FOUR Capetonians are in Al Ain in Abu Dhabi, the fourth largest city in the United Arab Emirates.
IM David Gluckman is playing in the Open tournament while Paul, Simeon and Tifanny Darling are taking part in the World Youth Championship – WYCCh.
There have been complaints that since it is being staged in one of the world’s richest countries, the organisation should have been excellent, but when the event started contestants said the food was of bad quality with little choice and one hall for serving more than 2 500 people.
The first round of of the WYCCh had to be postponed for three hours; the open section to the next day at 9am.
Pairings are sometimes changed, even in the morning after everyone has already prepared, because the arbiters had entered incorrect results. The organisation lacks around 20 arbiters, and some players from the open section were asked to be arbiters.
There was simply not enough physical place for the Open tournament because of the huge participation in WYCCh, with the second and subsequently open A and B sections (over 150 players in total) being played in a corridor.
We will get the complete picture when our warriors return at the end of the year.
● Is this an eternal comedy (or drama)?
Borislav Ivanov, 27, has won top prizes in chess competitions across Europe from Croatia to Spain. But a number of grandmasters 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 or inside his shoes to receive signals.
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”.
Competitor Andres Holgado Maestre spotted a “suspicious bump” under 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 Ivanov’s body”.
After a third incident in which Ivanov was strip-searched and officials saw “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 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 percent 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 who wants to have fun playing chess.”
The game’s governing body, Fidé, said 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 had been excluded from its membership. ● Keep sending your comments and news to firstname.lastname@example.org.