Norwegian world chess champion Magnus Carlsen has released a statement regarding the Hans Niemann affair claiming that the American has cheated more than he has publicly admitted and he will not play chess with him in the future.
Last week in the ‘Julius Baer Generation Cup’ online tournament, Carlsen resigned after one move against Niemann, who lags him by almost 200 Elo points – the rating system used to calculate the relative skill levels of players.
“I believe that Niemann has cheated more – and more recently – than he has publicly admitted,” Carlsen said in a statement on Twitter.
“His over the board progress has been unusual, and throughout our game in the Sinquefield Cup I had the impression that he wasn’t tense or even fully concentrating on the game in critical positions, while outplaying me as black in a way I think only a handful of players can do.”
“So far I have only been able to speak with my actions, and those actions have stated clearly that I am not willing to play chess with Niemann,” Carlsen said.
The 19-year-old Niemann stunned Carlsen by beating him at the $500,000 event in St Louis, but Carlsen then dramatically withdrew from the tournament. He announced his decision in a tweet, alongside a video of the football manager José Mourinho saying: “If I speak, I am in big trouble.”
Niemann has denied any wrongdoing in over-the-board games.
“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 said.
Niemann has previously been banned from chess.com for cheating online after admitting he had not played fairly in non-competitive games on the website in his youth.
Regarding online chess, Niemann has admitted to having cheated twice on Chess.com, when he was 12 and when he was 16 years old, and that he regrets that. In a statement posted on September 9, IM Danny Rensch wrote on behalf of Chess.com: “We have shared detailed evidence with him concerning our decision, including information that contradicts his statements regarding the amount and seriousness of his cheating on Chess.com.”
Carlsen also made a plea for stricter detection measures while repeating his concerns about cheating in the sport.
The International Chess Federation (FIDE) said last week it shared the Norwegian’s concerns about cheating in the sport.
“Chess organisers 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,” Carlsen added.
“We must do something about cheating, and for my part going forward, I don’t want to play against people that have repeatedly cheated in the past, because I don’t know what they are capable of doing in the future.”