September Chess Newsletter 

chess september newsletter

Whoa! What was this month!

This September was definitely an unforgettable month for the chess community. For starters, we lived through one of the biggest cheating scandals in recent times. On top of that, the allegations came from the five times World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, involving a teenage Grandmaster.

I know it’s too much, man! Let me quickly walk you through the important headlines of the past month.

Neimann-Carlsen Cheating Controversy | All You Need to Know

Carlsen vs Niemann controversy

GM Niemann, the American chess prodigy, entered the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, US, after GM Rapport dropped out. It was only three days prior to the tournament.

September 4 | Niemann Defeated Carlsen

On September 4, Niemann faced the 5 times World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, in the third round of the Sinquefield Cup. Each round comprised four games.

Neimann defeated Carlsen in the first game of the third round and commented, “the chess speaks for itself,” when asked about the game by the official presenter.

His confidence in the comment shocked the chess world as much as his win did. Their drastic gap in the rating is one of the reasons. While Carlsen was the highest-rated chess player in the Sinquefield cup, Niemann had the lowest rating.

However, Carlsen managed to win the round even after losing the first game.

September 5 | Carlsen Withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup

After defeating Magnus Carlsen in the first game, Niemann became the newly hailed king of chess but only for a couple of days. On September 5, Carlsen withdrew his name from the Sinquefield Cup without any explanation, hence starting one of the biggest chess scandals in recent times.

Later, he tweeted a simple yet clever tweet speaking nothing but revealing everything at the same time.

September 8 | Niemann Asked for Evidence

Carlsen’s passive responses only added fuel to the fire. Newspapers, media, and podcasts, including other chess players, speculated and created quite colorful assumptions. So much so that we can safely agree to mass overthinking being the mother of controversies.

On the one hand, we have GM Ian Nepomniachtchi confessing to asking for extra anti-cheating measures upon Niemann joining the tournament. On the other, we have GM Nakamura, who described the 19-year-old’s moves as “not on the level of a 2700 elo player”.

Amidst all the chaos, GM Neimann, who confessed to cheating in the past, asked for evidence.

As for now, we’ve nothing better to do other than applaud this young American for saying, “It must be embarrassing for the World Champion to lose to me — I feel bad for him!”. At the least, for courage, one needs to utter this sentence despite past cheating confessions.

September 19 | Face-Off at The Julius Baer Generation Cup

Niemann and Carlsen met again at the Julius Baer Generation Cup. Niemann began the online game with 1.d4, to which Carlsen responded with 1. Nf6. In the second move, Niemann played 2.c4, and the World Champion resigned instead of making a move.

The chess world went berserk the moment everybody realized that Carlsen had resigned. Anyway, the highest-rated player went on to win the tournament without much hassle.

September 22 | Carlsen Takes a Dig at Niemann’s Coach

Carlsen took a dig at Niemann’s coach, Maxim Dlugy, who was banned from in 2017 for cheating. When asked about Niemann’s performance, the Champion said, “I have to say I am very impressed by Niemann’s play, and I think his mentor Maxim Dlugy must have been doing a great job.”

September 27 | Carlsen Releases Official Statement

After much anticipation, the chess world finally got a deserving explanation from GM Magnus Carlsen. On September 27, he released an official statement accusing GM Nieman of cheating during offline games as well.

Now, as Hikaru Nakamura said, the ball is indeed in Niemann’s court, and all we can do is wait for his response.

Indian Grandmaster Finished Second at the Julius Baer Generation Cup, 2022

Telegu chess player, GM Arjun Erigaisi

The Telegu chess player, GM Arjun Erigaisi, was close to winning the Julius Baer Generation Cup. After putting up a solid fight, which Carlsen thought wasn’t the best from Arjun, the Indian grandmaster finished second.

At present, his standard ELO rating is 2725, and he’s the top 24th chess player in the world.

Alireza Firouzja | Winner of the Grand Chess Tour

Alireza Firouzja
Credits: Chess24

Firouzja Won the Sinquefield Cup, 2022

The Sinquefield Cup, 2022, has seen much drama before ending on September 13. After GM Carlsen walked out of the tournament, GM Alireza Firoujza shined the brightest.

The fourth-best chess player in the world won the tournament by defeating Ian Nepomniachtchi 1.5-0.5 in a rapid playoff for the title. Therefore, the French grandmaster received $87,500 as the first prize.

$100,000 Bonus Prize for Firouzja

In addition to the Sinquefield Cup, GM Firouzja also won Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz in early September. Winning Sinquefield Cup made him the overall winner of the 2022 Grand Chess Tour.

Therefore, the young grandmaster is taking a whopping bonus of $100,000 home. Following him, GM Wesley So finished second in the Grand Chess Tour, earning $50,000 as an additional bonus.

The top 8 players of the Grand Chess Tour are:

GM Fabiano Caruana Wins 9LX Championship, 2022

GM Fabiano Caruana
Image Credits: FIDE

Unlike the Sinquefield Cup, GM Fabiano Caruana outperformed GM Alireza Firouzja. The players faced each other during a rapid playoff match in Armageddon. After a fierce fight, GM Firouzja succumbed to defeat.

Caruana enjoyed the glorious day by winning his three final games and later pushing Firouzja to force a playoff tiebreaker. Overall, he won the tournament with a solid 6.5/9 score.


GM Magnus Carlsen’s official statement would finally let us rest, but then again, Niemann is yet to respond. Are you still anxious?

Well, you’re not alone. The entire world has been on its toes since the cheating controversy spread like a bonfire. But, hey, don’t worry!

I will be back next month with another set of interesting news and, of course, everything related to this controversy. Till then, keep playing chess!

Leave a comment