Embattled 19-year-old American chess player Hans Moke Niemann has made his next move in the ongoing cheating allegation scandal.

Niemann has filed a federal lawsuit against champion player Magnus Carlsen, among others, for $100 million in damages, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

The suit claims that Carlsen, Chess.com, Hikaru Nakamura and others are working together to essentially “blacklist” Niemann from chess.

The lawsuit accuses multiple parties of making defamatory statements, including accusations of Niemann cheating.

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Norway’s Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana of the U.S. play a semifinal game during the World Fischer Random Chess Championship 2019 at Henie Onstad Art Center in Baerum, Norway, Oct. 29, 2019.
(Scanpix/Berit Roald via REUTERS)

Neimann’s lawsuit touches on the financial relationships between Carlsen, Chess.com and other chess players.

A planned acquisition of Carlsen’s “Play Magnus” app was announced earlier in the year.

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Chess.com officials did not have a comment in response to the lawsuit but previously noted they did not communicate with Carlsen in regard to decisions on Niemann.

Carlsen also has not yet released any comment. Nakamura said there was no comment from his end.

World chess champion Magnus Carlsen attends a news conference ahead of the 2016 World Chess Championship in New York City Nov. 10, 2016.

World chess champion Magnus Carlsen attends a news conference ahead of the 2016 World Chess Championship in New York City Nov. 10, 2016.
(REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

Niemann taking legal action is the boldest move since the cheating scandal first came to light during a tournament in September at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis.

In an unexpected upset, Niemann defeated Carlsen. Shortly after the loss, Carlsen quickly withdrew from the tournament. Just weeks later, Carlsen quit a game against Niemann.

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Carlsen later said he believes “Niemann has cheated more — and more recently — than he has publicly admitted.”

Sergey Karjakin of Russia, left, and current World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway prepare for the start of the first game of their rapid chess match playoff at the 2016 World Chess Championship match in New York Nov. 30, 2016.

Sergey Karjakin of Russia, left, and current World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway prepare for the start of the first game of their rapid chess match playoff at the 2016 World Chess Championship match in New York Nov. 30, 2016.
(REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich)

Niemann has previously said he cheated online but only in some instances when he was 12 and 16 years old. He also claimed he never cheated during any games that were played in person.

But The Wall Street Journal reported an investigation by Chess.com that disputed Niemann’s claims. The report said Niemann possibly cheated in more than 100 games. One of the times he possibly cheated happened when he was 17 years old.

The suit accuses Hikaru Nakamura, “Chess.com’s most influential streaming partner,” of “acting in collusion with Carlsen and Chess.com,” alleging he “published hours of video content amplifying and attempting to bolster Carlsen’s false cheating allegations against Niemann.”

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The complaint says Niemann has been denied employment as a chess teacher due to the allegations against him.

 

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