File image of Magnus Carlsen© AFP
Norwegian chess world champion Magnus Carlsen abruptly withdrew from his match against American Hans Niemann, sparking an ongoing cheating controversy in the sport. After playing just one move in a match against Niemann on Monday night in the “Julius Baer Generation Cup” online tournament, Carlsen resigned the match without a word and turned off his webcam in the presence of of commentators. The 31-year-old five-time world champion did not offer an explanation, but his gesture was seen as further protest against the young American, 12 years his junior.
A week ago, Carlsen withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup in the US after losing to Niemann, a young rising star in the chess world who has admitted to cheating in online games in the past.
In a message widely understood to be implied, Carlsen later posted a video from 2014 of manager Jose Mourinho on Twitter, then at English side Chelsea. “I really don’t want to say. If I speak, I’m in big trouble,” said the Portuguese, which many see as a sign of protest.
Norway’s latest withdrawal has sparked controversy. “It’s an unprecedented case,” Dutch chess master Anish Giri told Norwegian broadcaster TV2.
“I totally get that from Magnus’ point of view because he doesn’t fully trust him because he knows about his ongoing online fraud,” he added.
“But that said, of course, normally when you get into that situation you deal with it. You just hope your opponent doesn’t cheat and you play.”
Interviewed by the Chess24 website, American Levon Aronian said he “understands Magnus’ frustration.”
“I’m average. I believe Hans isn’t the cleanest when it comes to online chess. But he’s a young lad, hopefully this will be a lesson for him,” Aronian said. speak.
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