com/FI8NwucKjA
— xQc (@xQc) September 26, 2022
What’s the point? There has been much debate as to whether and how Niemann cheats: it was hoped that Carlsen would come up with some theories or evidence, but he only gives his impression that Niemann was unfocused and didn’t seem to be thinking about his moves at all.
Someone like xQc seems to assume that the “King of Chess” is abusing his power here because he can:
- Some accuse Carlsen of being a “bad loser”
- Others, on the other hand, believe Carlsen and think that the only explanation for Niemann’s sharp jump in playing strength is that things are not going right there
The theories of how Niemann could have cheated are becoming more and more absurd. While the theory was initially circulating that Niemann could have received information about “anal beads” in his butt via vibrations, other users on Twitter are now talking about a “neural implant”.
Since the success of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, chess has taken off on Twitch. Individual chess players have become influencers, using the streaming platform Twitch to reach new audiences:
Chess grandmasters discover Twitch, talk fast, play faster