A teenage chess grandmaster has been forced to deny using a sex toy to help him claim his crown in one of the biggest scandals to hit the game in years.
Hans Niemann,19, an up and-coming star in the game, was sensationally accused online of using anal beads connected to a computer programme that would vibrate and give him the perfect AI moves to defeat world No. 1 grandmaster Magnus Carlsen.
Hitting back at internet rumours accusing him of using anal beads to cheat, Niemann said: “If they want me to strip fully naked, I will do it.
“I don’t care. Because I know I am clean.
“You want me to play in a closed box with zero electronic transmission, I don’t care. I’m here to win and that is my goal regardless.”
It came as Elon Musk deleted a tweet of an influencer discussing the rumour that Niemann used an illicit remote sex toy during the chess competition.
Musk captioned it with an adapted version of a quote by philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, writing: “Talent hits a target no one else can hit, genius hits a target no one can see (cause it’s in ur butt).”
Niemann beat Magnus Carlsen, the world chess champion, in the $500,000 Sinquefield Cup on September 4, ending Carlsen’s 53-game unbeaten streak.
The next day Carlsen withdrew from the tournament - a move which shocked the chess world.
He also tweeted a cryptic video of José Mourinho, the Portuguese soccer manager, saying, “I prefer really not to speak. If I speak, I am in big trouble.”
— Magnus Carlsen (@MagnusCarlsen) September 5, 2022
The meme of Mourinho is when the manager is blasting officials for questionable performance leading online commentators to infer that Carlsen was accusing Neimann of cheating.
“It must be embarrassing for the world champion to lose to an idiot like me,” Niemann said in an interview shortly afterward, according to Vice. “I feel bad for him.”
On Saturday, Chris Bird, the chief arbiter of the Sinquefield Cup, released a statement that there was no indication that any competitor was “playing unfairly”.
When asked if Niemann would be invited back to the St. Louis Chess Club, its executive director, said, “Yes, Hans has already accepted an invitation to play in the fall classic, so I already have him signed up for the next tournament at the club.”