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The great chess scandal of 2022 has continued into the new year, but there is still no consensus on whether American grandmaster Hans Niemann cheated in his game against world champion Magnus Carlsen.

Niemann has launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the world champion, after Carlsen refused to play him and hinted Niemann had cheated in their game last fall. The 19-year-old American says it has damaged his chess career.

Any suggestion the controversy had died down was dispelled last month when Niemann added a new complaint to his lawsuit. He accused Carlsen of paying a fellow Norwegian player €300 to yell “Cheater Hans” at the closing ceremony of a tournament in Austria last fall.

He also claimed Carlsen and other Norwegian team mates publicly chanted the same thing in bars and streets during the tournament. Carlsen’s lawyers have denied all the allegations.

Since the controversy arose, Niemann has continued to enter tournaments and do well. His classical chess rating rose above 2700 for the first time last month. With enhanced security at top level events, many think it’s unlikely anyone could be cheating.

Carlsen, meanwhile, told a press conference in December he doesn’t know what he will do if he’s paired with Niemann in a future event.

Hans Niemann v. Tabatabaei Mohammad, Spain, 2022

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What’s a quick way for White to secure the win?

White played 27.Nxb7 and Black resigned. The passed Pawns are too powerful to stop.

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