Magnus Carlsen Finally Says Something About Hans Niemann Cheating Scandal, Sadly Doesn't Mention 'Anal Beads' Conspiracy Theory

September 27th, 2022 - 12:05 PM EDT by Adam Downer

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The world's best chess player, Magnus Carlsen, finally broke his silence after heavily implying fellow top player Hans Niemann cheated to defeat him on September 4th earlier this month.

Yesterday, Carlsen posted a statement to Twitter that made explicit what anyone following the story already assumed: Carlsen thinks Niemann cheated to defeat him and does not want to play him due to Niemann's (admitted) history of cheating in online chess tournaments. Carlsen failed, however, to offer an explicit accusation as to Niemann's method, stating that he is "limited" in to what he can say without Niemann's permission to speak openly.

"Throughout our game in the Sinquefield Cup I had the impression that [Niemann] wasn’t tense or even fully concentrating on the game in critical positions," said Carlsen. He also said Niemann outplayed him "as black in a way I think only a handful of players can do."

The statement raised eyebrows among many chess fans, as Carlsen's accusation basically amounts to him saying Niemann outplayed him in a suspicious manner. Were chess a fighting game, this could easily be interpreted by some as a "john," or a flimsy excuse to explain a loss.

For Niemann to cheat, most agree he would need to be somehow informed of the perfect move to make by an AI chess bot. However, security at the Sinquefield Cup where Niemann defeated Carlsen appeared incredibly tight, as video showed officials going so far as to inspect Niemann's chewing gum prior to the match. This led to the now-infamous anal bead conspiracy theory that proposed Niemann had a super computer in his butt that vibrated to inform him of the best possible move. Obviously, that's highly unlikely, but to some, it was as good an explanation as any for how Niemann possibly got access to a chess bot for his game against Carlsen.

Carlsen is unquestionably the best chess player in the world and is not known to make excuses for his performances. Instead, he has shown respect for players who match him over the board (recently, he applauded 17-year-old Indian player Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa after he fought him to a surprising draw). With that reputation, some Carlsen fans, including fellow chess grandmasters, were inclined to believe him, even without concrete proof of Niemann cheating.

Others were fed up with Carlsen accusing Niemann of cheating without offering proof or a potential method Niemann used. Carlsen's critics continued to imply he was being a sore loser and attempting to ruin Niemann's career through innuendo.

Carlsen's statement appears to throw the ball into Niemann's court at the end when Carlsen said he is limited in what he can say without Niemann's permission. Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura interpreted this to mean Carlsen was challenging Niemann to come forward with an essential "show me what you got" in terms of Carlsen's evidence.

"If Hans is not saying anything, I think that looks very suspicious," Nakamura said. "If Hans is truly innocent in all of this, Hans should basically come out and say 'show me what you have' and that's the end of the story."

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