A fresh controversy in the world of chess has emerged, pitting Hans Niemann (20), the polarizing American Grand Master and streamer, against Vladimir Kramnik (48), the veteran chess player and former world champion. For those unaware, Hans had a year-long legal dispute with Magnus Carlsen and Chess.com, as Magnus accused him of cheating (in an IRL game). This resulted in Chess.com banning Hans after he admitted to occasional cheating as a teenager.
However, all of this is now in the past for Hans, as he has been cleared of any allegations, and his Chess.com account has been reinstated. Earlier this month, Hans played against Vladimir Kramnik in a couple of online games on Chess.com.
Although Hans won the first game, Kramnik made a surprising and provocative move (f3, g5) in the second game, suggesting that he might have been upset with Hans. Following the unexpected moves, Hans understandably resigned, expressing his frustration with his opponent. Later, on his own YouTube channel, Kramnik said:
"During the game, there were few moments which 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."
"I'd be happy to do whatever you like" - Hans Niemann responds to recent controversy involving Vladimir Kramnik
A fresh chess controversy has arisen, involving the streamer and chess Grand Master Hans Niemann. Kramnik has hinted at possible foul play in their recent matchup, adding to the drama. Reacting to the controversy, Hans posted a video on his official Twitter/X page, stating:
"First of all, I want to say that I am a huge fan of your chess and I've been following your career and you've been someone that I've looked up to for a very long time. 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."
Hans Niemann extended an invitation to Vladimir for an in-person chess session and even proposed monetary compensation for his participation. He continued:
"I'd be happy to do whatever you like, play games, look at positions, and you could get a more nuanced understanding of my interesting style that you have talked about extensively. So, please let me know. 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."
Since Hans Niemann has recently dealt with a major chess controversy regarding a cheating scandal, it seems highly unlikely that he would cheat again, especially against a legendary player like Vladimir Kramnik.
In fact, as of now, Chess.com has not detected any evidence of cheating by Hans in his match against Vladimir. Therefore, it would be purely speculative to label him as a cheater in this instance.