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THIS LEAGUE! World Champion Chess Player Quits Tournament Because He Thinks His Opponent Is Cheating

KOEN VAN WEEL. Getty Images.

The Guardian -- The chess world is in turmoil after the world champion, Magnus Carlsen, pulled out of a major tournament for the first time in his career with frenzied speculation over whether an opponent cheated.

On Monday, organisers of the $500,000 (£433,000) Sinquefield Cup announced additional anti-cheating precautions, including a 15-minute delay in the broadcast of the moves and increased radio-frequency identification checks. But Carlsen had already withdrawn from the event, announcing it in a tweet with a video of José Mourinho saying: “If I speak I am in big trouble. Big, big trouble.”

Carlsen did not offer any further explanation but the American grandmaster and popular streamer Hikaru Nakamura said Carlsen had pulled out because he suspected his third-round opponent, Hans Niemann, was “probably cheating”.

Alright so I just spent quite a bit of time falling down the rabbit hole of competitive chess and let me tell you…this is a wild world filled with some preposterous characters and a shit ton of drama. We need a camera crew at all of these tournaments following these guys around for a season. Just take this kid at the center of this cheating scandal, for example. 

His name is Hans Niemann. He's a 19-year-old from California and is a chess grandmaster, which is the highest title you can get. I guess it would be like the black belt of chess. Well anyway, aside from being accused of cheating by the best player in the world, he's also being accused of faking an accent. To which he says he has because he's spent the past 2 years of his life doing nothing but traveling around in Europe doing nothing but playing chess and getting take out food twice a day. 

So we've got a cheating scandal going on at the same time as we have a fake accent scandal going on. It's like if Tom Brady and Brian Kelly had a scandal baby together. And that's just the current situation we have going on in the world of chess right now. I can only imagine how much more ridiculous things have gotten in the past or will get in the future. There ain't no drama like some chess drama. 

Now I'm not even going to pretend to figure out how cheating in chess works. It's not someone in the back can bang on some trash cans and all of a sudden you know which piece your opponent is about to move. I guess there are algorithms that tell you which moves to make almost like an "Ask Madden" feature, but I don't understand how that would work when you are playing against somebody else in person. It makes sense how that could happen in an online game, and this cat even admitted to cheating in online games before. 

That's a lot of rambling to get through but he mentions it in there somewhere that he cheated online when he was 12 years old. So now we have Tom Brady, Brian Kelly, and Danny Almonte all rolled into one. I'm telling you this might just be the greatest scandal in all of sports. I still don't understand how you could cheat in a chess match that isn't online. But that's also just because I don't know anything about strategy in chess. I just like the move the pieces around randomly and pray for the best. And speaking of playing the game like an idiot, this Hans Niemann kid delivered the best line of this whole ordeal to really stoke the fire. 

Kid beat the best ranked player in the world, gets accused of cheating, and says it's because the other dude was simply way too butt hurt about losing to an idiot. "It must be embarrassing for the world champion to lose to me". 

Fucking chess, man. Who knew?