Chess requires impeccable mental strength, which is not easy, unlike any other game. In the history of games, there have been only a handful of controversies.
Among them was the feud between the 20-year-old American chess grandmaster and Twitch streamer Hans Niemann and 48-year-old Russian chess grandmaster Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik.
Both are renowned names in the game of chess. However, both are embroiled in a feud as the chess veteran played against the rising chess star in a couple of online games on Chess.com. As Hans Niemann defeated the veteran Vladimir Kramnik, he hinted at possible foul play upon losing and expressed his frustration with his opponent.
As the chess veteran lost the first game to the rising star of the game at a rate of 3 minutes + 2 seconds per move, Vladimir Kramnik played the two moves which led to the famous imbecile’s checkmate. He found himself not in harmony from the beginning of the game, and he preferred to give up by making a surprising and provocative move (f3, g5) in the second game.
“During the game, there were a few moments that made me kind of uncomfortable. In what sense, that it was so unusual, the way Hans was playing, in the sense of some moves. But especially, the time management,” said the chess veteran.
Kramnik claimed to have unwittingly accepted this second part, which he did not wish to play because of suspicions following the first part. Later, he made changes to his profile on the online gaming site, mentioning: “Percentage of games with an accuracy greater than 80% over the last 200 blitz games played online: Carlsen 9, Kramnik 14, Nakamura 15, Niemann 45.”
Following the statement by Kramnik, Hans also posted a video saying that he has always been a fan of the chess veteran. He said that he has been following his career and has looked up to him for a long time, and he asked for a resolution between them.
“I saw your recent video, and I thought that perhaps a resolution to that would be to have an in-person training camp where you would be able to evaluate my chess on a deeper level,” said Hans Niemann
Hans Niemann also extended an invitation for an in-person chess game and proposed monetary compensation for his participation. He added that Kramnik can get a more nuanced understanding of his game, which he has talked about extensively.
“Anytime I’m not playing a tournament, I could do it anytime, anywhere. Completely up to you, and of course, I can compensate for your time,” he added.
It is yet to be cleared whether he cheated in the recent game against Vladimir Kramnik. However, in the past, he admitted to cheating online when he was 12 and 16 but insists he has never done so over the board in an in-person match.
The rising chess star also promised to play naked to prove his innocence as Chess.com, which has millions of users around the world, concluded in a 72-page report that Niemann had “likely cheated” in online matches between July 2015 and August 2020.
With all that, it would be interesting to see how the controversy would unfold ahead. It was hard to imagine why the 48-year-old Russian chess grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik gave up the game. Was he stunned by the young talent and believed he could not defeat him?
Let us know in the comments what you think about it.