Teenage grandmaster sues world chess champion for defamation


(CNN) — The dishonest scandal that has consumed the chess world has taken its newest twist as 19-year-old American grandmaster Hans Niemann filed a defamation lawsuit towards world champion Magnus Carlsen and others in a Missouri court docket on Thursday.

Within the lawsuit, Niemann and his attorneys state that they’re searching for no less than $100 million in damages.

“My lawsuit speaks for itself,” Niemann tweeted together with a duplicate of the doc.

Within the federal lawsuit filed within the Japanese Missouri District Courtroom, Niemann states that Carlsen, on-line platform Chess.com, its chief chess officer Daniel Rensch and common streamer Hikaru Nakamura have been “egregiously defaming him and unlawfully colluding to blacklist him from the occupation to which he has devoted his life.”

Niemann is suing the defendants for slander and libel, amongst different allegations.

Niemann states that the actions of the defendants have induced “devastating damages,” and that since Carlsen made the preliminary dishonest allegations after the pair met on the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis on Sept. 4, Niemann has seen invites to prestigious tournaments and matches revoked.

Chess.com responded to the swimsuit by way of an announcement from their attorneys, Nina Mohebbi and Jamie Wine. The assertion notes that Chess.com is “saddened” by Niemann’s determination because the lawsuit “hurts the sport of chess and its devoted gamers.”

“Hans confessed publicly to dishonest on-line within the wake of the Sinquefield Cup, and the ensuing fallout is of his personal making,” the assertion provides. “As acknowledged in its October 2022 report, Chess.com had traditionally handled Hans’ prior dishonest privately, and was pressured to make clear its place solely after he spoke out publicly.”

The report back to which it referred claimed Niemann “seemingly cheated” in additional than 100 on-line matches. Niemann  has admitted to dishonest twice in his chess profession, on the ages of 12 and 16.

On Sept. 26, Carlsen — a 31-year-old Norwegian and the undisputed world champion since 2013 — launched an announcement confirming his accusations that Neimann had cheated.

The assertion, which was made by way of a Twitter put up, adopted Carlsen’s withdrawal the earlier week from the web Julius Baer Era Cup after making only one transfer in a match towards Niemann. Earlier that month, on the in-person Sinquefield Cup, he misplaced to Niemann within the third spherical, ending a 53-game successful streak.

Carlsen withdrew from the 10-person competitors; Niemann positioned sixth.

Within the assertion Carlsen mentioned, “When Niemann was invited last-minute to the 2022 Sinquefield Cup, I strongly thought of withdrawing previous to the occasion. I finally selected to play.

“I imagine that Niemann has cheated extra — and extra lately — than he has publicly admitted. His over-the-board progress has been uncommon, and all through our sport within the Sinquefield Cup I had the impression that he wasn’t tense and even totally concentrating on the sport in crucial positions, whereas outplaying me as black in a means I believe solely a handful of gamers can do.

“This sport contributed to altering my perspective.”

In response to the report by Chess.com, Niemann privately confessed to the web site’s chief chess officer in 2020 that he had cheated, which led to him being quickly banned from the platform.

Chess.com closed Niemann’s account in September given his earlier acknowledgments of dishonest, suspicions about his latest play and issues in regards to the steep, inconsistent rise in his rank. He’s at present ranked fortieth by the worldwide chess federation.

“Whereas we don’t doubt that Hans is a proficient participant, we be aware that his outcomes are statistically extraordinary,” the report mentioned.

Dishonest in on-line chess is simple: The participant simply must submit the strikes to a chess program on one other gadget. However in top-level tournaments, gamers can’t have telephones or different digital units, so dishonest would contain receiving alerts from an confederate — maybe by a hidden earpiece or remotely managed vibrating gadget, or by Morse code or different bodily alerts from somebody within the viewers. A participant may additionally stash a cellphone in a rest room and seek the advice of it throughout a break.

In a infamous incident throughout the world championship match in 1978, Victor Korchnoi steered {that a} blueberry yogurt delivered to Anatoly Karpov throughout their sport was a coded message.

Niemann’s swimsuit describes him as a self-taught prodigy and says: “His present for taking part in chess earned him a scholarship to the celebrated Columbia Grammar & Preparatory Faculty in New York Metropolis, a college he may solely attend by concurrently working full time to help himself financially. For the reason that age of 16, Niemann’s sole technique of supporting himself has been from the cash he makes educating chess and taking part in chess tournaments.”

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