The cheating scandal that has rocked the chess world for weeks now continues to set off fireworks.
On Sept. 19, reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway made a handful of moves and then withdrew from an online chess match against 19-year-old American player Hans Niemann at the $350,000 Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis.
Carlsen later filed cheating allegations against Niemann.
Now, the latest twist? The website, chess.com, a hub for competitive chess players, has published a 72-page investigative report that accuses Niemann of rampant cheating— not just in the one match against Carlsen.
The report accuses Neimann of receiving illegal assistance in more than a hundred online matches.
Chess.com did not make allegations about Neimann's play in in-person competitions.
Maurice Ashley, a Jamaican-born chess grandmaster and US Chess hall-of-famer, said that chess fans around the globe have been riveted by the drama.
"It's massive," Ashley said. "I mean, imagine Tom Brady gets on the field and takes a high a snap and then decides, 'I'm leaving, it's over,' and doesn't say anything at all about why he's leaving."
Niemann has previously admitted to cheating when playing online chess when he was 12 and 16, but denied ever cheating over the board.
In a statement published days before Carlsen’s accusations, the president of the International Chess Federation, Arkady Dvorkovich, said the governing body shared Carlsen’s “deep concerns about the damage that cheating brings to chess” and is prepared to investigate incidents “when the adequate initial proof is provided.”
Listen to Ashley's Sept. 20 interview with The World by clicking the audio player below:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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