#chessdrama splat

Chess.com, which has alleged many more instances of on-line cheating, is the fat lady that will sing (or not).  It strikes me as highly unlikely that they simply would have made up the existence of their further charges, especially since they claim to have produced a report and sent it to Niemann.  (You don’t have to think the report is correct, but I am betting it exists.)  In the meantime, chess.com did the right thing by sending their report to Niemann first, as they claim, rather than releasing it to the general public.  This way Niemann has a chance to rebut or defuse the allegations.

Note that Niemann, for all of his various denials, has not, to the best of my knowledge, denied that the chess.com report exists.  Nor do I see any direct evidence or statement that he will be providing a rebuttal.

In the meantime, I don’t think Carlsen is obliged to produce his own report.  I don’t understand why so many in the chess world or on Twitter are urging him to do this.  There may be libel issues in play as well, but arguably he is waiting for the chess.com report to come out, in addition to any possible rebuttal or lack thereof.  That is the information channel already in play, so to speak.

If a player has cheated repeatedly in on-line chess, should we let that same player participate in top-tier over-the-board tournaments?  To me the answer is an obvious no, and presumably Carlsen agrees.  Even if over-the-board cheating is very difficult or impossible to pull off, major distractions are created by the player’s history.  Or that same player might prove untrustworthy in other regards.

So the key elements here are the chess.com report and any possible Niemann rebuttal.  I am waiting for those.  Magnus is patient, and I am patient too.  The current state of imperfect information will not last forever.


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