World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen, has formally come forward and accused American grandmaster Hans Niemann of cheating during the pairs’ Sinquefield Cup matchup.
The Norwegian issued a detailed statement on the issue for the first time on social media, confirming he will no longer face players who have cheated in the past.
Carlsen decided to withdraw from the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis, Missouri earlier this month after losing to the 19-year-old leading to speculation that the American had cheated.
More flames to the proverbial cheating fire were added when Magnus Carlsen was matched up against Hans Niemann in the Julius Baer Generation Cup last week but resigned after making just a single move.
Niemann has continued to deny any wrongdoing in over-the-board games but has admitted to cheating in the past. The 19-year-old 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.
“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 in a statement on Twitter
“I believe that Niemann has cheated more – and more recently – than he has publicly admitted,” Carlsen said on Monday.
“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.”
The International Chess Federation (FIDE) said last week it shared the Norwegian’s concerns about cheating in the sport.
“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.”