Teenage chess grandmaster cheated often, says chess.com

Hans Moke Niemann, the teenage chess grandmaster who world champion Magnus Carlsen accused of cheating at the board, admitted doing so only twice while playing online. But chess.com, a popular venue for top players, today accused Niemann of cheating many times at the site. The Wall Street Journal:

The report, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, alleges that Niemann likely received illegal assistance in more than 100 online games, as recently as 2020. Those matches included contests in which prize money was on the line. The site uses a variety of cheating-detection tools, including analytics that compare moves to those recommended by chess engines, which are capable of beating even the greatest human players every time.  

The report states that Niemann privately confessed to the allegations, and that he was subsequently banned from the site for a period of time. 

The 72-page report also flagged what it described as irregularities in Niemann's rise through the elite ranks of competitive, in-person chess. It highlights "many remarkable signals and unusual patterns in Hans' path as a player."

And on Hacker News, an account registered under the name chesscom adds:

There is so much more to our report than what was focused on in the WSJ article. The full report will be shared shortly…

(UPDATE: The full report is up.)

Chess.com has some clever analytical tools beyond simply checking moves against chess engines (which today play far better than any human can, even in blitz games). For example, chess.com reports that Niemann played "stronger moves after the browser window loses focus", i.e. his play improves when he switches to another browser window or application before making moves.

Though the online play being analysed here does not implicate the real-life tournament play that matters to international rankings (or his online play since 2020) Niemann has explaining to do.