Niemann Sues Carlsen and Chess.com for Defamation, Asks for $100m in Damages
In what probably is the largest legal action in chess history, Hans Niemann filed a lawsuit against Magnus Carlsen, Chess.com, Danny Rensch, and Hikaru Nakamura, seeking at least $100 million in damages.
According to the filing, “…the falsity of Defendants’ accusations, Defendants’ malicious defamation and unlawful collusion has, by design, destroyed Niemann’s remarkable career in its prime and ruined his life. As a result of Play Magnus and Chess.com’s collusion to blacklist him from chess, Niemann can no longer compete in any online Chess.com or Play Magnus tournaments, and will not receive invitations to in-person events sponsored by Chess.com or Play Magnus, which collectively comprise the majority of FIDE-sanctioned chess tournaments.”
Niemann’s lawyers state that because of Carlsen’s actions and the fact that everyone believed his accusations, Nieman is not even able to get a job as a chess teacher, let alone compete in top events: “Niemann cannot obtain employment as a chess teacher at a reputable school.”
Accordingly, Niemann asserts the following claims against Defendants: slander, libel; unlawful group boycott under the Sherman Act (a anti-monopoly law), tortious interference with contract and business expectancies, and civil conspiracy.
Niemann seeks damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but no less than One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000).
Carlsen and ChessCom will certainly fight the suit, but it will certainly create legal exposure for both parties and might put a merger deal on hold pending resolution, i.e. paying Niemann off.