Thursday, January 11, 2007

From Illinois

After successfully earning 3 IM norms in 3 tournaments, Dejan Maksimovic, currently living and teaching in Chicago, returns to his lucky site Bulgaria to grab first GM norm. Finally, FIDE noticed not only unusual rating and norm gains, but also the fact that participants names are constantly repeating.

Alen Mak 2003 - Dejan earns first IM norm and 54 rating points
Bobov dol GM 2004 - Dejan earns 2nd norm and 34 rating points
Dupnica Intl. - Dejan earns 3rd IM norm and 56 rating points
GM Tourney Sofia - Dejan earns first GM norm

Sevan A. Muradian, President of the North American Chess Association, on the issue:
"According to his FIDE players card he has only played in 3 FIDE rated tournaments since 2001, all of which were 'closed' IM norm tournaments. The highest avg rating of his opponents was around 2412. All events were in Bulgaria by the same arbiter and organizer. He gained around 140 FIDE points in these 3 events.
He has not played since Nov 2004 and suddenly he comes back, convientently to Bulgaria, scores an 8.5/11 and a GM norm (11 round GM norm). The odds are against him in this type of performance improvement.
If you look at the players lists for his last 4 tournaments there are a number of names that consistently appear (2 are GM's, 3 are IM's, 1 is an IM with his GM application turned in). Now this can be pure coincidence due to proximity of players."
See the discussion at the Illinois Chess Association forum.

I know about some suspicious tournaments and norms in Serbia. The problem is that this kind of behavior is accepted as normal, "everyone knows" who cheated and nobody cares to do something about that. I'm afraid that some of the Chess Federation officials are involved or know about the rigged tournaments. There is also code of silence.

The Closet Grandmaster is also reporting about allegations of game fixing by five players in Philippines. Some of the names have appeared in the press.

February 4th Update: IM Dejan Maksimovic gave an lengthy interview for Sah-Mat Lista, I will just post brief summary.

He said that all tournaments where he achieved FIDE norms were regular and that "jealousy, money and marketing" are behind the "false accusations" against him. Dejan also said that Sevan Muradian, founder and president of NACA, was his student and he stole most of Dejan's ideas regarding chess organization. "He (Sevan) always looked suspicious".

Some other statements:
"Chess is very popular in schools across the US. In Chicago area mostly thanks to my activities"
"I am the most successful chess coach not only in Chicago, but in US, my students have won more than 2000 trophies"
"I am the only chess player to receive 0-1 US visa, which is approved only for top sportsmen, like Divac and Kukoch."

Shortly after, Mr.Stanimir Ilic sent his reply to some of the claims.

According to Mr.Ilic, as early as 1998, Dejan Maksimovic tried to introduce himself as FM to a tournament director. Looking at the rating chart, we can see that Dejan first appeared as FIDE 2300+ in July 2003. It was also pointed out that not only Dejan never held 0-1 visa (reserved for winners of Olympic medals, like IM Rade Milovanovic), but even Serbian community had to gather signatures for reference letter in order to have him stay in US.

Most important claim by Mr.Ilic is that in period 1998-2003 Dejan deceived his students by falsely representing himself as FM. One of the students is already asking for refund and threatening with lawsuit.

February 5th Update: I met Dejan Maksimovic in Cuprija yesterday and once again he discarded all accusations.

4 comments: said...

Very sad indeed...easiest way to find whether they cheated or not...set up a tournament they must play in, fill it with players rated close to 2400 to 2500 rated players and see how they come out, they keep their points if they place where expected, if they loose most of their games, assume they cheated and strip them of both ratings and rights to play in any organized rated tournament for say....their life time.

Anonymous said...

I have been a student of Max's (nickname for Dejan Maksimovic) for seven years. He is an excellent teacher and my knowledge of chess and results have greatly improved. In 2002-2003, I went 8.5-1.5 in the Chicago Industrial Chess League and gained 171 rating points. In the process, I beat one of the highest rated players in the League. I have won several large U1800 sections since I started studying with Max.

Richard Easton

Bulgarian chess player said...

I am from Bulgaria and and can tell you 100% sure, that the last tournament, where Maksimovic took his GM norm was a big theatre... Only one ot the twelve players was playing his games... (Valentin Iotov). Everyone in Bulgaria knows about this, but sadly noone does anything about it, though it was discussed at our chess forums. I am very glad, that I found this blog, for is it quite an evidence for what I am trying to prove in Bulgaria.

Anonymous said...

His USCF is 2271 but on his web page he claims to be 5th in the midwest, 18th in the USA and 40th in the world. His real world ranking is over 1500th. Nuff said! Thanks for exposing this fraud who has been preying on the chessplayers of Chicago, my home town.