The pair were playing online at the Julius Baer Cup on Monday, using the Chess24 platform via Microsoft Teams, when Carlsen’s webcam suddenly turned off while he was preparing for his second move.
“What happened? That’s it?” exclaimed Grand Master Peter Lecco, who was analyzing the feed.
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“We will try to get the latest information on this,” said analyst and international guru Tania Sachdev. “Magnus Carlsen just resigned. Got up and left. Turned off his camera, that’s all we know now.”
“Wow — speechless, eh?” Lecco said.
Carlsen, 31, was leading early in the race. The Julius Baer Cup is the seventh event in the nine-time champion chess circuit, which runs from February to November. Carlson was No. 1 in the series, while Niemann was No. 16.
Carlsen and Niemann compete in the St. Petersburg Cup this month. In a live event on the St. Louis-based chess tour, Niemann beat the five-time world champion. To make matters worse, Carlsen went 53 games unbeaten and had a significant rating advantage over Niemann.
Carlsen withdrew from the Hinkfield Cup the next day, said in a tweet He always enjoys playing there and hopes to come back in the future.
To throw the chess world into chaos, however, Carlsen attached to his tweet a video clip of what famous football manager Jose Mourinho said in 2021: “I really prefer not to talk. If If I speak, I’m in big trouble.”
The tweet gave the impression that Carlson had hinted at some evil deeds from Niemann, who has risen rapidly in the sport. Speculation about Nieman’s cheating only increased after 34-year-old American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura had a large following on his Twitch stream shortly after Carlsen’s exit.
“It’s probably something I shouldn’t have said, but I’ll say it anyway, and it’s: For over a month, Hans didn’t play any prize contests on Chess.com,” Nakamura said. Say“That’s the one thing I’m going to say, and the only thing I’m going to say on this topic.”
Nakamura added on his Twitch stream: “I think Magnus thinks Hans may be cheating. … He pulled out of this without saying it publicly.”
Neiman underwent a thorough scan when he arrived in St. Petersburg for another match, looking for equipment that could help him cheat. St. Louis tournament, and subsequently admitted to cheating on Chess.com a few years ago.
In a Sept. May 5 interview with grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez shared online by the St. Louis Chess Club, which hosts the Hinkfield Cup, Niemann said he had a great time at Chess.com. The cheating happened when he was 12 – “I’m just a kid” – and 16. In the latter episode, he said he wanted higher ratings so he could “play a stronger player” and was eager to “do anything to increase my traffic” at the time.
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Niemann described his immorality as “an absolutely ridiculous mistake”, claiming that since then, he has “never cheated in his life”.
“I’m very proud of myself,” he said, “I learned from that mistake and now dedicate everything to chess. … I face, I admit, this is the life of me Biggest mistake and I’m totally ashamed.”
“I won’t let Chess.com, I won’t let Magnus Carlsen, I won’t let Hikaru Nakamura — arguably the three largest entities in chess — simply defame my reputation,” Niemann added. “Because the question is: why did they remove me from Chess.com as soon as I beat Magnus? What happened to the time?”
Chess.com, which bills itself as “the number one platform for online chess,” released a statement a few days later explaining its deplatforming of Niemann.
“We shared with him detailed evidence about our decision, including information that contradicted his statements about the amount and severity of his cheating on Chess.com,” the website said. statement“We have invited Hans to provide explanations and responses in the hope of finding a solution that will allow Hans to play Chess.com again. We just want to see the best players in the world succeed in the greatest tournaments. We will always Working hard to protect the integrity of the game we all love.”
The “turbulent” situation in the chess world, such as Chess.com put itwhen Neiman offered to “strip naked”, if that helped prove he wasn’t using any device to help him cheat, further improved.
Then there’s Monday’s much-anticipated Carlson-Niemann rematch. It was quickly over, but Carlson’s swift, statement-making resignation ensured the debate was far from over.