The cheating scandal that has consumed the chess world has taken its latest twist as American grandmaster Hans Niemann filed a defamation lawsuit against world champion Magnus Carlsen amongst others in a Missouri court on Thursday.
In the lawsuit, Niemann and his attorneys state that they are seeking at least $100 million in damages.
“My lawsuit speaks for itself,” Niemann tweeted along with a copy of the lawsuit.
In the federal lawsuit filed in the Eastern Missouri District Court, 19-year-old Niemann states that the Norwegian Carlsen, online platform Chess.com, their chief chess officer Daniel Rensch and popular streamer Hikaru Nakamura have been “egregiously defaming him and unlawfully colluding to blacklist him from the profession to which he has dedicated his life.”
Niemann is suing the defendants for slander and libel, among other allegations.
Niemann also states that the actions of the defendants have caused “devastating damages,” and that since Carlsen made the initial cheating allegations after the pair met at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis on September 4, Niemann has had invitations to prestigious tournaments and matches revoked.
Chess.com responded to the suit via a statement from their lawyers, Nina Mohebbi and Jamie Wine. The statement notes that Chess.com is “saddened” by Niemann’s decision as the lawsuit “hurts the game of chess and its devoted players.”
“Hans confessed publicly to cheating online in the wake of the Sinquefield Cup, and the resulting fallout is of his own making,” the statement adds. “As stated in its October 2022 report, Chess.com had historically dealt with Hans’ prior cheating privately, and was forced to clarify its position only after he spoke out publicly.”
“There is no merit to Hans’ allegations, and Chess.com looks forward to setting the record straight on behalf of its team and all honest chess players,” the statement says.
CNN has reached out to Carlsen and Nakamura for comment.