Chess champion accuses opponent of cheating

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 Chess champion accuses opponent of cheating

World chess champion Magnus Carlsen for the first time openly accused his rival Hans Niemann of cheating. In a statement, he said he believed Mr. Niemann “cheated more than he publicly admitted,” although he did not provide any evidence. Previously, Carlsen made veiled accusations against Niemann, who beat him earlier this month.

Niemann, 19, denies cheating in chess competitions and accuses Carlsen of trying to ruin his career.

Niemann has twice admitted to cheating online when he was 12 and 16 years old, but vehemently denied ever cheating at the board and even said he was willing to strip naked to prove his integrity.

The scandal erupted in early September after Mr. Carlsen, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, was defeated by Mr. Niemann at the Sinquefield Cup, ending a 53-game unbeaten streak in classical chess.

He subsequently left the tournament despite having six rounds to go and later tweeted a clip of football manager José Mourinho saying, “If I talk, I'm in big trouble.”

The pair met again last week in an online tournament, but Mr. Carlsen walked away with just one move — a clear protest against Mr. Niemann's involvement.

Mr. Carlsen won the tournament and later said he would talk more about the scandal, adding that he wanted “cheating in chess to be taken seriously.” ;.

In a statement posted on Twitter late Monday night, Mr. Carlsen said: “I am disappointed. I want to keep playing chess at the highest level in the best tournaments.”

He continued: “I think cheating in chess — this is a serious matter and an existential threat to the game. I also believe that chess organizers and all those who care about the integrity of the game we love should seriously consider strengthening the security measures and methods for detecting cheats in chess at the board. I believe that Nieman cheated more — and recently — than he publicly acknowledged.”

Mr. Carlsen said he became suspicious of Mr. Niemann, because he achieved “unusual” success in recent years.

He said that during their play at the Sinquefield Cup, he felt that Mr. Niemann “wasn't tense or even fully concentrated” in beating him with the black pieces, ” ;the way I think only a few players can do.

“We have to do something about cheating, and for my part, in the future, I don't want to play against people who have cheated multiple times in the past, because I don't know what they're capable of in the future,” — Carlsen stated.

He added that he wanted to say something else, but could not “without Niemann's express permission to speak openly.”

“Until now, I could talk only about my actions, and these actions clearly showed that I do not want to play chess with Niemann, — he said.

When the controversy erupted earlier this month, Niemann issued a strong rebuttal, accusing Carlsen and others of trying to ruin his career.

“If they want me to strip completely naked, I'll do it,” &mdash ; Niemann said.

“I don't care because I know I'm clean. You want me to play in a closed box with zero electronic transmission, I don't care. I'm here to win and that's my goal no matter what.”

Grandmaster Nigel Short, the only British player to have played in a World Cup final, told the BBC last week that is skeptical of claims of foul play, stating that there is no evidence that Nieman resorted to cheating by beating Carlsen.

“I think that in the absence of any evidence, claims or anything or else it's a very unfortunate way of doing business. This is death due to insinuations”, — said Short.

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