Chess world champion Magnus Carlsen comments on the dispute with teenager Hans Niemann. He avoids concrete allegations of fraud again, but announces: “I hope I can say something more after the tournament.”
Chess world champion Magnus Carlsen spoke for the first time about his withdrawal in a duel with Hans Niemann and promised further explanations for the time after the online tournament. In an interview with the “chess24” portal on Wednesday, when asked why he had given up the game against the 19-year-old American in an online tournament on Monday evening after just one move, Carlsen replied: “Unfortunately, I can’t comment on that, but people can draw their own conclusions, and they did.”
The Norwegian also said: “I have to say I’m very impressed with Niemann’s game and I think his mentor Maxim Dlugy must have done a great job.” When asked why he mentioned Dlugy in this context, Carlsen declined to comment. When asked if he would elaborate further at a later date, he said: “I hope to say a little more after the tournament.”
The background to Carlsen’s probably unique behavior is a dispute with Niemann, who is facing allegations of fraud. However, there is no evidence of Niemann’s fraud.
The chess scene interpreted Carlen’s exit as an allegation of fraud against Niemann
At the beginning of September, the first incident between the counterparties occurred. At the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, world champion Carlsen surprisingly lost to Niemann and withdrew from a tournament for the first time in his career. The 31-year-old Norwegian did not give any reasons, he just tweeted an old interview with football coach José Mourinho, in which the Portuguese said: “I prefer not to say anything. If I say something, I’ll get into big trouble, and I don’t want to get into big trouble.”
The chess scene interpreted Carlen’s exit as an allegation of fraud against Niemann. The American admitted in an interview during the Sinquefield Cup that he had cheated twice in online games as a teenager, aged 12 and 16, but never in person at the chessboard.