Magnus Carlsen's 'disturbing' act as chess 'cheating' scandal deepens

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Magnus Carlsen and Hans Niemann, pictured here in action in chess.
Magnus Carlsen resigned after just one move against Hans Niemann. Image: Getty/Twitter

Magnus Carlsen has shocked the chess world after resigning after just one move against Hans Niemann at the Julius Baer Generation Cup.

Carlsen and Niemann are at the centre of an ugly 'cheating' scandal, sparked by the latter's victory over the five-time world champion earlier this month.

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Carlsen was beaten by the much lower-ranked Niemann at the Sinquerfield Cup on September 4, which saw the Norweigan grandmaster abruptly quit the tournament in mysterious circumstances.

Niemann has since been accused of cheating, with wild rumours circulating online that he has been using wireless anal beads to get signals about where to move his pieces.

In their first meeting since the scandal erupted on Monday, Carlsen abruptly resigned from his match against Niemann after his opening move.

Niemann started the game with d4, and Carlsen respond with Nf6.

Niemann then played c4 before Carlsen simply quit the game and turned off his webcam.

Announcer Tania Sachdev said: “Magnus Carlsen just resigned, got up and left. Switched off his camera and that’s all we know right now.”

Hungarian chess player Péter Lékó said in commentary: “And what? No, what happened, that’s it?

“Wow. Speechless, yeah? What to say, what to say? And the story continues.”

Sachdev added: "This is unprecedented. I just, I can’t believe it. Did that just happen, Peter?

"Magnus just refusing to play against Hans. He will play the tournament, but he is saying I will not play the game against him. That’s making a very big statement.”

Jamaican-American grandmaster Maurice Ashley tweeted: “This is shocking and disturbing. No one can be happy that this is happening in the chess world. Unbelievable!”

Hans Niemann at centre of chess 'cheating' scandal

Niemann previously admitted in an interview that he has cheated in online chess in the past, but denied he has ever done so in professional competition.

“I have never cheated in an over-the-board game,” Niemann said, adding that he was now “clean”.

He has since offered to play in the nude if it helps dispel the rumours of how he is allegedly cheating.

"You want me to play in a closed box with zero electronic transmission, I don’t care," he added.

Speaking after Niemann's win over Carlsen at the Sinquerfield Cup, Hikaru Nakamura (the world's best blitz player) claimed Carlsen's withdrawal was because he suspected Niemann had “probably cheated”.

Magnus Carlsen, pictured here competing at the 44th Chess Olympiad in August.
Magnus Carlsen competes at the 44th Chess Olympiad in August. (Photo by ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Nakamura also revealed that the American had previously been banned by the world’s most popular chess website, Chess.com.

Chess.com said it had “privately removed” Niemann’s account from its website, while the Global Championship in Toronto has since uninvited Niemann.

Niemann was the lowest-ranked of the 10 players at the Sinquerfield Cup, but become the first player to beat Carlsen in more than two years.

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