Chess prodigy Hans Niemann sues chess grandmaster Magnus Carlson and four others for $100M
American teenage chess prodigy Hans Niemann has sued the Norwegian grandmaster who accused him of using anal beats to cheat – as well as online platform Chess.com, claiming they defamed him and sought to blacklist him from the game.
In court papers, filed in Missouri on Thursday, he claims that 31-year-old Magnus Carlsen, who he describes as the self-styled ‘King of Chess’, was fearful that the teenager would blemish his multi-billion dollar brand after beating him in September.
Weeks after the incident, Chess.com released a report claiming Niemann had ‘likely cheated’ in hundreds of games.
Niemann, 19, denied the accusations, saying that he only cheated twice in his life – at the age of 12 and 16 – and that both infractions were some of the greatest regrets of his life.
Chess.com executive Daniel Rensch and chess streamer Hikaru Nakamura are also named as defendants.
He is now demanding a trial ‘to recover from the devastating damages that defendants have inflicted upon his reputation, career and life by egregiously defaming him and unlawfully colluding to blacklist him from the profession to which he has dedicated his life,’ according to the lawsuit.
In his lawsuit, Niemann claims:
- Carlsen created Player Magnus, a lucrative global brand that he merged with Chess.com in an $83 million deal, ‘to monopolize the chess world’
- On September 4, he taunted Carlson in an interview after beating him, and this caused the Norwegian to ‘snap’ and he ‘maliciously’ retaliated against the teenager
- The defeat robbed Carlsen of solidifying him ‘as the greatest chess player of all time’, which ‘would have made his empire more valuable’
Niemann is seeking $100 million in compensatory, consequential and punitive damages.
American teenage chess prodigy Hans Nieman has sued the Norwegian grandmaster who accused him of using anal beats to cheat – as well as online platform Chess.com
In court papers, filed in Missouri on Thursday, Niemann claims that 31-year-old Magnus Carlsen, who he describes as the self-styled ‘King of Chess’, was fearful that the teenager would blemish his multi-billion dollar brand after beating him in September
Niemann was accused of using vibrating anal beads to communicate with his coach during a September 4 tournament against Carlsen.
The 19-year-old chess prodigy previously declared he would play naked to prove doubters wrong after rumors suggested he could have used vibrating anal beads, controlled by a third-party, to determine the best moves to make in his match against Carlsen.
‘Carlsen’s unprecedented actions, coupled with his unfounded accusations, sent shock waves through the chess world and instantly thrust Niemann into the center of what is now widely reported as the single biggest chess scandal in history,’ the lawsuit reads.
‘Even though Carlsen had no legitimate basis to believe Niemann actually cheated against him, he could ensure that no reputable chess tournament would invite Niemann to compete in the future, and his false accusations would cause other top chess players to boycott Niemann as well.’
Defendant Nakamura is one of Chess.com’s ‘influential streaming partner’ that posted content to amplify Carlsen’s accusations with ‘numerous additional defamatory statements.’
Meanwhile, Chess.com executive Rensch is accused of releasing ‘defamatory report’ to ‘bolster Carlsen’s unsubstantiated defamatory accusations that Niemann cheated against him at the Sinquefield Cup.’
Niemann was arranged to play against teenage Grandmaster Vincent Keymer in Germany but Keymer later refused to play after the cheater allegations.
The 19-year-old chess prodigy previously declared he would play naked to prove doubters wrong after rumors suggested he could have used vibrating anal beads
The lawsuit claimed that Carlsen had no reasoning to say Niemann was cheating using anal beads
Niemann – pictured in 2021, when he achieved the title of grandmaster – sent the elite world of competitive chess into a tailspin when he defeated world champion Magnus Carlsen
After the anal bead cheating accusations, a 72-page report accused the ‘self-taught chess prodigy’ of cheating ‘more than 100 times’ in an October 4 report by Chess.com.
‘On October 5, 2022, Niemann was scheduled to begin competing in the U.S. Chess Championship tournament, which, due to Defendants’ repeated defamatory accusations and blacklisting, is quite possibly one of the last competitive chess tournaments in which Niemann will ever be allowed to play,’ the lawsuit reads.
‘Niemann desperately hoped to be able to compete in that tournament, deliver an impressive performance, and lessen the blow of at least some of Defendants’ defamatory accusations. Yet, once again, Defendants had different plans.’
The lengthy report showed that the prodigy privately confessed to Chess.com he had cheated on numerous occasions, while it also revealed that he was banned from the site – though this was never made public.
The report states that Niemann confessed his cheating to Chess.com COO Danny Rensch during a Zoom call, and afterwards in writing during a Slack chat.
Many of the tournaments Chess.com said Niemann cheated in included cash prizes, the report said, including Chess.com prize events, Speed Chess Championship Qualifiers, and the PRO Chess League.
As a result of the accusations, tournaments, including the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, have ceased contact with Niemann. Meanwhile, Carlsen’s refusal to participate in tournaments where Niemann is present also bans the 19-year-old from ‘the vast majority’ of them.
Niemann would participate in about 15 major chess tournaments per year and earn between $5,000 to $15,000 in appearance fees and between $5,000 to $100,000 in cash prizes, according to the lawsuit.
Now that Niemann has been barred from participating in most tournaments, the lawsuit claimed the 19-year-old’s ‘career’ is destroyed by ‘Defendants’ lies.’
Officials from the online chess platform Chess.com released a report which found American prodigy Hans Mok Niemann has cheated over 100 times in his professional career
Niemann sent the elite world of competitive chess into a tailspin when he defeated Carlsen in the prestigious Sinquefield Cup in St Louis, Missouri, last month.
The 31-year-old Norwegian is generally acknowledged to be the greatest player in the game’s history and had been enjoying an unbeaten 53-game streak until he sat down opposite Niemann on September 4.
The upset was so unexpected that rumors of cheating began to swirl almost immediately and lurid allegations that Niemann owed his victory to the use of vibrating anal beads that telegraphed winning moves in Morse code quickly took hold.
In a later match Carlsen resigned after just one move in what has been interpreted as his belief that Niemann’s play is not on the level.