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By Kezia Daniels

In recent news, Magnus Carlsen, the World Chess Championship winner, has accused Hans Niemann of cheating after losing a match and withdrawing from the Sinquefield Cup. Die Matie asked a few Maties Chess players about their thoughts on the situation. 

Michael van Zyl

-Third year, BSc Maths (Computer Sciences)

“I think Hans Niemann is a cheater. Although there is not enough evidence to suggest that he cheated against Magnus Carlsen specifically, there are some videos highlighting suspicious games of his during tournaments that lead to him getting his Grandmaster title,” said van Zyl. “He has been caught cheating online before so there will always be doubts about his morals and in some interviews after a chess game, he doesn’t seem to be able to explain himself well.”  

Rebecca Selkirk

-Third year PhD student Department of Economics (Specialisation= Economics of Education)

“While cheating has frequently been a concern in online chess, it’s generally been thought that over-the-board (OTB) chess is safer, since you can see your opponent sitting across from you, and suspicious behaviour is more obvious,” said Selkirk. “It is therefore shocking to see concerns raised at the top level, and with regards to the accusations made by Magnus Carlsen against Hans Niemann, it is impossible for us to know whether the situation has been handled well or not, and we’ll never know if it’s true until Niemann confesses.” Selkirk concluded. 

Daniel Barrish

  • BSc Hons student (Computer Science)

“My take on this situation is that zero concrete evidence has been shown by Magnus Carlsen of Hans Niemann cheating and I also do not believe that Niemann cheated against Carlsen in the Sinquefield Cup game,” said Barrish. “Magnus played poorly (relative to his usual level) and Hans played really well, but not exceptionally well,”

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