The International Chess Federation (FIDE) has announced the opening of an investigation into the accusations of cheating launched by the five-time Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen against the young American prodigy Hans Niemann.

Three members of his fair play committee will 'form an investigation group' and can 'consult outside experts if necessary', to clear up both Carlsen's allegations and Niemann's admission to cheating in the past during online games, FIDE explained Thursday evening.

The Carlsen-Niemann saga has rocked the chess world since the 31-year-old Norwegian withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup in the United States on September 4, suggesting that his opponent had cheated before openly accusing him of it on Monday .

FIDE asks for patience

“I believe Niemann cheated more, and more recently, than he publicly admitted,” Carlsen said on Twitter, judging “his face-to-face progress (…) unusual” before venting. on the disconcerting ease with which the American had beaten him in the Sinquefield Cup.

For his part, Niemann admitted to having cheated online twice, when he was 12 and 16, but claimed to have never played fraudulently in a face-to-face match and was even willing to play naked for prove his honesty.

“In the best interests of the chess community, we ask the public to refrain from speculation about the results and potential penalties until all available facts are reviewed and the investigation is completed” said Salomeja Zaksaité, chairwoman of FIDE's fair play commission, in a statement.


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