A St. Louis Chess Club livestream showed Niemann, 19, being asked to turn around so the security wand could be waved over his buttocks as he entered the competition arena. But the two players before Niemann and the one after him were only scanned on their fronts.
The moment went viral because Niemann recently faced unsubstantiated rumors ― which he has denied ― that he used wirelessly-controlled vibrating anal beads or a prostate massager to receive messages from his coach about the winning moves for a stunning victory over world champion and Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen.
Watch his security check from the 20:45 mark here:
Carlsen accused Niemann of cheating during their game at the Sinquefield Cup in September, saying his rival was unfocused and that his “over the board progress has been unusual.” In a subsequent matchup with Niemann, Carlsen quit in protest after playing just one move.
This week, a report from Chess.com accused Niemann of “likely” cheating in more than 100 online games.
Niemann has admitted to cheating twice in his career, when he was 12 and 16, but denies all the other allegations — and has even offered to play in the buff to prove them wrong.
Niemann won his first pairing round in the U.S. championship against 15-year-old Christopher Yoo on Wednesday.
“This game is a message to everyone,” he said afterward.
“This entire thing started with me saying chess speaks for itself and I think this game spoke for itself and showed the chess player that I am,” he told reporters. “It also showed I’m not going to back down and I’m going to play my best chess here regardless of the pressure.”