Nohing about Carlsen but plenty about our old fried (or foe) Borislav Ivanov.
This is from the Independent on Sunday (21st Dec 2013)
How do you cheat at chess? Young Borislav Ivanov seems to know
He soared from anonymity to notoriety in the chess world in a series of well-calculated moves,
beating a slew of Grand Masters before his 25th birthday.
But now a Bulgarian chess champion has left opponents enraged – and
amateurs envious – following allegations he had been cheating the whole time.
Dubbed the "James Bond of chess" by an excitable Bulgarian press pack,
Borislav Ivanov has won top prizes in chess competitions across the continent from Croatia and Spain.
But a number of grandmasters – those awarded the game's highest title –
are now refusing to sit across the chess board from him.
Ivanov, who strongly denies cheating, was ejected from the Navalmoral de la Mata tournament
in western Spain earlier this month after players claimed he had used devices hidden under his shirt
and inside his shoes to enhance his chess-playing skills.
In a series of increasingly bizarre scenes, officials examined Ivanov's shoes
at the end of the tournament's fourth round because it was "widely
remarked that a hidden device could be placed inside his footwear".
Finding nothing, they also used a mobile app to scan for hidden metal, but
again nothing was found that,
as the tournament's organisers said, could "imply the existence of a hidden device inside his footwear".
Then, at the same tournament, competitor Andres Holgado Maestre spotted
a "suspicious bump" under Mr Ivanov's shirt, officials said. He later grabbed
the bump and claimed "he could touch an oblong object, similar to an MP3
player, attached to Mr Ivanov's body".
After a third incident in which Ivanov was strip searched and officials
spotted "a kind of strap crossing his chest", the Bulgarian left the
competition – voluntarily. When asked in a recent interview with the
website Chess Base how he reacted to the allegations, Ivanov said:
"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 satellite that
transmitted moves during the games."
Commenting on his strip search, Ivanov added:
"Although they checked my pockets very slowly and my jacket, and after
they found nothing... maybe they were a bit disappointed, [because] they
were 100 per cent sure I was cheating and of course that's a total lie. I'm
not a genius, nor a cheat, but just a normal boy that wants to have fun
Experts say that cheating in chess is not common but not unknown, and a
recent spate of alleged incidents have prompted calls for the game's
governing body to launch more thorough checks on players.
Once considered pure folly, attempting to cheat at chess in tournaments
has become more widespread than ever, as the relevant cheap technology
becomes readily available. The most popular technique is to download
chess engines, which use data from previous world famous games to help
calculate the player's best possible moves.
James Pratt, editor of the world's oldest chess journal, British Chess
Magazine, said: "Boris Ivanov is not a well-known name in the chess world,
nor is he even now a lovable anti-hero. Where cheating is concerned,
chess is small beer; there aren't many big prizes, not really. Thus exposed
as he now is, Ivanov has little more than shame to claim as his award. In
one form or another, the problem is not new to the 64 squares."
While the elite players are refusing to engage Ivanov in battle, chess
amateurs have welcomed him as a cult hero. Dozens of chess forum
threads are now devoted to analysing his games and investigating his tactics.
In one thread, titled "Cheating is our religion and Ivanov is our god", fans rallied around the Bulgarian.
"I'm officially an Ivanov worshipper from now on. I don't understand all the hate that he gets.
You people ought to love him. He is a true legend.
[He is] the man who never got caught," one user wrote on the chess.com
forum. "I support Ivanov!" another user roared. "I hope he is out from this
issue fast! We all know he didn't cheat."
The game's governing body, Fédération internationale des échecs, said in a
statement that it was "aware of the damage caused by this unfortunate
incident" and was "now preparing a whole system of measures against all kinds of cheating".
The Bulgarian Chess Federation said Ivanov has been excluded from its membership.
Ivanov was unavailable for comment last week.