Unless you've been on a social media hiatus for the past month, you've probably heard about the whole chess cheat anal beads scandal.
As the community continues to debate whether or not some master trickery went down, one question that keeps popping up is whether or not it's actually possible to win using a sex toy.
Before we get into it, let's first give a quick rundown of the events that have rocked the chess community to its very core.
It all started when 19-year-old grandmaster Hans Niemann managed to beat five-time World Champion player Magnus Carlsen, 31, at this year's Sinquefield Cup tournament in St Louis.
Experts in the game were left perplexed by the outcome, not least because of Niemann's low rank in the competitor list.
Adding to the confusion, Carlsen mysteriously withdrew from the championship after the shock loss.
He shared his announcement on Twitter alongside a cryptic clip of football manager José Morinho saying: "If I speak I am in big trouble."
Soon enough, cheating rumours started circulating and these took on a new life when Canadian grandmasters Eric Hansen and Aman Hambleton speculated in a Twitch stream whether the teen had hidden a vibrating version of the sex toy in his shoe.
The idea behind the sex toy theory is that the beads could vibrate and therefore signal to Niemann which moves to make.
Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk weighed in on the controversy, joking: "Talent hits a target no one else can hit, genius hits a target no one can see (cause it's in ur butt)."
Niemann denied the claims and continues to do so, but he did admit to cheating twice when he was 12 and 16 years old while playing online on Chess.com – though it's been suggested this number is far higher.
Now we're all caught up, let's look at whether or not it would be possible to win a game of chess using vibrating butt toys.
The whole saga piqued the interest of Ron Sijm, a Netherlands-based software engineer who spoke with VICE about ButtFish – software he developed to test the theory.
Sijm has even posted his code on GitHub where he explains: "This project is mostly a meme... I could not find any project making this kind of cheat possible."
The closest thing he found is SockFish, a project by James Stanley who managed to connect a Raspberry Pi to buttons and vibration motors in his shoes, allowing him to communicate with a chess engine and, ultimately, cheat at the game.
But Sijm wanted to find out if this would work if the device was in someone's a-hole.
"The wildest accusation is that the cheating player might have been using a buttplug, sending him information about the best moves though his butthole," he wrote.
This would, of course, be incredibly difficult for the user to decipher what the vibrations meant – you could say it would be a pain in the butt.
Sijm ultimately went with morse code, telling VICE: "I’m sending morse code. I’m not sure if that’s the leading theory.
"You can set any kind of code, of course, but I’m not sure how easy it is to recognise those kinds of codes."
ButtFish's basic software took the expert just four hours to create, and now he's only got a few things left on his to do list, including testing it out in real life.
To find a device it would be compatible with, Sijm turned to Buttplug.io, a framework for hooking up sex toys to interfaces.
"Due to not having any buttplugs myself, or other devices compatible with Buttplug.io, I've only built this project based on the documentation and samples provided by Buttplug.io," he added.
"I'm looking to contact some of their people on discord to see if anyone has a device that should work with this project, and verify that it actually works."
As for why one might use anal beads in particular, Sijm explained: "That might make it easier to send signals.
"Let’s say you have eight of those. The board is eight by eight. That might make it easier to communicate... I’m not sure if you can individually determine the beads."
Though he's yet to test the software out IRL, the software is there. In theory, Niemann could have used this method to cheat.
But let's make it clear that there is absolutely no evidence or proof that the chess champ did cheat – anal beads or not.
LADbible has reached out to Hans Niemann for comment.