PUNE: Magnus Carlsen’s reasons why he thinks Hans Niemann cheaters: ‘Unusual’ progress in chess on the board, the 19-year-old US world No. 49 ‘wasn’t tense or focused on the game at critical moments’ in his classic win over the Norwegian earlier this month .
Carlsen’s statement on Twitter on Monday night highlights his other two beliefs: “that Niemann cheated more (than he admitted) and more recently”, and only a handful of players can top him with black pieces like Niemann did it in St. Louis.
My statement regarding the past few weeks. https://t.co/KY34DbcjLo
— Magnus Carlsen (@MagnusCarlsen) 1664220901000
Now it’s up to Niemann to answer. If he pursues the world champion, it will be a long battle. And if he verbally attacks Carlsen, there will be mud thrown at each other by various powerful parties, including online leaks and private data.
Additionally, the teenager needs invitations to private tournaments to keep his career financially viable. The world No. 1 also knows that he walks on thin ice. Therefore, he said, “I hope the truth about the case comes out, whatever it is.”
The statement, as you might expect, is full of zugzwang. Carlsen says he doesn’t want to play against players who have repeatedly cheated “and don’t know what they are capable of in the future.” He specifically states that he is unwilling to play against Niemann. And at the same time, he says “without explicit permission from Niemann”, there is a limit to what he can say.
The Carlsen-induced cheating saga also sheds light on parallel power centers (online platforms). The world champion’s overconfidence and one-sided inferences are also apparent.
Niemann developing high quality late game skills during the pandemic break and beating Carlsen in St Louis based on his preparation (thus not requiring great focus) cannot be ruled out.
Carlsen has been accused of trying to clip a young player’s wings with his unsubstantiated claims and thereby getting rid of a threat. However, Carlsen himself vacated the throne by retiring from the World Championship match. Plus his equation and behavior with players like Ding ReadAlireza firuzja, Erigaisi Arjun and R Praagnanadnhaa has been pretty good. And he was also on good terms with Niemann before something went wrong.
Carlsen appreciates the Iranian turned French general manager Alireza Firouza so much so that he had said that if the youngster qualified for the world title match, he might reconsider his thoughts of losing the crown. For the Norwegian, there is nothing suspicious that Firouzja added 175 points in just 22 months and 227 games. But Niemann’s similar progress in 20 months is surprising. Of course, the big question is how the American managed to play around 350 over-the-board classic games in this phase.
Carlsen is not short of fans and many have rallied behind him, including India’s first manager RB Ramesh who trains R Praggnanandhaa. Ramesh tweeted: “Huge respect for the World Champion for taking a principled stance on an important issue, forcing the world to pay attention to it at tremendous personal cost. Ideally the chess world and FIDE should have devised a good practical solution to the problem of cheating years ago.”
Modern sport is about LIVE (without delay) television broadcasting. And if the chess boom is to be sustained, varied formats must thrive together without taking regressive and self-destructive steps. And credibility is vital.