Yes, Top Level Classical Chess Is Rigged.

Hikaru responds to an article about match-fixing for chess title norms and the editor pulls a Betteridge’s Law gambit. Original article here:

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85 Comments

  1. The problem is that Löffler does not give concrete evidence. It is very speculative. Yet, the general point he is making is quite important, how people might receive their norms. I'm quite certain that there are tournaments with players that are rather weak or even cheated themselves into that spot.

  2. The Stefan guy is a typical journo. Literally sounds like the loser kid who would snitch every time something happened

  3. i knew hikaru paid for his bongcloud run wins.

  4. Let me welcome Finland's ascension to the Eastern European family, and its departure from the Northern European realm. It was about time!

  5. i now seriously doubt the legitimacy of your GM norm and will hate you forever for matchfixing you cheater !!!

  6. These articles are reminiscent of trying to "expose" persons due to politics. Now this type of lazy journalism is finding its way to… CHESS😂

  7. Hikaru- "I repeat myself alot" "like alot"

  8. I hate that we say eastern europe instead of slavic or nordic or germanic or western

  9. And then the following day there is a conspiracy article about Hiraku winning against American players.

  10. do you think there should be a level above GM these days? like super GM? for norms.

  11. Old white man with an IM tries to discount the achievements of a young Asian woman who achieved a WGM title, and a record-setting literal child. And he's going to get published, and get a pass on these baseless claims, because it FEEEELS like his voice has a place in this discussion. There are things about the chess world I will never have access to, but all of the changes taking place in the last few years are 100% for the better, and I can't wait for much less of people like this.

  12. @8:02 You say you beat Bill Pascal, but have you ever played Pedro?

  13. You lost to the 2 Russians but they had the highest ratings in the group; so it seems it's not about countries but rather about individual competences.

  14. Finland is ekstern Europe now? They moved? Don’t blame them. It’s mighty cold up north…….

  15. Did you just call Finland Eastern Europe? You are brave. Not wrong, just brave.

  16. It's just a dishonest article written by someone who has no idea what statistical rigor means.

    You can find crazy patterns like this in everyday statistics. The key is to find out whether it's statistically abnormal.

    For any given tournament, there can be huge variation in any given player's record against players of a certain nationality or from a certain continent.

    But if you play multiple of these tournaments, the expectation is that this data will smooth out, and you'll soon find that the opponent's nationality has no bearing on your winning chances.

    One tournament is not a statistically significant sample. No generalising conclusions can be drawn from one tournament.

  17. I'd assume, especially in lesser/medium tier tourns, that the geographic factor plays a large role. You're going to get a lot more "casual" players from near the location, due to easier travel and general tournament popularity (notoriety). If you're flying halfway around the world to compete…there's normally a good reason for it, over a fun weekend where you expect to lose, an hour or two drive from your house. I'm sure the overall amount of events and player participation can also skew the numbers for a region. Big (medium) fish in a small pond syndrome. Playing tournaments every weekend with 90% of the same field, the top local guys are going to end up with an inflated ranking.

  18. If i were playing Hikaru I'd effect a German or east European accent to be sure of win.

  19. Sergey has had this planned for years like some sort of chess master.

  20. I laughed so hard when YouTube subtitles showed Attila Czebe as "Attila Chubby".

  21. Some asked why the move showed was good, well i'm not sure but i think that after Qf3, the game becomes very enjoyable for both players…. except for black! 😀

  22. "After days of meticulous analysis, we concluded that the world's top-level chess players perform better when they play games in their own time-zone than they do when they have to fly halfway across the world and play against other top-tier chess players who are playing in their native time zone"

    This article killed my brain cells

  23. there's a famous line that goes: "There are 3 types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics"

  24. I don't know, but I think the article brings some good questions. I think Hikaru might be underestimating what Karjakin's father is willing to do to push his son forward. I think I'd like to get Kasparov's opinion on how likely this sort of thing can happen, I'm guessing after what Kasparov's been through, he would have no doubt that these sort of "match-fixings" are definitely possible. But what can be done about it? If a player is willing to throw a game for some money, it may seem terrible, but isn't it up to that person to do that if he wants to. It's not really cheating if they both agree. I mean does it really effect any other people except those players even though I'm sure that it weakens the sport as a whole. Also, how do you prove that somebody threw a game, even if they admitted to it. Then all of sudden people could just start claiming that everything is rigged whether it is or isn't. It's like "yeah yeah I really would have won that game against Magnus Carlsen but I decided to let him have it, I figured I was already in last place in the tournament and he offered me some money to make sure that he gets the win so he's guaranteed to either win or tie and go to the tie-break round." Seriously though, if my best friend I were both in a tournament and there was no way I could win but my friend could, I'd at least consider throwing my game to give him or her what he or she needs to move forward and I wouldn't think it was cheating. I'd think that it's nobodies business but my own.

  25. The same thing happened to me in ICC which is Internet Chess Club. I am an 1800+ player who plays in a local chess club and occasionally travels within a few hours to some tournaments. ICC said I was cheating because some of their good players were losing to me. They would either drop two (2) pawns to me in the opening or play passively for most of the game and give me positions I wanted. And some would try to play too aggressively against my Berlin and get spanked. I respect all players but I don't care if it's Magnus Carlsen who drops 2 pawns against me, Nakamura, Caruana.. Guess what? I am a club player, am gonna start trading down into an endgame and beat you with my extra material, no different than 95% of American club players will do to you. And yes if I book up on an opening and players are misplaying it, I'm going to keep playing it when I have white because I know they have not studied it.

  26. There is a chapter in "Freakonomics" about rigged sumo-wrestling. Some of it would transfer to chess as well I believe.

  27. Gotta love how dodgy journalists ruin every field. Props to Hikaru for pointing out how stupidly you can manipulate any stat, and for defending Qiyu.

  28. I always wonder whether chess.com ratings are regionally dependent. For instance, when I play at night, I play a lot against Latin Americans, and I win. Now does that mean I'm better at night, or their local ELO is overestimated? Same thing when playing during the holidays vs during the work week. It's like there are separate distributions. Now if I want to gain ELO, I could look for optimal circumstances and adversaries. You can't really do this OTB, or can you?

  29. I've noticed if Hikaru says something three times in a row, he's not joking.

  30. I don't quite get all the fuzz over the title, to be honest. What do you get for "swindling" to be called a GM? It's not like that is helping you against a "real" GM, if your playing ability is not in line with your title. xD Maybe the chess world needs to rethink the whole GM thing and only grant the title to anyone who can place top 10 in a world championship if it is that important to you, I don't know. The whole concept of only getting norms over the board is antiquated anyways and has been for a long time. This is the internet age – there HAS to be a better way ^^

  31. Once again New York Times impresses with their tireless work exposing the misdeeds of High Finance and Federal & International Politics … oh wait …

  32. Finland is not usually considered an Eastern European country, but a Nordic og Scandinavian country.

  33. Finland isn't in Eastern Europe. It's in Scandinavia which is Northern Europe.

  34. Finland is in Eastern Europe? I think not.

  35. Sounds like pretty concrete evidence to me. Not sure why Hikaru is being salty about this article.

  36. The way that he started playing through the game from 18 years ago just blows my mind

  37. can't believe hikaru would expose himself like this

  38. You know when Naka is upset he starts repeatingntge same digs over and over…he was extra pissed here

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