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Hans Niemann: It is absolutely ridiculous to play chess under these conditions

Hans Niemann today drew his round 7 game against French grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. In the post-game interview, Niemann disclosed that he and MVL have played many blitz games and that they know each other pretty well. He also explained that he didn’t expect 1.Nf3 to be on the board, and that he took some time trying to understand where the things are going: “There are so many implications with the 1.Nf3. So I am trying to understand, okay, why not 1.c4, why not 1.d4, why 1.Nf3? And usually when people start with 1.Nf3 it means that they want to go with g3. Sometimes it means they want to go with c4, not allowing 1…e5, so I was trying to understand where the things are going“.

Niemann then spoke about the critical moment in the game when Maxime Vachier-Lagrave could have kept the advantage by playing 19.Nd5: “19.Nd5 crossed my mind and we discussed this after the game. But I was just struggling to make sense of this. To play chess you need to sleep well, you need to not be in social media five hours a day, you need to go at the game with the clear mind, and you need to be calm. And I have a million different things entering my head at once, and even before this Welsey game, I was still actually just to force a draw, because, playing chess in these conditions – no one can do this.”; Read more: Niemann keeps analyzing his game with MVL while getting checked with the anti-cheating device (VIDEO)

Hans also spoke about yesterday’s game and his loss to Wesley So. He confirmed that he learns from his losses, adding that he feels huge mental pressure with all the ongoing things: “I don’t think that I even need to verbalize the mental pressure and everything that’s going on. Maybe only I can understand this or people who have been through similar things. But I assure you, playing chess, doing something, sitting there for five hours, trying to keep it clear head, trying to compete… And this is the first super tournament in my life. It’s extremely difficult. But you know, I love chess, and I just enjoy playing, but I wouldn’t be lying if I am just really hoping for this tournament to be over. I can’t play chess anymore. To play chess under these conditions is absolutely ridiculous“.

For the end of the interview, Hans Niemann spoke about his childhood coach: “Now with all this attention, I’d like to highlight something very important. When I was nine years old, I went to a coffee shop. My dad was taking me there and I was playing blitz with these guys from there. They were like average age 60 and I was nine years old. (…) And one of the guys there knew John Grefe and wanted him to be my coach, but my family couldn’t afford working with him. So these guys sponsored the lessons. And I was actually the last person to work with him before he passed away. And he had no family, so I was one of the only people to see him before he passed away. A lot of my inspiration and chess passion came from him. (…) I would just like to shot some light on his amazing impact on my career and his legacy, because I don’t want that to be forgotten.See the complete interview below

After Hans Niemann defeated the World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in the third round of the Sinquefield Cup 2022, Carlsen decided to withdraw from the tournament without detailed explanations. Rumors that Magnus Carlsen suspected Niemann was cheating started spreading over social medias and Hikaru Nakamura claimed in his live stream that Niemann has done “unallowed things” during the online chess tournaments. Possible reasons of Magnus Carlsen’s withdrawal can be found here.  Sinquefield Cup improved anti-cheating measures and Carlsen’s results got annulled. Niemann decided to tell his truth after the 5th round and he confessed cheating in random chesscom games, adding that he will not let chesscom, Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura slander his reputation. Nakamura reacted to Niemann’s interview, while posted the official statement to explain why they removed Hans Niemann from the platform. Garry Kasparov called Carlsen’s withdrawal as an act with no precedent in the past 50 years, adding today that’s ban of Hans Niemann prompted Carlsen’s withdrawal and the cheating allegations against the American.

Read more: Elon Musk commented on accusations towards Hans Niemann Susan Polgar about Niemann – Carlsen case: The professional reputation of many parties is at stake

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