Breaking: Carlsen speaks after winning Generation Cup prelims

by ChessBase
9/21/2022 – Right after dominating the preliminary stage of the Generation Cup, Magnus Carlsen gave his first interview since his sudden withdrawal from the Sinquefield Cup. Carlsen did not confirm he had resigned his game against Hans Niemann due to suspicious of cheating, but added that “people can draw their own conclusions, and they certainly have”.

ChessBase 16 - Mega package Edition 2022 ChessBase 16 - Mega package Edition 2022

Your key to fresh ideas, precise analyses and targeted training!
Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


“I’m very impressed by Niemann’s play”

Talking to Kaja Snare right after dominating the preliminary stage of the Generation Cup, Magnus Carlsen finally referred to the alleged-cheating scandal that has shocked the chess world. When directly asked about why he had ‘withdrawn’ from his game against Hans Niemann, the world champion responded:

Unfortunately, I cannot particularly speak on that, but people can draw their own conclusions, and they certainly have. I have to say I'm very impressed by Niemann's play and I think his mentor Maxim Dlugy must be doing a great job.

Carlsen did not confirm nor denied that his decisions were motivated by suspicions of cheating, but he did clarify that he intends to shed more light on the subject later on.

I hope to say a little bit more after the tournament.

Useful links

Full interview (starting at around 3:36:00)

Master Class Vol.8 - Magnus Carlsen 2nd Edition

Let our authors show you how Carlsen tailored his openings to be able to outplay his opponents strategically in the middlegame or to obtain an enduring advantage into the endgame.

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.
Discussion and Feedback Submit your feedback to the editors


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register

lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/26/2022 01:02
@Jacob Woge I see. I have no issues with calling this the Carlsen-Niemann case.

"Why, then, would a 15 min delay of broadcast be an appeasement? Unless suspicion is, that the broadcast being live is somehow related. "

The possibility that the allegation is related to possibly receiving help from the outside is quite plausible and certainly possible, but while the allegations are clarified I cannot know it factually. I'm aware that you asked your question in this context, but I treated the question as a standalone question, as it deserved to be answered without this prerequisite as well.

@Frits Fritschy Carsen promises that clarifications will be made. If he has a basis for accusation, he should have come up with it as soon as possible. If he did not have evidence from the start, then he should have communicated his concerns to the organizers of the Sinquefield Cup, without insinuating openly. I await to see what will Carlsen come up with.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 9/26/2022 11:07
By the way, there is more breaking news: Carlsen said he will come with a reaction at an unspecified moment about something that might have to do with cheating and he will tell even more about something that he doesn't mention explicitly.
arzi arzi 9/26/2022 06:33
Jacob woge:" I was more thinking along the lines of, why call it “the Niemann case”? There is one other name to use, or one could use both."

Why did you not say that in the first place but after about 10 messages? Are you doing Carlsen´s way? :)
Jacob woge Jacob woge 9/25/2022 07:19
“Picking the exact moment: because they wanted to appease Carlsen,”

Why, then, would a 15 min delay of broadcast be an appeasement? Unless suspicion is, that the broadcast being live is somehow related.

Actually I thought standard was to delay, since the cheating scandal at one board of the french Olympic team in, 2010? But then again, Sinquefield is not a FIDE event.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 9/25/2022 07:09

I was more thinking along the lines of, why call it “the Niemann case”? There is one other name to use, or one could use both.

The Kasparov-Polgar case.
The Short-Cheparinov case.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/25/2022 02:01
@Jacob Woge

"How about how Niemann has handled this Carlsen case?"

It did not occur to me that Niemann handled it badly, since I was more focused on Carlsen's misbehavior, given that he is the world champion since 2013, he is the very top player and he is much more important for the chess world than Niemann at this point of time. Can you point out how Niemann was mishandling the fact that suspicions were cast upon him?
lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/25/2022 02:00
@Jacob Woge

"Then why pick this exact moment to delay live broadcast, and why no harsh words from the organizers, whom I reckon would have to be pretty upset by a departure without merit. But no, completely straight face."

