Borislav Ivanov: Revelation
Interview by Maria Grigoryan
Exclusive interview with Borislav
Ivanov, 25, a low-ranked master from Bulgaria, who won five games, drew
two others and lost two at a tournament in Zadar, Croatia. The five victories
were against four grandmasters and a strong master, and Ivanov soundly defeated
them all. Afterwards, Borislav Ivanov was accused of cheating in the Croatian
What happened in the Zadar Open 2012?
The Zadar Open is a tournament that I've played every year for some time now.
Well this was the first time that I tried the A tournament and i think my performance
was fantastic although there was so much speculation afterwards
How did you react to the accusation that you were cheating?
At first I wasn't surprised about the speculations but suddenly they turned
very ridiculous. Some people accused me of using technical equipment that only
NASA has, I even heard that I had had my own satelite that transmitted moves
during the games... this is horrible! I never thought that human imagination
can turn so fantastic just because a 2200 Elo player has played some nice games
in a tournament
Did the arbiter take your clothes off, or did they just check your pockets?
Well, I know my body is handsome and beautiful, but I didn't find it enough
to show them the real sexual affection I have for other people around me, so
I just said no, although they checked my pockets very slowly and my jacket and
after they found nothing.... well, may be they were a bit disappointed, cause
they were 100% sure I was cheating and of course that's a total lie
How did you manage to beat the Croatian grandmasters?
I dont think there was anything special in my games at all. The Croatian GMs
made some horrible mistakes during our games. Of course I practiced a lot with
the computer, and after beating Rybka and Houdini by 10-0 each, i was absolutelly
sure that no-one was gonna stop me winning. After all the arbiters were kind
of polite and intelligent, you know, the other players weren't though....
Did the arbiters make some mistakes during the chess tournament?
I don't think they made any mistakes at all – in the last two rounds
they stopped my live streaming because of the speculations, but of course that
didn't affect my games much. The most disturbing thing happened on my birthday,
the 21st of December! I was kind of celebrating and preparing for a night out
to reduce the stress and get rid a bit of the long chess tournament, but the
arbiters and the GMs made me a special birthday present – a petition that
asks the referee to check if I had any technical equipment on me, one of the
best presents I have ever had in my life!
Which is your main profession?
I am actually a student in my home town Blagoevgrad, its a nice town in South
Do you have some other hobby but chess?
Hanging out with friends of mine, visiting night clubs, meeting beautiful girls
and so on. [There is a
nice picture to illustrate this on the WhyChess page.] Actually, before
the Zadar Scandal I wasn't so popular at all, but now I see that the more time
is turning the more my popularity rises, I just want to play my own chess-style
and to have fun playing chess it's still a pity that I am famous for these ridiculous
Since when do you play chess? Who was your first teacher of chess?
Well I have been playing chess for about ten years, but 2012 was the first
time I started learning seriously the chess theory and practising with a computer.
My first chess teacher is my coach Marin Atanasov. He has helped me a lot in
my chess-progress ever since I have been playing chess. My club is on my side
in this scandal, of course and I would like to thank all the people who support
me and even make me feel better despite the endless rudeness that I am receiving.
Some people say that you are genius, other that you are cheat, what would
you say to them?
Genius or a cheat, that sounds interesting...Well, I'm not a genius, nor a
cheat, but just a normal boy that wants to have fun playing chess.
Previous articles on the Zadar Open scandal
||Cheating suspicion at the Zadar Open in Croatia
04.01.2013 – In this event, with 16 GMs and
a host of other strong players, one participant stood out especially:
the 25-year-old untitled Bulgarian Borislav Ivanov scored 6.0/9 points,
with a rating performance of 2697. In the January FIDE list Ivanov has
gained 115 points over his previous 2277 rating, gained in over 400
games over three years. A certain suspicion once again raises
its ugly head.
||Cheating scandal in Croatia – feedback and analysis
08.01.2013 – Recently we reported that the
incredibly brilliant play by a 25-year-old untitled Bulgarian player
at the Zadar Open in Croatia had raised suspicion that he might have
been using illicit electronic assistance during his games. A number
of readers criticised us – for linking to the mainstream Croatian media
reports?! One of them, an expert in the field, actually analysed
all the games in question.