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Hans Niemann: "The lawsuit speaks for itself"

by Himank Ghosh - 21/10/2022

The drama in the chess world has reached new heights. After cheating accusations in online and OTB chess from multiple sources including the World Champion Magnus Carlsen, Grandmaster Hans Niemann has filed a lawsuit! He has filed a 100 million USD lawsuit against Magnus Carlsen,, Play Magnus, Hikaru Nakamura and IM Daniel Rensch (CEO of chesscom). What are the accusations he is bringing forward? In this article, we discuss the salient points of the 44-page lawsuit document which Hans put forward on twitter. Photo: Lawsuit PDF from Hans Niemann's tweet.

The Chess World is once again featured in big media outlets - but not because of the regular reasons of a chess player performing well/ winning some event. This time, Hans Niemann has filed a 100 million USD lawsuit against Magnus Carlsen, Play Magnus,, Daniel Rensch and Hikaru Nakamura! 

IM Sagar Shah takes you through the 44-page lawsuit document |Video: ChessBase India

Before we delve into the lawsuit document, let's take a look at the timeline of events which has led to this incident:

September 4th, 2022: Hans Niemann defeats Magnus Carlsen in Round 3 of the Sinquefield Cup.

Hans Niemann lets his chess speak for itself, beats Carlsen with black | Sinquefield Cup 2022

September 5th, 2022: Magnus Carlsen withdraws from the Sinquefield Cup before Round 4 begins.

Magnus Carlsen's cryptic tweet announcing his withdrawal from the event

September 6th, 2022: Hans Niemann opens up in the post-game interview, read the full article here.

September 19th, 2022: Magnus Carlsen resigns against Hans Niemann in move 2 of their game in the Julius Baer Generations Cup

SHOCKING! Magnus Carlsen REFUSES to play Hans Niemann for the second time!

September 26th, 2022: Magnus Carlsen gives an official statement to the chess world on this matter.

Read the original tweet by Magnus here.

October 4th, 2022: releases their official report on Hans Niemann.

Read the entire report here.

October 20th, 2022: Hans Niemann sues Magnus Carlsen, Play Magnus,, Hikaru Nakamura and Daniel Rensch. Read the entire document here.

Hans Niemann: "The lawsuit speaks for itself"

Now, let's look at some of the salient features of the Hans Niemann Lawsuit document. I should clarify that I am not a legal expert by any capacity, but just trying to put forward the most important points of the document. All of the statements made below are of Hans Niemann.

Plaintiff and Defendants, Attorneys

Hans Moke Niemann is the plaintiff, i.e. a person who brings a case against another in a court of law. The defendants, or the people who the case is filed against, are Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen, the Play Magnus Group,, Daniel Rensch, and Hikaru Nakamura. The case is handled by attorneys Oved and Oved LLP, and local Missouri counsel "The Gartner Law firm".

Niemann's claims against the Defendants

Hans Niemann asserts the following claims: 1) Slander, 2) Libel 3) Unlawful group boycott 4) tortious interference with contract and business expectancies, and 5) Civil conspiracy. The damage amount will be determined at trial, but it will be no less than a hundred million dollars ((Rs.800 crores).

To put things into perspective, the winner of the World Championship match wins an amount close to Rs.10 crores!

Why the lawsuit?

Hans has taken this action to recover from the devastating damages caused upon his reputation, career, and life by defaming and blacklisting him. These are the damages caused to him by the defamatory accusations:

(i) the Global Championship revoked Niemann’s invitation to play in that tournament in October 2022, even though Niemann earned that invitation through his exceptional play;

(ii) Teenage Grandmaster Vincent Keymer cancelled his upcoming game with Niemann in Germany;

(iii) the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, one of chess’s most prestigious tournaments, immediately ceased its ongoing arrangements for Niemann to play in its January 2023 tournament; and

(iv) Niemann cannot obtain employment as a chess teacher at a reputable school.

While it was a known fact that Hans was revoked from the chesscom Global championship, Vincent cancelling a match with him and Tata steel ceasing their arrangements for him is brand new news to the chess world.

On the Sinquefield Cup win against Magnus

2 important claims are made regarding this topic:

1) Niemann's win against Carlsen crushed his remaining ambitions of crossing 2900, and breaking his own world-record unbeaten streak of 125 games.

2) Carlsen retaliated against Niemann by falsely accusing him of cheating, and demanded to the organizers of Sinquefield Cup that they immediately disqualify him from the event.

It is important to note one thing: the usage of "2900 FIDE performance rating" here means achieving a FIDE rating of 2900, not a performance rating of 2900, because many players have achieved that before.

Events between Round 3-4 of Sinquefield Cup

According to the document, Carlsen defamed Niemann to Michael Khodarovsky, the executive director of the Grand Chess Tour, demanding that he be immediately disqualified. Khodarovsky didn't agree with this, and then Carlsen convinced Khodarovsky to increase the anti-cheating measures of the event.

After Magnus' withdrawal from the Sinquefield Cup

The documents mentions 3 things happening after Carlsen's withdrawal from the event:

a), in collusion with Carlsen and Play Magnus, immediately banned Niemann from its website and all of its future events, to lend credence to Carlsen’s unsubstantiated and defamatory accusations of cheating;

(b) Defendant Hikaru Nakamura -’s most influential streaming partner - acting in collusion with Carlsen and, published hours of video content amplifying and attempting to bolster Carlsen’s false cheating allegations against Niemann with numerous additional defamatory statements.

