Magnus Carlsen surprisingly quits chess set in protest against Hans Niemann

Magnus Carlsen lets the chess speak for itself.

The world champion stunned the chess world this morning by resigning in protest after a single blow against Hans Niemann.

This morning’s game at Champions Chess Tour: Julius Baer Generation Cupwas the first meeting between the two players since a cheating scandal broke earlier this month.

Niemann, playing with the white pieces, started the game with d4 and Carlsen answered Nf6. When Niemann played c4, Carlsen simply resigned and turned off his webcam, leaving commentators visibly stunned.

Hungarian chess player Péter Lékó was commenting on the game on Chess24 when he exclaimed: “And what? No, what happened, right?

Advertiser Tania Sachdev said: “Magnus Carlsen just resigned, got up and left. He turned off his camera and that’s all we know at the moment.

“Wow. Speechless, yeah?” Leko said. “What to say, what to say? And the story continues.”

It is unprecedented. I just can’t believe it,” Sachdev said. “Did this just happen, Peter?” Magnus just refuses to play against Hans. He will play the tournament, but he says I won’t play against him. This makes a very big statement.

Magnus Carlsen abruptly quit the lucrative Sinquerfield Cup tournament in early September.
Grand chess tower

Sachdev later said, “The internet is exploding right now,” Sachdev said. “Twitter is exploding right now.”

Jamaican-American grandmaster Maurice Ashley wrote on Twitter: “This is shocking and disturbing. No one can be happy that this is happening in the chess world. Unbelievable!”

It was a clear statement from Carlsen that he had issues with the American player and came after he abruptly left the lucrative Sinquerfield Cup tournament under mysterious circumstances.

Magnus Carlsen quit after playing just one shot against Hans Niemann.
Magnus Carlsen quit after playing just one shot against Hans Niemann.

On September 4, Carlsen was largely beaten by the much lower rated Niemann, a stunning victory in a final after the American prepared to play against a staggered line from the Norwegian.

Carlsen then shockingly withdrew from the tournament without giving an explanation other than a terse tweet, which stated, “I have withdrawn from the tournament. I always liked to play in the [Saint Louis Chess Club]and hope to be back in the future.”

He attached a video of Portuguese football manager José Mourinho saying: “If I talk I’m in big trouble and I don’t want to get in big trouble.”

The withdrawal led to widespread speculation, including by chess grandmaster and Twitch streamer Hikaru Nakamura, that Carlsen suspected Niemann was cheating in some way.

Niemann then gave an astonishing interview in which he admitted to cheating at online chess in the past, but categorically denied ever having cheated at over-the-board chess.

He dramatically called out his critics and even offered to play naked in order to prove his innocence.

Niemann’s meteoric rise has divided the chess world, with some wary of his rapid gain in rating points and others calling for increased measures to detect IT assistance. He also has a legion of supporters.

The issue of computer-assisted cheating is a growing problem for chess.

Computer chess engines and self-learning AI programs have far exceeded the capabilities of humans and their power has increased exponentially since Garry Kasparov was defeated by Deep Blue in 1997.

Niemann’s bluster in interviews, including one in which he brushed off a reporter by stating that “chess speaks for itself”, has made the star the center of discussion on forums like Reddit and Twitter, and has spawned countless memes.

Carlsen, who is in the process of sell his band Play Magnus at the powerhouse, did not directly accuse Niemann of cheating or produce evidence to support such an allegation, although numerous people have called him out to do so.

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