After Hans Niemann defeated the World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in the third round of the Sinquefield Cup 2022, Carlsen decided to withdraw from the tournament without detailed explanations. Rumors that Magnus Carlsen suspected Niemann was cheating started spreading over social media and the controversy over the Niemann – Carlsen case is not stopping. While Niemann spoke on the case on several occasions and confessed he cheated in online games, the World Chess Champion did not have many public announcements since then. Magnus Carlsen and Hans Niemann met again at the Julius Baer Generation Cup, when Carlsen kind of confirmed he is suspicious about Niemann’s fair play – he resigned the game in the second move and went offline (see the complete timetable of events below). Just yesterday, Carlsen published the official statement on the topic, publicly saying that he believes Niemann was cheating more – and more recent than he publicly admitted. To this Hans Niemann replied with a lawsuit seeking 100M in damages from Carlsen.
The Wall Street Journal focus on an event that might have triggered Carlsen’s reaction – the beach game between Carlsen and Niemann. WSJ quotes Hikaru Nakamura, “Probably when he saw Hans’s play in Miami, and on the beach…it didn’t match with the level of the play in the actual event. When you combine it with the long-existing rumors, Magnus became convinced something was off.” With this quote WSJ hints to a theory that is over a month old: The Carlsen – Niemann conflict is more recent than everyone thinks
“Hanging around for a tournament promotion, they played on a board in the sand, watched by only a handful of people, including Dutch grandmaster Anish Giri. The games were casual, but the results were decisive. Mr. Carlsen, the five-time world champion from Norway and the highest-rated player of all time, wiped the beach with Mr. Niemann, according to Mr. Giri”
Andrew Beaton and Joshua Robinson, WSJ
The timeline of events related to the Carlsen – Niemann case: