Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pestaño: The sad story of Borislav Ivanov

Thursday, July 25, 2013

BORISLOV IVANOV is a 25-year-old computer programmer who many people suspect of cheating in tournaments. Though the accusations have never been proven, he has been suspended from playing for four months by the Bulgarian Chess Federation. I think it is unfair.
He was punished because he did not show up for a test of his newly found skills at the board. The federation also wanted him to take a lie-detector or polygraph test.
Despite a rating of 2227, Ivanov’s managed a spectacular tournament performance rating (TPR) of 2697 in the Zadar International Open last December in Croatia and he was accused of cheating by using a computer program.
He won five games, drew two others and lost two. The five victories were against four grandmasters and a strong international master, and Ivanov soundly defeated them all.
A great percentage of his moves also coincided with the first choice of the computer upon analysis.
Two months later in a tournament in the Georgi Tringov Memorial Open he scored a mediocre performance of just 1942 and finished 88th without even meeting a titled opponent.
Despite this low performance, he next participated in the XXIII Memorial Paz di Ziganda in Villava Spain and performed at an exceptional level of 2696.
The variations of his performances are just too wide to attribute to chance, according to experts.
Once again, at the 2nd Bogomil Andononov Memorial he had a convincing result of 7.5 out of 9 and took the first prize. He defeated a plethora of Bulgarian GMs and IMs including super-GM Kiril Georgiev, who has just won the 2013 Bulgarian Championship.
A couple of weeks later, he had another phenomenal performance of 8/9 at the 1st Cup Old Capital international Open in a crushing style of play. Despite his clear win he was controversially thrown out of the standings and denied first place. He won by default over three players who refused to play him.
Now, organizers are banning him from participating in tournaments as most players are avoiding him like the plague.
Here are his answers to some questions asked by reporters.
Did the arbiter take your clothes off, or did they just check your pockets? They checked my pockets very slowly and my jacket and after they found nothing.... well, maybe they were a bit disappointed, because they were 100 percent sure I was cheating and of course that’s a total lie.
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 my own satellite 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.
He has also some defenders, like me.
Peter Jamesonsays that alleging Ivanov is a cheat provides no real evidence.
How does he cheat even in rapid games watched by a horde of observers?
Roger de Coverly says if he is cheating, then he has to have a method of communicating the board position or the latest move played to either an engine on his person or in the hands of third party accomplice(s). He also has to receive back the move recommended. Using the evidence of the rapid play tournament, all this has to be done at ten seconds a move.
I am not interested in what measures should be put in place the next time Ivanov plays or whether he should be banned from tournaments or that there is a chess engine correlation with his moves, but whether you can cheat in this way at rapid chess.
I think he may be a genuine genius!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pestaño: The best performances of all time

Thursday, July 18, 2013

ACCORDING to Wikipedia, securing a perfect score (100 percent) in a world-class tournament is very rare. These were achieved mostly by world champions.
Those who did it are Gustav Neumann at Berlin in 1865 (34/34); Henry Atkins in Amsterdam 1899 (15/15); Emanuel Lasker in New York in 1893 (13/13); José Raúl Capablanca in New York in 1913 (13/13); Alexander Beliavsky in Alicante in 1978 (13/13); Alexander Alekhine in Moscow in 1919–20 (11/11) and Bobby Fischer in the US Championship of 1963/64 (11/11).
Vera Menchik won four consecutive Women’s World Chess Championship tournaments with perfect scores, a total of 45 games (8-0 in Prague 1931, 14-0 in Folkestone 1933, 9-0 in Warsaw 1935, and 14-0 in Stockholm 1937) . She was a British-Czech chess player who gained renown as the world’s first women’s chess champion. She also competed in Open chess tournaments, defeating many of men’s players, including future World Champion Max Euwe.
Another woman, Valentina Gunina won the Women’s section of the 2010 Moscow Blitz tournament with a 17/17 score.
Carlos Juarez has won the national championship of Guatemala 24 times, an all- time record in National championships. He was here in Cebu in 1992 at the invitation of Cepca to play a simul tournament together with Jaime Sunye-Neto of Brazil , Walter Arencibia of Cuba and Eugene Torre.
The Philippines’ pride Wesley So scored 9/9 in the 2011 Inter-Provincial Chess Team Championship, He won the gold medal in men’s blitz in the 2011 SEA Games 2011 in Indonesia with a score of 9/9 and a rating performance of 3183,and also won the 2013 Calgary International Blitz Championship with a score of 9/9.
Incidentally last July 15 Wesley , a student at the Webster University in Saint Louis, captured the gold medal at the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan after tie-breaks.
After nine rounds of play in the men’s section, nine players shared the first place with 6.5 points each.
Wesley So won the gold medal, Zaven Andriasian from Armenia took the silver, while the previous winner Li Chao from China, got with bronze.
The tournament director required Wesley to play an Armageddon game with Andriasan, although according to Susan Polgat, it was not necessary and a breach in the rules.
Wesley still won despite playing with the black pieces.
Bobby Fischer had a string of 19 consecutive wins against some of the very best players in the world. He won his last six games n the 1970 Palma de Mallorca Interzonal . In the quarterfinals of the Candidates Matches leading to the world championship, he blanked Mark Taimanov 6-0. In the semifinals, Fischer clobbered Bent Larsen by the same score. In the Candidates Match final, Fischer beat former World Champion Tigran Petrosian in the first game before Petrosian snapped the streak by beating Fischer in the second match game.
Garry Kasparov placed first or tied for first in 15 individual super-tournaments, from 1981 to 1990. This amazing performance was broken by Vasily Ivanchuk at Linares 1991, where Kasparov placed second, half a point behind him, Capablanca played for eight years without a loss (1916 to 1924) in 63 games , including his World Chess Championship 1921 victory over Emanuel Lasker.
Mikhail Tal had a string of 95 tournament games without a loss (46 wins and 49 draws) in 1973-74.
Cepca. The monthly tournament will be held this Sunday July 21 at 1 p.m. at the Deepblue Cafe, SM City.
The format is five-round Swiss and the handicapping time control is 15 minutes for Class A players and 20 minutes for Class B.
The champion will qualify for the grand finals this December. Those who already qualified are Lawyer Jong Melendez (January), NM Arnold Cadiz (February), Percival Fiel (March), Maggi Dionson (April), Manuel Abucay (May), and Jun Kidlat (June).

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pestano: Sore losers in chess

Thursday, July 11, 2013

THE pain of losing is greater than the joy of winning and in any competitive sport, there are always the bad losers.
In the book, “The Complete Chess Addict (James and Fox),” the authors highlighted mention several instances of sore losers.
Former world champion Alexander Alekhine, a temperamental loser, once hurled his king across the room after losing to Ernst Grunfeld in a tournament in Vienna in 1922.
In 1923, Alekhine again smashed all the furniture in his hotel room after losing a game to Rudolf Spielmann.
Another temperamental loser, Aron Nimzowitsch, in a tournament in Berlin, instead of just resigning, leapt on to his chair and bellowed across the tournament hall, “Why must I lose to this idiot?”
Another unnamed Danish player, who lost as a result of a finger slip involving his queen, snuck back into the tournament hall at dead of night and cut the heads off all the queen pieces.
Bill Wall posted in the net some instances of not losing amiably.
In 1895, Curt von Bardeleben, about to lose the game against Steinitz, walked out of the room to lose on time rather than resign and did not come back. He lost after 50 minutes.
The Reverend Arthur Skipworth was a poor loser. He had the habit of suddenly getting “ill” when he lost a few games, then would petition the tournament committee to return his entry fee due to his poor health. He did that throughout his playing career in the mid-19th century.
Lenin was a chess player, but gave it up because he was a sore loser. Maxim Gorky wrote that Lenin “grew angry when he lost, even sulking rather childishly.”
Marlon Brando was an average chess player, but poor loser. Whenever he lost a game of chess, he would knock all the pieces off the board and say, “I’m bored.”
In 1959, a Soviet scientist killed another Soviet scientist at a research station in Vostok, Antarctica after a chess game argument. The losing player got so mad, he killed his opponent with an axe. After the incident, the Soviets banned chess at their Antarctic stations.
In the 1980s, the Soviet Union also banned cosmonauts from playing chess in space with each other after a fist fight once broke out between cosmonauts playing chess.
In 1969, Danny Kopec, who later became an International Master, lost a game to a person he beat in his first tournament. In a temper tantrum, he threw all his chess sets and magazines down an incinerator.
In the 1990s, Soviet Grandmaster Semion Dvoirys threw his shoe across a tournament hall in the Netherlands after he lost a game. He was known to beat his head on the floor with great force when he lost.
Cepca Rapid The following boys and girls were the top winners in the 7 rounds Swiss 16-under tournament last weekend at Deep Blue in SM City. The top 3 winners will be sent to the Batang Pinoy competition later this year.
Boys:1.) Kyle Sevillano (6.5) 2. Felix Shaun Balbona (6.5) 3.) Jethro Claro (6.0) 4.
Christian Pondoyo (5.5) 5 to 13. James Balbona, Duane Borgonia, Jeremy Pepito, Edzel Vosotros, Adrian Basilgo, Glexan Derotas, Abugan Linus, Jose Adolfo Jr. ,James Paraon.
Girls:1.) Laila Nadera (6.5) 2.) Vic Glyzen Derotas (6) 3-7 Sheila Diloy, Jeremy Bajo, Alphecca Gonzales, Cherry Caballes, Gwyneth Claro.
There were 66 boys and 40 girls who competed.
Shell the Shell National Youth Active Chess Championships Visayas Leg will be held tomorrow and Sunday at the SM City Cebu Event Center.
The annual tournament will feature two divisions for both boys and girls. The Juniors class is for players 20 years old and below, while the Kiddies division is for players in the 6 to 14 years age bracket.
For details contact Odillion Badilles at 0906-8964698.