Links to Chess Cheating Articles - And a Bonus Tribute!

Here's some links to articles about cheating in chess. The first article by IM Tim Harding is very long and detailed, and well worth reading - if you're interested in this topic. And while we're on the subject of cheating let's not forget a famous, well more accurately infamous GM well known not only for his lack of chess etiquette but lack of chess ethics as well:

Milan Matulović (born 10 June 1935) is a chess Grandmaster who was the second or third strongest Yugoslavplayer for much of the 1960s and 1970s behind Svetozar Gligorić and possibly Borislav Ivkov. He was primarily active before 1977, but has remained an occasional tournament competitor as recently as 2006.  During his career he was  accused of  "throwing" games in return for  cash bribes to enable his opponents to make an IM or GM norm

Over the board he was known for playing out hopeless positions long after grandmaster etiquette called for resignation, allegedly in the hopes of reaching adjournment (suspension of a game for resumption the next day, common in tournament play at the time) so that the news reports would read "Matulović's game is adjourned" rather than "Matulović lost!"

Perhaps Matulović's most notorious transgression was against István Bilek at the Sousse Interzonal in 1967. He played a losing move but then took it back after saying "j'adoube" ("I adjust" – spoken before adjusting pieces on their square, see touch-move rule). His opponent complained to the arbiter but the move was allowed to stand. This incident earned Matulović the nickname "J'adoubovic". This reportedly happened several times, including in a game against Bobby Fischer

More seriously, in the aftermath of the 1970 Interzonal tournament at Palma de Mallorca, he was accused of "throwing" his game against Mark Taimanov in return for a $400 bribe, thus allowing Taimanov to advance to the Candidates matches,where he was famously defeated by Bobby Fischer 6–0. The accusations centered on Matulović's conduct during the game and the alleged feebleness of his resistance. The score of the notorious Taimanov–Matulović game follows, from which the reader can draw his or her own conclusions: 

SOURCE (and citations):





PS: Here's a June 19, 2013 update on accused cheater Borislav Ivanov along with links to several previous articles about him


  • 4 years ago


    Very interesting, Thank You!

  • 4 years ago


    I read at least one article, where in later years, at least one Soviet player admitted to the collusion.  Maybe what I read was not totally true, but with all the other propaganda and Soviet Government tactics used throughout the years, my money would be on the fact that they (Soviet players) were willing to do anything, under pressure from their government to win.

  • 4 years ago


    zazen5, thats one of the strangest comments ive heard on cheating. i think thats a horrible tought, that one cannot even hope to maintain or restore the integrity of the sport. maybe im an idealist, but i dont think we have to accept it, and i think we should be implementing policies and initiatives to prevent cheating. of course, all of this with the awareness that it does exist.

  • 4 years ago


    At the candidates match in Zurich, 9 Soviet GMs prearranged several results in games amongst themselves to successfully prevent the overall victory by Reshevsky. Reshevskys_Revenge

    And where is the proof? The last link I just added disputes this "fact" I suggest you read it first before replying since it has some rather annoying details such as Smyslov's +4 -0 record vs Reshevsky from 1945-1953 to dispute the "fact" that Reshevsky was the stronger player in 1953.

  • 4 years ago


    At the candidates match in Zurich, 9 Soviet Grandmasters prearranged several results in games amongst themselves to successfully prevent the overall victory by Reshevsky.

  • 4 years ago


    zazen5   So I gather that being an open-minded kind of guy, you accept cheating in OTB chess? 

  • 4 years ago


    The way to fix cheating in chess is to accept it.  If you realize that chess is a game of perfect information with an easy way to quantify with a computer what is happening, you can move on and just play.  If it is really an issue, play wei-chi, or Go, which is essentially impossible to cheat at because of the nature of the game.

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