A cheating scandal is brewing in the world of international chess after a low-ranked player shockingly beat a chess grandmaster in St. Louis last week.
The upset occurred during the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sept. 4, when 19-year-old American Hans Niemann beat chess champ Magnus Carlsen, 31, from Norway, the New York Daily News reported.
As soon as he won, Niemann — who was one of the lowest-rated players in the tournament — was accused of cheating and faced the unlikely claim that he was using an electronic chess move generator hidden somewhere on his person that was wirelessly linked to an anal massage device secreted just where such a device is designed to be placed. Accusers claimed that the anal device would buzz in some sequence to tell Niemann what moves to make, though the player’s detractors did not exactly reveal just how that could work.
Tournament officials, though, noted that both Niemann and Carlsen were searched ahead of the match and no devices were found on their persons. Presumably, officials did not check if any devices were in their persons.
The accusations of vibrating devices seem far-fetched and there is no evidence that Niemann cruised through the game with ease. According to reviews of the moves made during the match, both players made serious mistakes during the play. Experts said that Niemann’s play did not seem artificially guided, the Post added.
However, to add fuel to the fire, Niemann was banned from Chess.com, supposedly for cheating on the site, a charge that Niemann denies.
“We have reached out to Niemann to explain our decision to privately remove him from Chess.com and our events. We have shared detailed evidence with him concerning our decision, including the information that contradicts his statements [about] the amount and seriousness of his cheating on Chess.com,” the site told the Post.
Niemann blasted the site for banning him. As he told The Guardian: “I’m not going to let Chess.com, I’m not going to let Magnus Carlsen, I’m not going to let Hikaru Nakamura, the three arguably biggest entities in chess, simply slander my reputation because the question is — why are they going to remove me from Chess.com right after I beat Magnus?”
After the humiliating loss to a low-ranked, nobody, grandmaster Carlsen withdrew from the tournament in St. Louis. He did not explain why, but did leave a cryptic message on Twitter, saying, “I’ve always enjoyed playing in the @STLChessClub, and hope to be back in the future.” Carlsen attached a video from 2020 of soccer manager Jose Mourinho in which he said, “I prefer not to speak. If I speak, I am in big trouble…and I don’t want to be in big trouble.”
Niemann exclaimed that Carlsen abruptly quit the tournament out of shame.
“I think [he] was just so demoralized because he’s losing to an idiot like me. It must be embarrassing for the world champion to lose to me. I feel bad for him,” Niemann said in a video posted to the St. Louis Chess Club’s YouTube channel.
The anal bead accusation caught the eye of entrepreneur Elon Musk who jumped to Twitter to joke, “Talent hits a target no one else can hit, genius hits a target no one can see (cause it’s in ur butt).” Musk later deleted the tweet.