Normally it's in rather bad taste to publicly criticise a sporting competitor's religious views, since they're not intrusive and they're not our business, but if a player's going to make a public claim that they won because God helped them win - so what made Fedoseev less worthy, are you a better person than he is? - that's the kind of circumstance that alters cases. Different things get up different noses, but this is the kind of thing that gets up mine.
As it happens, Wesley discussed this very question in a recent article for Christianity Today. What Wesley said is this:
which is all well and good but it doesn't go on to ask the obvious question as to whether, if God helps Wesley win chess games, that means it's God who makes other people have cancer, say, or die in car crashes. Think it through, man. Think about what it would mean if we applied it to the lives of other people. Is that like Daddy too? Is that like being punished by Daddy, because they've been bad?
Perhaps the key phrase in Wesley's piece, though, is the bit about the child whose father says no. There's something of the child in the whole approach, and I guess that may partly explain why this apparent self-centredness, this not thinking about other people, goes with his also being modest and unassuming in a number of ways. He's just a kid. Maybe it's harsh to judge him for it.
But as I say, it's public. There he is, when he wins, telling the public that God helped him do it.
So what I'd really like is for God to turn up like the scene in Annie Hall
and to tell Wesley look, you think I have nothing better to do today than help you win a chess game? There are people dying, for pity's sake. This isn't important.
It probably ain't going to happen, though. So in lieu of that, I'll be cheering on Ding. Or hoping God* moves Ding's hand instead of Wesley's.
[* in whom I do not believe]