Fresh Accusations of Cheating Against Chess Prodigy Hans Niemann Emerge

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Despite the controversy, Niemann’s live rating soared to 2693.7, reflecting the impact of his remarkable performance in the Tournament of Peace 2023 in Croatia’s Zagreb. American grandmaster Hans Niemann emerged triumphant, securing a massive three-point lead over the 10-man field, all of whom were seasoned grandmasters. His near-flawless performance included seven victories and two draws, showcasing his undeniable prowess on the board.

However, the sweet taste of victory quickly turned sour as Niemann found himself entangled in unsubstantiated cheating allegations. Despite going unbeaten in the tournament, whispers of suspicion emerged when a tournament organizer mentioned “indications” without concrete evidence of cheating. Grandmaster Susan Polgar brought attention to the situation with a tweet quoting the organizer, describing Niemann’s performance as “out of this world.”

Niemann’s attorney, Terrence Oved, issued a statement asserting Niemann’s extraordinary talents and advising critics to “get used to it.” Oved emphasized that Niemann is just at the beginning of his chess journey, despite the persistent skepticism surrounding his achievements. These new claims follow Niemann’s past struggles with cheating allegations, including an accusation from world champion Magnus Carlsen that led to the deletion of Niemann’s online chess account. Niemann subsequently sued Carlsen and the portal for $100 million, with the case eventually being settled amicably. Even then, Carlsen failed to provide conclusive evidence against Niemann.

After his resounding victory in Zagreb, the 20-year-old dared to draw parallels between himself and former world champion Bobby Fischer, who had triumphed at the same event in 1970. In social media posts, Niemann boldly compared his success to Fischer’s, sharing Fischer’s iconic quote, “I like the moment when I break a man’s ego.” In another post, he highlighted the shared victory of “two lone Americans up against the world” at the Tournament of Peace, 53 years apart.

Despite the controversy, Niemann’s live rating soared to 2693.7. The chess prodigy is now set to face India’s Gukesh D at the London Chess Classic 2023, a clash eagerly anticipated by the chess community. As Niemann navigates the complexities of his burgeoning career, the specter of cheating allegations continues to cast a shadow over his victories.

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