Magnus Carlsen resigns after one move against Hans Niemann

Magnus Carlsen lets chess speak for itself.

The world champion stunned the chess world this morning by resigning in protest after just one move against Hans Niemann.

This morning’s Champions Chess Tour game: Julius Baer Generation Cup marked the first meeting between the two players since a cheating scandal erupted earlier this month.

Niemann, playing with the white pieces, started the game with d4 and Carlsen answers Nf6. When Niemann played c4, Carlsen simply resigned and turned off his webcam, leaving the commentators visibly baffled.

Hungarian chess player Péter Lékó commented on the game on the Chess24 website, exclaiming: “And what? No, what happened, that’s it?”

Announcer Tania Sachdev said: “Magnus Carlsen just resigned, got up and left. He turned off his camera and that’s all we know now.”

“Wow. Speechless, yeah?” said Leko. “What to say, what to say? And the story continues.”

This is unprecedented. I just can’t believe it,” Sachdev said. ‘Did that just happen, Peter? Magnus simply refuses to play against Hans. He will play the tournament, but he says I will not play the game against him. That is a very big statement.”

Sachdev later said, “The internet is exploding right now,” Sachdev said. “Twitter is exploding now.”

Jamaican-American grandmaster Maurice Ashley wrote on Twitter: “This is shocking and disturbing. No one can be happy that this is happening in the chess world. Unbelievable!”

It was a clear statement from Carlsen that he is in trouble with the American player and comes after he abruptly retired from the lucrative Sinquerfield Cup tournament under mysterious circumstances.

On September 4, Carlsen was firmly beaten by the much lower-rated Niemann, a stunning endgame win after the American was prepared to play against an unusual line from the Norwegian.

Carlsen then shockedly withdrew from the tournament without making a statement, other than a short tweet that read: “I have withdrawn from the tournament. I’ve always loved to play in the [Saint Louis Chess Club]and hope to come back in the future.”

He added a video of Portuguese football manager Jose Mourinho saying: “When I speak, I’m in big trouble, and I don’t want to get in big trouble.”

The withdrawal sparked widespread speculation, most notably by chess grandmaster and Twitch streamer Hikaru Nakamura, that Carlsen suspected Niemann was cheating in some way.

Niemann then gave a stunning interview in which he admitted to having cheated at online chess in the past, but denied ever cheating at chess over the board.

He dramatically appealed to his critics and even offered to play naked to prove his innocence.

Niemann’s meteoric rise has split the chess world, with some suspicious of his rapid gains in rating points and others calling for more measures to detect computer aids. He also has a legion of supporters.

The issue of computer aided cheating is a growing problem for chess.

Computer chess engines and machine learning AI programs have far surpassed human capabilities and have grown exponentially in power since Garry Kasparov was defeated by Deep Blue in 1997.

Niemann’s swagger in interviews, including one in which he turned down a journalist by saying, “The chess speaks for itself,” had made the star the center of discussion on forums like Reddit and Twitter, and spawned countless memes.

Carlsen, who is in the process of selling his Play Magnus Group to powerhouse Chess.com, has not directly accused Niemann of cheating or provided any evidence to substantiate such an allegation, despite many asking him to do so.

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