Chess Grandmaster Hans Niemann has fired back at claims that he cheated following his win against Magnus Carlsen at the Sinquefield Cup, slamming the “targeted attack” from his peers.
As reigning five-time World Chess Champion, fans believed that Magnus Carlsen would have no trouble pulling in a win against the lower-ranked Hans Niemann at the Sinquefield Cup on September 4. Yet with a skilled Nimzo-Indian Defense, it was Niemann who won the game.
However, rumors of foul play started to emerge as Carlsen later withdrew from the tournament. While he didn’t specifically state why, many speculated it was because Niemann cheated, with popular player Hikaru Nakamura referring to his past suspensions for doing the very same thing.
Now, Niemann has had his say. The 19-year-old fired back at the “absolutely ridiculous” allegations calling it a “targeted attack” from critics on social media.
Hans Niemann denies cheating during Magnus Carlsen game
Speaking to STLChessClub’s Twitch channel on September 6, Niemann denied any allegations of cheating. However, he did admit to having broken the rules on Chess.com in the past because he was “willing to do anything to grow” his Twitch channel.
He said: “I cheated on random games on Chess.com. I was confronted. I confessed. And this is the single biggest mistake of my life. And I am completely ashamed.”
Denying that he had ever “cheated in an over-the-board game,” he hit out at Carlsen and Hikaru for trying to “slander” his Chess career by accusing him of cheating during the Sinquefield Cup with supposedly no evidence.
Niemann stated that the accusations were a “targeted attack” by Carlsen and the Chess community on social media. He further added that he had “never ever cheated against” Hikaru, who previously claimed that Niemann was banned from paid tournaments by Chess.com.
Some of Niemann’s fans did come to his defense as the theories started to circulate across social media and he expressed his gratitude for their support.
Niemann says he has been suspended from his Chess.com account following the controversy. Although, his place in the Sinquefield Cup is still secure, as of writing.