A story with cheating that swept the chess world, will receive a continuation in court: 19-year-old Hans Niemann has sued Magnus Carlsen, Chess.com and popular chess grandmaster and streamer Hikaru Nakamura for slander and libel and is seeking at least $100 million in damages, reports Vice.
Niemann’s lawsuit alleges that Carlsen, the world’s strongest chess player, is “notorious for his inability to cope with defeat,” and that he “viciously and maliciously retaliated against Niemann by falsely accusing Niemann, without any evidence, of somehow cheating” during the Sinquefield Cup chess tournament last month when Niemann defeated Carlsen in a decisive upset.
The chess-cheating saga made instant international news last month after Carlsen hinted, and later outright stated, that he believed Niemann had cheated against him in that tournament.
Shortly after The Sinquefield Cup, popular chess site Chess.com banned Niemann, saying it had evidence that the grandmaster was actively cheating on the platform. Niemann himself admitted to cheating on Chess.com when he was younger. Earlier this month, Chess.com published a report detailing the allegations.
Niemann’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Missouri’s Eastern District, where the Sinquefield Cup was held, calls Carlsen “corrupt and cowardly,” and “gutless.” It alleges “collusion” between Chess.com, Carlsen, Carlsen’s Play Magnus chess company (which was acquired by Chess.com), and Nakamura, and says that Niemann has been disinvited from various tournaments and that he “cannot obtain employment as a chess teacher at a reputable school.”
The lawsuit alleges that defendants’ defamatory accusations have Destroyed Niemann’s life,” as well as his “reputation, career, and livelihood.”
The lawsuit itself is largely a rehash of public statements by Carlsen, Nakamura and Chess.com over the past month. It also states that “tournament organizers and arbiters of the Sinquefield Cup, FIDE, and the world’s foremost experts in cheat detection, have uniformly confirmed that there is no evidence that Niemann cheated in any of his games against Carlsen, including at the Sinquefield Cup, particularly given the more than ample anti-cheating security measures used at the event. Unbiased top chess analysts have dissected Niemann and Carlsen’s Sinquefield Cup game in excruciating detail and concluded that Niemann’s victory resulted more from Carlsen’s particularly poor play than Niemann’s particularly exceptional play.”