Magnus Carlsen: FIDE rebukes former world champion for abandoning match after blow but ‘shares deep concern’ over cheating in chess

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Magnus Carlsen: FIDE rebukes former world champion for abandoning match after blow but 'shares deep concern' over cheating in chess
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CNN

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) has chastised former world champion Magnus Carlsen for resigning from an online chess match against fellow grandmaster Hans Niemann after a single blow, but added that it shared the “World No. 1 has deep concerns about the damage cheating does to chess. .”

“We strongly believe there were better ways to handle this situation,” FIDE said in a statement released Friday.

“The world champion has a moral responsibility attached to his status, since he is considered a global ambassador for the game. His actions impact the reputation of his colleagues, sports results and can potentially harm our game.”

Both players were taking part in the Julius Baer Generation Cup on Monday when Carlsen turned off his screen and left the match without explanation.

Earlier this month, the Norwegian withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis after his surprise loss to American star Niemann – the first time he has withdrawn from a tournament in his career, according to chess24.

Another grandmaster, Hikaru Nakamura, said Carlsen was “suspicious” of Niemann’s conduct, and days after the Sinquefield Cup match, Niemann publicly responded to allegations that he had cheated earlier in his playing career. ‘chess.

Niemann admitted to cheating at ages 12 and 16, but said in an interview with the St. Louis Chess Club that he never cheated in off-board games.

“I tell my truth because I don’t want any misrepresentation,” Niemann said. “I’m proud of myself for learning from that mistake, and now I’ve given everything to chess. I’ve sacrificed everything for chess.

None of these tournaments were under the jurisdiction of FIDE, but the organization said “it is our duty to protect the integrity of the game and its image, and given the escalation of the incident , we consider it necessary to take a step forward”.

FIDE announced that it was “ready to task its Fair Play Commission with a full investigation into the incident, when adequate initial evidence is provided and all parties involved disclose the information available to them”.

“We are fully aware that, in some cases, uncertainty can adversely affect player performance,” the statement continued. “It can also damage a player’s reputation – which is why we insist on anti-cheating protocols to be followed.”

CNN has contacted FIDE for further clarification on the statement.

Carlsen made no explicit allegations of cheating against Niemann who denies any wrongdoing.

“Unfortunately, I can’t speak to it specifically, but people can come to their own conclusions and they certainly have,” he said in an interview posted to his verified YouTube channel on Wednesday.

“I have to say I’m very impressed with Niemann’s play and I think his mentor Maxim Dlugy must be doing a great job.”

“I won’t comment on that,” Carlsen added when asked directly if he withdrew from the Julius Baer Generation Cup due to the cheating allegations. “I hope to say a bit more after the tournament.”

CNN reached out to Carlsen and Niemann this week for comment, but has yet to hear back.

FIDE said it shared Carlsen’s “deep concern about the damage cheating is doing to chess” and called for increased cooperation between major online platforms, private events and top players.

“We hope that this whole situation can have a long-term positive effect, if handled properly,” the FIDE statement added, featuring a dedicated panel of grandmasters, anti-cheat experts, officers FIDE and representatives of major chess platforms to mitigate any future risk of cheating.

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