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QWERTY

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I don’t know, but it probably wouldn’t happen that way. He could just use his leverage with the organizers to keep him out.

Anyway, he now says he will finally come out with some kind of statement next week. I will post it.

There’s a YouTube video from a math professor who studies the player’s moves compared to a chess engine, and his conclusion is that Hans is not cheating against Magnus or in his online games.
I don't think Hans cheated,

But I think someone that was close with Carlsen, gave out ideas what Magnus was going to play.
 
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Bear-Hawk

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I don't think Hans cheated,

But I think someone that was close with Carlsen, gave out ideas what Magnus was going to play.
So, here is the official statement from Magnus along with Naka's analysis.



I disagree with his take. If somebody accuses another player of cheating, the "ball" stays in his "court" until he produces his evidence, or else just shut up. For legal reasons, Magnus insinuates cheating without making an outright claim.

Anyway, it is now clear that Magnus will never play another game with Hans. This is going to create complications for tournament organizers, and Hans will come out on the short end. If Magnus indicates that he wants to play in St. Louis again next summer, I can't see them ever inviting Hans to come back. This seems unfair to me, but that is the politics of the chess world now. I doubt we've heard the last of this. I will post any future developments.
 

QWERTY

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I had respect for Hikaru a long time ago, but when he became a streamer, I completly lost all respect. It's like a different person, just trying to get views and clicks.
 
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Bear-Hawk

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I had respect for Hikaru a long time ago, but when he became a streamer, I completly lost all respect. It's like a different person, just trying to get views and clicks.
I enjoy watching his games, but not all this other stuff. He’s become a Magnus public relations agent in this scandal.
 

fenderbender123

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I don't feel like he's overly siding with Magnus. He's just saying the ball is in Hans' court now. Magnus has accused Hans of cheating, and basically explained that he can't say anything more (without consequences) unless Hans agrees to have a discussion about it. So if Hans doesn't respond, then to me it shows that he's scared of what Magnus is going to say. If Hans is innocent, why not use this opportunity to open up the dialogue and put Magnus in his place? Especially if this is limiting Hans' chess career and hurting his reputation.
 
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Bear-Hawk

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I don't feel like he's overly siding with Magnus. He's just saying the ball is in Hans' court now. Magnus has accused Hans of cheating, and basically explained that he can't say anything more (without consequences) unless Hans agrees to have a discussion about it. So if Hans doesn't respond, then to me it shows that he's scared of what Magnus is going to say. If Hans is innocent, why not use this opportunity to open up the dialogue and put Magnus in his place? Especially if this is limiting Hans' chess career and hurting his reputation.
That's like saying, "You can make all kinds of slanderous false statements about me and I won't sue you." If Magnus has solid proof of cheating, he should bring it on. I am in the "innocent until proven guilty" camp. Hans does not have to prove his innocence. Naka is trying to flip the burden of proof from the prosecution to the defense. That doesn't work in criminal court cases, it is shouldn't work here.
 

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Well I'm no expert but it sounds like Magnus is saying he has more evidence but that he can't put it forth or explain it without legal or league consequences, unless Hans gives him permission.
 
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Bear-Hawk

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Well I'm no expert but it sounds like Magnus is saying he has more evidence but that he can't put it forth or explain it without legal or league consequences, unless Hans gives him permission.
I’m wondering what he has that is factual/truthful that would risk a lawsuit if he disclosed it? For example, he may have a secretly recorded conversation between Hans and someone. That’s possible.

More likely, he just wants Hans to give him a blank check to say anything he wants against Hans without solid proof or risk of litigation. It’s a license to slander. Naka is saying that, if Hans doesn’t grant such indemnification to Magnus, that is evidence of guilt. Bullshit.
 
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fenderbender123

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FIDE is investigating Hans more extensively. I watched a video today showing how extremely unprecedented Hans' rating improvement over the past year or so has been, too. We will see what comes of all this. I can't say for certain either way.

I do believe that guys like Magnus understand the game better than fans like me, and can detect nuances that don't seem right when sitting next to an opponent face to face playing an over the board game. Magnus talked about how Hans didn't seem focused on his match, and didnt seem to be worried about losing. I trust that world championship level players can see things we can't. I also can see how this whole thing can be misconstrued, too. Such interesting drama.
 
