Chess world champion Magnus Carlsen refuses to clarify cheating claims | Chess News

PARIS: World chess champion Magnus Carlsen remained vague on Thursday on whether or not he thought Hans Niemann was a cheater after he abruptly conceded his contest against the American in the Julius Baer Generation Cup online tournament after a hit.
It was the second time this month that the Norwegian dropped out or withdrew from a tournament Niemann was also taking part in.
Carlsen, world champion since 2013, withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis, Missouri, earlier this month after unexpectedly losing with the white pieces to Niemann, who is trailing nearly 200 points ELO behind him.
It was the first loss with the white pieces in a classic game for the world number one since losing to the American Levon Aronian in October 2020.
The day after his loss to Niemann, Carlsen explained his withdrawal from the tournament by tweeting a video of football manager Jose Mourinho saying, “If I talk, I’m in big trouble.”
The tweet sparked a flurry of comments and allegations that 19-year-old Niemann cheated, including from American grandmaster and star streamer Hikaru Nakamura.
“In response to recent rumors circulating in the chess world, I can confirm that we currently have no indication that any player has played unfairly in the Sinquefield Cup 2022,” the arbiter-in-chief said. Sinquefield Cup Chris Bird in a statement.
Niemann had previously been banned from for cheating online, after admitting he hadn’t played fairly in non-competitive games on the website as a youngster.
However, he denied any wrongdoing when contesting over-the-board games.
“I’ve never cheated in an over-the-board game. If they want me to strip naked, I’ll do it. I don’t care. Because I know I’m clean. You want me to play in a closed box with zero electronic transmission, I don’t care,” he said recently.
Asked about his surprise withdrawal to St Louis and his surrender on Monday, Carlsen told Norwegian television NRK: “Unfortunately, I can’t talk about it specifically.
“But people can come to their own conclusion and they certainly did and I have to say I’m very impressed with Niemann’s playing and I think his mentor Maxime Dlugy must do a great job.”
When asked if his decision had anything to do with him suspecting Niemann of cheating, Carlsen replied, “I can’t comment on that.”
In July, Carlsen said he would not defend his 2023 world championship title against Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi because he was unmotivated to play another match.
Nepomniachtchi will face the finalist of the recent Candidates tournament, the Chinese Ding Liren.

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