How a great American chess player fell victim to a strange rumor that he used a sex toy to beat a world champion

  • A chess grandmaster has been the victim of an online rumor that he used a sex toy to defeat the world champion.
  • Hans Niemann, 19, beat Magnus Carlsen in a stunning upset earlier this month, sparking baseless cheating rumours.

American chess grandmaster Hans Niemann has been the subject of a bizarre online rumor that he used a sex toy to beat Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen.

Unsubstantiated rumors spread online suggesting that Niemann may have used wireless anal beads that vibrated to signal movements he needed to make.

Niemann, 19, beat Carlsen in a stunning upset at the Sinquefield Cup on September 4. He ended Carlsen’s 53 game unbeaten streak despite starting the tournament as the lowest rated player.

Carlsen sparked speculation when he withdrew from the tournament the following day and tweeted a cryptic video of Portuguese football manager José Mourinho saying: “I really prefer not to talk. If I talk, I’m in big trouble.”

Many observers, including Japanese grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, interpreted Carlsen’s message as suggesting that Niemann cheated during the tournament.

Niemann later admitted to cheating in online tournaments when he was 12 and 16, but said he has since reformed and vehemently denied cheating on Carlsen.

“If they want me to take my clothes off completely, I’ll do it. I don’t care. Because I know I’m clean,” Niemann said in an interview after his victory. “You want me to play in a closed box without electronic transmission? I do not care. I’m here to win, and that’s my goal regardless.

He also fired back at Nakamura on Twitteraccusing him of making “frivolous insinuations”.

The Sinquefield Cup Chief Referee later posted a statement it says there was “no indication that any player played unfairly” in the tournament.

Despite this clarification and no evidence that Niemann used anal beads or any other method of cheating, speculation continued online.

The anal beads theory is spreading on social media

Rumors spread on social media that Niemann may have used anal beads to cheat.

A Reddit post on r/Chess, which has been deleted, went into detail theorizing about Niemann’s use of anal beads.

Despite the tongue-in-cheek tone of the post (“He’s always had anal beads in his butt, maybe for the last ten years,” he said), the theory has gained traction online.

Canadian grandmasters Eric Hansen and Aman Hambleton discussed the anal bead theory during a Twitch live stream, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted a since-deleted tweet joking about it.

In what will no doubt be a closely watched tournament, Carlsen and Niemann are set to face off again in the Julius Baer Generation Cup, with the duo facing off on Monday, according to Chessdom.

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