Magnus Carlsen, a world chess champion who recently refused to play against a teenage competitor who’d beaten him in an earlier tournament, is now accusing the teen of repeatedly cheating in competition.
Carlsen, 31, posted a tweet on Monday where he attempted to explain why he chose not to compete against 19-year-old Hans Niemann at last week’s Julius Baer Generation Cup.
At the beginning of the match, Carlsen made a single move and then quit the game, according to The Guardian.
Critics accused Carlsen of being passive-aggressive, and he was reprimanded by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) on Friday, CNN reported.
“We strongly believe that there were better ways to handle this situation,” FIDE said in a statement. “The World Champion has a moral responsibility attached to his status, since he is viewed as a global ambassador of the game. His actions impact the reputation of his colleagues, sportive results, and eventually can be damaging to our game.”
Carlsen’s refusal to play was considered a reaction to Niemann’s victory over him at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis earlier this month.
Niemann’s victory was such an upset that it inspired a bizarre and unsubstantiated theory that he used a computer program that secretly communicated winning moves via a “prostate massager” or “wireless anal beads.”
Although Niemann insisted that he won fair and square and even offered to “strip fully naked” to debunk the anal beads theory, Carlsen said in Monday’s tweet that he has no plans to compete against the teen again.
“I know that my actions have frustrated many in the chess community,” Carlsen wrote. “I’m frustrated. I want to continue to play chess at the highest level in the best events.”
He called for chess organizers and “all those who care about the sanctity of the game we love” to “seriously consider increasing security measures and methods of cheat detection for over the board chess.”
Carlsen accused Niemann of cheating “more ― and more recently ― than he has publicly admitted,” claiming that the teen’s “over the board progress has been unusual.”
“Throughout our game in the Sinquefield Cup I had the impression that he wasn’t tense or even fully concentrating on the game in critical positions, while outplaying me as black in a way I think only a handful of players can do,” Carlsen wrote.
No one has come forward with hard evidence of Niemann cheating at the Sinquefield Cup, but he was accused of cheating in prize-money matches on Chess.com and has been banned from the site, though he is allowed to compete at Chess24.com.
Carlsen said he doesn’t want “to play against people that have cheated repeatedly in the past, because I don’t know what they are capable of doing in the future.”
“There is more that I would like to say,” he wrote, but “unfortunately, at this time I am limited in what I can say without explicit permission from Niemann to speak openly.”
Carlsen finished his post by emphasizing that he is “not willing to play chess with Niemann,” and that he hopes “the truth on this matter comes out, whatever it may be.”
You can see the complete statement below.
HuffPost reached out to Niemann for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.
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