Sex chess cheating scandal explained: World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen and Hans Niemann in land sports controversy

The mainstream sports world doesn’t often shine a spotlight on the game of chess, but allegations of a cheating scandal centered around sex games have captured the attention of many.

On September 19, Magnus Carlsen – world number one and world chess champion since 2013 – unexpectedly quit while playing Hans Niemann in the sixth round of the Julius Baer Generation Cup. Here’s the story behind it all.

How did you start

The Norwegian captain left the much-anticipated match without explanation during Step 2, stunned broadcasters Peter Leko and Tanya Sachdev when he turned off his camera and disappeared. It was a dramatic moment, but it was most likely an intention by Carlsen to make his point as to how he feels about Neiman, a 19-year-old American player.

Carlsen had never openly accused Neiman of cheating before. Here’s the moment he left the match:

It wasn’t until September 21 when Carlsen – who is still competing in the event – finally said something about the situation, although it wasn’t much. He kept his answers very general, avoided his thoughts on cheating speculation, and said he would say more at the conclusion of the tournament, which will conclude on September 25.

“Unfortunately, I can’t talk privately about it. People come to their own conclusions,” he told Kaja Snare during a live interview. “I must say that I am very impressed with Neiman’s play and I think his mentor Maxim Dluji is doing a great job.”

His coach, Peter Heine Nielsen, also declined to say much during his interview the day before.

The ongoing saga began weeks before the Julius Baer Generation Cup. On September 4, Neiman and Carlsen faced each other in the third round of the 2022 Sinkfield Cup in St. Louis. Niemann entered the tournament as the lowest-ranked player on the field, but managed to pull off a surprise against Carlson, who was on a 53-game winning streak and had the advantage of the white cut.

“I think he was so frustrated that he lost to a fool like me. It must be embarrassing for the world champion to lose to me. I feel bad for him.” Neiman said in his interview after the match.

He said a “silly miracle” helped him prepare for their match and also guess how Carlsen would start the match. It was an interesting guess because, as interviewer Alejandro Ramirez pointed out, Carlsen was making an unusual change in his model game.

Neiman said his 31-year-old opponent played similarly against Wesley so at the 2018 London Chess Classic, although Neiman may have mistakenly referred to the wrong match because neither Magnus nor Wesley played in that tournament. He also explained that the veteran has a penchant for “these kinds of weird things” and that Carlsen has “behaviours” that he has been able to learn because he grew up watching his matches and interviews.

Carlsen’s move the next day was unexpected – he withdrew from the championship for the first time in his career. He did not say much about the reason, apart from a vague tweet that cited a quote from Roma coach Jose Mourinho.

“I’d rather not really talk. If I’m talking, I’m in big trouble, in big trouble. And I don’t want to be in big trouble.” Mourinho says in the video linked by the great teacher.

FIDE general director Emil Sotofsky said on September 5 that he would not speculate on why Carlsen would withdraw, but stressed that it seemed out of character.

“He must have a compelling reason, or at least think he has it. Don’t call him a painful or disrespectful loser,” Sotovsky tweeted.

cheating allegations

Grandmaster and Streamer Hikaru Nakamura assumed that the reason for Carlsen’s withdrawal was because he suspected Neiman had cheated. Nakamura even shared a clip of Canadian great teacher Eric Hansen saying that he removed Neiman from the chess events he hosted due to suspicions of cheating. Meanwhile, Chess.com – the world’s largest online chess platform – also believes Niemann may not be an honest player and has banned him from the site.

In an interview on September 6, Neiman spoke about the speculation and said that the chess world appears to be uniting against it on social media.

“So many of my heroes, whom I once respected, and whom I once looked up to, so many of my heroes have decided to jump in this bandwagon,” Neiman said. “There was a lot of speculation and a lot of things were said. I’m the only one who knows the truth.”

However, Neiman admitted that he cheated twice during his chess career, once when he was 12 and again at the age of 16. That second time, he explained, was because he was looking to cement his ranking to play stronger opponents. Neiman said cheating was the biggest regret of his career but he learned from it and that he would never cheat in a tournament with prize money.

He said Chess.com has what he describes as “the best cheat detector in the world” and that he’s been open with them about his past. Neiman said it was “ridiculous” to ban them just because Carlsen hinted he had done something wrong.

“I will not allow Chess.com, I will not allow Magnus Carlsen, I will not allow Hikaru Nakamura – the three biggest entities in chess – simply to discredit me,” Neiman said.

Unfortunately for Niemann, the speculation has not died down. Cheating rumors continued to spread, and even Tesla CEO Elon Musk got involved when the strange cheating rumor started to gain more traction online. a last reddit It was suggested that Neiman could use a sex toy to cheat. There is no concrete evidence and the claim may sound outrageous, but Technically It would be possible to use vibrations to communicate.

In July, programmer James Stanley demonstrated that he could cheat by using vibrations in his shoes.

“If they want me to strip completely, I’ll do it,” Neiman said. “I don’t care because I know I’m clean.” “You want me to play in a closed box without sending a letter, I don’t care. I’m here to win and that’s my goal regardless.”

On September 8, Chess.com Chief Chess Officer Danny Rench said Niemann was banned because they found information that contradicts his statements regarding the amount and severity of fraud on the site. Reinsch also added that they invited Niemann to provide an explanation and response to try to find a solution.

after two days , The Sinquefield Cup has sent an official statement He said there was no indication that any player cheated in the tournament. However, the tournament specified additional anti-fraud measures after the incident. These precautions included RFID checks for players and a 15-minute delay in live broadcasts.

Because of all the drama and uncertainty, the Niemann vs. Some had hoped the match between them would bring a sense of things back to normal, but the opposite happened when Carlsen quit.

Carlsen made no other public comments regarding the situation. While there are people who want an explanation from him, others like Armenian teacher Levon Aronian understand his silence.

“I understand that Magnus doesn’t want to explain himself because it creates more drama,” Aronian said during a live interview. “At the moment, he’s just saying, I’m not going to play against this person and that’s it.”


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