Hans Niemann, the chess grandmaster at the centre of cheating allegations—which you can catch up on here—has filed a suit in a Missouri court suing world champion Magnus Carlsen, his chess app Play Magnus, the website Chess.com, Chess.com’s Daniel Rensch, and streamer Hikaru Nakamura, for $100 million.
The suit, tweeted out by Niemann earlier today, can be read here.
Niemann, the 19 year-old chess prodigy who has been accused of not just cheating but cheating using vibrating anal beads, says in the suit that the allegations against him are baseless and without merit, and world champion Carlsen has lashed out because he was “fearful that the young prodigy would further blemish his multi-million dollar brand.”
He also says that “a flurry of independent and unbiased sources” have proven he has not cheated, yet despite this, “Carlsen unleashed his media empire to fan the flames of Carlsen’s cheating accusations, drown out the legitimate evidence refuting them,” and have Niemann “blacklisted” from major international tournaments as part of a “conspiracy.”
The “media empire” he’s talking about are the other parties accused in the suit; Carlsen has his own chess app, Play Magnus, which was recently bought by Chess.com (where Niemann is now banned) for over $80 million, and for whom Rensch (who Niemann also accused of lying about cheating admissions) is chief chess officer, and Nakamura a streaming partner.
Amazingly, the suit even includes a breakdown of the context behind one of the greatest sporting soundbytes of all time:
Basically, Niemann is saying that he beat Carlsen fair and square, that beating Carlsen put a dent in the world champion’s personal goals and business plans, and so in retaliation Carlsen and his mates in the chess world created this cheating scandal. And that as a result, the affair has “had the desired effect of destroying Niemann’s reputation, career, and livelihood.”
The suit is seeking to clear Niemann’s name, prove that “defendants made the defamatory statements with full knowledge that such statements were false,” and is looking for “no less than” $100 million in damages.
This whole mess kicked off last month when Niemann was first accused of cheating in a match against Carlsen. Bizarre responses from chess figures and wild social media posts eventually led to the explosion of a theory that Niemann had used vibrating anal beads to cheat in matches.
Shortly afterwards, a rematch between the pair only created further drama when Carlsen resigned after just a single move, then said he would never play against Niemann ever again. Chess.com then made serious allegations that Niemann had cheated in over 100 online matches, which they followed up with an extensive report and claims of a confession from Niemann, which he now denies in the suit.
Perhaps most bizarrely, the nature of the cheating allegations led to players at a tournament earlier this month—including Niemann himself—being scanned extensively by a “device” which was trying to detect the presence of any items hidden on (or in this case in) a player’s body which could help them cheat.