Carlsen Makes Statement: ‘I Believe Niemann Has Cheated More’

Carlsen Makes Statement: 'I Believe Niemann Has Cheated More'


“I believe that Niemann has cheated more — and more recently — than he has publicly admitted,” GM Magnus Carlsen wrote in a much-anticipated statement about GM Hans Niemann‘s alleged cheating. The world champion posted the statement on Twitter just moments ago.

Carlsen starts by saying that he is “frustrated” about the situation like the whole chess community is. He then uses the word “cheating,” finally becoming more concrete after the mysterious tweet that he sent on September 5, with a video in which José Mourinho can be seen saying: “I prefer really not to speak; if I speak I’m in big trouble.”

Carlsen then confirms what has been mentioned by GM Fabiano Caruana in a recent podcast: that the world champion already considered withdrawing from the Sinquefield Cup before the first round, when he heard that Niemann was the last-minute replacement for GM Richard Rapport.

The most important phrase in the statement reads: “I believe that Niemann has cheated more — and more recently — than that he has publicly admitted.” Carlsen, however, doesn’t specify if he is referring to online chess or over-the-board chess.

Regarding online chess, Niemann has admitted to having cheated twice on, 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 “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”

Carlsen, who lost his game to Niemann before leaving the Sinquefield Cup, reveals in his statement that he is suspicious about Niemann’s play in that game as well.

The big question, whether the world champion has hard evidence that shows Niemann has cheated, remains unclear from the statement. It seems Carlsen is restricted for legal reasons, as he writes: “Unfortunately, at this time I am limited in what I can say without explicit permission from Niemann to speak openly.”

The statement in text:

Dear Chess World,

At the 2022 Sinquefield Cup, I made the unprecedented professional decision to withdraw from the tournament after my round three game against Hans Niemann. A week later during the Champions Chess Tour, I resigned against Hans Niemann after playing only one move.

I know that my actions have frustrated many in the chess community. I’m frustrated. I want to play chess. I want to continue to play chess at the highest level in the best events.

I believe that cheating in chess is a big deal and an existential threat to the game. I also believe that chess organizers 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. When Niemann was invited last minute to the 2022 Sinquefield Cup, I strongly considered withdrawing prior to the event. I ultimately chose to play.

I believe that Niemann has cheated more — and more recently — than he has publicly admitted. 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. This game contributed to changing my perspective.

We must do something about cheating, and for my part going forward, I don’t want to play against people that have cheated repeatedly in the past, because I don’t know what they are capable of doing in the future.

There is more that I would like to say. Unfortunately, at this time I am limited in what I can say without explicit permission from Niemann to speak openly. 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. I hope that the truth on this matter comes out, whatever it may be.

Magnus Carlsen – World Chess Champion


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