Cheating scandal – Borislav Ivanov speaks out

by ChessBase
1/17/2013 – Recently a 25-year-old untitled Bulgarian player scored 6.0/9 points in a strong GM tournament, with a 2697 performance. His opponents complained, he was searched, and no electronic equipment was found. Still, the case put chess on the front pages of the mainstream media, and led to intense discussions on the Internet. Now Ivanov has given the Russian news portal WhyChess an exclusive interview.

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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 tournament.

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 West Bulgaria.

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 accusations.

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.

Source: WhyChess

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.

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