Updated Nov. 15, 2023: British YouTubers Josh & Archie tested the conspiracy theory that Hans Niemann could have cheated and used an “adult toy” to beat Magnus Carlsen.
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The answer appears to be yes, as Kotaku’s Ethan Gach pointed out.
The video “show[s] what might happen if a novice sat down to play a grandmaster with the help of a chess computer feeding him instructions through a vibrator in his butt controlled via smartphone.”
The co-hosts Josh Pieters and Archie Manners devised a code that could be used to let the person playing know which moves to make, Gach wrote. Manners would watch a chess computer simulation and communicate what to do to Pieters who would be sitting in a mock studio playing against grandmaster Daniel Fernandez, ranked 481 in the world.
This chess drama is the gift that keeps on giving. Maybe it’s because there’s never any drama in the chess community. How could there be, in a game that’s literally rooted in skill? If you lose, odds are your opponent was just better than you. I know I thought it was impossible to cheat at over-the-board chess, yet here we are, writing about this drama once again.
To make a long story short, on Monday, the world’s best player Magnus Carlsen officially accused fellow grandmaster Hans Niemann of cheating during a match they had at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis a few weeks ago.
While several big names in the chess community came to Carlsen’s defense, claiming that Niemann was playing out of character and acting strangely after the match, there was never any hard evidence that Niemann was using a chess engine to feed him moves during his match.
On Sunday, Yosha Iglesias, an up-and-coming chess YouTuber, posted a video using online software called ChessBase to review Niemann’s game against Carlsen. According to Iglesias’ research, Niemann did indeed play engine perfect in this much-talked-about match with Carlsen.
The point of that story is to show how unlikely a string of near 100 percent games is in over-the-board chess. Niemann, however, has more than a few such games, including one against Cristhian Camilo Rios in the second round of the Sharjah Masters on Sept.18, 2021, where Niemann played engine perfect for 45 consecutive moves.