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Featured Image Credit: NTB Scanpix / Alamy. @ChampChessTour/Twitter.
One of the most controversial sporting storylines in recent times is the chess rivalry between Hans Niemann and Magnus Carlsen.
Yes, a chess rivalry.
Incredibly, Niemann made headlines around the world last week when he was accused of using anal beads to beat world No.1 Carlsen.
It's claimed the vibrating sex toy would send messages about his opponent's potential next move.
Anyway, too much detail.
Well, now the saga has taken another wild twist as the two bitter rivals faced off again as part of the Champions Chess Tour.
With serious allegations of cheating made towards Niemann, the chess world has been on the edge of their seats to see what would come from the accusations.
And today, world champion Carlsen decided to make the ultimate strategic play.
No, it wasn’t a two-move checkmate.
Instead, the Norwegian decided to resign from the online match in protest of his rival – making just one move in their game.
Chess 24 commentator and grandmaster Tania Sachdev said at the time: “Magnus Carlsen just resigned. Got up and left.
“Switched off his camera, and that’s all we know right now. We’re going to try to get an update on this.”
Who knew the sport could be so dramatic?
The statement comes after 19-year-old Niemann stunned Carlsen and defeated him at a $500,000 event in St Louis.
Carlsen then dramatically withdrew from the tournament, and then took a sly dig at Niemann by tweeting out his decision alongside a video of football manager Jose Moruinho saying: “If I speak, I am in big trouble.”
I was having a usual Monday📚 until the world champion resigned on the move 2…😑 https://t.co/XXJKu09aPN— Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova (@Gulruhbegim) September 19, 2022
My theory is that Magnus saw the success of Hans vibrating anal bead training, so he decided to try it himself. But poor calibration and prep meant that he was overwhelmed by move 2 and had to turn it off.— Aikado (@AikadoLoR) September 19, 2022
Just shows how impressive Hans use of the beads last week was https://t.co/UEDpIi9hw2
Dear rest of the world, you will probably be seeing Magnus Carlsen and Hans Niemann on your timeline today. Chess is a wonderful game - you should give it a try. We're just having a little drama right now.😄— GothamChess (@GothamChess) September 19, 2022
The Norwegian never outright accused Niemann of cheating however, fellow grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura suspected the withdrawal was because Carlsen believed Nielmann had ‘probably cheated’.
A bizarre theory circulating online claims Niemann could have used an accomplice, computer assistance and vibrating anal beads to beat Carlsen, who was on a two-year unbeaten run before their match.
"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," posted one fan on Twitter.
Niemann, however, maintained his innocence and hit back at his critics as he vehemently denied he had cheated to beat Carlsen.
He said: "I have never cheated in an over-the-board game."
"If they want me to strip fully naked, I will do it," he added.
"I don't care. Because I know I am clean. You want me to play in a closed box with zero electronic transmission, I don't care.
"I'm here to win and that is my goal regardless."
In spite of his defence, Niemann did admit to cheating in online chess tournaments when he was 12 and 16.