The chess prodigy accused last year of using hidden, vibrating anal beads that upset Magnus Carlsen has dismissed the accusations in a new interview.
This claim, directed at Piers Morgan, comes more than a year removed from the September 2022 confrontation between Hans Niemann, a 20-year-old American, and the current world number one.
The match shook up the chess world – after Nieman, a rising talent from San Francisco, unceremoniously dethroned the Norwegian for all the world to see.
However, in the aftermath of the match, Niemann received criticism instead of praise. He was branded cheating and fought back against claims he was secretly advised by a coach behind the scenes – in a move that made headlines at the time.
Officially cleared of the charges last month, Niemann has now returned to chess – and had some strong words for Morgan Sunday when asked about them.
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Hans Niemann (left) appeared alongside his lawyer and denounced claims he used vibrating anal beads to cheat – and appeared irritated when asked again
The match shook up the chess world – after Niemann, a rising talent from San Francisco, unceremoniously upset the Norwegian at the prestigious Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis last year
“Categorically not,” Niemann said, irritated by the question. ‘Of course not.’
However, Morgan persisted and offered the young prodigy a taste of his signature interview style by bringing up parts of his past topics that they might find painful: perhaps a poor choice of words in this case.
The English commentator asked: ‘The accusation was that your coach instructed you to place anal beads inside yourself, to which he would then send remote signals.
“When that story broke, what was your reaction?”
Niemann, who was sitting next to his lawyer, replied: “It was of course very disheartening to be accused of cheating after that victory.
“But you know, these things… it happened and I learned a lot from that time.”
Stumbling as he realized, seemingly in real time, the obvious strangeness of the claims that have marred him for more than a year, Niemann went on to tout that he is a better man now.
“It really taught me a lot of important lessons about life and chess, and I think it only strengthened my resolve,” he told Morgan, some 11 months after chess officials found no evidence to support the sensational claims.
However, the conversation turned tense when Morgan asked point-blank whether Niemann used the method against Carlsen during last year’s prestigious Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis – prompting a sharp and somewhat humorous response.
“Categorically not,” Niemann told Piers Morgan on Sunday, irritated by the question. At one point, the prodigy even made a joke to the interviewer, questioning his interest in the strange method of cheating.
Apparently fed up, Niemann coldly told Morgan when asked if he had ever used anal beads inside himself to cheat, “Well, your curiosity is a little concerning, you know – you may be personally interested, but I can tell you: no’
Carlsen, 31, exited the $500,000 Sinquefield Cup after being defeated in the third round by Nieman, sparking online speculation that he suspected foul play.
He later issued a statement suggesting the then-teenager had cheated, sharing a meme of a post-match interview with Jose Mourinho in which the coach said: ‘If I speak I’m in big trouble’
“Just to be clear, you didn’t cheat?” Morgan asked Niemann, who sat next to a lawyer who remained silent.
‘Of course not’.
Morgan continued, “Just to be clear, regarding the specific accusation, have you ever used anal beads while playing chess?” before joking: “To be honest, not a question I ever thought I’d ask a guest, but…”
Apparently fed up, Niemann coolly replied, “Well, your curiosity is a little disturbing, you know – you may be personally interested, but I can tell you: no.”
The interview, broadcast on Saturday’s Piers Morgan Uncensored, comes just weeks after Carlsen, 32, and Niemann settled a $100 million lawsuit brought by the American over the scandal – and the criticism he has faced since has had to deal with.
It also comes shortly after an acquitted Niemann – whose victory has since been officially attributed to his rival’s unusually sub-par endgame play – returned to chess last month, tweeting at the time: “Hello chess world, did you miss me?”
The accusations began after Niemann defeated Carlsen in a shocking result at last year’s event in the chess capital of the world, resulting in polarized opinions among chess fans.
The 19-year-old chess prodigy previously declared he would play naked to prove doubters wrong after rumors suggested he could have used vibrating anal beads
The 20-year-old prodigy has competed in tournaments all over the world, competing in his first event at the age of eight. He is pictured competing in 2013 and in 2014 at the age of 10, when he became the youngest winner of the Mechanics Institute Chess Club in its 159-year history
As an eighth-grade student in 2017, Niemann won first place in a local chess championship. He plays alongside friend Gavin Spandow, who Hans described as ‘fiercely competitive and far from modest’.
After being defeated, Carlsen – perhaps the most famous chess player in the world – left the $500,000 Sinquefield Cup after being defeated by the American in the third round, prompting speculation that he suspected foul play.
Carlsen even made a statement suggesting the then-teenager had cheated, sharing a meme of a post-match interview with Jose Mourinho, in which the football coach said: ‘If I speak I’m in big trouble’.
The self-taught grandmaster from San Francisco shot up the world rankings when he was invited to play against Carlsen, who was undefeated in 53 matches.