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Hans Niemann drops $100M lawsuit against and Magnus Carlsen

‘All sides have reached an agreement’

 US international grandmaster Hans Niemann waits his turn to move during a second-round chess game against Jeffery Xiong on the second day of the Saint Louis Chess Club Fall Chess Classic in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 6, 2022. (from getty) Photo: Tim Vizer/AFP via Getty Images
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Chess grandmaster Hans Niemann has dropped his $100 million lawsuit against and fellow grandmasters Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura, and will be allowed to return to the chess website, the company announced Tuesday.

The chess drama and resulting lawsuit have been ongoing for nearly a year, beginning with September 2022’s Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, when the then 19-year-old Niemann beat Norwegian chess superstar — sometimes called the King of Chess — Carlsen. After the loss, Carlsen withdrew from the tournament. Days later, banned Niemann from the website. Carlsen played Niemann again at the Julius Baer Generation Cup a week later, where he made a single move before resigning from the match. On Sept. 26, he released a statement accusing Niemann of cheating. Niemann has adamantly denied the accusations, but admitted to cheating on twice — when he was 12 and 16. Niemann even said he’d play naked, which is where the infamous anal beads cheating jokes came from.

Niemann filed his lawsuit on Oct. 20. A judge dismissed the lawsuit earlier this year, but Niemann appealed before the settlement was reached in August. “ and Hans Niemann have resolved their differences and are moving forward,” the company wrote on its website on Tuesday. Niemann will return to and is eligible to play in any events.

A representative added that all parties have opinions around the controversy and agreed to allow each other to speak openly about it. The website, Carlsen, and Niemann released statements that were published on the website.

Carlsen acknowledged that there is “no determinative evidence that Niemann cheated at the Sinquefield Cup,” and said he’d be willing to play Niemann at future events. Niemann added that he “look[s] forward to competing against Magnus in chess rather than in court.”

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