Our heads hurt, too.
Before you say anything: yes, this is beneath us. But news is news, and this ongoing chess drama demands to be unpacked. And so it’s with great regret that we break down why, exactly, Elon Musk accused a young chess player of using vibrating, remote-controlled anal beads to beat the game’s current No. 1 star.
“If they want me to strip fully naked, I will do it,” the young champion has since declared. “I don’t care. Because I know I am clean.”
On September 4, an up-and-coming 19-year-old chess player named Hans Niemann beat the world’s top-ranked Grandmaster, Magnus Carlsen, in St. Louis, Missouri’s Sinquefield Cup tournament. It was a shocking victory, and Carlsen, his 53-game winning streak having been destroyed, withdrew from the tournament entirely — a rare move for someone of his status.
But the drama was far from over. Carlsen — though he failed to provide a formal statement as to why he chose to exit the competition — took to Twitter to levy a thinly veiled cheating accusation at at his young defeater.
Niemann has confessed to cheating in online arenas back in grade school, and he’s recently had a pretty eyebrow-raising — though not necessarily incriminating — rise in ratings. But without any real evidence that he cheated to beat Carlsen, accusations started to pile, and soon, one particularly bizarre allegation surfaced: that Niemann had won by receiving messages from a co-conspirator, in the form of anal bead vibrations.
So, how does Elon Musk come in? The billionaire has no real role in what went down, but in true Musk fashion, he inserted himself into the dialogue anyway. Tickled by this strange sex toy conspiracy, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO decided to share his two cents on the saga in a since-deleted tweet.
“‘Talent hits a target no one else can hit,” the founder wrote in the now-removed post, “genius hits a target no one can see (cause it’s in ur butt).'”
Once Musk got involved, the case really exploded, as did the court of public opinion. While the tournament has maintained that there’s been no legitimate reason to believe any of these chaotic rumors, the internet, as it does, has continued to run wild with this outlandish theory. But anyway. Does anyone else have a headache?
READ MORE: The Chess World Isn’t Ready for a Cheating Scandal [The New York Times]
More on Musk tweets: Elon Musk Says His Tweets Are Being Suppressed, in a Tweet We Can See Perfectly Fine