Upgrade to Chess.com Premium!

Suspected Cheater 'Strip-Searched'

  • SonofPearl
  • on 12/30/12, 3:31 PM.

News has emerged that a Bulgarian chess player was "strip searched" after being suspected of cheating during a tournament in Zadar, Croatia held from 16-22 December.

There were 36 players in the tournament, including 16 Grandmasters, yet the 26-year old computer programmer Borislav Ivanov with a rating of only 2227 Elo finished with a 6/9 score, beating four GMs along the way to claim 4th place.

The top placings at Zadar

# Name Elo Pts
1 GM Predojević Borki  2600 6.5
2 GM Stević Hrvoje  2622 6.5
3 GM Sumets Andrey  2638 6.0
4 Ivanov Borislav  2227 6.0
5 GM Jovanić Ognjen  2538 5.5
6 GM Kožul Zdenko  2638 5.5
7 GM Šarić Ante  2533 5.5
8 GM Martinović Saša  2530 5.5
9 GM Cebalo Mišo  2402 5.5

.

Despite the "strip search" no evidence of cheating was found. 

Stanislav Maroja, chairperson of the chess union in Zadar District said, “After the eighth round we received a signal about Ivanov’s game and after his game with Borko Predoevic, who later on won the tournament, we decided to check on both of them. There were suspicions that Ivanov has some electronic tools to help him and in my capacity of a judge I decided to make a move in line with the FIDE rules. It is not true that we made him strip naked. He himself took off his t-shirt, while we emptied his pockets.”

The FOCUS Information Agency quoted GM Zlatko Klaric, “Ivanov is chess programmer...he made moves like a computer, which was obvious in the game vs Jovanovic. Technologies are so developed now that theoretically, since the games were aired live, Ivanov’s friends...could have sent him hints for his moves through chips, which could have been placed under the skin, in the ear, or in the teeth.”

Either Ivanov had the tournament of his life, or he found a way to cheat without being detected. All of his games from the tournament are below.

This disturbing story also raises many other questions, two being: a) what are the limits of an arbiter's powers to search an individual suspected of cheating? and b) do we now have to scan suspected players for implanted computer chips?

.

.
Games and results table via Chessgames.com.

16020 reads 167 comments
7 votes
more Misc

Comments


  • 23 months ago

    robobeer

    It is sad that we live in a world of guilty until proven innocent. I hate cheaters just as much as the next player, but what if this was his glory tournament. Assume he has been honest (judging by the title, unless hes hiding rooks where the sun dont shine), this thread will taint his almost victory no matter the truth.

  • 23 months ago

    et5555yang

    If I perform 500 points above my rating at a tournament and taking out GMs I'd even play butt naked.

  • 23 months ago

    Paul_G

    Let me clarify my statement. I would be interested to compare these 9 games to his more recent tournament games.

  • 23 months ago

    Doggy_Style

    @Marcas_an_Croga

    There's a world of difference in what performance deviation one may expect from an unrated fourteen year old and a twenty-three year old with a well established rating.

  • 23 months ago

    Paul_G

    I can not make a judgment on whether he was cheating or not based on the 9 games. I do not possess enough chess knowledge to understand most of my own games Smile. However, it would be interesting to compare these games to the rest of his previous games and examine the similarities to see if there is a drastic shift in style.

    Unfortunately, with technology getting better exponentially these situations will arise. Unless we start holding tournaments in very strictly controlled "laboratory" settings there'll always be those who try to cheat for whatever reasons. Those who do cheat to not understand the beauty of the game.

  • 23 months ago

    PorcupineIV

    Well, I have ta say, I dont think chips help you play better at all. I ate an entire bag of potato chips, and all I got was a belly ache.

  • 23 months ago

    Marcas_an_Croga

    This is rediculous. Perhaps his computer-like play can be attributed to many modern players using computers to practice and prepare for tournaments? Kasparov himself won a 1979 Grandmaster tournament held in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina while still unrated. While it is true that they didn't have the technology we have today, they didn't suspect Kasparov of cheating. Perhaps Borislav's performance is just a repeat of what Kasparov achieved in '79?

  • 23 months ago

    scott715

    Perhaps the tv needs to be delayed 15 minutes or something like that. Not live.

  • 23 months ago

    geniusasis

    I don't understand?? How can u tell weather a person or their playing style is similar to that of a pc programme?? Somebody in Live Chess the other day claimed that i was using a computer programme... while i was not...??

    CAn somebody explain this??? Thanks

  • 23 months ago

    NM Petrosianic

    regardless, this sort of thing is really bad for chess - i have to imagine game 2 to have caused a major uproar among the players if they were not too worried about their own results.  Innocent  it's interesting.

  • 23 months ago

    anerom

    maybe im paranoid but i hav as well suspicion on those 2700 and above players, but not all. I think few are using aids like electronic gadgets that is hard to detect...

    See, the great gmjano had also a scandal likewise, cheating that is but not proven...

  • 23 months ago

    gregdocot

    An insight article. 

  • 23 months ago

    NM Petrosianic

    the games leave a bad taste, especially game 2 - the choices in that game just clearly really strange -  it's difficult to fathom a human to commit to the position after move 39 for instance. Frown 

    Game 6 is a really straightforward beautiful win though.  In the last game, I did not like how White totally lost his mind in the Najdorf after attaining larger what has to be surely a larger than normal advantage. Sealed

    this looks to be a case of somebody playing way beyond their level though in positions in several openings systems in addition to outstanding tactical/technical acumen higher than that of a world class GM that does not look normal to me in addition to the opening play of this entity, which looked rather weaker than than that of a high class GM... rather than 2600 GMs playing much worse than normal...

    i've never seen a human beat GMs in under 40 moves with such a mediocre openings repertoire; it's odd... maybe gm bojkov or others were there and have stories to tell?

    I annotated the above game to back up my words.

  • 23 months ago

    Samsch

    Yeah, same here...

  • 23 months ago

    onlysalltimebest

    Yes he can compete with as he is having 2200+ , but still i cant beliave that he can beat 4 GM in single tournamant...

  • 23 months ago

    Samsch

    Yes, I did, but then again, I stink at telling if engine is being used so...

  • 23 months ago

    Doggy_Style

    Did you play through the second game (Vs Jovanic)?

  • 23 months ago

    Samsch

    He might've not been cheating.

  • 23 months ago

    Champeknight

    Cheaters deserved to be punished and banned from competitive play. They are a disgrace!

  • 23 months ago

    Doggy_Style

    I have precisely one chip, imbedded in my ear, to aid identification.

Back to Top

Post your reply: