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Inside the Chess Cheating Scandal: ‘It Was a Ticking Time Bomb’

A month before Magnus Carlsen and 19-year-old American grandmaster Hans Moke Niemann found themselves battling each other at the center of a high-profile chess cheating scandal, they were two guys pushing pawns on the beach in Miami.

Hanging around for a tournament promotion, they played on a board in the sand, watched by only a handful of people, including Dutch grandmaster Anish Giri. The games were casual, but the results were decisive. Mr. Carlsen, the five-time world champion from Norway and the highest-rated player of all time, wiped the beach with Mr. Niemann, according to Mr. Giri.

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