The Chess super elite is usually a haven of peace. It is a forbidden club in which everyone knows each other perfectly and in which the treatment is usually exquisite. That is why the magnitude of the earthquake that is shaking the boards right now should not be surprising and that, moreover, has its epicenter in the ideal representative of this sport: the current world champion, Magnus Carlson.

We experienced the first jolt on September 5 in San Luis, an American town in the state of Missouri where the prestigious Senquefield Cup. A dream lineup of the best players in the world travels there annually, it is only playable by invitation and the prize pool reaches $350,000.

Photo: Old men play chess in Odessa in March this year.  (Getty/SOPA/LightRocket/Rick Mave)
Behind the new iron curtain of chess: this is how the invasion of Ukraine has shaken the board

Alvaro F. Cruz

As usual, Magnus Carlsen was among the participants in this tournament that is played live and in classic mode. The Norwegian, current world champion, faced in the fourth day to the American Hans Niemann, with the black pieces and a streak of 53 games undefeated in this game mode. Niemann seemed only a stumbling block before adding number 54, but his movements, and especially the speed when doing them, dislocated Carlsen and he ended up losing. Hours later announced that he was withdrawing from the tournament.

As usual, the chess community was left in ‘shock’. Was the first time in his career that Carlsen, surely the best chess player in history and five times world champion, was withdrawing from a tournament. A rumor quickly spread that, of course, started on social networks. Niemann had cheated. Carlsen maintained, and still maintains, a scrupulous silence and, after his withdrawal, he only published a tweet in which a video of Jose Mourinhofootball coach, saying, “I’d rather not talk. If I talk, I’ll get into serious trouble.”

The American was quick to recognize it. at age 12 cheated in an online game at ChesscomThey caught him and his account was suspended. It was not the only time. Four years later, in an unofficial game, he did it again. “I wanted to raise my score to compete against stronger players, so i cheated. It was the biggest mistake of my life and I am completely ashamed. But other than that, I’ve never done it again and never will,” he explained.

The truth is that cheating on the internet is easy, but in a live tournament things get complicated. Players enter the room without electronic devices and their subsequent movements are highly studied. The position that surprised Carlsen and caused him to lose had been played before and Niemann was able to explain his reasoning for playing it. The noise, with the passing of days, faded away, because there was no evidence to support the cheating theory.

fire on the board

The calm only lasted a week. Fate wanted both players to cross paths again this Monday, this time in a fast-paced online game that was part of the Julius Baer Generation Cup, a tournament organized by the company owned by… Magnus Carlsen. The Norwegian folded on the second move, turned off his camera and left the game.

Evidently, Carlsen thinks Niemann is not a clean player. Pulling out of a tournament and losing a game on purpose is unprecedented in history, much less for a player like Carlsen, who has set himself the goal of being the first to reach 2,900 ELO Fide pointsan almost impossible mission for which you need to win every game you play.

“I understand that Magnus Carlsen has indications that he has been cheated, but he cannot prove it 100%. Therefore, he does not want to speak and expose himself to a possible lawsuit,” Paco Vallejo, the Spanish player with the most ‘rating’ and member of the MyInvestor Stadium Casablanca team. “It’s becoming an untenable situation, but I don’t see an easy solution to the issue. Live cheating is very possible, and in fact there have been several high-profile cases.”

Photo: Paco Vallejo, the best Spanish player of all time.  (GMVallejo)
Paco Vallejo, the ‘Iniesta’ of Spanish chess: “No human can beat a machine”

Ruben Rodriguez

The organization of the Julius Baer Generation Cup has come out against the rumors and has assured that “we are carefully analyzing the games and we see no hint of cheating in any of Niemann’s gamesBut that’s not going to placate Carlsen, who clearly thinks he’s been cheated.

as pointed out Sabrina VegaVallejo’s teammate at the MyInvestor Stadium Casablanca and eight-time champion of Spain, “you have to understand that insinuating or calling a chess player a cheat is the worst accusation that can be made. It is a very sensitive issue, especially when someone with Carlsen’s weight does it. You have to be very convinced and have some data that we don’t know”.

A champion without a crown

Magnus Carlsen is the world chess champion, but it won’t be for much longer. After revalidating the title in Dubai last November against the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi (whom we will call Nepo from now on), he announced that he would only play for the world championship again if his rival was Alizera Firouzja.

The problem is that the Iranian, who now plays under the French flag, failed to respond to Carlsen’s challenge in the Candidates Tournament that was played this summer in Madrid. The winner of that contest, who deserved to compete for the world crown, was Nepo himself. Carlsen did not take long to confirm that he was not going to dispute the title, which will finally remain in the hands of the Russian or the Chinese Ding Lirenwho was second in that Candidates Tournament.

Carlsen (left) in a duel against Ding Liren. (Reuters)

“The Carlsen’s problem is motivation. The problem or the great luck, of course, is that it has come too quickly to everything. He has kept himself motivated by reinventing himself or improving himself even with analysis modules, but now he considers that chess needs changes, especially in game formats. He is experiencing things in life as a human being,” explains Sabrina Vega.

The Norwegian has given up the world crown, but not to play tournaments. He continues to participate in almost all the super elite games and even continued to play games once Norway had no chance of a medal in the last Olympics held in India. “For me it was very surprising that Carlsen, who is an absolute fan of chess and plays almost everythingHe doesn’t want to defend his title. But what can I say, today it is already very difficult to follow logic in many areas of life,” Vallejo argues.

The Chess super elite is usually a haven of peace. It is a forbidden club in which everyone knows each other perfectly and in which the treatment is usually exquisite. That is why the magnitude of the earthquake that is shaking the boards right now should not be surprising and that, moreover, has its epicenter in the ideal representative of this sport: the current world champion, Magnus Carlson.

Source: www.elconfidencial.com

Disclaimer: If you need to update/edit/remove this news or article then please contact our support team Learn more

Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

Leave a Reply