If Hans Niemann had hoped to leave an alleged cheating scandal in his past, his recent interview with Piers Morgan on Monday might have dashed those hopes. Niemann, a chess grandmaster, has consistently refuted accusations of cheating in over-the-board chess. However, during his appearance on “Piers Morgan Uncensored” this Monday, the 20-year-old addressed specific allegations suggesting he had used vibrating sex toys to cheat, although it remains unclear who initially made these accusations.
When pressed by Morgan about whether he had used such toys “while playing chess,” Niemann responded, “Well, your curiosity is a bit concerning, you know – maybe you’re personally interested. But I can tell you, no.”
Following his victory over the five-time world champion Magnus Carlsen last year, Niemann faced allegations of cheating. In response, he told The New York Times, “They want me to strip fully naked, I’ll do it. I don’t care because I know that I’m clean. You want me to play in a closed box with zero electronic transmission? I don’t care, you know? Name whatever you guys want.”
Niemann, a chess prodigy from the United States, had been accused of cheating by Carlsen after defeating the Norwegian at the 2022 Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis.
While Magnus Carlsen refrained from providing specific details regarding his allegations against Hans Niemann during their September 2022 over-the-board match, social media buzzed with accusations that Niemann had used vibrating sex toys to receive signals guiding his moves. These cheating accusations against Niemann snowballed into a scandal that captivated the world of chess over the past year.
In an interview conducted by the St. Louis Chess Club shortly after his game against Carlsen in 2022, Niemann vehemently asserted that he had never cheated in over-the-board games. However, he did admit to engaging in cheating during “random games on Chess.com” when he was younger, which he labeled as “the single biggest mistake of my life.”
Nevertheless, a comprehensive 72-page report by Chess.com, the online chess platform, later alleged that Niemann had “likely cheated” in more than 100 online matches spanning from July 2015 to August 2020, some of which included prize money events. The report further asserted that Niemann had privately confessed to cheating to the website’s chief chess officer in 2020, leading to the temporary suspension of the then 20-year-old from the platform.
In response to these developments, Nie initiated a $100 million defamation lawsuit against Chess.com, Magnus Carlsen, and popular streamer and player Hikaru Nakamura.
In his lawsuit, Nie categorically refuted the cheating allegations and dismissed Chess.com’s claims that he had confessed to cheating on two occasions as “false.”
In June, a judge dismissed the lawsuit, prompting to express his satisfaction on social media, stating that his “lawsuit against Magnus Carlsen and Chess.com has been resolved in a mutually acceptable manner, and that I am returning to Chess.com. I look forward to competing against Magnus in chess rather than in court.”
He went on to say, “These difficult times have only strengthened my resolve and character and have only invigorated me even more to reach the top of chess. There will be a day when I will be the best chess player in the world, and I think it’s time to let my chess speak for itself.”
Shortly thereafter, Nie was reinstated on Chess.com, which boasts of being the world’s largest online platform for chess, hosting more than 10 million games daily.
During his recent TV appearance on Monday, Niemann, who was accompanied by his lawyer, candidly shared that the entire ordeal had a profound impact on him. He expressed his disappointment at being accused of cheating following his victory, stating, “It is very disheartening to be accused of cheating after that victory.”
Furthermore, Nie didn’t mince words when describing Magnus Carlsen, characterizing him as a “bully” who had utilized his influence and connections at Chess.com. Nie claimed that Carlsen leveraged the ongoing merger and rallied individuals to attack him, characterizing these actions as bullying.
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