My Game With Hans Niemann

My Game With Hans Niemann

| 19

My one classical game with Hans Niemann was from the 2017 World Open. There we met in the 8th round, the penultimate round. He was rated a bit shy of 2300 FIDE, having reached the FIDE Master title about a year previously and having slid back a bit, but his USChess rating was still over 2400. He was one of many strong juniors in the United States at the time.

I had the good fortune to get the White pieces and the even better fortune to see Hans play the French Defense, not because I think the French is a terrible opening as Robert Hess does, but because I've played the French my entire life, and I feel super at home in the structures. The French also leads to strategic struggles and while Hans may be a strong positional player, I certainly preferred my chances there to a Sicilian slugfest or similar.

A good result in this game and other games in this event lead to a great finish for me, just a bit shy of the U2300 prize money and a gain in rating points.

The 2017 World Open was actually won by Tigran Petrosian with 7.5/9. In second, were many players including Jeffery Xiong, who lead at points, and 17-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik who had an outstanding event.

Here are my notes on the game from 2017! I didn't update my annotations though I did have a fresh look with modern engines before recording. It's kind of cool to have my notes from five years ago before all the recent developments.

Hans was a good sport after the game and mentioned a line he was looking at in a brief 30 second or so post-mortem. My only other game against Hans was actually a crazyhouse game played when we were both streaming in 2019. I won the game, and I remember someone in my chat was also watching Hans, and they mentioned that he recalled the classical game we played when we got paired, and he was also a good sport at that time.

If you like the content and want to support it, subscribe and follow on YouTube and Twitch!