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Hans Niemann, the new Bobby Fischer?!

Author: Maria Fragaki

GM Hans Niemann dominated the Tournament of Peace 2023 in Zagreb with a 8/9 score, securing a substantial three-point lead over the competition, and a stellar performance rating of 2946. After that, the 20-year-old didn’t hesitate to compare himself to the American World Champion Bobby Fischer on Twitter.

Bobby Fischer by Harry Benson

GM Hans Niemann secured a remarkable victory at the Tournament of Peace 2023 in Zagreb, finishing with a commanding three-point lead over the field. The 20-year-old American achieved a 2946 performance rating, scoring 8/9 with seven wins and two draws against an all-grandmaster field. Niemann clinched the tournament victory with a round to spare, concluding the event with a checkmate against top-seed GM Anton Korobov in the last round.

Is an incredible performance enough to compare yourself to Bobby Fischer? Apparently, for Hans Niemann it is! With a live rating of 2693.7 and on his way to the 2023 London Chess Classic, Hans is once more a target for OTB cheating.

The Secretary of the Zagreb Chess Federation, Kresimir Podravec, acknowledged Hans Niemann’s extraordinary performance in the tournament but stated that there was no definitive proof of cheating, despite some indications. In an interview with the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten after the seventh round, Podravec mentioned the absence of formal reports against Niemann. To address concerns about fair play, the tournament organizers increased the broadcast delay to 15 minutes initially, then to 30 minutes, and finally to an hour after the seventh round. These measures were implemented to enhance the integrity of the competition and alleviate suspicions surrounding player moves.

The drama doesn’t stop there! GM Ivan Cheparinov made two posts on Facebook stating that Nakamura, with whom he has played recently, is not even close to Niemann’s level, that he thinks Niemann works really hard, and we’re now witnessing the rising of new Fischer! Many people found these comments ironic to say the least, and started once more the conversation on anti-cheating measures.

Despite the fuzz, Niemann’s attorney responded: “Despite the overwhelming proof of Hans’ extraordinary talents, there will always be haters. Our advice to them is simple: Get used to it. Hans is just getting started.”, with Hans tweeting once more that chess is speaking and will always speak for itself!

Did Hikaru Nakamura cheat online?

Author: Maria Fragaki

Of course Hikaru Nakamura is cheating! He is not only the most successful chess streamer, World No.3 in classical chess, and World No.2 in blitz, but also a smart businessman, and happily married! He must have been cheating to be that accomplished, don’t you think? Let’s unwrap the new chess drama between Hikaru Nakamura, Vladimir Kramnik, and chesscom, but for the same old reasons; cheating!

Magnus Carlsen vs Hans Niemann

The chess world was rocked when Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup last autumn after losing to Hans Niemann, whom he later accused of cheating in online games. The controversy escalated as Hikaru Nakamura supported Carlsen’s claims in a video stream, and Chesscom reported Niemann’s history of using unauthorized computer assistance. Niemann admitted to online cheating but denied it in over-the-board games. A public debate ensued, with divided opinions and conflicting expert analyses. The situation intensified when Niemann sued Carlsen, Nakamura, and for $100 million, leading to a partial dismissal and eventual settlement, concluding the high-profile dispute.

Vladimir Kramnik vs Hans Niemann

Former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik recently faced Hans Niemann in an online tournament on chesscom and suffered a surprising defeat in the Berlin Defence. Unconvinced of the fairness of the match, Kramnik, playing with black in the next game, protested by making unconventional moves (1.e4 f6 2.d4 g5) against Niemann, who chose to resign rather than accept the mate offer.

In response to Vladimir Kramnik’s implicit accusations of unfair play in their online match, Hans Niemann took a proactive approach and offered to undergo a personal training session with Kramnik, suggesting that such an interaction could serve as an opportunity for Kramnik to assess Niemann’s understanding of chess.

Kramnik’s concern though extends beyond him. The chess veteran believes that online tournaments, particularly the ‘Titled Tuesday’ series on chesscom, are prone to a high degree of cheating.

Hikaru Nakamura hits the highest ever blitz rating on Chesscom

On the 13th of November, GM Hikaru Nakamura has set new records for the highest blitz rating on Chesscom, surpassing the longstanding mark of 3332 twice within a short period. Nakamura achieved ratings of 3334 and 3336 during live streaming sessions on Kick, just before winning his 42nd Titled Tuesday crown in the double-tournament era.

Hikaru Nakamura vs Vladimir Kramnik

Surpassing his own blitz record was one thing, but scoring 45,5 out of 46 consecutive 3-minute blitz games against players with a 2950 average rating, which leads to a 3600+ performance, is a whole new level of online chess awesomeness! These statistics caught Kramnik’s attention, who found them interesting!

As GM Eric Hansen mentioned in his stream, “interesting” is an invitation to investigate Hikaru on cheating online. So it’s clearly an accusation.

In this accusation, Hikaru responded in his stream saying that Kramnik has clearly lost his mind, but also he won 43 blitz chess games in a row, live on stream, and later he won chesscom’s Bullet Brawl score for the third time in a row with 73 wins!

