There is a minor storm in the chess world over alleged cheating. It all began on September 4 when a 19-year-old grandmaster named Hans Niemann defeated world champion Magnus Carlsen in an over-the-board game in a tournament in the US. Following this shocking loss to a player rated much lower, Carlsen withdrew from the tournament - something that almost never happens in a top event. He offered no explanations except to insinuate that Niemann had cheated.
Niemann has said that he has cheated in online chess in the past but is clean now. But Chess.com was quick to ban him. When Carlsen and Niemann met again in an online event on September 19, Carlsen resigned after just one move, and has said he will not play against Niemann. Meanwhile, the chess world’s top anti-cheating expert Ken Regan has analysed not only Niemann’s win over Carlsen but also all his games from 2020, and found no evidence of cheating. Is Carlsen justified in making these insinuations without any evidence? Does the FIDE have adequate safeguards in place to ensure players don’t throw random allegations around? And how easy, or difficult, is it to cheat in chess today?
Guest: Rakesh Rao, Deputy Editor (Sports), The Hindu.
Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu.
Edited by Sharmada Venkatasubramanian.
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