Magnus Carlsen withdraws from Sinquefield Cup – Chess.com

Magnus Carlsen withdraws from Sinquefield Cup - Chess.com

Monday, GM Magnus Carlsen surprised the chess world by announcing that he was retiring from the 2022 Sinquefield cuptweeting his decision at the start of round four.

At the start of the round, Carlsen’s clock was started against G Shakhriyar Mamedyarovbut Carlsen never showed up to the board and was lost after the 10-minute arrival window expired.

Carlsen was on 1.5/3 after losing in the previous round with White against GM Hans Niemann. According to the tournament regulations, because he did not complete 50 percent of his games, Carlsen’s previous results will be canceled from the tournament standings; however, the FIDE rating adjustments from those three games stand.

This is the first time that Carlsen has withdrawn from a major event, and many have commented that such withdrawal from a tournament in progress for anything other than health reasons is virtually unprecedented in high-level chess. To find a precedent, one can look up to the Sousse Interzonal of 1967 where Bobby Fischer withdrew after 10 rounds due to arguments with the organizers.

Internet chess fans and commentators were quick to speculate. GM Hikaru Nakamura theorized that Carlsen withdrew because he suspected Niemann of cheating in their game the previous day, saying: “I think Magnus believes that Hans is probably cheating.”

In an interview after the game, Niemann mentioned that he prepared based on Carlsen’s use of the g3 Nimzo-Indian against GM Wesley So in London 2018. However, this game does not exist. It is possible that Niemann was referring to a Carlsen-So fast game played in Kolkata, 2019.

In his post-match interview, GM Ian Nepomniachtchi shared his thoughts on the Carlsen-Niemann game, calling it “beyond impressive.”

After the round began, the Grand Chess Tour announced that they were taking additional anti-cheating precautions, including a 15-minute broadcast delay and increased radio frequency identification (RFID) checks.

Asked for comment, Chess.com Chief Chess Officer Daniel Rensch stated: “Chess.com does not discuss Fair Play matters publicly, and as such, we decline to comment on the events at Sinquefield Cup and/or any speculation made by the community.”

Team Carlsen declined to comment.


Update: An earlier version of this article stated that Chess.com was unable to locate any other modern game by Carlsen in the g3 line of the Nimzo-Indian. However, by transfer there was a Carlsen-So quick game played in Kolkata, 2019.


Coverage of the 2022 Sinquefield Cup

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