Leon Watson

a year

What Giri, Pragg and Aronian thought about Magnus Carlsen's one-move resignation

It was a moment that shocked the chess world - when Magnus Carlsen resigned his game after one move in the Julius Baer Generation Cup.

A wave of reaction followed Carlsen quitting his Round 6 face-off with Hans Niemann. Everyone had an opinion and everyone wanted an answer.

But the key reaction is what the players think. Here's what three of the top players in the event said on the chess24 broadcast:

Anish Giri

In his post-match interview, the talkative Dutchman immediately cut to the chase saying he can't ignore "the elephant in the room".

Asked if he was shocked, Giri said:

Yeah, I mean the show must go on. It reminds me of when you play poker and you bluff on the first card, and then comes another card and you keep bluffing and then another and you keep bluffing. It looks like he is clearly insinuating something but until you catch someone you cannot do anything. It just looks very odd now. Clearly, it all makes sense if Hans is cheating and he doesn't want to play him but if he isn't then it is really very wrong. So I don't know, we have to see. Everybody is expecting some kind of big rabbit out of the hat with Magnus, but he just doesn't want to play Hans, it seems. It's quite interesting that the game after that he played so well. It was quite interesting, I was thinking after that he may be disturbed but he was just undisturbed. Really a special human being, for sure.

Asked if he was calling for Carlsen to provide evidence against Hans, Giri said:

I think it's pretty clear that he doesn't have it, because if he had there would be no need to do that. It's pretty clear to me that he is convinced, or near convinced, that that is the case. Based on the evidence that is already public he just made that call. It's a big problem playing people who have been banned and especially people who have admitted to cheating online before because you lose trust in them and that is a major, major problem. Also, insinuating cheating is a big problem as well so these things, they have to be resolved. My word of advice, especially to young players, is that there is so much damage that you do to yourself when you cheat online in some small events because these things they stick and then afterwards the big boys they don't trust you anymore and that's just not good.

He added:

It's crazy, crazy stuff going on and it's not clear how it will end because as we see now I don't think Magnus has anything more than what's there. I mean, there is the repeated cheating online, there is the slightly weird character that Hans is portraying but all that doesn't mean he cheats online or over the board. So it's all just very confusing.

Levon Aronian

The Armenian-American gave perhaps the most surprising of reactions.

Without explicitely saying so, Aronian appeared to think Carlsen has a case:

I understand that frustration of Magnus. I really didn't know much about a lot of things. Now I am somewhere in the middle. I do believe Hans has not been the cleanest person when it comes to online chess. But he's a young guy, hopefully this will be a lesson to him not to do any bad things online. Generally, I think this is a problem that requires a solution - and there are solutions.


Pragg, fresh from playing a brilliant game with Carlsen, was clearly tired and only expressed his shock on seeing the result and refused to be drawn on the controversy itself.

I was shocked to see it, but yeah, it was his decision so... I don't have any opinion to be honest.

See also

Magnus Carlsen resigns against Hans Niemann after ONE move: The reaction

David, Simon and Jovanka wear black in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Hans Niemann answers his critics

Hans Niemann


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