Magnus Carlsen accuses Hans Niemann of recent cheating, unwilling to play the American

In a statement published on Twitter, Magnus Carlsen said that he believes Hans Niemann has cheated more and more recently than he's willing to admit.

FP Sports September 27, 2022 09:01:58 IST
Magnus Carlsen accuses Hans Niemann of recent cheating, unwilling to play the American

File image of Magnus Carlsen. Image: Reuters

London: Magnus Carlsen for the first time openly accused American Hans Niemann of cheating, saying the rising star had done so more recently and more often than he previously admitted.

The chess world has been embroiled in controversy for three weeks by the Carlsen-Niemann controversy. It began when the 31-year-old five-time world champion Carlsen withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup after losing to 19-year-old Niemann.

Last week, the Norwegian’s abrupt withdrawal – after just one move – from a match against Niemann in the Julius Baer Generation Cup online tournament reignited the furore.

In a letter published on Twitter, Carlsen said: “I believe that Niemann has cheated more — and more recently — than he has publicly admitted.

“His over the board progress has been unusual.”

He did not specify the exact form of the alleged cheating, but added there was “more that I would like to say” but stopped short of not having explicit permission by Niemann.

Niemann has acknowledged cheating online twice, when he was 12 and 16, but has claimed he’s never played fraudulently in a face-to-face match and is even willing to play nude to prove his good faith.

In early September, the global chess platform chess.com banned the American for cheating.

As per Carlsen, during their Sinquefield Cup match, Niemann did not seem tense or even to be “fully concentrating on the game in critical positions, while outplaying me as a black in a way I think only a few players can do.”

He called cheating in chess “an existential threat to the game” and said: “I don’t want to play against people that have cheated repeatedly in the past.”

He concluded by saying he hoped the truth would come out, “whatever it may be”.

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