Sinquefield Cup: Cheating scandal shakes chess world: Young chess talent is said to have beaten Magnus Carlsen with a cheating trick

It's an outrageous accusation: After the 19-year-old American Hans Niemann sensationally beat the Norwegian chess star Magnus Carlsen in the renowned Sinquefield Cup (prize: 500,000 US dollars), things smoldered in the scene.

Sinquefield Cup: Cheating scandal shakes chess world: Young chess talent is said to have beaten Magnus Carlsen with a cheating trick

It's an outrageous accusation: After the 19-year-old American Hans Niemann sensationally beat the Norwegian chess star Magnus Carlsen in the renowned Sinquefield Cup (prize: 500,000 US dollars), things smoldered in the scene.

It was an impressive win and Carlsen withdrew from the tournament entirely shortly afterwards. But instead of admiration, there are now accusations for the newcomer Niemann: He is said to have cheated with electronic devices that he is said to have worn hidden on his body.

These claims aren't entirely out of nowhere: prodigy Niemann himself admitted to cheating at online chess as a teenager. At the age of 12 he won tournaments on the most popular chess website chess.com, partly with the help of a friend - the reason was simply impatience, he wanted to move up to a higher class faster in order to be able to play against better opponents, like the American.

However, he resorted to unfair means again at the age of 16 when he streamed his games live on the Internet during the pandemic. A computer helped him here. However, the 19-year-old justified himself by not counting these online matches anywhere.

Niemann assures that he has never cheated in duels involving prizes or "real" games on site. "I was 16 years old and living alone in New York City while the pandemic was raging. I wanted to do whatever it took to make my stream grow," he said contritely. But apparently the prominent opponents distrust Hans Niemann even today.

The fact that the Norwegian Carlsen should accuse his opponent Niemann of cheating is only known second-hand. But the world's best blitz chess player Hikaru Nakamura became clearer. "Magnus implied things without saying them. He knew what accusations would follow, what dynamics that would take. Thousands of people attack me without any evidence, including Hikaru, against whom I've never played wrong," says Niemann.

The young chess talent sees this as a targeted attack on his reputation: "The three biggest chess giants, Hikaru, Magnus and Chess.com, are now launching a targeted, coordinated attack against me, that's unfair. Just look at my games ' he demands.

"Chess.com quietly shut down my account without giving me a reason. They didn't want this to be public and probably thought I was afraid to go public because I was ashamed of my past mistakes. But I'm not afraid to fight back."

Niemann is now all the more determined to want to win the Sinquefield Cup. "That's why I'm training 12 hours a day now, that's why I've been living out of a suitcase for two years. I want to do better now than I used to. I hope that my dedication, my work and my results show that I've learned my lesson. "

And if necessary, he is also willing to compete in a chess duel stark naked – to prove that he has no technical devices in his vicinity. Whether that will be necessary remains to be seen.

Sources: "Guardian", "Pearls of Lake Constance"

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