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Carlsen, Chess.com Beat US Antitrust Suit

 |  June 28, 2023

On Tuesday, a Missouri federal court dismissed Hans Niemann’s $100 million defamation lawsuit, in which he accused Magnus Carlsen and Chess.com of falsely accusing him of cheating. However, his lawyers have stated that they will continue to pursue their claims in state court.

US District Court Judge Audrey Fleissig ruled against Niemann’s claims that Carlsen and Chess.com violated antitrust laws by conspiring to exclude him from profitable tournaments. Fleissig also determined that she did not have authority over Niemann’s state law claims, including defamation and breach of contract.

Related: US: Magnus Carlsen buys chess platform Chessable.com

Lawyers representing Niemann, a 19-year-old who surprised the chess world with his victory over Carlsen last year, stated in a press release that the ruling will not affect his ability to pursue his defamation claims in state court.

According to an attorney representing Carlsen, the court has denied Niemann’s attempt to obtain an unjustified windfall in a Missouri federal court and restrict freedom of speech through strategic litigation in that jurisdiction.

Lawyers for Chess.com said in a statement that the company is “happy to see an end to this saga” and “grateful that all parties can now focus on growing the game of chess.”

The legal dispute originated from Niemann’s unexpected win against Carlsen during a tournament in St. Louis, Missouri, in September 2019. Carlsen later accused Niemann of cheating, but Niemann denies these allegations.