Hans Niemann Amends Complaint, Alleges Carlsen Paid Friend To Yell ‘Cheater Hans’

Hans Niemann Amends Complaint, Alleges Carlsen Paid Friend To Yell 'Cheater Hans'


The ongoing controversy involving 19-year-old GM Hans Niemann gained a peculiar twist on Tuesday. Niemann amended his lawsuit with an additional 13 pages, notably accusing world champion GM Magnus Carlsen of paying fellow Norwegian grandmaster, Aryan Tari, €300 to yell “Cheater Hans” at the closing ceremony of a prestigious tournament:

“In Carlsen’s malicious defamatory campaign against Niemann, Carlsen went as far as paying Aryan Tari €300 to scream “Ukse Hans,” Norwegian for “Cheater Hans,” from the stands at the closing ceremony of the European Club Cup on October 9, 2022, which was attended by many of the world’s most prominent chess players and heard by many of its fans. 

Shortly thereafter, the entire Norwegian chess team, including Carlsen, were observed publicly chanting “Ukse Hans” in bars and the streets of the Austrian town where the European Club Cup was held.’ Any reasonable listener of these statements would interpret them as reiterating Carlsen’s false accusation that Niemann cheated when he defeated Carlsen at the Sinquefield Cup.”

Journalist Tarjei Svensen and Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou, Secretary General of the European Chess Union, have called into question the validity of the accusation.

Incidentally, “ukse” is not a word in Norwegian. The letter “j” seems to have been dropped as the correct spelling of “cheater” in Norwegian is “jukse.”

Another notable change in Niemann’s overall complaint is that Chess.com is mentioned 228 times compared to 141 in the original, particularly adding a section claiming a breach of contract with Niemann in regards to the 2022 Chess.com Global Championship.

Carlsen is still mentioned the most of any of the defendants, 232 times. A curious, smaller change is the removal of adverbs such as “cowardly” and “gutlessly” from Niemann’s descriptions of Carlsen. The full amended complaint is available here

On October 20, 2022, Niemann filed a defamation lawsuit against Carlsen, GM Hikaru Nakamura, Chess.com, the Play Magnus Group, and IM Danny Rensch, seeking at least $100 million in damages. On December 2, 2022, Chess.com formally requested to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that it “could have been brought only as a public relations stunt.” 

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