Vladimir Kramnik boycotts Chess.com, blames “obvious cheaters” after Hans Niemann defeat

Jake Nichols
Vladimir Kramnik and Hans NiemannChess.com / IG: hans_niemann

Grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik has thrown in the towel on Chess.com, claiming that the site is riddled with “obvious cheaters” after being defeated by Hans Niemann.

Kramnik’s decision to boycott the site came after his recent defeat to Niemann on September 18 during the Champions Chess Tour Play-In event. Kramnik, a former World Champion, expressed his frustration on his Chess.com profile, stating:

“I have decided to stop playing on chesscom from tomorrow on. Just too many obvious cheaters here and nothing is done to clean the platform from those small crooks. Harsh words but true.”

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He continued, “Hope would come back one day if it will be cleaned from at least obvious cheaters. I promise I will continue trying my best to save chess from this disease.”

The older Grandmaster, who has been less active in online chess compared to the younger generation, seemed to struggle against Niemann’s tactics in their latest game. Grandmaster Daniel King even noted that Niemann appeared to be “living rent-free in Kramnik’s head,” suggesting a psychological edge in Niemann’s favor.

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Kramnik’s boycott now means that Chess.com is at the center of controversy once again. In 2022, the site played a part in what was a major “cheating” scandal involving Hans Niemann and World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen. Niemann, who defeated Carlsen in a high-profile game, faced allegations of cheating, leading to a report by Chess.com that suggested Niemann had cheated in numerous online games.

The report, while not directly accusing Niemann of cheating against Carlsen, cast a shadow over the young player’s reputation. Niemann later filed a $100 million defamation lawsuit against Carlsen, Chess.com, and other prominent figures in the chess community, such as Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, which has since been resolved.

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The chess community will be watching closely to see how Chess.com responds to Kramnik’s allegations and whether other players will follow suit in boycotting the platform.

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About The Author

Jake Nichols was formerly a Senior Writer on the Australian Dexerto team. A "washed-up" competitive gamer with an economics degree, he has a unique angle on industry trends. When not writing, he's snapping away in Marvel Snap and hunting purple sector times in sim racing games. You can contact Jake at jake.nichols@dexerto.com