Chess grandmaster Hans Neimann has set the record straight on one of the most bizarre cheating scandals in the history of the game, a month after he was officially cleared.
There was uproar in the chess world – and bewilderment outside it – when the American wunderkind was accused of employing anal beads to beat Magnus Carlsen last year.
Carlsen, a Norwegian who is considered among the greatest players of modern times, publicly accused his opponent of cheating in a statement released soon afterwards.
Speculation later arose that Neimann had used vibrating anal beads that could be wirelessly controlled by more experienced players to advise on moves.
While he admitted cheating in online games when he was a teenager, the 20-year-old was cleared of the allegations in August after resolving a legal dispute with Carlsen and another highly-ranked player, Hikaru Nakamura.
The controversy was brought up in an interview with Piers Morgan, where Niemann reflected on the impact of the scandal.
He told the presenter: ‘Obviously it was very disheartening to be accused of cheating after that victory, but it happened and I learned a lot from that time.
‘It really has taught me a lot of very, very important lessons about life and chess, and I think it’s only strengthened my resolve.’
Asked specifically whether he had cheated, Niemann responded: ‘Of course not.’
And when Morgan pressed on the specific allegation of using vibrating anal beads, the grandmaster seemed irritated.
He replied: ‘Your curiosity’s a bit concerning, maybe you’re personally interested, but I can tell you no.’
Niemann had sought $100 million in his lawsuit against Carlsen, Nakamura and the website Chess.com, which published a 72-page report in October last year accusing him of cheating more than 100 times.
The case was dismissed by a federal judge on June 27, and the agreement was announced two months later.
It meant Niemann would be allowed to take part in Chess.com tournaments again, and Carlsen would play him when they were drawn together.
When asked what he had learned from the controversy, Niemann told Morgan: ”The learning experience was more the media attacking me, all the chess world crashing down on me.
‘Dealing with that was a learning experience, dealing with all that pressure and competing under all that pressure.’
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