Magnus Carlsen finally attended an interview during the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. He left most questions on the cheating controversy unanswered but he mentioned Niemann’s mentor, Maxim Dlugy. Could this mean anything?

Since Magnus Carlsen’s withdrawal from the Sinquefield Cup, the Chess world is completely restless. A storm of cheating insinuations and allegations against Hans Niemann rocked Chess like never before. Multiple entities have spoken out, and Niemann took his stand. But Carlsen had remained silent in the midst of all the chaos. Now he comes out with another statement that brings 56-year-old GM Maxim Dlugy under the spotlight.

Almost 3 weeks after his withdrawal on September 5th, Carlsen breaks his silence in an interview during the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. Despite initially refusing to do any interviews throughout the tournament, fans finally got to hear the world champion’s own words.

Carlsen left most questions unanswered. However, he brought up Maxim Dlugy’s name which sparked another route of insinuations. He also stated that he’ll reveal more after the tournament ends.

Is Carlsen taking a jab at Hans Niemann’s mentor?

Magnus Carlsen is currently holding a record score during the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. And yes, that is after he threw the rematch against Hans Niemann, resigning after only making one move. Niemann earned 3 points and Carlsen earned 0, yet he settled on top of the standings with 34 points.

The interview was initially on the topic of Carlsen’s dominating performance but it didn’t take long for it to switch to the elephant in the room. When asked about the reason for his resignation in the rematch vs Hans Niemann, Magnus Carlsen said:

Unfortunately I cannot particularly speak on that but people can draw their own conclusion & they certainly have. I have to say I am very impressed by Niemann’s play & I think his mentor Maxim Dlugy must have been doing a great job.

Magnus Carlsen on the cheating allegations against Hans Niemann

The unexpected and abrupt mention of Maxim Dlugy as Hans Niemann’s mentor caught the community off-guard. Due to Carlsen being known for his subtle hints, this odd mention might be a clue to the whole ordeal. The interview followed up with a question regarding Dlugy and how he is related to Niemann. Carlsen laughed it off and said, “No I will not say more about that subject.”

Throughout the interview, Carlsen refused to answer questions on the topic of cheating insinuations against Hans Niemann. But we might get more closure on this controversy by the end of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour as he “hopes to say a little bit more after the tournament.”

Who is Maxim Dlugy?

Niemann's mentor whom Carlsen mentions in the interview was banned from  chess.com for cheating?! – Chessdom
Hans Niemann with Maxim Dlugy.
Image from Chessdom.com

Maxim Dlugy is an American Chess Grandmaster who has an established career even outside of the Chess world. However, he is also notorious for various scandals.

Dlugy was born in Moscow, Soviet Union and moved to the United States a decade later. He became the president of the U.S Chess Federation from 1990 to 1993 and even worked on Wall Street. Dlugy began diving into business in Russia. In 2005, the Chess GM got entangled in a $9 million embezzlement and spent months in a Russian prison – though he was then acquitted. In 2017, Chess.com banned Maxim Dlugy due to allegedly cheating on one of the Titled Tuesdays.

Dlugy also owns Chess Max Academy in New York, a Chess school for kids where he operates and coach students. Hans Niemann was one of the students that enrolled in the academy.

Here is another interesting and relevant fact about Dlugy. He was the one who suspected GM Borislav Ivanov of cheating with a device in his shoes, causing him to be caught in 2013.


Following Carlsen’s interview, the community speculates once again. Magnus Carlsen mentioning Maxim Dlugy – who has a past of alleged cheating – couldn’t have been a mere coincidence. What other clues or statements will we get from Carlsen by the end of the Meltwater Champions Tour? Does he believe that Maxim Dlugy has been helping Hans Niemann in his games? Or was it just a genuine compliment towards the duo?

Sarah Zulkiflee -

Sarah Zulkiflee

| Twitter: @kayzeesarah

Born and grew up in Malaysia, but a citizen of the world. High-key addicted to everything Dota 2. Spams support heroes but Ancient Apparition is an all-time favorite (a 100% Ice Blast accuracy). Only PMA during the day.