Magnus Carlsen stocked controversy in the Julius Baer Generation Cup today as he sensationally quit his game with American star Hans Niemann after playing just one move. The World Champion caused a wave of shock when he pulled out of a match for the second time in two weeks, seemingly in protest at alleged cheating. Replay the Day 2 action here
Carlsen has yet to openly accuse Niemann of anything directly and the chess world is waiting on his next move. However, by quitting his Round 6 game in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event, he gifted Niemann three points.
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 shout of making the knockouts. Read more: Niemann’s and Carlsen’s facial expressions during their 2-move game
Reactions to Carlsen’s resignation: Hammer: Carlsen should be sanctioned / Susan Polgar: Definitely a protest move! / Levon Aronian: I believe Niemann hasn’t been the cleanest person when it comes to online chess / All reactions here
Leading the tournament at the midway point of the prelim stage is Indian youngster Arjun Erigaisi on 17/24. Erigaisi started his second day defeating Niemann, Aronian, followed by two draws against Praggnanandhaa and Saric. Replay games: Arjun Erigaisi vs Hans Niemann 1-0 / Arjun Erigaisi vs Praggnanandhaa 1/2-1/2
Two points behind him are Carlsen and 17-year-old Praggnanandhaa while the 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 Pragg played out a titanic battle which ended in a draw and the champion applauding the youngster for his gung-ho approach.
But in truth, the star-studded seventh leg of the $1.6 million 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. Play begins in Rounds 9 to 12 at 18:00 CEST on Tuesday with live commentary available on chess24.com.
Julius Baer Generation Cup – Pairings & Schedule