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Cheating Controversy Reignites as Carlsen Quits After One Move Against Niemann

The Norwegian had earlier this month exited from the Sinquefield Cup following his loss to the American teenager.

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Five-time world champion Magnus Carlsen courted controversy after he resigned from an online match against American teenager Hans Niemann after making just one move at the Julius Baer Generation Cup - the seventh leg of the USD1.6 million Meltwater Champions Chess Tour on Monday.

This is the second time in two weeks that the Norwegian has sensationally pulled out of a match, seemingly in protest at alleged cheating.

Carlsen, who began his first move with black piece after Niemann, shockingly brought the game to a halt by quitting, just as the American finished his second move with the white piece.  

The match was streamed live on chess24.com and the Norwegian's abrupt exit left everyone, including the commentators surprised.  

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“Magnus Carlsen just resigned. Got up and left,” said commentator and Indian chess grandmaster Tania Sachdev.  

“Switched off his camera, and that’s all we know right now. We’re going to try to get an update on this.”   

By quitting his Round 6 game in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event, Carlsen gifted Niemann three points, according to a statement from Meltwater Champions Chess Tour 2022. 

Both Carlsen and Niemann had met earlier this month at the Sinquefield Cup, where the American upset the Norwegian.  

However, Carlsen later withdrew from the tournament by announcing his decision on his official twitter handle alongside a video of the football manager José Mourinho saying: “If I speak, I am in big trouble.”  

Carlsen’s action had ignited a debate in the chess world as to whether or not Niemann might have cheated during the course of their match. With his sensational exit on Monday the debate has once again resurfaced.

However, Carlsen has not yet publicly accused Niemann of anything directly and the chess world is waiting on his next move.  

Following a rocky day at the board in which he only picked up one more point, the US teenager stands two points behind Carlsen and is still in with a chance of making the knockouts. 

Leading the tournament at the midway point of the preliminary stage is Indian youngster Arjun Erigaisi on 17 points out of a possible 24.
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Two points behind him are Carlsen and 17-year-old Indian R Praggnanandhaa while Ukrainian veteran Vasyl Ivanchuk and Poland's World Cup winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda are level with Niemann. 

In the final round of the day, Carlsen and Praggnanandhaa played out a titanic battle which ended in a draw and the champion applauded the youngster for his positive approach. 

The star-studded seventh leg of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour has been dominated by the speculation surrounding Carlsen and Niemann.

The pair now won't face each other unless both make it through to the knockouts and then they may still avoid each other. The chess world will be on tenterhooks to see if that happens. 

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(With inputs from IANS)

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