Both Carlsen and Niemann to Play in the FIDE Rapid and Blitz. Just Not Against Each Other

Both Carlsen and Niemann to Play in the FIDE Rapid and Blitz. Just Not Against Each Other


Both Carlsen and Niemann are to play in the FIDE Rapid and Blitz Championship, creating yet another possible high-stakes clash. But boy, will Niemann be checked for anti-cheating devices!

Hans Niemann, the enfant terrible of chess circa 2022, has registered for the FIDE Rapid and Blitz in Kazakhstan. There he will have the opportunity to face off against the reigning world champion, Magnus Carlsen. It’s a potential scandal in the making, because Carlsen will probably refuse to play against Niemann, as he did during an online event earlier this year.

Players are already involved in a high-profile fight in court, where Carlsen is fighting off a $400m-defamation suit. Niemann remains a polarizing figure in the chess world. Some admire his talent and fearlessness (both on and off the board), while others view him as a player who admitted to cheating online and not trustworthy to be allowed to play.

The Rapid and Blitz Championships, held over five days in the capital of Kazakhstan, are organized as Swiss events, where winners of the previous rounds are paired with winners, allowing to determine the strongest players. Carlsen consistently fared well in these events and won them numerous times, Niemann’s performance is hard to predict, but chances are that he will face Carlsen in one of the rounds.

The potential showdown between Niemann and Carlsen has sparked intense anticipation among chess fans (and probably lawyers). In case Carlsen refuses to play, he will most likely be penalized — the decision will be taken by an appeals committee appointed by FIDE, the chess governing body that currently investigates both Niemann (for alleged cheating) and Carlsen (for alleged defamation).

Regardless of the outcome, one thing is clear: the World Rapid and Blitz Championship is set to be a rare event in the chess world where the spectators and commentators alike will watch for not the games but the pairings. It’s going to be a must-watch event for anyone interested in the world of chess. The potential clash between Niemann and Carlsen promises to be a high-stakes and dramatic showdown, and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.


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