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No. 1 Chess Player Magnus Carlsen Accuses Hans Niemann of Cheating After Viral Match

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 26, 2022

Norway's Magnus Carlsen competes during his Round 10 game against the Moldova's team at the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022, in Mahabalipuram on August 8, 2022. (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP) (Photo by ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images)
ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images

Magnus Carlsen, the No. 1 chess player in the world, accused Hans Niemann of cheating "more—and more recently—than he has publicly admitted" in a statement he posted to social media.

Magnus Carlsen @MagnusCarlsen

My statement regarding the last few weeks. <a href="https://t.co/KY34DbcjLo">pic.twitter.com/KY34DbcjLo</a>

Carlsen opened the statement by addressing his abrupt withdrawal from the Sinquefield Cup and his decision to resign after making just one move in an online match against Niemann.

chess24.com @chess24com

Another shocker as <a href="https://twitter.com/MagnusCarlsen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MagnusCarlsen</a> simply resigns on move 2 vs. <a href="https://twitter.com/HansMokeNiemann?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HansMokeNiemann</a>! <a href="https://t.co/2fpx8lplTI">https://t.co/2fpx8lplTI</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ChessChamps?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ChessChamps</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JuliusBaerGenerationCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JuliusBaerGenerationCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/5PO7kdZFOZ">pic.twitter.com/5PO7kdZFOZ</a>

He explained the underlying issues at play:

"I believe that cheating in chess is a big deal and an existential threat to the game. I also believe that chess organizers and all those who care about the sanctity of the game we love should seriously consider increasing security measures and methods of cheat detection for over the board chess. When Niemann was invited last minute to the 2022 Sinquefield Cup, I strongly considered withdrawing prior to the event. I ultimately chose to play."

Carlsen added he's "not willing to play chess with Niemann" moving forward.

Niemann has admitted to cheating in online matches in the past, first when he was 12 and again when he was 16. He described it as "the single biggest mistake of my life" and added he was "completely ashamed."

However, the 19-year-old denied ever cheating in an over-the-board match.

That didn't stop Chess.com from removing Niemann from the site and alluded to "information that contradicts his statements regarding the amount and seriousness of his cheating on Chess.com."

Chess.com @chesscom

<a href="https://t.co/sFMrmocLcS">pic.twitter.com/sFMrmocLcS</a>

The American has said he's willing to "strip fully naked" and play as a way to prove his detractors wrong.

"I don't care, because I know I am clean," he said. "You want me to play in a closed box with zero electronic transmission, I don't care. I'm here to win and that is my goal regardless."

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