Magnus Carlsen speaks for the first time after the chess scandal with Hans Niemann

Status: 22-09-2022 10:03 AM

World chess champion Magnus Carlsen speaks for the first time since the dispute with American teenager Hans Niemann, but again avoided concrete accusations of fraud.

In an interview with the organizer portal “chess24”, Carlsen answered the question of why he gave up Monday night’s match against the 19-year-old American in the online tournament “Julius Baer Generation Cup” after just one move: “Unfortunately, I can’t comment on that, But people can draw their own conclusions, and they did.”

In the chess scene, Carlsen’s sudden departure from the Sinquefield Cup attendance tournament in St. Louis after an unexpected loss to Niemann was interpreted as accusations of cheating against the talented American teen. The speculation was fueled, among others, by the American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, who reaches an audience of millions with his online streams.

Evidence of Niemann’s Deception at St. Louis Personal Tournament but are not available. Experts also analyzed that Carlsen’s defeat to Niemann could have been avoided if the 31-year-old had simply played better moves.

World champion with motivation problems

The Norwegian, who has been world chess champion since 2013, has been struggling with motivation problems lately. Since he no longer sees a sporting challenge in defending his world title again, the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi and the Chinese Ding Liren will compete for the title in 2023.

Carlsen has also received criticism from the chess world for his recent behavior. British chess champion Jovanka Houska speaks of a “witch hunt” against a teenager who was stabbed. Carlsen’s national team-mate Jon Ludvig Hammer even called for sanctions against his compatriot on Norwegian TV: “Losing intentionally is absolutely unacceptable behavior. It’s the most unsportsmanlike thing you can do in competitive sport.”

Niemann would even play chess naked

In an emotional interview, Hans Niemann recently admitted to cheating twice in online games as a young teenager, but never in person at the board. “If you want me to undress completely, I’ll do it,” Niemann said, saying, “I know I’m clean.” The fact that a website actually offered Niemann a million dollars to play chess naked shows that the biggest chess scandal of the past 15 years is getting more and more bizarre.

After the deliberate defeat of Magnus Carlsen against the American Hans Niemann, the chess world is buzzing. But who is the 19-year-old anyway? About the career of a confident boy from the Internet.

It is unclear whether the talented American professional cheated only twice in online games. As part of the “Sinquefield Cup” allegations, the world’s largest chess platform, Chess.com, has suspended its account over evidence suggesting increased cheating. The operators of the platform have not gone into more detail to date.

Carlsen: ‘Very impressed with Niemann’s game’

Carlsen said of Niemann only on Wednesday: “I have to say that I am very impressed with Niemann’s game and I think his mentor Maxim Dlugy did a great job.” When asked why he named the Moscow-born American grandmaster in this context, Carlsen declined to comment. Years ago, allegations of fraud in online chess games were also leveled against the 56-year-old. It’s unclear to what extent Dlugy really takes on an active mentoring role for Niemann.

Carlsen can be more specific soon

“I hope to be able to say something more after the tournament,” Carlsen announced. Legal reasons probably also play a role as to why the Norwegian has not moved on yet.

Commenting on cheating as a common problem in chess, he said, “I think each individual will answer the question differently based on their own experiences.” “It’s easy to cheat, and in general I think cheaters in the future should not be taken lightly, both online and on the board.”

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