'It can damage player's reputation': FIDE President on World Champion Magnus Carlsen's cheating claim

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, September 23, 2022, 11:21 PM IST
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Magnus Carlsen |

International Chess Federation (FIDE) President Arkady Dvorkovich on Friday said World Champion Grandmaster (GM) Magnus Carlsen's recent actions impact the reputation of his colleagues, sportive results, and eventually, damages the game.

Dvorkovich's statement was with reference to two games involving Calsen and GM Hans Niemann.

Controversial exit

In their latest encounter at the Julius Baer Generation Cup, an online competition, Carlsen resigned without making his second move. Earlier at the Sinquefield Cup tournament, Carlsen, after losing to Niemann, withdrew from the event without giving out any reason.

However insinuations were there that Carlsen withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup in protest against Niemann's cheating.

"FIDE is prepared to task its Fair Play commission with a thorough investigation of the incident, when the adequate initial proof is provided, and all parties involved disclose the information at their disposal. We are fully aware that, in some cases, uncertainty can harm players' performance. It also can be damaging to a player's reputation - that's why we insist on the anti-cheating protocols to be followed," Dvorkovich said.

He said the two chess tournaments in question were not FIDE events. But the world chess governing body's duty is to protect the integrity of the game and its image.

As the issue keep escalating, FIDE finds it necessary to take a step forward, Dvorkovich added.

The FIDE President also expressed his displeasure at Carlsen's recent actions.

Moral responsibility

"First of all, we strongly believe that the World Champion has a moral responsibility attached to his status, since he is viewed as a global ambassador of the game. His actions impact the reputation of his colleagues, sportive results, and eventually can be damaging to our game. We strongly believe that there were better ways to handle this situation," he added.

"At the same time, we share his deep concerns about the damage that cheating brings to chess. FIDE has led the fight against cheating for many years, and we reiterate our zero tolerance policy toward cheating in any form. Whether it is online or 'over the board', cheating remains cheating. We are strongly committed to this fight, and we have invested in forming a group of specialists to devise sophisticated preventive measures that already apply at top FIDE events.

"As we have already done before, FIDE calls for reinforcing the cooperation between major online platforms, private events and top players - most of whom have already expressed their will to join efforts with FIDE," Dvorkovich said.

Reacting to Carlsen's controversial actions, International Master and Chess Players' Forum Joint Secretary, V. Saravanan told IANS: "What Carlsen is doing is not right. Why is Carlsen not telling the reason for his withdrawal from the Sinquefield Cup tournament?"

Saravanan also said it was also not right on the part of Carlsen to give a point to Niemann by resigning without playing the second move but continue playing and winning in the subsequent rounds.

"Gifting a point in a tournament is an injustice to other players in the tournament," he added.

Referring to the game that Carlsen lost to Niemann at Sinquefield Cup, Saravanan said the World Champion, a great end game artist, did not play to the expected level and had made mistakes.

So, it can't be said that Niemann had won that game by cheating.

Sarvanan also said Carlsen allowing the insinuation that Niemann is a cheat is not right as it it affects the 19-year-old player's reputation and his career.

"The chess engines come out with moves that normal human beings cannot think off. For instance, an innocuous pawn move will turn out to be a winner couple of moves down the line. Perhaps players who play/practice with the chess engines can think like the machine but that too not always," Saravanan remarked.

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