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Sergey Karjakin on Carlsen’s statement: Niemann’s guilt has not been proven, but there is no smoke without fire

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. Rumors that Magnus Carlsen suspected Niemann was cheating were spreading over social medias, when Magnus Carlsen put more wood in the fire as he refused to play against Hans Niemann in the Julius Baer Generation Cup, resigning his game after two played moves. Magnus Carlsen yesterday published the official statement on the topic stating that he believes Hans Niemann “has cheated more – and more recently – than he publicly admitted”. Carlsen confirmed he was considering to withdraw from Sinquefield Cup as soon as he heard Niemann will replace Rapport in the tournament.

It seems that most of the top grandmasters took Carlsen’s side showing understanding for his withdrawal from Sinquefield Cup and resignation against Niemann. The trend is intensifying after Carlsen published the official statement which was described by Nakamura as very strong, while Fabiano Caruana agreed with Magnus on the cheating problem.

Sergey Karjakin today spoke for, saying that he cannot say whether Niemann cheated or not, because the American’s guilt was not proven. However, he added that there is no smoke without fire: “The problem of cheating in chess is very serious – no one has taken any actions for years. I will say from my own experience that I participated in the strongest international competitions and practically there were either no measures, or there were absolutely formal ones, which, if desired, could be very easily circumvented. This is a problem… But whether Niemann has cheated – I have no answer, because his guilt has not been proven – he was not caught red-handed. The fact that Niemann cheated in online tournament is a fact. Therefore, the attitude towards him is rather biased. But there is no smoke without fire“, concluded Karjakin.

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