Magnus Carlsen Voices Concerns About Cheating in Chess, Blames Watch for Loss

Concerns Over Cheating in Chess

Five-time World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen has once again raised concerns about cheating in the world of chess.

Carlsen, the world’s top-ranked chess professional, recently suffered a loss during the Qatar Masters 2023 competition and attributed his defeat to his opponent wearing a wristwatch.

Loss in Qatar Masters 2023

During a match against opponent Alisher Suleymenov, Magnus Carlsen voiced his frustration on social media. He admitted that his concentration was severely impacted by the presence of a wristwatch on his opponent.

The 32-year-old Norwegian clarified that his comments were not meant to accuse Suleymenov but rather to express his own struggles during the game.

Carlsen’s Statement

Carlsen expressed his disappointment, stating, “I was completely crushed in my game today. This is not to accuse my opponent of anything, who played an amazing game and deserved to win.”

He further explained that the sight of his opponent wearing a watch early in the game led to a loss of his ability to concentrate.

Concerns About Anti-Cheating Measures

Magnus Carlsen also highlighted the inadequate anti-cheating measures in place during the event. He pointed out that there was no transmission delay and spectators were allowed to move around the playing hall with smartphones.

These lapses, according to Carlsen, contribute to the ongoing challenges of preventing cheating in chess.

Arbiter’s Response and Rule Violation

Carlsen revealed that he had inquired with an arbiter during the game about the use of watches.

He was informed that smartwatches were banned, but analog watches were not prohibited. Carlsen believed that this contradicted FIDE rules for events of this stature.

Watch-Wearing Incident

Footage of the match between Carlsen and Suleymenov clearly shows the 23-year-old Kazakhstani wearing a sizeable wristwatch while the two engaged in the game.

Previous Cheating Controversy

This incident comes on the heels of a previous cheating controversy involving Magnus Carlsen.

Hans Niemann, a fellow chess star, had been accused of using unconventional methods, including “anal beads,” to cheat in a game against Carlsen in 2020.

This controversy resulted in a lawsuit against Carlsen, but Niemann was later cleared of cheating, and the lawsuit was dismissed.

Resolution and Upcoming Rematch

After the lawsuit was dismissed, Hans Niemann reached an agreement with the online chess platform chess.com, setting the stage for a highly anticipated rematch between the two players.

Carlsen acknowledged the platform’s report, which stated that there was no conclusive evidence of cheating by Niemann in their previous match.

Future Match and Statements

Both Carlsen and Niemann expressed their willingness to compete in future events, should they be paired together.

Niemann reiterated his confidence in his victory during their rematch.

The world of chess continues to grapple with cheating allegations and the need for stringent anti-cheating measures, as incidents like these highlight the challenges faced by professional players.