We live in strange times when scandals have rocked the world of chess, fishing, and Irish dancing. As for the cheating scandal that has rocked chess to its core, we’ve officially reached the point where players’ bodies are being scanned for potential devices, which includes scans of their backside.
To catch you up, all of this stems from Hans Niemann’s Sept. 4 chess win over Magnus Carlsen at The Sinquefield Cup tournament in St. Louis, which was organized by the Saint Louis Chess Club. After the 19-year-old Niemann won, Carlsen withdrew from the tournament and accused Niemann of cheating, potentially by using a device. That led to a lot of speculation about where that device might have been located and Elon Musk himself got involved by speculating about the usage of vibrating anal beads.
The U.S. Chess Championships got underway on Wednesday at the St. Louis Chess Club and there was a new procedure in place. All players, including Niemann, were greeted by some very new security measures, which included a full-body scan that covered everything, including the backside.
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“This is a big change,” said Tony Rich, executive director of the St. Louis Chess Club, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Today, I would be hesitant to allow spectators into a playing hall while ensuring no cheating is going on. That’s a hard thing to say as an event organizer.”
Niemann, who has admitted to cheating while playing chess online, had denied doing so during face-to-face games, though a bombshell report released this week found that he “likely cheated” over 100 times in tournaments. Niemann won his first-round match on Wednesday, for what it’s worth.