Confused theory in chess scandal
“Anal pearl? This shouldn’t be taken seriously”
by Tobias Nordman
09/29/2022, 2:00 pm
Grandmaster Hans Niemann is suspected of fraud against world champion Magnus Carlsen. The evidence is overwhelming, but there is no proof. And so the wild theories spread. International chess champion Georgios Soulidis specifically singled out the key player.
Two Canadian chess streamers have come up with a wild theory over the past few weeks about the cheating allegations against American grandmaster Hans Niemann. If the 19-year-old really cheated in a one-off game against world champion Magnus Carlsen in early September, he could have done so with the help of moving anal beads. As absurd as the idea is, it fascinates those who have been following this chess scandal closely for weeks. Even the visionary Elon Musk was amused. But is it really conceivable that a player would cheat in this way?
International chess champion Georgios Soulidis, also known for his very successful YouTube channel “The Big Greek”, considers the wild theory to be nonsense. “The story of anal pearls? I don’t think it should be taken seriously,” says 50-year-old Hegner in an interview with RTL/NTV. Soulidis cannot imagine that the bullets cause “vibration in the buttocks” and the player “receives the signals” and converts them into information. However, the chess master has no explanation as to how the 19-year-old American might have cheated. “It will be a completely new method. Like a very small electronic device that cannot be scanned.”
“used to be very common methods”
In face-to-face tournaments, checking players using detectors is now one of the standard security measures. Unlike online tournaments. Depending on their size, opponents are monitored with cameras or have to regularly participate in zoom calls during the game. Still, the potential for fraud is easy, for example, you can run a program side by side and copy the program’s moves. Incidentally, Neiman has already cheated twice in online tournaments, as he himself admitted.
But the duel that started the biggest chess scandal in years, decades, happened only in person. He was in the Sinckfield Cup, in early September. “There used to be very common methods like hiding smartphones in the toilet,” says Solidis. Or hand signals from instructors in the audience, who received reasonable suggestions from third parties on the chess program. That banana trick was to be noticed, of course. “If Neiman has indeed cheated, the methods will have to be further elaborated.”
The evidence speaks strongly against Neiman
The chess master can only guess whether Niemann really cheated. Basically “But he goes with Carlson.” The evidence for the time being is in its favor. “The evaluation indicates two things: either he’s an incredibly strong player – or he’s very suspicious. Everyone can figure that out.” Several sports have been analyzed by American in recent weeks. Their moves were compared to chess computers. Who, according to Soulidis, is “much better than any human.” The connection of the 19-year-old’s gait with the “engine” was surprisingly high. For example, chess analyst Yosha Iglesias showed up to 100 percent in some games. A sensational value that normally only a chess computer obtains in this frequency.
For weeks, Carlson had only vaguely indicated what he accuses his opponent of. It was only on Monday that he spoke openly about cheating for the first time and added new fire to the chess scandal after dropping another game against the Americans after only one move (this time in an online tournament). Carlsen now explained that Neiman’s progress was “unusual”, in one of the last duets he had the impression that the American was “not stressed and not fully focused on the game even in key positions”: “While He had me play with Black in a way that I think only a handful of players can do.”
But now what? The Big Greek says, “Cheating in physical chess is incredibly difficult to prove.” You can work with circumstantial evidence, but it is not evidence. “If you want to know beyond doubt in this matter, you have to search the person thoroughly.” About ten years ago, there was a case of a Bulgarian player who suddenly became very good. “But he didn’t want him to be searched,” recalls Soulidis. Nothing could be proved for him, but he stopped after a while. Niemann, on the other hand, used to tend to control the whole body. He said that he is even ready to play completely naked, to prove that he is not using any props. Which brings us back to the principle from Canada.
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