I think the Hikaru inclusion is a bit of a step too far and will likely fail, but for Niemann to propose that there was a conspiracy orchestrated by Magnus and Chess.com then it makes sense to also include Hikaru as he’s also very much part of that machine. I think the conspiracy bit justifies his inclusion, rather than it just being about Hikaru calling him a cheater, which I don’t even think he did directly.
The opening statement of that document is very emotive and charged, does read a bit silly in places and the damages are set pretty eyewateringly high, but aside from that I think he has a reasonable case to make.
As far as I can see, Hikaru has reported on everything as it has gone along, including the statements from Hans and the long report from chess.com that showed their statistical basis for banning him. You get the impression he agrees with most of it but he has never said “Hans is a cheater”. So there’s nothing there that I can see.
That leaves chess.com and they’ve come up with a lot of detailed statistical analysis that definitely highlights a big anomaly, along with the revelation that he publicly admitted to cheating aged 12 and 16, while their private correspondence showed that he had admitted to more than that. As for the private correspondence, chess.com intended to keep it private until Hans went public. It shows them giving him an incredible amount of second chances in the circumstances. The questions for them are: 1) should they have gone public at all in retrospect, 2) do they have cast-iron evidence of cheating (as opposed to “highly likely”) and 3) if not, does Hans have a case? Not to mention 4) why did they give him so many more chances, although that’s not relevant to the lawsuit.
Something else on this. Hans has sued four entities with money for $100 million each. The amount he’s asking for is clearly insane and that says something in itself. Others have publicly provided a lot of statistical analysis towards this situation, are not wealthy, and he hasn’t sued them.
tl;dr - this author believes the wording/basis in legality of much of the suit is frequently ludicrous, that including Hikaru was madness, but that he might have had some basis for a more modest claim if he had stuck to the actual facts and chosen the defendants more carefully.
Those involved would be highly unlikely to want to do this, but the chances of someone wanting to make a fictionalised drama are pretty high. I say “fictionalised” because while there is confessed online cheating from the past, the over-the-board stuff is only implication based on chess engines measuring the performance, and the alleged possible means of cheating for that are… well, you may have read the articles.
I know, right? My opponent is not a regular chess player and that opening, while absolute garbage, meant I was obviously completely out of theory immediately. Hung the bishop and queen, missed the chance to trap the rook repeatedly… Having to manage inputting both of our moves and being on a tight 15 mins for the slot, plus the darkness and loud music… None of that made for quality chess but it worked nicely anyway!
Did a third performance of my chess music just now and managed to play semi-competently into an interesting end game of knight / bishop / 4 pawns vs rook / knight / 1 pawn. Heart proper pumping trying to manage the game and the music
Went for choral elements for the pawns complemented by warm synths for the pieces and skittering percussion mapped to the 64 squares.
We played a slightly off-beat London System which led to a highly dynamic middle-game with zero regard for king safety and missed tactics on either side. Chaos builds on the board and in the music until I bail with a queen trade into a low-risk end-game for white. I think that’s where my favourite musical moments lie (from around 11 mins) as the sparse sounds capture the subtle maneuvering on the board. My opponent graciously resigned as we came up on time.