Hans Niemann will be back in action after coming to terms with Chess.com in the fallout stemming from cheating accusations made by Magnus Carlsen.
In September 2022, Niemann defeated previous world champion Magnus Carlsen in the Sinquefield Cup and was subsequently accused of cheating, an idea that commentator and grand master Hikaru Nakamura implied to be true during the broadcast. Niemann’s Chess.com account was closed after these events and a legal dispute followed. Chess.com has now announced that the dispute had finally concluded.
Niemann’s Chess.com account has been reinstated, and he will be allowed to participate in any and all events. Chess.com has further stated that he will be treated “no differently from any other player” going forward. That’s not all there was to say, though.
Did Hans Niemann cheat at chess?
Hans Niemann has admitted to cheating in online chess matches played on Chess.com, but an investigative report by the site found “no determinative evidence” of cheating during over-the-board competition.
In September 2022, Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup after his defeat by Niemann and claimed Niemann had cheated. Hikaru Nakamura, who was commentating the event, implied that this accusation was true. Niemann maintains that his play was legal and that Carlsen’s claims are false.
In the aftermath of Carlsen’s accusations, Chess.com banned Niemann from the site and from its in-person competitions. This led to a $100 million lawsuit from Niemann against Carlsen, Nakamura, and Chess.com for libel and anti-trust claims that he said were ruining his career.
At the conclusion of an investigation in October, Chess.com affirmed that “no determinative evidence” was found of Niemann’s alleged cheating in over-the-board competition. Carlsen also acknowledged the validity of Chess.com’s final report, saying that he would be “willing to play Niemann in future events, should we be paired together.”
Niemann’s lawsuit against Chess.com, Nakamura, and Carlsen was thrown out in June 2023.
Niemann promises to become the best chess player in the world
In a recent video post on X, Niemann announced his return to Chess.com and plans to rise to the top of the chess world.
In a post titled “Did you miss me?” the newly unbanned grand master reaffirmed his statement that the allegations by Carlsen were untrue and defamatory. He also confirmed that the legal dispute had been settled in a manner agreeable to all involved parties. Further, he stated his eagerness to return to the chess-playing world and to oppose Carlsen in the game of chess rather than in the courtroom.
Most notably, Niemann claimed with certainty that there would be a day in which he was the “best chess player in the world.” While this is a bold claim, Niemann seems resolved to realize this goal. He closed the video post by stating his intention to “let his chess speak for itself.”