Hikaru looking focused during a chess tournament.
Image via Wikimedia Commons

Chess pro Hikaru hits back at cheating allegations

Two chess grandmasters have raised suspicions on his latest record-breaking performance.

Chess streamer and grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura hit back at Vladimir Kramnik and Ian Nepomniachtchi on Nov. 20 after they raised suspicions about him cheating.

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He shared a screenshot of Kramnik’s post on Chess.com, where he highlighted the incredibly high stats of a player in their latest blitz games. “A player had scored 45.5 out of 46 consecutive 3 minutes blitz games… which is equivalent to 3600+ performance…. I believe everyone would find this interesting,” Kramnik wrote.

It turns out those stats targeted Hikaru, as the latter revealed. “Vladimir appears to be referencing my record…is he really accusing me of cheating?” Hikaru reacted on X (formerly known as Twitter), as first noted by Dexerto.

Nepomniachtchi backed up those concerns by sharing Vladimir’s post on his account, which drove Hikaru to respond: “Are you jumping on this accusation as well by tweeting this garbage?”

Hikaru said nothing more to defend himself, but his tweet has already stirred reactions from the chess community.

Hikaru is widely renowned for his ability in chess, and blitz chess in particular, breaking numerous records throughout his career. As of November 2023, he has a FIDE rating of 2874 on blitz.

“What a world we live in, where people can make unfounded accusations of cheating, just like that,” Grandmaster Jacob Aagaard responded to the initial tweet.

Kramnik has been vocal about cheating issues on Chess.com for a long time. In September, he boycotted Chess.com for enabling cheaters, a month after making allegations against Niemann after he lost a match to him online. The platform has shared several updates on fair play and cheat-detection measures it’s taking to curb the issue over the years, but it’s not enough, according to the chess pro.


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Eva Martinello
Eva is a Staff Writer from Paris. Her part-time job is charging into walls with Reinhardt. She has been covering League of Legends esports and other titles for six years. She still believes in a Moscow Five comeback. She also fell into the MMO pit and covers FFXIV and Genshin.