The chess cheating scandal brewing considering that September just reignited. Hans Niemann, the 19-calendar year-old chess grandmaster, sued world winner Magnus Carlsen, and many others, for $100 million in damages.
The defamation lawsuit promises that Chess.com, a well-liked online platform exactly where gamers contend in tournaments, colluded with Carlsen and Engage in Magnus to ban Niemann from the web-site and future events to “lend credence to Carlsen’s unsubstantiated and defamatory accusations of cheating.” (In August, Play Magnus, Carlsen’s well-liked chess app, approved an acquisition offer you by Chess.com for $83 million. The fit says this will merge will “monopolize the chess earth.”) It also promises that Hikaru Nakamura, Chess.com’s well-liked streaming lover, colluded with Carlsen and Chess.com via “video content” that bolstered dishonest allegations. The go well with also alleges that Danny Rensch, chief chess officer of Chess.com, issued “defamatory press releases.”
These steps “destroyed Niemann’s exceptional vocation in its prime and ruined his lifetime,” the federal accommodate suggests. “Chess is Niemann’s lifetime.”
“My lawsuit speaks for by itself,” Niemann tweeted on Thursday.
Polygon achieved out by using e mail to Magnus Carlsen’s supervisor, as effectively as the main govt officer of Engage in Magnus Team of Firms, and Hikaru Nakamura’s WME agents, but has not yet been given a reaction.
Chess.com’s attorneys Nima Mohebbi and Jamie Wine of Latham & Watkins, LLP provided an email assertion to Polygon:
We are saddened by Hans Niemann’s choice to acquire lawful action in opposition to Chess.com. We feel his lawsuit hurts the sport of chess and its devoted players and supporters all around the world.
Chess.com is proud of its popularity inside of the chess community and over and above, and will normally protect the match, the players, and their mission of both equally rising and defending online chess.
Hans confessed publicly to cheating on the net in the wake of the Sinquefield Cup, and the ensuing fallout is of his own generating. As stated in its October 2022 report, Chess.com had historically dealt with Hans’ prior dishonest privately, and was compelled to make clear its placement only following he spoke out publicly.
There is no merit to Hans’ allegations, and Chess.com looks ahead to location the document straight on behalf of its crew and all honest chess gamers.
The chess cheating saga began in September, when Niemann defeat Carlsen in a match at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis. Carlsen abruptly withdrew from the tournament, but did not give any cause why. Afterwards that thirty day period, he made just 1 go against Niemann at the Julius Baer Technology Cup, prior to turning off his digital camera and resigning. On Sept. 26, Carlsen tweeted an formal statement saying that he believed Niemann had cheated. Carlsen didn’t offer proof, but claimed that he felt Niemann hadn’t been “tense or even thoroughly concentrating on the sport in vital positions.”
“Notorious for his inability to cope with defeat, Carlsen snapped,” the lawsuit alleges, of Carlsen’s behavior right after the Sinquefield Cup. “Enraged that the younger Niemann, fully 12 several years his junior, dared to disrespect the ‘King of Chess,’ and fearful that the young prodigy would additional blemish his multi-million greenback manufacturer by beating him all over again, Carlsen viciously and maliciously retaliated against Niemann.”
Niemann has not been caught cheating in an about the board match (a match that is held physically in man or woman, instead than on line). However, he did confess to dishonest in two Chess.com matches — at the time when he was 12, and at the time when he was 16. In the exact same job interview, he denied ever cheating in about the board games. In that identical movie he features to even engage in naked to prove he is not cheating — an supply that led to the outlandish declare that he employed anal beads to cheat. (The lawsuit notes that Sinquefield Cup anti-cheating steps have been upped to include “military-grade metal detection scans.”)
Chess.com, having said that, banned Niemann from its platform on Sept. 8, tweeting an official statement as to why. And in early Oct, the Wall Street Journal noted a Chess.com investigation discovered that Niemann experienced violated “fairplay” more than he experienced said, stating his cheating spanned extra than 100 games.
The go well with states that Chess.com’s assertion “is false” and developed to “further defame Niemann,” by accusing of him of currently being a “liar” in addition to becoming a “serial on the web cheater.” The accommodate also claims “conspiracy theories” went “viral on the web,” and states that Niemann has missing opportunities as a outcome of “defamatory accusations,” together with the simple fact that the Tata Steel Chess Match “ceased all contact,” and teenage Grandmaster Vincent Keymer “refused to play” in a match versus Niemann.