Jun 28, 2023 3:00 AM CDT
Bad news for the young US grandmaster accused of cheating in a scandal that rocked the chess world: A federal judge on Tuesday tossed the antitrust portion of his lawsuit against prominent chess figures including Chess.com and former world champion Magnus Carlsen, and since it was dismissed with prejudice, Hans Moke Niemann cannot bring it again, the Wall Street Journal reports. Niemann, now 20, also sued for other claims including defamation, and the court declined jurisdiction on those; his lawyers have vowed to pursue those claims in state court. "We are pleased the Court has rejected Hans Niemann's attempt to recover an undeserved windfall in Missouri federal court, and that Niemann's attempt to chill speech through strategic litigation in that forum has failed," said one of Carlsen's attorneys.
Oct 20, 2022 5:20 PM CDT
Hans Niemann's response to accusations that he cheats goes well beyond calling Magnus Carlsen a sore loser. The 19-year-old US grandmaster has sued Carlsen, Chess.com, and others for $100 million, the Wall Street Journal reports. "This is not a game," Niemann's lawyers 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.'" The suit argues the parties, including grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, colluded to drive Niemann out of chess to protect their financial interests. The flap began when Niemann upset Carlsen in the Sinquefield Cup in September.
Carlsen hinted that Niemann cheated, then went beyond hints. Niemann conceded he'd cheated a little when he was younger, but that was it. But after an investigation, Chess.com said he'd cheated in more than 100 online games. No conclusions about in-person matches were announced, but the report did hint at that, basically calling Niemann's rapid rise in the chess ranks suspicious. Niemann's suit says the plot has to do with Chess.com's planned $83 million purchase of the world champion's "Play Magnus" app, for nearly $83 million in a merger that the suit says will "monopolize the chess world." The accusations in the filing include slander, libel, an unlawful boycott, and tortious interference with Niemann's business, per the Journal.
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Chess.com has said before that it had had no communication with Carlsen about Niemann. The defendants did not immediately comment about the lawsuit. Niemann, who said he's now blocked from competing from many top tournaments, posted the filing, per Axios, and tweeted that the suit "speaks for itself." Chess.com has barred Niemann from its site, per CNBC, while saying it would welcome an explanation from him that would restore his participation. (More chess stories.)