Magnus Carlsen's allegations of cheating have occupied the chess world for weeks. Now the world association FIDE has spoken for the first time. Carlsen is criticized for his dealings with Hans Niemann. Nevertheless, the suspicion should be thoroughly investigated.
In an official statement, the world chess federation has for the first time publicly commented on Magnus Carlsen's allegations of fraud against 19-year-old grandmaster Hans Niemann. As the supreme authority of sport, it is FIDE's duty to protect the integrity of the game and its image, the statement said. In view of the fact that the current incident continues to escalate, it is now necessary to take a "step forward". So far, FIDE had noticeably held back on history. The statement was the first of its kind published by the world association.
In the said statement, FIDE initially went on a confrontational course with Carlsen. "We strongly believe that the world champion has a moral responsibility because he is considered a global ambassador," the association wrote: "His actions affect the reputation of his colleagues, their sporting results and can ultimately damage the game."
At FIDE, they are "firmly convinced that there were better ways to deal with this situation," the association criticized the biggest star of the scene, who only raised the first allegations of fraud against Hans Niemann in the form of a cryptic tweet. To this day, Carlsen has not publicly and unequivocally accused his opponent of cheating. The Norwegian does not want to comment specifically on this until next week. He gave up a match a few days ago without a word right at the beginning.
As much as the world champion's delaying tactics bother the world association, the association says it is very interested in finding and punishing cheaters. We share Carlsen's concerns about the impact of fraud on sport, the statement said. FIDE agreed to instruct its Fair Play Commission to conduct a "thorough investigation into the incident". However, this will only happen "when we have the original evidence and all parties involved" have spoken out and provided information.
In the end, the world association wrote, it was the hope that the whole incident would have "a long-term positive effect" on the sport. In order to achieve this effect, they want to convene a panel in which the decision-makers from the most important chess platforms take part: "To prevent this from becoming a real plague".
(This article was first published on Saturday, September 24, 2022.)