Hans Niemann, the American teenage grandmaster at the center of an alleged cheating scandal, on Thursday sued world champion Magnus Carlsen, online platform Chess.com and others for defamation and defamation and is seeking at least $100 million in damages.
The lawsuit, filed in a US court in Missouri, also names Carlsens online chess platform Play Magnus, Chess.com director Danny Rensch and US grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura as defendants.
Niemann, 19, claimed that the defendants “conspired to blacklist him” from the professional chess world and that he had been shunned by tournament organizers since five-time world champion Carlsen publicly accused him of cheating.
Weeks after the Sinquefield Cup, the Norwegian resigned after just one move against Niemann in an online tournament, later saying in September that he believed the American had cheated “more – and more recently – than he has publicly admitted”.
‘Fallout is of his own making’
In a statement on Thursday, lawyers for Chess.com said Niemann’s allegations were unfounded and the company was saddened by its decision to take legal action.
“Hans has publicly admitted that he cheated online in the aftermath of the Sinquefield Cup, and the consequences were self-inflicted,” the statement read.
“Chess.com looks forward to setting the record straight on behalf of the team and all honest chess players.”
Representatives for Carlsen and Nakamura did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Niemann had previously been banned from Chess.com for online cheating after admitting he hadn’t played fair in non-competitive games on the website in his youth, but denied doing anything wrong while contesting over-the-counter games. board games.
His lawsuit said Chess.com “banned Niemann from its website, and all its future events, from giving credence to Carlsen’s baseless and defamatory allegations of fraud.”
Carlsen, who has cemented his position as the ‘king of chess’, believes that when it comes to chess, he can do whatever he wants and get away with it,” the indictment said.
The lawsuit further accused Nakamura, a streaming partner of Chess.com, of publishing “hours of video content that reinforces and seeks to amplify Carlsen’s false accusations of cheating.”
The International Chess Federation (FIDE) said last month it would open an investigation into the fraud allegations.
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