On November 29th Chesscom released an official statement saying that they have found no incidents of Hikaru cheating after generating nearly 2,000 individual reports on Hikaru’s games in their Fair Play system.

Vladimir Kramnik vs Chesscom

“Calling my recent efforts to help improve anti-cheating efficiency of platform ‘accusations of Hikaru Nakamura by Vladimir Kramnik’ is a clear public disinformation. In case it [chesscom apologising to him for labeling his concerns to be accusations] is not done within 24 hours from the moment this post is published on my blog on I will start a legal case against next week latest after the consultation with my lawyers.” the former World Champion wrote after the report has being released, with Nakamura responding: “I don’t care what Kramnik has said, threats are not okay. Period. But trying to hold accountable for what someone says on a platform that has hundreds of millions of users, first of all, is very strange. [...] Who does this guy think he is?”

Is this ever going to end?

Fabiano Caruana and Carissa Yip are the 2023 U.S. Chess Champions

Author: Maria Fragaki

The 2023 U.S. Championships concluded yesterday with GM Fabiano Caruana clinching first for the third time, with a round to spare, and IM Carissa Yip becoming 2-time U.S. Women’s Champion.

Photos by Lennart Ootes


GM Fabiano Caruana has defended his title at the 2023 U.S. Championship to become the 3-Time U.S. Champion with a round to spare and a commanding lead of 1.5 points over his rivals. In the final round, GM Abhimanyu Mishra showcased a positional masterpiece against GM Levon Aronian, earning him a spot in a tie for second place alongside GMs Wesley So and Leinier Dominguez.

The U.S. Women’s Championship concluded with an exciting final day, marked by all decisive games, resulting in IM Carissa Yip securing her second championship title. Defending champion WGM Jennifer Yu played a key role, defeating WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova, who secured the second position. IM Alice Lee claimed a clear third place by defeating FM Ashritha Eswaran, solidifying her position in the tournament rankings.

U.S. Championship

The most anticipated game of the semifinals was Abhimanyu Mishra vs Fabiano Caruana as Mishra’s incredible performance was a direct threat to the leader. After an aggressive kingside attack by Caruana, Mishra had to give up an exchange. But that wasn’t the end as the young GM’s resourcefulness created a dynamic counter-play. The reigning champion navigated an exchange-up ending, ultimately winning the game on move 75, and win the title for the third time, with a round to spare!

“Overall, it’s a great feeling. [...] I couldn’t be happier about repeating the result from last year.” Caruana stated after his early win!

Watch the game

The final round determined the top 3, with Abhimanyu Mishra once more performing his magic. This time, the 14-year-old GM demonstrated his strategic brilliance by outmaneuvering GM Levon Aronian, achieving one of his most remarkable victories to date. After this win, Mishra marked an outstanding 2761 performance, tied for 2nd place alongside GMs Wesley So and Leinier Dominguez, and got into the World’s Juniors Top.15.

U.S. Women’s Championship

“I thought a draw would be ok, but then I got to the board and while I was playing, I was like, you know what, I would really rather win.” Yip thought during her Round 10 game against Ruiyang Yan, which totally went wrong as she’s lost the game due to a tactical overlook. After this loss, Yip “was really in the depths of her despair”, but fortune smiled at her for the second time!

It was a series of decisive games that led IM Carissa Yip to the thrown of the U.S. Women’s Championship. WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova needed a win against the defending champion WGM Jennifer Yu in order to clinch the title or a draw would secure a playoff. Even after a challenging opening, Yu made a strong comeback, gaining the advantage in a complex position. With just seconds on her clock, Yu won the game to leave Tokhirjonova in the second place. “It’s embarrassing how many times I have flagged a game of increment!” Yu joked afterwards.

Despite her poor start in the tournament, IM Alice Lee scored seven points from the last eight games, including her final win against FM Ashritha Eswaran to finish third. “Overall, I started very badly in the first three rounds. I think after that I was able to come back. I think especially my round four win was really important. It was super crazy. I was winning. I was losing. Then I was winning again. For me to get that super crazy win I think in some ways even better than getting a solid win. Overall, I finished with 7.5/11, and I think that’s a good performance for me. I broke 2400. This is the first time that my official rating will be above, and that’s something that I’m happy about.” Alice reflected on her result.

 2108   1 mo   2023 news   Breaking News   home   Main feature   US Championship

ECCC 2023: Carlsen, Anand, Rapport, and MVL sit out R1

Author: Maria Fragaki

In the opening round of the 2023 European Club Cup, the top teams in both sections effortlessly defeated lower-rated opponents. In the open section though, Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Richard Rapport, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave decided to sit out.

Photo by Niki Riga | ECCC 2023

General Information

Exciting chess battles and strategic brilliance are on display as the 2023 European Club Cup kicked off yesterday at a luxurious resort in Durrës, Albania, and will continue until October 7th. The open section witnessed 42 matches, while the women’s event featured 12 matches. Both tournaments follow the Swiss format, with six boards in the open category and four boards in the women’s event.

