Chess Champion Carlsen Accuses Rival Niemann of Cheating

Photo: Foto Olimpik/NurPhoto/Getty Images [via Fox News]

The Facts

  • On Monday, Norwegian world chess champion Magnus Carlsen publicly accused American Hans Niemann of cheating, marking the first time he explicitly alleged any wrongdoing by the 19-year-old. He questioned Niemann's "unusual" rise over the past year and his "suspicious" mannerisms.

  • The scandal began earlier this month after Carlsen lost to Niemann at the Sinquefield Cup, ending a 53-game unbeaten streak. After quitting the tournament, Carlsen made vague accusations that he believes "cheating in chess is a big deal" and should be "dealt with seriously."

The Spin

Narrative A

While Niemann has a checkered past, the idea that he's been able to cheat in the highly-scrutinized world of professional chess is far-fetched. With every player being screened and every game being supervised, no one has found evidence of cheating. It seems that Carlsen is simply upset that he's now lost to the 19-year-old multiple times.

Narrative B

With Niemann's history of cheating, coupled with accusations against him from the world No. 1, it's time the International Chess Federation investigate the matter and finally put it to rest. Whether it finds Niemann guilty or not, his admitted history of cheating should put him under the microscope until the investigation is over.

Nerd narrative

There's an 84% chance that if Magnus Carlsen competes in the 2023 World Chess Championship, he will win the title, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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