Currents 068: Jonathan Rowson on the Chess Drama

Jim talks with Grandmaster chess player and philosopher Jonathan Rowson about the recent drama between Magnus Carlsen and Hans Niemann in the Champions Chess Tour. They discuss Rowson’s chess background, the bare facts of the kerfuffle, Niemann’s persona & career trajectory, present evidence for whether Niemann cheated & the reasonable odds that he won fairly, how Carlsen might know whether he cheated, Carlsen’s special information access, theories about how cheating in chess might be accomplished, the risk of paranoia in chess & chess culture, and much more.

Jonathan Rowson is co-founder and director of the research institute Perspectiva based in London. He is also the former director of the Social Brain Centre at the Royal Society of Arts and is a chess grandmaster and three-time British Chess Champion. His books include The Seven Deadly Chess SinsChess for ZebrasSpiritualize: Cultivating Spiritual Sensibility to Address 21st Century Challenges, and, The Moves That Matter: A Chess Grandmaster on the Game of Life.