1. Picking the exact moment: because they wanted to appease Carlsen, they wanted to convince him not to leave and since his suspicion of cheating was the reason for leaving, the organizers of the Sinquefield Cup tried everything in their power to keep the world champion in the tournament. After their efforts proved to be in vain, they openly communicating what they did in order to keep Carlsen in the tournament, in order to save face and show the broader audience that they invested energy and effort into keeping the champ in the tournament. I believe this is very understandable and I sympathize with the organizers.

2. No harsh words: First, it is the world champion. If they start a conflict with him, then he can do much more damage to their tournament. Second, the organizers aim to maintain a friendly atmosphere at their tournament, which could easily go toxic if they start a conflict with the players. Also, if the allegations turn out to be true and they sided with Niemann, then they will look awkward in hindsight.

3. Upset by a departure without merit. I'm sure they were very much upset, but they decided not to show it outwards. If they would have believed that the departure was with merit, then they would have not tried to convince the champ to stay in the tournament. For example if someone leaves due to sickness, then tournament organizers usually accept the situation even if they are unhappy about it. Here clearly they tried to convince Carlsen not to leave, which proves that they believed that Carlsen should play in the tournament, which proves that they had at least some objection to Carlsen's withdrawal.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 9/24/2022 07:44
Then why pick this exact moment to delay live broadcast, and why no harsh words from the organizers, whom I reckon would have to be pretty upset by a departure without merit. But no, completely straight face.

Only other rational explanation I can come up with is a crusade.
A Alekhine A Alekhine 9/24/2022 06:58
Jacob woge wrote:

"what happened at Sinquefield has got to somehow be related to the live broadcast, in my opinion."

At Sinquefield, Carlsen played bad chess moves against Niemann and lost. How is that related to the live broadcast? Most grandmasters agree that Carlsen played badly and no one is suggesting that Niemann found any outstanding moves against Carlsen.

The only surprising thing about the Carlsen-Niemann game, other than Carlsen's bad play, is that Niemann was ready for Carlsen's opening. Again, preparation has nothing to do with the live broadcast.

In short, it seems evident that whatever happened at Sinquefield, the live broadcast obviously had NOTHING to do with it.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 9/24/2022 05:22
By the way, what happened at Sinquefield has got to somehow be related to the live broadcast, in my opinion.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 9/24/2022 04:14
“Posted by somebody in the Talkchess forum - A little bit of lite cheating by Magnus, caught on a live stream.”

This can get insidious. In principle, the player suggesting a move to you - which the above statement implied you then are barred from playing - could be (secretly) associated with your opponent.

So, who is he helping?

This just goes to show that internet chess is not to be taken as seriously as “In Real Life”. The link clearly shos Chess for Fun, not Chess for Blood, to quote Lasker.
Jacob woge Jacob woge 9/24/2022 04:09
“However, I am not on Carlsen's side in how he has handled this Niemann case.”

How about how Niemann has handled this Carlsen case?
lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/24/2022 02:34
@fgkdjlkag Carlsen received outside assistance to win a game. It happened less than a year ago. Now everyone can stop playing Carlsen while strongly suggesting that he is a cheater. Or, we could remain rational and think that Carlsen used the outside assistance "in the heat of the moment", without prior planning for it. Even though it would have been much much better on Carlsen's part to tell Howell that he should not help AND choose a different move instead, or at least admit his fault afterwards. He not only used the outside assistance and shown no sign of regret afterwards, but quite arrogantly implies nowadays that Niemann is cheating. So there is clearly a misbehavior on Carlsen's part here.

