Stay in touch!

Never miss out on the latest articles and get sneak peeks of our favorite classes.

A Good Chess Cheater Might Never be Caught


Several experienced chess players rely on their instincts when playing the game. With time, the narrative has changed as AI-enabled systems have transformed the face of the game. The disparity between human intelligence and the computer brain has made the ancient sport all the more intense.


Hans Nieman vs Magnus Carlsen


Let’s talk about an incident that elucidates the statement and is an eye-opener for many.


When the 19 year old American rookie Hans Niemann won the chess tournament in St-Louis against the reigning champion and prodigy Magnus Carlsen, he was accused of using unfair means to win. 


Carlsen, who is considered the epitome of excellence in chess, accused Neimann of using an AI-run device hidden in the body to fabricate a stunning victory. Niemann defended by saying he did not resort to unethical methods and won with his own skills.


This incident sparked suspicion among chess aficionados. The authorities accused him of taking help from an AI-enabled system or a chess engine.


Blamed for using unfair means to win the game, Niemann clarified that when he was young and played chess online, he would often rely on the suggestions of the AI-enabled machines. He argued that the victory against Carlsen nevertheless wasn’t by any unfair means or unethical strategies.


Numerous chess experts are delving deeper into the matter by observing his previous tournaments and feeding the information into chess engines to assess the pattern of his game. They analyzed whether his moves matched the ones used by the AI device that he used.  Reports stated that Niemann made several AI-recommended moves in the chess games he participated in since 2020. There was hardly any difference in their moves. On the other hand, Carlsen has played only two computer-like games in which he effortlessly defeated his opponent by relying on his skills. also stated that Niemann cheated in over one hundred online games.

quotation marks

The disparity between human intelligence and the computer brain has made the ancient sport all the more intense.

A Good Chess Cheater Might Never be Caught

Drawing a Parallel Between the Chess Approaches


Comparing the players’ moves to the ones predicted by the machines is an age-old way to gauge authenticity. The chess experts analyze the situation with the help of a strength score suggested by


The International and the US Chess Federations have approved an approach developed by Kenneth Regan, a renowned chess player and a computer scientist. The approach uses an Elo rating to predict the moves of the players. It is a parameter to gauge the skills of the chess players and whether they use the opportunities to their advantage. In this, the real moves are compared to the ones suggested by the AI-enabled machines.


If there is a consistent use of the engines to decide the moves, then misconduct is detected. Unfortunately, this approach hasn’t effectively provided suitable interpretations about the Niemann-Carlsen cheating controversy.


Drawbacks of the Approaches


Computers have been used to prepare chess players for competitions since the early 2000s. The approaches may not be able to tell the difference between relying on human capabilities and following chess engine directions.


By remembering the set of moves recommended by the machines, the players have gained confidence and think they can emerge victorious. But, on the contrary, eminent old chess players relied on their instincts and treated the game to be a form of art.


In today’s era, chess players trust computer-enabled systems and develop strategies to make things a cakewalk. As a result, the game has lost its human touch and become more mechanized.


A Good Chess Cheater Might Never be Caught

Ways the AI-enabled Chess Engines Affect the Players


It seems ingrained in the psyche of young chess players that computerized methods are better than human intelligence. Several chess players believe that the younger lot depends on digital methods. This is because computers have made previously ignored concepts more prominent.


Talking about the repercussions, with computerized games, the players are robbed of their originality and the cognitive abilities that help them emerge as winners. In addition, the process of making calculations has also altered.


It has become difficult for cheat detection experts to decipher the moves made by the players. Moreover, it is daunting to tell if the computers suggested these as both look similar.


The Prevalent Notions About Chess


Chess has shifted people’s perspectives. While the legendary Garry Kasparov accused the supercomputer Deep Blue of using human assistance to defeat him decades back, in the case of Niemann, the narrative is completely opposite. 


The use of machines has altered the game of chess. The players could unravel new techniques and reach a level of excellence. Niemann may be the first player with digital assistance who can elevate his career to greater heights.


The notions about chess would alter, potentially leading to new inventions in chess methods and strategies.


Every game must be played with a spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship. The results do not matter, but a player’s effort might make or break his life. 



The usage of AI technology is currently in debate, but is it entirely unethical to have a playstyle that matches a chess engine?


The cheating incidents in the game of chess weighs both perspectives. At Mind Mentorz, we train our young talents in both offline and online platforms to build them up and equip them to face today’s tech-centric world. 


Book a session with me and boost your chess skills today. 

Share this article
Back to top