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.
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!