Entire Hans Niemann vs. Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, and Chess.com controversy explained

Hans Niemann’s reported libel lawsuit towards the very best chess participant on the earth, Magnus Carlsen, his firm, GM Hikaru Nakamura, and Chess.com must be one of many greatest controversies to grace the chess world this 12 months. The lawsuit claims that the plaintiff’s repute and integrity have been put into query by the perpetrators, which has affected his capacity to have a profession within the sport.

Niemann is looking for a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in compensation for what he describes as a “smear marketing campaign” carried out by chess legend Carlsen — together with his firm, Play Magnus, having a task in it — and Chess.com. Additionally within the combine is American Grandmaster and Twitch streamer/YouTuber Hikaru Nakamura, who’s listed as being a part of the alleged conspiracy.

With so many issues taking place over the past month, here’s a complete timeline explaining the occasions that led to the submitting of a lawsuit towards Magnus Carlsen and others.

A timeline of the Hans Niemann-Magnus Carlsen controversy

Magnus Carlsen’s involvement

Arguably one of many greatest dishonest scandals in chess, the issue began through the 2022 Sinquefield Cup after Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the match following a loss to Hans within the third spherical. What fueled the hearth of controversy was this tweet on the following day, which many interpreted as a dishonest allegation.

The subsequent time the 2 chess gamers met, one other unprecedented occasion occurred because the five-time World Chess Champion forfeited his match towards Niemann after enjoying a single transfer on September 19. The choice stumped many, and the press assertion Carlsen launched on September 27 introduced every little thing to a head.

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The Niemann protection

The assertion posted on Twitter by Magnus Carlsen accused Hans Niemann of dishonest with out going into the specifics. As anticipated, the chess world as a complete had rather a lot to say concerning the situation. However it must be famous that Niemann had already denied dishonest in any over-the-board competitions in an interview through the Sinquefield Cup on September 7. He had stated:

“After that I’ve by no means since I used to be 12, I’ve by no means ever in my life cheated in an over-the-board recreation, in an internet match. They had been unrated video games, I am admitting this.”


In the identical interview, Niemann accepted that he had resorted to dishonest in on-line unrated video games prior to now however claimed to have stopped doing it since he’d turned 16:

“I used to be a baby and had no concept… this occurred as soon as in an internet match, I used to be only a youngster. Nothing occurred then. 4 years later, once I was 16 years outdated throughout my streaming profession, in a fully ridiculous mistake, in unrated video games.”

The Chess.com report and alleged collusion

Amidst all of the controversy that got here with a veritable Chess legend accusing him of dishonest, a 72-page report from Chess.com was launched in early October that “introduced proof” of the truth that Hans Niemann might need cheated extra usually than he had led folks to imagine through the interviews.

Here is a related extract from the report:

“We current proof on this report that Hans possible cheated on-line way more than his public statements counsel. Nonetheless, whereas Hans has had a record-setting and noteworthy rise in score and power, in our view there’s a lack of concrete statistical proof that he cheated in his recreation with Magnus or in another over-the-board (“OTB”)—i.e., in-person—video games.”

Importantly, the report makes it clear that they haven’t any proof of him dishonest within the recreation towards Carlsen or any offline video games.

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However that is not all. BBC Information studies that court docket filings allege that Magnus Carlsen’s on-line firm, Play Magnus, conspired with Chess.com and that the latter is within the course of of shopping for the previous. Here is what the prolonged report from Chess.com states on why the favored web site banned Hans Niemann:

“We uninvited Hans from our upcoming main on-line occasion and revoked his entry to our website based mostly on our expertise with him prior to now, rising suspicions amongst prime gamers and our staff about his speedy rise of play, the unusual circumstances and explanations of his win over Magnus, in addition to Magnus’ unprecedented withdrawal.”

Hikaru Nakamura’s take

American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura can also be a prolific content material creator and streamer who’s included within the listing of individuals Niemann is suing for defamation. He was one of many greatest names in chess to offer his unfiltered opinions stay on Twitch. Embedded beneath is a video assortment of a few of Hikaru’s reactions to the controversy on the day Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup.


The streamer, whereas initially hesitant to speak concerning the case, did find yourself making lots of feedback about Hans Niemann and lots of different folks, together with fashionable chess streamer Andrea Botez, who appeared to imagine that Hikaru did find yourself propagating or insinuating a story that painted Niemann as a cheater.


On the 21:40 mark of a current video uploaded to Hikaru’s YouTube channel, which has been embedded above, the streamer will be seen downplaying the probabilities of Niemann successful any potential lawsuits.

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Conserving in thoughts that this was uploaded a day earlier than the lawsuit towards him was filed, here’s what Hikaru stated when somebody within the viewers requested if he was afraid of being sued:

“Once more, if Han sues I do not see any world the place Hans is just not going to uh, the place Hans goes to win with with that with a 72-page report and every little thing that is in it. I simply, I do not suppose so, um, however he would possibly, he would possibly. Aren’t you afraid they may put you in court docket? For what? For reporting on stuff? Please, I imply, good luck with that”

Other than Hikaru Nakamura and Magnus Carlsen, Danny Rensch, a Chess.com govt, can also be being sued within the lawsuit. With Hans Niemann asking for a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in damages, a public trial will certainly appeal to lots of consideration from the media and the worldwide chess neighborhood.

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Edited by Soumyadyuti Ghosh