It was recently revealed that a former Swedish chess champion – working for Magnus Carlsen’s club – has lost 43 games in a row. Received a written warning for tampering.
Karl Friedrich Johansson was President of Chess in Sweden from 2013 to 2018 – and is now the leader of Uppsala Skolschacksällskap, one of the largest Swedish chess clubs for children and youth, which I recently entered into an official collaboration with Offerspill Club Magnus Carlsen.
On Friday, the Norwegian Chess President Joachim Berger Nielsen was elected to retireafter he admitted cheating when he played for “Norway Gnomes” in the online Pro Chess League.
In Sweden, the case of Carl Fredrik Johansson is unknown to the public. But VG can say that it is one of three players in Sweden who were recently arrested this summer for breaching the rules of fair play.
While Johansson eventually received a written warning of losing 43 online games in three days, the other two were banned from playing online for two years.
VG spoke to Johansson on Friday, who countered with the information, first saying “I don’t understand what you’re talking about.” Later, Johansson made a statement through publicist and chess student Simon Stand.
The whole affair is ridiculous, Johansson begins.
In three days in April this year, he played 43 quick chess matches on Chess.com.
He confesses to VG that he lost them all on purpose. The series of massive losses led the Swedish Chess Federation to open an investigation. He suspected that he lost to tampering with his own rating.
The federation believes that with a lower rating, it will be possible to participate at a lower level in the new Swedish chess league. Johansson thinks this is a “strange accusation”.
– I can understand why someone would want to cheat to appear better than they are, but according to the allegations, I cheated to look worse. What would be the motive behind this? Asked.
According to the former chess chief, he intentionally lost matches because he teaches amateur chess players.
– I used my own account for the purpose of teaching. I shouldn’t have done it, and I apologize. The continued false accusations to appear confirms that he has nothing to do with the issue. Johansson explains that it is a power struggle in the Swedish Chess Federation, of which I was former president.
Before he sent his response to VG, Johann Voorhof, Johansson’s attorney, spoke on his behalf:
– This is not cheating in the same way as those who use data to win. He was playing online. The lawyer says he did it to lower the rankings, and he played against the freshmen, which he used when teaching the students.
– Does he think this was done for educational purposes?
– Yes, and this explanation was accepted by the Disciplinary Committee, but not from the union members now.
Voorhoff states that no one is affected by what Johansson did, and that he himself did not benefit from it.
Today’s chess chief in Sweden, Håkan Jalling, does not want to confirm any names in the case. Jalling says the following that one of those at risk believes he did so for educational reasons.
We had a completely different opinion, and it was up to everyone to decide whether to get an educational benefit from it. Our experts have a different opinion, Galling says, noting that the electronic traces were left behind and therefore had good evidence, he told VG.
Just hours after the Swedish Chess Federation (SSF) broke the news about “Svenska Schackligan”, Johansson began his 43 matches.
The Swedish Federation is accused of “sandbag” – a popular term in chess Where one lowers his rating so that he can face an easier opposition.
Johansson, who reached 2300 in the rating, fell below 800 – which allowed him to participate in the lowest of the four divisions of the Swedish league, that is, among the amateurs.
Johansson believes that there is no question of “sandbags”, because he did not intend to profit from them or make money from them.
Johansson never used the low-rated account in “Svenska Schackligan”, which is why he received a significantly lower penalty than the other two, who were banned from online games for two years.
Swedish Chess Federation Discuss the cases on their websiteHe hid Johansson’s name, as well as two others who were arrested in the same way.
A committee at the Swedish Chess Federation concluded that Johansson should be given a written warning and banned for two years as a referee, a role he also exercises.
Johansson appealed this decision.
The Disciplinary and Rules Committee – the highest body in this type of case – concluded that Johansson should receive a written warning for breaching the rules of fair play. At the same time, they changed the two-year ban as a judge.
Instead, he also received a written warning as a judge.
The court notes that Johansson’s motive to play far less than his strength is central to its assessment of the case. They believe it cannot be proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Johansson was guilty of committing “sandbags” in order to participate in the lower division of the Svenska Shacklegan.
The court concluded that it is an indisputable fact that Johansson deliberately lost 43 matches in a short time.
Three players were caught cheating online at Chess.com, and it happened this summer. They manipulated their Chess.com rating, that is, they deliberately played poorly to lower the rating. Håkan Jalling, president of the Swedish Chess Federation, told VG that everyone played their way from high levels, from over 2,000 to under 800, to being able to play in the lower group.
As mentioned, he does not want to confirm any names, but is happy to comment on matters.
– Everyone scored in the “Svenska Schackligan”, but none of the players played in the actual competition. On the other hand, when the competition ended, he played one match. Then we think he manipulated his assessment, but he also used it, says Galling.
Confronted by Carl Fredrik Johansson who claims that his case revolves around a power struggle in the Federation, Håkan Galling replied:
Carl Fredrik Johansson is the senior manager of a club aimed at children and young adults. He was removed as president of the Swedish Chess Federation already in 2018 after all the major provinces wanted him to resign. This case, which has nothing to do with his previous role in the league, is that he was caught cheating by intentionally losing 43 games in a row and thus messing with his standings. He admitted this in our extensive investigation, although he stated that it happened for educational purposes.
– It is clearly visible on his Chess.com account where the games are available. Deliberate manipulation of one’s order is a breach of fair game and the Swedish Chess Federation is clearly distancing itself from it. The fact that, according to his own statement, he lost parties in the company of his students only made matters worse. Moreover, this is inconsistent with what we expect from a judge.
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