(c) executive Danny Rensch issued defamatory press releases, and leaked defamatory “reports” to prominent press outlets, falsely accusing Niemann of lying in his post-match Sinquefield Cup interview regarding his use of a “chess engine” in a handful of recreational online games when he was a child, to bolster Carlsen’s unsubstantiated defamatory accusations that Niemann cheated against him at the Sinquefield Cup.

The chesscom report was also featured in this Wall Street Journal article.

On Hikaru Nakamura

Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura published multiple videos on his YouTube channel about the whole Hans Niemann subject.

Why Magnus Carlsen Quit |Video: GMHikaru YouTube channel

In the lawsuit. the following statements from this video are quoted, along with statements from multiple later videos:

a. “Magnus did not withdraw because he was pissed at losing the game, let’s put it that way. I mean, I’ve played with Magnus for the last 20 years, he did not withdraw because he lost the game.”

b. “I mean, its pretty obvious why Magnus withdrew … Its very obvious why he withdrew and that, there’s no doubt in my mind why he withdrew. No doubt. Zero doubt.… I already said it.… Magnus literally posted a video saying if I speak I’m in big trouble, yeah its very clear what he’s implying. There’s no doubt in my mind.”

c. “We know why, we know why Magnus withdrew. There’s zero doubt. There’s zero doubt why he withdrew.”

d. “If they’re on a 15-minute delay, that says it all. If they’re on a 15-minute delay, then we know the reason why Magnus withdrew from the event. Plain and simple. That’s all that I need to say. They were not on a delay for the first four rounds. Yeah, yeah, its that simple.”

On Daniel Rensch and

Tweet by on September 9th, 2022

This is what the lawsuit says on this tweet: and Rensch’s above statement is false. Niemann did not lie about the “amount and seriousness of his cheating on” In addition, had not shared “detailed evidence with [Niemann] that contradicts his statements regarding the amount and seriousness of his cheating on” These are more trumped-up, false allegations, specifically designed to further defame Niemann by accusing him of not only being a serial online cheater, but now also a liar.

The paragraph goes on to claim how the chesscom accusations caused massive conspiracy theories across the internet on this matter.

Elon Musk's tweet on the subject. Source: RepublicWorld article.
Stephen Colbert talked about the incident on the "Late night show with Stephen Colbert".

On Maxim Dlugy

In a post-game interview of the Julius Baer Generations Cup, Magnus Carlsen was asked why did he resign after 2 moves against Hans Niemann. His response about Niemann was:

I have to say, I’m very impressed by Niemann’s play and I think his mentor Maxim Dlugy must be doing a great job.
Magnus Carlsen TALKS ABOUT Hans Niemann for the FIRST TIME! |Video: chess24.5

The document claims that there is no connection of Hans Niemann with Maxim Dlugy. This is what they say:

Maxim Dlugy is not Niemann’s coach or mentor and has no involvement whatsoever with Niemann’s training or preparation. Maxim Dlugy is a professional chess player who is rumored to have cheated in online games on Accordingly, for those familiar with chess, falsely associating Niemann’s play with Dlugy was a direct accusation that Maxim Dlugy somehow helped Niemann cheat against Carlsen at the Sinquefield Cup.


On Carlsen's statement

The document claims Magnus' statement to be defamatory against Niemann, and claims it as false.

The document claims that Carlsen did not need any permission from Niemann to speak on the matter.

On the chesscom report

The lawsuit claims that it was an intentional plot by chesscom to destroy Niemann's reputation and distract him from the US Championships to publish their report on Hans Niemann. Following were the false claims made:

a. Falsely claims that Niemann’s explanation of his preparation was not supported by records of Carlsen’s prior games.

b. Demeans Niemann’s post-game analysis, claiming that “[t]his analysis and dependence on the engine seem to be at odds with the level of preparation that Hans claimed was at play in the game and the level of analysis needed to defeat the World Chess Champion.”

c. Reports that Carlsen “shared in a private conversation that his experience in playing Hans was ‘unlike a game he’s ever had.’ He emphasized that he has competed against numerous prodigies and players who ‘exert’ themselves and show great effort throughout a long, difficult fight like this game. He described Hans’ level of exertion as ‘effortless’ and felt he never had a chance to get back in the game, which was extremely unusual for Magnus who is known for his resourcefulness.” 3

d. Tries to bolster Carlsen’s purported private conversation by claiming that “Hans’ lack of emotion or excitement about the result was also noted by several others,” and linking to videos of “the reactions of notable players who have beaten Magnus.”

e. Claims that the “game and the surrounding behaviors and explanations are bizarre".

Some of the statements made about Hans' play over the board in the chesscom report

People in support of Niemann

The document mentions that numerous Officials and Experts Confirm there is No evidence that Niemann cheated against Carlsen or lied about his past online play, including IA Chris Bird, Kenneth Reagan, Tony Rich, etc.

Kenneth Reagan is considered to be one of the major experts in anti-cheating measures.

Reaction of the Chess Universe

These are some of the tweets by the chess world regarding Hans' lawsuit:

IM Levy Rozman:

GM Maurice Ashley:

GM Susan Polgar:

GM Anish Giri:

GM Fabiano Caruana:

GM Simon Williams:

So that's it for the article. In all likelihood, this will continue in court. What do you think about the implications of this lawsuit? Let us know in the comments below.


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