The Norwegian chess players Magnus Carlsen and American Hans Niemann, cold since the first accused the second of cheating in a tournament, have made peace and are ready to compete again around a chessboard, according to a press release published on the Chess.com website.
“Both sides have been negotiating privately in good faith since June to resolve their issues and allow the chess world to move forward without further litigation”can we read in the press release. “We are pleased to report that all parties have reached an agreement”it is written there, without detailing the terms.
The dispute between the two players began on September 5, 2022, when Niemann defeated Carlsen, then five-time world champion, in the Sinquefield Cup, a chess tournament held annually in St. Louis, Missouri. The Norwegian then withdrew from the tournament with a bang, sibylline accusing his opponent of cheating and multiplying since then the insinuations.
Other international grandmasters, such as Japanese-American player Hikaru Nakamura, had followed suit and Chess.com, the world’s leading online chess platform, had judged that the American had “probably cheated” at least a hundred times in online games.
Greatest chess player of the XXIe century
While he admitted to cheating on Chess.com twice, when he was 12 and 16, Niemann, now 20, denied having continued to do so and said to himself “ready to play naked” to demonstrate it. He had also dragged his accusers to American justice, demanding 100 million dollars in reparations, but a federal judge dismissed it in June.
“I accept and understand Chess.com’s report, including the assertion that there is no conclusive evidence that Niemann cheated in his game against me in the Sinquefield Cup”commented Magnus Carlsen, quoted in the press release. “I am ready to play against Niemann in the future if we meet”he added.
Contacted by Agence France-Presse, its spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. For his part, Niemann, also quoted by the press release, said “looking forward to battling Magnus in chess rather than in a courtroom”. Considered the greatest chess player of the XXIe century, Carlsen gave up competing in the world championship since 2023, tired of the format of the competition and its sequence of long games, thus leaving Ding Liren to become the first Chinese world champion in history.