Teen Chess Prodigy Accused of Cheating; Files $100M Defamation Suit
By: Benyamin Davidsons
A teen chess wiz filed a $100 million defamation suit after he was accused by his illustriousopponent of cheating.
As reported by the NY Post, Hans Niemann, 19, filed the lawsuit on Thursday naming his opponent and the major gaming institution as defendants. The case claims that 31-year-old Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen falsely accused him of cheating because it was such an upset for him to be beat by the newcomer in the September tournament in St. Louis, Missouri. “Notorious for his inability to cope with defeat, Carlsen snapped,” the lawsuit claims, saying he “maliciously” plotted to ruin the teen’s reputation. “Enraged that the young Niemann, fully 12 years his junior, dared to disrespect the ‘King of Chess,’ and fearful that the young prodigy would further blemish his multi-million dollar brand by beating him again, Carlsen viciously and maliciously retaliated against Niemann,”states the federal suit, filed in Missouri.
Niemann was accused of cheating with vibrating “anal beads”, after he stunned the chess world with his unexpected victory. Carlsen had allegedly taken to Twitter shortly after his defeat on Sept. 4, to spread “false accusations” alleging that Niemann cheated, but notproviding any proof. Carlsen’s tweet featured a video of a soccer manager saying “If I speak, I am in big trouble”, hinting but not outright alleging that the young opponent had cheated. An uproar ensued in the chess world, with wild rumors circulating he used technology to cheat — and even claims that he might have used a rectally inserted sex toy during the match to signal winning moves.
As a result of the rumors, at a subsequent October 6 US Chess Championships in St. Louis, an official used a metal detector to inspect Niemann’s rear as he came into the tournament. Also as a result, Chess.com revoked Niemann’s invitation to its prestigious Global Championship, according to the lawsuit. Chess.com is also named as a defendant in the case. Niemann earned a scholarship for chess at the Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School in New York City and has “lived out of a suitcase, traveling the world to compete in chess tournaments,” the suit notes.
In a rematch on September 19, Carlsen resigned from the match after the first move, and on September 26 he formally accused Niemann of cheating, saying “Niemann has cheated more — and more recently — than he has publicly admitted.” Niemann has previously admitted that he had cheated when he was 12 and 16, but only in online matches.
“[The] defamation and unlawful collusion has, by design, destroyed Niemann’s remarkable career in its prime and ruined his life,” says the suit. The lawsuit shies away from specifically mentioning the embarrassing bead cheating allegations, but counters that some of “the world’s foremost experts in cheat detection, have uniformly confirmed that there is no evidence” that Niemann cheated in any games against Carlsen. “Carlsen unleashed his media empire to fan the flames of [his] cheating accusations, drown out the legitimate evidence refuting them [and] blacklist Niemann from top-level chess tournaments,” the suit states.