Magnus Carlsen quits Niemann rematch after one move
Julius Baer Generation Cup

You can keep your political upheavals and power plays inside Number 10 – there’s only one drama we care about this year, and it comes from the world of chess.

There’s been another development in the biggest scandal the game has ever faced, which centres around Hans Niemann, with the 19-year-old filing a defamation suit after being accused of cheating.

The story first came to the world’s attention in September. He was accused of cheating by Magnus Carlsen following a chess tournament in St Louis, something Niemann has repeatedly denied, before the story took a series of very unexpected turns.

Chess player and streamer Eric “ChessBrah” Hansen tried to claim that Niemann was cheating by having signals conveyed to him via vibrating 'anal beads' in a video which gained traction online.

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Things escalated after reports that an independent report from Chess.com has found that Niemann "likely" cheated in more than 100 games online, which is “much more often” than he has acknowledged.

Now, Niemann is suing world champion Carlsen and others for $100m in damages.

The biggest scandal in the history of chess has taken another turnSaint Louis Chess Club/Getty

The Wall Street Journal reports that a lawsuit was filed by Niemann in the Eastern Missouri District Court claiming that Carlsen, Chess.com, and others including chess grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura are colluding to "blacklist" him from the chess world.

The lawsuit also claims the defendants have made defamatory statements by accusing him of cheating and that the claims have resulted in him being ostracised.

“This is not a game,” Niemann’s lawyer, Terrence Oved, said in a statement. “Defendants have destroyed Niemann’s life simply because he had the talent, dedication and audacity to defeat the so-called ‘King of Chess.’ We will hold defendants fully accountable and expose the truth.”

According to Neimann, the cheating allegations have resulted in him being rejected from at least two tournaments — including Chess.com’s Global Championship — a scheduled match with another grandmaster, and he claims he cannot find work teaching at a reputable chess school.

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