World chess champion Magnus Carlsen and top platform Chess.com have launched their defense against Hans Niemann.
Attorneys for both Carlsen and Chess.com filed to dismiss Niemann’s $100 million lawsuit against the two of them and grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura.
- Axinn, the law firm representing Carlsen, wrote that Niemann is “claiming a wholly implausible conspiracy to defame and boycott Niemann that somehow damaged his already dubious reputation to the tune of $100 million.”
- While Niemann filed his lawsuit in Missouri, attorneys for both Carlsen and Chess.com sought to have the case dismissed under Connecticut law, because Niemann resides there, and Missouri law defers to the plaintiff’s home state in such cases.
Carlsen withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis following an upset loss to Niemann. The world champion later accused Niemann of cheating in that game and others.
Niemann has admitted to isolated incidents of cheating online, but maintains he has never cheated in an in-person game.
Win, Lose, or Draw
Niemann’s lawsuit claims that Carlsen and Chess.com colluded to end the 19-year-old’s playing career, noting that the company acquired Carlsen’s Play Magnus venture for $82.9 million in August.
Nick Soltman, partner at Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump Holley LLP, told Front Office Sports in November that the defendants have little to fear.
“The only real significant risk in my mind is that you’re gonna have to spend time and money defending this,” said Soltman, adding he could only see Niemann realistically claiming “maybe six figures” in damages.