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Bear-Hawk

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FIDE is investigating Hans more extensively. I watched a video today showing how extremely unprecedented Hans' rating improvement over the past year or so has been, too. We will see what comes of all this. I can't say for certain either way.

I do believe that guys like Magnus understand the game better than fans like me, and can detect nuances that don't seem right when sitting next to an opponent face to face playing an over the board game. Magnus talked about how Hans didn't seem focused on his match, and didnt seem to be worried about losing. I trust that world championship level players can see things we can't. I also can see how this whole thing can be misconstrued, too. Such interesting drama.
There are statistically based arguments on both sides. I am staying in the “innocent until proven guilty” camp until FIDE does their investigation. As one of my favorite chess analysts said, there’s a difference between “evidence” and “proof”. Proof removes doubt, and I’m not there yet.
 
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Bear-Hawk

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There have been a few more developments in the scandal this month:

1. Chess.com came out with a 72-page report. You can read it here…



Their conclusion is that Hans “likely cheated” more than 100 times online but no proof that he cheated against Magnus or anyone else over he board. There is very detailed statistical analysis for you guys who want to do a deep dive into the stats. Figure 1 on page 17 is very interesting, and actually helps Hans' in over the board cheating allegations.

2. There was an incredible incident in the U.S. chess championship where his opponent actually picked up Hans’ king and “decapitated” the little cross and tossed it back on the board. I am not kidding! You can see the game and the video (at 12:16) here…



3. Hans has now filed a lawsuit against Magnus, chess.com, and Nakamura for defamation. Antonio goes through the gist of it here…



It will be very interesting to see whether the case goes to trial or they settle out of court. Normally, it would settle, but Hans is an unpredictable guy, so who knows?
 
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fenderbender123

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Wow, this is getting crazy! First I thought Magnus was just bitter. Then I thought maybe Hans really cheated. Now I don't know what the hell to think. I'm just gonna sit back and watch this play out. At this point, I'd like to see proof Hans cheated, rather than just accusations.
 

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Magnus is acting as an individual without any authority (influence sure, but not authority). If he thinks Niemann is cheating, there's nothing legally or morally wrong with saying that. It would be a problem if FIDE or a similar organization with authority treats Niemann differently with the same lack of proof, but there hasn't been a hint of that. This would get a whole lot bigger if Niemann was banned from a live event. (I haven't looked at chess.com report enough to have an opinion about that, but their evidence is separate from Magnus' belief.) As it stands now, Magnus is free to believe whatever he wants, and give free rating to Niemann. That's really not such a big deal. Let 'em play (or not play) as they will.
 
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Bear-Hawk

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Magnus is acting as an individual without any authority (influence sure, but not authority). If he thinks Niemann is cheating, there's nothing legally or morally wrong with saying that. It would be a problem if FIDE or a similar organization with authority treats Niemann differently with the same lack of proof, but there hasn't been a hint of that. This would get a whole lot bigger if Niemann was banned from a live event. (I haven't looked at chess.com report enough to have an opinion about that, but their evidence is separate from Magnus' belief.) As it stands now, Magnus is free to believe whatever he wants, and give free rating to Niemann. That's really not such a big deal. Let 'em play (or not play) as they will.
If the case goes to trial, Hans is going to be able to show real financial damage by getting no opportunity to compete for prize money in any online tournament organized by chess.com, since they banned him from participating. Organizers of other events may decline to have him as a result of the scandal. Magnus can probably get Hans disinvited from the Sinquefield cup next year simply by telling the organizers that he will refuse to play against him.
 

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If the case goes to trial, Hans is going to be able to show real financial damage by getting no opportunity to compete for prize money in any online tournament organized by chess.com, since they banned him from participating. Organizers of other events may decline to have him as a result of the scandal. Magnus can probably get Hans disinvited from the Sinquefield cup next year simply by telling the organizers that he will refuse to play against him.

Nothing illegal about chess.com causing "real financial damage" when it's their own tournaments, and with that huge document explaining why. They can only get in trouble if they lied.

