The Norwegian master Magnus Carlsen, current world chess champion, has accused the American Hans Niemann, who beat him in the Sinquefield Cup and against whom he retired on the Champions Chess Tour after a single move, of “cheating”, and has announced that he will refuse to play against him anymore.

“I think Niemann has cheated more, and more recently, than he has publicly admitted,” he said in a harsh statement. “His progress over the board has been unusual, and throughout our game in the Sinquefield Cup I got the impression that he wasn’t tense or even focused on play in critical positions, while outplaying me with Black in a way that few players they can do. This game helped change my perspective,” he continued.

During the Sinquefield Cup in early September, Carlsen retired from a tournament for the first time in his career after losing in the third round against Niemann, a controversial decision after the Scandinavian announced it on Twitter along with a famous video of the coach Portuguese José Mourinho in which he assured “If I speak, next Sunday I will not be on the bench”. A week later, on the Champions Chess Tour, he retired against Hans Niemann after making only one move.

“I know that my actions have frustrated many in the chess community. I am frustrated. I want to play chess. I want to continue playing chess at the highest level in the best tournaments. I think cheating in chess is a big problem and a existential threat to the game. I also think that the organizers and all those who care about the purity of the game we love should seriously consider increasing security measures and cheat detection methods. When Niemann was invited at the last minute to the Sinquefield Cup, I seriously considered retiring before the tournament. I finally chose to play,” he explained.

In addition, he announced that he will refuse to play again with Niemann and with anyone who cheats. “We have to do something about cheating, and for my part, in the future, I don’t want to play against people who have repeatedly cheated in the past, because I don’t know what they will be able to do in the future,” he insisted.

“I would like to say more things, but unfortunately at the moment I am limited, without Niemann’s explicit permission, to speak openly. Until now I have only been able to speak with my actions, and those actions have made it clear that I am not willing to play chess. with Niemann. I hope that the truth will come to light on this matter, whatever it may be, “he concluded.