American GM Hans Niemann sues Magnus Carlsen, Chess.com: Here's why
US chess grandmaster Hans Niemann has filed a $100 million lawsuit against world champion Magnus Carlsen after accusing him of cheating. Niemann has also sued the website Chess.com for publishing a report which said he had probably cheated in over 100 online games. Last month, Carlsen resigned from a Julius Baer Generation Cup match against Niemann in the wake of the cheating controversy.
Why does this story matter?
- The cheating row emerged after Carlsen suspected foul play in the Sinquefield cup match against Niemann.
- Carlsen then pulled out of his Julius Baer Generation Cup match against the 19-year-old.
- After withdrawing, Carlsen put a tweet, "If I speak, I am in big trouble".
- Days after this indication, Carlsen, in a lengthy statement, stated that Niemann has "cheated more than he has publicly admitted".
A look at the latest developments
As per The Wall Street Journal, Chess.com concluded there are "unusual patterns in Hans' path as a player". The online platform added that Niemann's performances "merit further investigation based on the data". Even Carlsen pointed out that Niemann's "over-the-board progress has been unusual". Earlier, a report in The Guardian stated that Niemann admitted to cheating in an online tournament as a 12-year-old.
Chess.com accuses Niemann of 'blatant cheating'
A report by Chess.com accused Niemann of "blatant cheating" to improve his rating. It added that Niemann cheated at 17, which compelled the online platform to close his account. As per the report, Niemann also confessed to cheating in a call with Danny Rensch, the online platform's chief chess officer. The youngster was banned from the Chess.com Global Championship event.
Niemann files the lawsuit
My lawsuit speaks for itself https://t.co/rOfUxiNYCH— Hans Niemann (@HansMokeNiemann) October 20, 2022
Niemann accuses Carlsen for launching a 'smear campaign'
Niemann has accused Carlsen of launching a smear campaign against him in collaboration with Carlsen's online chess company Play Magnus and Chess.com. He says the defendants conspired to destroy his reputation and livelihood. Meanwhile, lawyers for Chess.com claim that there isn't any merit in Niemann's allegations. So far, neither Carlsen nor Chess.com have produced any concrete evidence for their accusations against Niemann.
Niemann goes after grandmaster Nakamura
Niemann is also suing American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura for repeating the accusations while streaming video content on Chess.com. During the live-streaming, Nakamura said he had no comment.
The meteoric rise of Niemann
Niemann, ranked number 39, has risen to prominence in recent times. It is important to note that his Elo rating (measures the strength of a chess player compared to his counterparts) has increased by 350 points in just four years.