Magnus Carlsen has responded after resigning just one move into his match against Hans Niemann at the Champions Chess Tour amid accusations the young chess prodigy was cheating at the Sinquefield Cup.
The chess world has been rocked by some of the wildest allegations in its history after 19-year-old Grandmaster Hans Niemann defeated Magnus Carlsen on September 4, and again weeks later due to a resignation.
Following the win, Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura seemed to suggest that Niemann had cheated in some capacity – something the pro has denied.
A theory then spread that Niemann had somehow been using an adult toy to receive cues about which moves to make.
Although nothing has been proven, Carlsen resigned from his next match against Niemann on September 19. Now, Carlsen has spoken up about the possibility of his opponent cheating in the tournament.
Magnus Carlsen opens up on Hans Niemann cheating allegations
During a new interview, the chess icon was asked about why he withdrew from the game and told fans to “draw their own conclusions.”
“Unfortunately, I cannot particularly speak on that but people can draw their own conclusions and they certainly have,” he said. “I have to say I’m very impressed by Niemann’s play and I think his mentor Maxim Dlugy must be doing a great job.”
When pushed if the resignation was due to his opponent possibly cheating, Carlsen refused to answer, but noted that he hopes to say more about the situation once the tournament concludes.
While these remarks may suggest that Carleen suspects the 19-year-old of breaking the rules, he doesn’t feel it would be too difficult for anyone to cheat if they wanted to.
“Regardless of whether it’s a massive problem or not, I think fairly easy to cheat and on a general basis I think that cheaters in the future should not be taken lightly either online or over the board,” he said.
We’ll have to wait until the end of the tournament for Carlsen to break his silence about Niemann possibly cheating, but this whole fiasco is certainly the most mainstream thing to happen to chess since The Queen’s Gambit.