The International Chess Federation (FIDE) has announced that it will convene a three-person panel to look into allegations by world champion Magnus Carlsen that American player Hans Niemann cheated. Carlsen, 31, withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis, Missouri earlier this month after losing to the 19-year-old, who trails him by nearly 200 Elo points – the rating system used for calculating the relative skill level of players.
Carlsen’s surprise loss and withdrawal from the over-the-board tournament sparked a flurry of comments and allegations that Niemann had cheated, including from US grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura. The Norwegian then resigned at the Julius Baer Generation Cup after just one knock against Niemann in an online game.
Niemann was previously banned from chess.com for cheating online after admitting he didn’t play fairly in non-competitive games on the website in his youth. However, he denied any wrongdoing in over-the-board games. Carlsen said on Monday he believed Niemann had “cheated more — and more recently — than he publicly admitted.”
FIDE said in a statement on Thursday: “The investigation would be twofold: verifying the world champion’s allegations of alleged cheating by Niemann and Niemann’s self-declaration regarding online cheating…” The panel will ensure a fair decision, protecting the rights of both parties during the investigation.
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