The Anal Bead Cheating Scandal That Rocked the Online Chess World

Plus, Mittens the cat is a viscous chess bot.


Episode Notes

On today’s episode, Rachelle Hampton is joined by Slate’s Nitish Pahwa to discuss a major cheating scandal in the chess world this past fall between Magnus Carlsen and Hans Niemann, and how the story just keeps going. They talk about Niemann’s rise on Chess.com, ways people have tried to cheat in the past, and why anal beads entered the conversation. Plus, they talk about Mittens, the evil chess bot cat.

This podcast is produced by Daniel Schroeder, Rachelle Hampton, and Daisy Rosario.


About the Show

Join Rachelle Hampton twice a week as we gaze deep into the online abyss—and tell you what’s gazing back.

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  • Nitish Pahwa is an associate writer for business and tech at Slate.

  • Rachelle Hampton is a culture writer and reporter at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine, and In These Times. She still hasn't recovered from Tumblr’s demise.