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US Judge Throws Out High-Profile Chess Cheating Lawsuit

Facing a tough battle. (Photographer: Tim Vizer/AFP/Getty Images)
Facing a tough battle. (Photographer: Tim Vizer/AFP/Getty Images)

 

A US federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by chess player Hans Niemann, who was seeking $100 million from those who accused him of cheating, including former world champion Magnus Carlsen.

“We are pleased the Court has rejected Hans Niemann’s attempt to recover an undeserved windfall in Missouri federal court,” said Craig Reiser, Carlsen’s attorney.

The 20-year-old American, hailed as a prodigy by those close to him, had filed a suit for libel in a Missouri state court in a case that shook the chess world and has gripped millions of Internet users.

It all started on September 5, 2022, when Niemann defeated Carlsen in the Sinquefield Cup, an annual chess tournament held in St. Louis, Missouri.

The five-time world champion, 32-year-old Norwegian Carlsen, then abruptly exited the event, accusing his opponent of cheating.

His assertions were later backed up by worldwide grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura and the world’s top online chess platform, chess.com, who both claimed Niemann had cheated at least 100 times online.

Niemann acknowledged to cheating on chess.com when he was 12 to 16 years old, but he denies continuing and stated he was willing “to strip naked” to prove his competence.

Last September, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) launched an investigation into the scandal, which many consider to be one of the largest in chess history.

Since it broke out, Niemann has continued to play in tournaments, although he has lost some ground in international rankings.

Carlsen decided not to play in the last world chess championships in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, which saw the crowning of the Chinese grandmaster Ding Liren against the Russian Ian Nepomnyachi.

Carlsen is still considered the greatest chess player of the 21st century.

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