Magnus Carlsen leaves the match without explanation amid an apparent feud with fellow grandmaster Hans Niemann

Magnus Carlsen leaves the match without explanation amid an apparent feud with fellow grandmaster Hans Niemann



CNN

Shortly after making his first move, world champion Magnus Carlsen quit an online chess match against fellow grandmaster Hans Niemann on Monday.

The pair were playing in the Julius Baer Generation Cup when Carlsen turned off his screen and left the match without explanation – the latest twist in an apparent feud between the two players.

“We will try to get an update on this,” comments Tania Sachdev said in a live broadcast of the match on chess24. “Magnus Carlsen just quit – got up and left, turned off his camera and that’s all we know at the moment.”

CNN has reached out to Carlsen’s representatives for comment but has not received a response.

Earlier this month, the Norwegian withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis after his surprise loss to American star Niemann – the first time he has withdrawn from a tournament in his career, according to chess24.

Carlsen confirmed his withdrawal on Twitter, displaying: “I have withdrawn from the tournament. I’ve always enjoyed playing @STLChessClub and hope to be back in the future. Carlsen’s tweet also included a well-known video of football manager Jose Mourinho saying, “If I talk I’m in big trouble.”

Another grandmaster, Hikaru Nakamura, said Carlsen was “suspicious” of Niemann’s conduct, and days after the Sinquefield Cup match, Niemann publicly responded to allegations that he had cheated earlier in his playing career. ‘chess.

The 19-year-old admitted to cheating at ages 12 and 16, but said in an interview with the St. Louis Chess Club that he never cheated in off-board games.

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“I tell my truth because I don’t want any misrepresentation,” Niemann said. “I’m proud of myself for learning from that mistake, and now I’ve given everything to chess. I’ve sacrificed everything for chess.

The tension between Niemann and Carlsen rocked the chess community. Niemann said he was removed from the popular Chess.com website following Carlsen’s tweet and “everyone in social media and chess is completely attacking and undermining me.”

“To see my absolute hero (Carlsen) trying to target, trying to ruin my reputation, ruining my chess career and doing it in such a frivolous way is really, really disappointing,” he added.

Neither Niemann nor Chess.com responded to CNN’s request for comment.

In a statement on September 8, Chess.com chess director Danny Rensch said the site had “shared detailed evidence with [Niemann] regarding our decision, including information that contradicts his statements regarding the extent and severity of his cheating. »

Rensch continued, “We invited Hans to provide an explanation and response in hopes of finding a solution to allow Hans to participate again on Chess.com.”

Carlsen and Niemann played two more games against other opponents after the former’s sudden resignation on Monday. Carlsen is two points behind leader Arjun Erigaisi in the tournament standings after eight rounds, while Niemann is four points.

“It looks like he (Carlsen) is clearly insinuating something, but until you grab someone there’s nothing you can do,” Anish Giri, who also competes in the Julius Baer Generation Cup, told chess24.

“It looks very strange now. Obviously it all makes sense if, supposedly, Hans is cheating and he doesn’t want to play it, but if he’s not cheating then it’s really very bad.

“So I don’t know, we have to see. Again, everyone expects some sort of big hat-rabbit with Magnus, but he just doesn’t want to play Hans, it seems.

Levon Aronian, who is also taking part in the tournament, said Niemann “isn’t the cleanest person when it comes to online chess”, but added that “this is a problem that needs fixing”.

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