Chess world champion Magnus Carlsen resigns from Hans Niemann rematch after single move in wake of cheating claims

·2 min read
Magnus Carlsen of Norway resigned after making one move against Hans Niemann and then switched off his video during an online chess game (Getty Images)
Magnus Carlsen of Norway resigned after making one move against Hans Niemann and then switched off his video during an online chess game (Getty Images)

Chess world champion Magnus Carlsen resigned from an online chess match against American rival Hans Niemann after making just one move in a deepening of the scandal surrounding the two players.

The two were playing an online match in the Julius Baer Generation Cup on Monday when Carlsen, of Norway, resigned and turned off his webcam without saying anything after a single move.

The match commentators were completely taken by surprise after Carlsen’s resignation, reported ChessBase.

It was Carlsen and Niemann’s first meeting since the American’s victory over Carlsen at the Sinquefield Cup earlier this month - in which the Norwegian accused his opponent of cheating.

“Magnus Carlsen just resigned. Got up and left,” said Chess24 commentator and chess grandmaster Tania Sachdev. “Switched off his camera, and that’s all we know right now. We’re going to try to get an update on this.”

As Ms Sachdev was saying this, Niemann’s webcam was seen being switched off as well without the player making any comment.

Earlier this month, the world’s top player hinted that the young grandmaster, Niemann, may have cheated in his previous game between the two grandmasters.

Carlsen sent shockwaves around the sport when he quit a $500,000 tournament in St Louis less than 24 hours after his surprise defeat to Niemann.

Niemann denied the accusations of cheating, but admitted to cheating as a 12-year-old and then 16-year-old in online games. He insisted he had not cheated in order to beat Carlsen, before accusing his critics of “trying to ruin his career”.

He said he would even be willing to “strip naked” to prove his innocence and stressed he was a reformed character after admitting to using computers to cheat in online games on Chess.com as a youth.

Last week, Niemann also rejected claims that he had used a sex toy to beat Carlsen. The streak of 53 games during which Carlsen remained unbeaten was ended on 4 September when he was defeated by the 19-year-old Niemann in the Sinquefield Cup hosted by the St Louis Chess Club.