Top Teams

Team Superchess (Romania, Captain: Ivan Sokolov) has the highest rating average (2711) with Vishy Anand and Richard Rapport playing on top boards.

Team Novy Bor (Czech Republic, Captain: Petr Boleslav) holds second place on the rating board (2665), with Vincent Keymer and David Navara leading the team.

Next up is Team Asnieres – Le Grand Echiquier (France, Captain: Jean-Claude Moingt) with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave being on board 1.

Last but not least, the Offerspill Team (Norway, Captain: Victor Havik) has World No.1 Magnus Carlsen on board 1, followed by Aryan Tari, Eric Hansen, and young Indian prodigy Pranav V., but has a rating average at 2650.

No.1 team with a rating average at 2496 is Monte Carlo with Mariya Muzychuk, Anna Muzychuk, Sara Khadem, Elisabeth Paehtz, and Pia Cramling forming a super-team!

Next are the Superchess, Garuda Ajka BSK, and SP Gaz Ukraine teams with GMs Irina Bulmaga, Bella Khotenashvili, and Natalia Zhukova leading the charge on board 1.

Round 1

The ceremonial first move in the starting round of the Women’s European Chess Club Cup 2023 was made by the ECU President Zurab Azmaiparasvhili on behalf of Johanna Bjorg Johannsdottir (Team Taflfelag Gardabaejar, Iceland), who was playing against Antoaneta Stefanova (Teuta, Albania.

The results of Round 1 came with no surprises, as the highest seeds beat the much lower-rated opposition, despite the absence of the “big names”, Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Richard Rapport, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, in the open section.

With a 6:0 score, the rating favourite Superchess (Romania) defeated Rishon Lezion (Israel). The same score was in the matches between the title-defender Novy Bor (Czech Republic) and Zuid-Limburg (Netherlands), Asnieres – Le Grand Echiquier (France) and Slough Sharks (England). Team Offerspill Sjakklubb (Norway) beat Bloemendaalse SV (Netherlands) by 5,5-0.5 as board 1, 17 year-old Raunak Sadhwani made a draw against Jasel Lopez.

In women’s tournament, top-seeded Monte Carlo (Monaco) won their match against Offerspill Chess Club (Norway) by 4-0. Superchess (Romania), and Garuda Ajka BSK (Hungary) beat ASD Pedone Isolano (Italy), and Rishon Lezion (Israel) respectively by 3,5-0.5, and fourth seed SP Gaz Ukraine beat GSK Kumanovo (North Macedonia) by 4-0.


GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda is the World Chess Armageddon Champion

Author: Maria Fragaki

The Polish GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda is the first winner of the World Chess Armageddon Championship Series in Berlin! Duda’s victory is a testament to his exceptional skills, and he secures not only the prestigious title but also a substantial prize of €88,000.

Wesley So – Nodirbek Abdusattorov

In Game 1, we witnessed the French Defense in a highly tactical system. Wesley successfully seized control of the center, expanding his influence to the queenside. What truly adds excitement to the Armageddon format is the rapid evolution of the game, with players having to make critical decisions in under 30 seconds. Nodirbek overlooked a devastating tactical blow, resulting in the loss of a bishop and ultimately the game, while Wesley demonstrated remarkable composure to secure the victory!

Once again, Nodirbek opted for the Jobava London System, a choice he previously employed against GM Humpy Koneru in the Armageddon. The pivotal question loomed: could White, represented by Nodirbek, mastermind an efficient assault on the opponent’s king? Despite securing an exchange, Nodirbek found himself in a race against the clock, with less than 10 seconds remaining. Wesley, however, engineered a lethal passed pawn to secure his second victory in this thrilling encounter.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov, the talented young Uzbek Grandmaster, concluded his journey in the World Chess Armageddon by securing the third-place position. His impressive performance earned him a total prize of €28,000, and in his own words he looks forward to next year’s Armageddon!

Jan-Krzysztof Duda

The World Chess Armageddon Grand Finale culminated in an epic showdown of chess titans. In Game 1, Duda, playing as White, opened with the Ruy Lopez. Displaying boldness and strategy, Duda executed the move 20.h4! following GM Simon Williams’ suggestion, aiming to seize the initiative with a king’s attack.

Regrettably, Wesley So was unable to locate the optimal defence and had to resign just moments before being checkmated.

Game 2 featured Wesley So as White, opting for a positional and strategic approach. Following a queen exchange, Wesley found himself dealing with an isolated pawn that required vigilant defence. As time dwindled for both players, the position escalated in complexity, with each having less than 10 seconds on the clock. Unfortunately for Wesley, he blundered a pawn, leading to his immediate resignation and a 2-0 loss in the match.


1st place: Jan-Krzysztof Duda – €88,000 in total
2nd place: Wesley So – €58,000 in total
3rd place: Nodirbek Abdusattorov – €28,000 in total

Rewatch the finals

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