@soulblazer I do not see any hate being shown towards Carlsen. I see criticism. So it seems to me that criticism directed towards Carlsen bothers you. If that's the case, then you might want to make the following thought-experiment: what if, you played Carlsen and even managed to beat him and then, instead of letting you celebrate your great achievement, Carlsen would quit the tournament, your win would be erased from history along with the Élő points you would get for it, the organizers of the Sinquefield cup would say that they tried to add anti-cheating measures in order (!) to convince Carlsen to continue playing (which proves that some cheating suspicion was the cause for Carlsen's withdrawal and from the few games he played there a single person, Niemann was outplaying him on the previous (!) day). And then Carlsen "compliments" you by mentioning that you play great chess and you learned much from your trainer, who also had a cheating scandal? Would you feel that it was an acceptable behavior towards you? I should add: no evidence or official accusation occurred. It was "only" some casting of suspicion, a cheap way of not having to defend an accusation.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 9/23/2022 11:33
I don't quite get what is 'breaking' in this report.
arzi arzi 9/23/2022 09:06
You did not get it, soulblazer, but it is not your fault, blame your parents.
soulblazer soulblazer 9/23/2022 07:41
It's amazing to see how much some people distorts what has been officially said by a player. Put your anger energy on the board, go burn it to the gym or find an enjoyable way of releasing that tention... Lmao! I doubt the same hate would be shown without a screen in front of them. Looking forward to hearing "official" stuff from Magnus.
arzi arzi 9/23/2022 06:50
So, these tournaments were not fide tournaments and you can behave like...Carlsen. Great, case closed.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 9/23/2022 03:54
@Graham Banks, that's definitely the fault of the player suggesting the move.

Also different to something premeditated.
arzi arzi 9/23/2022 01:12
I was on Carlsen's side and I still am when his decision to give up the WC title without playing was discussed. However, I am not on Carlsen's side in how he has handled this Niemann case. Carlsen has done it very poorly and it will be a shame if this will haunt Carlsen's background for the rest of his life. He would only be remembered for the Niemann case, and not for his brilliant game intelligence. Do something, Magnus, before it is too late.
KevinConnor KevinConnor 9/23/2022 11:12
@Lajosarpad Couldn't agree more!
lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/23/2022 11:06
@KevinConnor I can see your point, but I think we are beyond that. The crisis escalated and silence from Carlsen's part would be disingenious. He should clarify his position, accuse Niemann openly along with evidence, or apologize. Quietly backing down from his slanderous ways would be unworthy of one of the best chess players in history.
Graham Banks Graham Banks 9/23/2022 08:33
Followed up by - I posted a question about this incident in the lichess forum asking if anyone knew what happened with it. Apparently the post has been blocked. Maybe it’s a mistake or maybe they don’t want to discuss it. I’ll update if anything changes
Graham Banks Graham Banks 9/23/2022 08:33
Posted by somebody in the Talkchess forum - A little bit of lite cheating by Magnus, caught on a live stream.
KevinConnor KevinConnor 9/22/2022 05:29
Carlsen either proves that Niemann cheated in their game at the Sinquelfield tournament or he shuts the hell up. It's as simple as that.
Mamack1 Mamack1 9/22/2022 05:28
I see that the Carlsen fanboyz still believe that he can do no wrong - sigh.
VVI VVI 9/22/2022 02:38
Niemann is a gifted kid with strong ambitions . He might be training using a Alpha Zero engine so his analysis of chess games is vastly different from the traditional engines. Magnus's loss in the Sinquefield cup could have spooked him.Support Niemann!
conillet conillet 9/22/2022 02:27
Glad to see Magnus in good spirits and playing great chess. I am sure of two things:
- His words must have scared the living daylight out of Niemand and his "mentor".
- When all is said and done about this affair, Magnus will be proven right.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 9/22/2022 01:49
@Teltow Morphy was rising too quickly. He must have used computer engines, right? Or is it possible that Morphy's rising was possible without cheating? Is that possible today as well, or should we accuse anyone making fantastic progress for being a cheater?
arzi arzi 9/22/2022 01:40
Christiano10, how many side characters do you have?
arzi arzi 9/22/2022 01:36
Teltow, why don´t you ask from sponsors and tournament organizers if they are willing to pay for players who cannot be trusted and who may suspend their games against the rules. I would assume that the rules are not intended to please the Fide bureaucracy but to protect the rights of players and tournament organizers. Of course I could be wrong.
mc1483 mc1483 9/22/2022 01:34
@Teltow: "even this prodigy (Carlsen) had a slow rise relative to the sudden success of Niemann".
Niemann rose from 2508 (april 2021) to 2688 (july 2022).
Carlsen rose from 2528 (july 05) to 2698 (october 2006).
Carlsen was 3 years younger, Niemann played more games, but apart from that I don't see any real difference.
Christian10 Christian10 9/22/2022 01:32
Hans Niemann's mentor, Maxim Dugly, has also been caught cheating in online chess. Interestingly, it was Maxim Dugly who caught Borislav Ivanov, another infamous cheater. I guess it takes a thief to catch another thief.


