On 5 September 2022, world chess champion and grandmaster Magnus Carlsen pulled out of a chess competition after being beaten by lesser known underdog Hans Niemann—slashing his chances of winning the $350,000 prize money.
Following his withdrawal, Carlsen posted a rather cryptic tweet which included a clip of football manager José Mourinho saying “I prefer really not to speak. If I speak, I am in big trouble,” implying that Niemann had cheated. Now, the internet is convinced foul play did in fact occur, with some claiming Niemann used AI and anal beads to quite literally quiver his way to the top. Wait, what?
If you’re as confused and, let’s be honest, as intrigued as we are, then hang tight as we’ve got all of the juicy details on the deed. It all began when Niemann’s play during his match with Carlsen was called ‘sus’ by other big names in the sport. Eyebrows were raised further when the underdog admitted to cheating two times previously. Not looking good for you buddy.
Even the number one online chess site Chess.com issued a statement saying it had banned the American grandmaster for his alleged cheating.
Then, out of nowhere, a theory began circulating that Niemann had used AI-operated anal beads to cheat. Now, unless he decided to use the good old 1800s butt plug method to cure insomnia, this theory seems ludicrous. But points for originality, I guess.
Commenting on the absurdity of the possibility, one user tweeted: “Currently obsessed with the notion that Hans Niemann has been cheating at the Sinquefield Cup chess tournament using wireless anal beads that vibrate him the correct moves.”
The chess community then began to speculate that the anal beads were wireless and could transmit messages to a nearby accomplice watching the online broadcasts and using AI to predict the perfect next moves.
Of course, with this being a Twitter debate, the internet’s favourite billionaire-turned-serial-tweeter Elon Musk chimed in with a quip of his own. In a now-deleted tweet, the Tesla CEO responded to a video of someone discussing the anal beads theory with an altered quote of philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. “Talent hits a target no one else can hit, genius hits a target no one can see (cause it’s in ur butt),” he wrote.
Words to live by indeed, Elon. I’m surprised he didn’t bring up the ‘Vladimir Put-In’, a talking butt plug NFT that was created to raise funds for those affected by the war in Ukraine and meant for the Russian President’s tush only.
While this theory is undoubtedly livening up what was once considered a ‘dull’ sport, many believe that the most likely explanation is that Niemann somehow got his hands on Carlsen’s game plan before the match—which, you know, would make a lot more sense if you think about it more than just skin deep.
Niemann has strongly denied these allegations, and other chess pros have come to his defence, calling the entire ordeal a ‘witch hunt’. While the underdog seems butthurt (pun intended) about the alleged cheating, with the advances in material sciences and AI technology, officials could soon have to start checking players for hidden ‘smart’ clothing or other imaginative devices up human orifices that could allow cheating.
Maybe the anal beads theory isn’t so far fetched after all…