Doubt anyone is going to uninvite Hans just because Magnus states he will resign. What kind of a threat is that? It's not like chess has much fan revenue, and if it did Magnus resigning would not hurt that. The whole notion is ridiculous, and that's ignoring the liability that makes the scenario unlikely. Chess.com has a wealth of data they can find suspicious patterns in, past admissions of online cheating, and the need to protect and difficulty of protecting against cheating. Live chess has none of that; data is not normalized and must be interpreted at expensive cost, Hans has never admitted to live cheating, and regardless of suspicions in the past, all they need to do in the future is beef up security measures.
 
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Bear-Hawk

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Nothing illegal about chess.com causing "real financial damage" when it's their own tournaments, and with that huge document explaining why. They can only get in trouble if they lied.

Doubt anyone is going to uninvite Hans just because Magnus states he will resign. What kind of a threat is that? It's not like chess has much fan revenue, and if it did Magnus resigning would not hurt that. The whole notion is ridiculous, and that's ignoring the liability that makes the scenario unlikely. Chess.com has a wealth of data they can find suspicious patterns in, past admissions of online cheating, and the need to protect and difficulty of protecting against cheating. Live chess has none of that; data is not normalized and must be interpreted at expensive cost, Hans has never admitted to live cheating, and regardless of suspicions in the past, all they need to do in the future is beef up security measures.

I am not a lawyer, so I looked for one. David Franklin is a lawyer and also a chess player. Here are his comments on the case…



Some key take-aways from the interview:

1. The case against Nakamura is virtually nonexistent. He will easily get himself removed from the case.


2. Most of the allegations against Magnus and chess.com are also weak and will likely get dropped.

4. Hans might be able to win the defamation case but it is an “uphill battle.”

5. To win the defamation case he needs to prove that he never cheated over the board, and that is impossible.

6. #4 and #5 are mutually exclusive (my opinion) and he never explained how both can be true.

7. The case could go to trial, but more likely that it will not. It is more likely to end in dismissal, summary judgment, or settlement.

8. Like many federal cases, it could drag out for years, so don’t expect a quick result.

9. Chess as a sport now has a big problem, because there is usually no way to catch a “smart cheater” who only uses his cheating method for one or two moves in an over the board game.

The only thing Franklin says that I question is his claim that Hans can’t prove financial damage. It has already happened! Chess.com has its own upcoming tournament with $1,000,000 in prize money. Hans was eligible to compete prior to getting banned by chess.com. Franklin’s argument is that Hans can still make money from other online sources. That is true, but does not negate the fact that he could make more, if he were not banned from all prize money on chess.com for his entire future career.

The thing that troubles me most about this interview is the conclusion that you can accuse over the board cheating and have no legal liability, because the burden of proof is on alleged to prove that he never cheated. The bottom line seems to be that Magus is guilty of “defamation by implication”, but Hans has no viable means to prove himself innocent and, therefore, can’t prove that Magnus’ cheating allegation is false, and, that is one of the three things plaintiff is required to show in order to win a defamation case. In other defamation cases not related to chess, it may be possible (or even easy) to prove the allegation false (e.g., Kanye West’s bullshit), but not here.

Now that I understand the legal issues better, I feel more sympathy for Hans. Do you?
 
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fenderbender123

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Legal stuff is always so interesting. Apparently Magnus worked with lawyers when he issued that official statement, to ensure that he would not be opening himself up to legal consequences. All Magnus has said is that he believes Hans cheated. For the most part, that should be okay to state beliefs.
 
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Bear-Hawk

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Legal stuff is always so interesting. Apparently Magnus worked with lawyers when he issued that official statement, to ensure that he would not be opening himself up to legal consequences. All Magnus has said is that he believes Hans cheated. For the most part, that should be okay to state beliefs.
I have found two lawyers (Franklin and another guy) who say Magnus did “defamation by implication.”. He was careful not to say outright that Hans cheated in their game, but if you imply it very strongly (which he did), there is still potential liability. Franklin says his legal advice to Magnus would have been to just “suck it up” and keep his mouth shut.
 

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