If normal people cannot seem to connect the dots, then the world of classical chess is doomed.
arzi arzi 9/22/2022 01:15
To Teltow, so all the players can do the same without any explanation, like Carlsen?
Teltow Teltow 9/22/2022 01:09
I disagree with Gerald C and arzi about Carlsen's handling of the Niemann affair. Carlsen is an unusually gifted player, yet even this prodigy had a slow rise relative to the sudden success of Niemann. What can be done to force clarification of the surreptitious use of chess engines in OTB play? Toddling along in compliance with FIDE bureaucracy will certainly lead to "plausible deniability" -- quis custodiet ipsos custodes? So, Carlsen's withdrawal does not strike me as childish. (And use of the adjective "very" does not add to the argument).
Gerald C Gerald C 9/22/2022 09:42
Magnus looks very childish in his answers.
tauno tauno 9/22/2022 09:08
Yesterday I didn't know much and was very skeptical, but today I'm not so sure anymore. When something like this happens, of course there has to be a reason – a good reason. There has to be some logic or it wouldn't make sense, and I find it hard to believe. I also want to emphasize that now we are not talking about just anyone and we have to take that into account. Therefore, I have thought about the matter very carefully, based on what have been said and without favoring either side, so today I am somewhere around 50/50, maybe even 50/60, which makes my perspective very balanced from an objective point of view.
arzi arzi 9/22/2022 07:51
How does Carlsen explain this when defending his own behavior? Is vague behavior part of the permitted actions in these rules? I think Mourinho -words are connected to 11.6 rule?

Fide rules

"C.05. General Regulations for Competitions (PDF)

"9 Conduct of the Players
9.1 Once a player has formally accepted an invitation, he must play except in exceptional
circumstances (force majeure), such as illness or incapacity. Acceptance of another
invitation is not considered to be a valid reason for not participating or for withdrawing."

"11.9 General misbehaviour
b) Withdrawal from tournaments: Players withdrawing from a tournament without valid
reason or without informing the tournament arbiter.."

"11.6 Offences causing reputational harm
a) False or unjustified accusations: Players or members of their delegations must not make
unjustified accusations of any nature towards other players, officials, organisers or
arzi arzi 9/22/2022 07:26
We should allow all players to act in tournaments like Carlsen. Any player could interrupt without anything meaningful to say. However, they should give a Magnus-like, cryptic explanation for stopping the games. I think sponsors and tournament organizers would appreciate that. This would bring additional joy and exciting moments to the audience and other players. Bookmakers would appreciate this trend. It would be impossible to predict the results of the games. Everyone wins.
Keshava Keshava 9/22/2022 05:24
I agree that Carlsen's behavior is shameful. However, Carlsen is bigger than FIDE right now and so they had better be careful how they treat him. Kasparov split the chess world before by playing outside of FIDE's auspices and Carlsen could do the same thing!
Albert Silver Albert Silver 9/22/2022 04:34
Let's keep the conversation civil please and keep profanity out of it.