The Chess world is being turned on its head right now, and anal beads might be playing a part.
Magnus Carlsen is largely seen as the greatest chess player of all time - he is ranked number one on the International Chess Federation’s (FIDE) Open rankings and has been since 2011. He’s also the reigning five-time world champion.
Hans Niemann is a fiery 19-year-old who is ranked 49th on the FIDE rankings, just entering the top 100 in March of this year. He’s good but he doesn’t come close to Magnus.
Which is why when Hans beat Magnus during a Sinquefield Cup game, the chess world was set alight - it was so shocking that a theory Hans utilised vibrating anal beads to beat Carlsen gained legitimate traction and just recently, Magnus quit a game against Hans after only one move.
Listen to Mulls give a rundown of the situation on 'The Morning Rumble' below.
Vice ran a story about the drama and included an interesting tidbit about a guy who came up with a device worn in his shoes that connects to a chess bot and sends vibrations instructing him what moves to do. Naturally, in true internet fashion, this theory morphed into the device being inserted rectally.
Elon Musk even added to the drama by saying in a (now-deleted) tweet that “talent hits a target no one else can hit, genius hits a target no one can see (cause it’s in ur butt)”.
Not bad Elon, not bad.
Anyway, the dust has somewhat settled and it seems like there’s no evidence of cheating by Hans. Chess masters have ran simulations and noticed no obvious signs of cheating. Hans has said he would play naked and in a box that blocks electircal signals if asked.
The discrepancy in ranking and possible anal bead usage isn’t the only reason the result - which Vice called “an upset for the ages” - turned the chess world on its head: Magnus hadn’t lost an ‘over-the-board’ (i.e. an in-person) game using the white pieces in over two years; Hans was the lowest ranked player at the tournament; and Hans has a history of cheating.
Magnus added to the fire when he, in an unprecedented move, pulled out of the tournament a day later, tweeting out a cryptic video of Jose Mourinho’s once viral interview where he said “If I speak I am in big trouble.”
Another chess player, Hikaru Nakamura, was live on Twitch when Magnus tweeted his withdrawal. Hikaru said that Hans has been banned from competitive online chess in the past for cheating and that he thinks “Magnus believes that Hans probably is cheating.”
Hans' chess.com account has been blocked and he was uninvited from the Global Chess Championship, but he still absolutely denies cheating against Magnus.
Who knew the world of chess was so fraught with drama, tomfoolery, accusations, and hypothetical anal play?