Unsavory allegations rock chess world as American teenager shocks tournament’s No. 1 player

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The shocking defeat of one of the world’s best chess players has sparked accusations of cheating and sent the sport into a tailspin for the past few weeks.

Magnus Carlsen, the 31-year-old chess grandmaster who was undefeated in the Sinquefield Cup, lost to American player Hans Niemann last week, ending the top-ranked chess player’s 53-game winning streak . After the loss, Carlsen tweeted that he was withdrawing from the tournament hosted by the St. Louis Chess Club.

“I have retired from the tournament. I have always loved playing in the @STLChessClub and hope to be back in the future,” he wrote, adding a link to a 2020 video of football manager Jose Mourinho who said after a game, “If I talk, I’m in big trouble.”

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Norwegian chess player Magnus Carlsen takes part in the Energy Denmark Champions Battle 2019 at Circus Building, Copenhagen, Denmark on May 22, 2019.
(Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix/via REUTERS)

Niemann, 19, immediately faced charges of cheating — from anything from wireless vibrating anal beads to a vibrating shoe, according to multiple reports. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even added to the controversy with his own tweet, suggesting something was up Niemann’s butt during the game. A professional game also suggested something like this.

Niemann denied cheating in an interview with the Chess Club.

“I’ve never cheated in an over-the-board game. It’s the worst thing I can do: cheat in a tournament with money,” he said via KSDK-TV.

“You know my dream came true. I lived my dream for a day beating Magnus, and then it all happened.”

CHESS LEGEND MAGNUS CARLSEN IS NOT MOTIVATED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: ‘I DON’T HAVE MUCH TO WIN’

St. Louis Chess Club executive director Tony Rich told the station that anti-cheating measures have been put in place for the tournament. According to the Guardian, Niemann was also frisked before the game.

According to the International Chess Federation rankings, Niemann was No. 49 in the world with a rating of 2688. Carlsen was No. 1 with a rating of 2861.

Pieces stand on a chessboard at the Werner Ott Open of the Kreuzberg Summer at the Berlin Kreuzberg Chess Club.

Pieces stand on a chessboard at the Werner Ott Open of the Kreuzberg Summer at the Berlin Kreuzberg Chess Club.
(Andreas Gora/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Niemann finished in seventh place in the tournament.

The young chess player was also banned from Chess.com and not invited to the world championship, according to the Guardian. The website told the New York Post that Niemann was banned for cheating on the website.

“We have reached out to Niemann to explain our decision to privately remove him from Chess.com and our events. We have shared detailed evidence with him regarding our decision, including information that contradicts his statements. [about] the amount and severity of his cheating on Chess.com,” a spokesperson for the website told the New York Post.

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The two players are both set to take part in the Julius Baer Generation Cup this weekend.

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