Interview with Anna Rudolf

lip balm supercomputer

vandoeuvre anna rudolf

Anna Rudolf during her game with GM Bauer

Immediately after we heard the story from Vandoeuvre Open, we got in touch with Anna Rudolf. Obviously still very affected by the events, she agreed on a short interview for

Hello Anna! Congratulations on achieving WGM and IM norms at the
Vandoeuvre Open! How does it feel winning against so many strong

Hi Anton! Thank you very much, it’s an amazing feeling. I’m glad to have achieved the norms and to have played nice games, especially the one against GM Christian Bauer.

Another participant in the Vandoeuvre Open, Marie Boyarchenko,
hinted us that some players were uncomfortable with your strong games?

Yes, there was a “trio” who just simply couldn’t believe I played by myself and accused me of cheating. The trio by names: IM Oleg Krivonosov, GM Vladimir Lazarev and IM Ilmars Starostits. They don’t really know how I cheat, but they are “sure” that I cheat. Krivonosov was telling stories about nowadays’ high-technology, and so I heard my lip balm became the most suspicious…

Lips balm secret technology? That sounds ridiculous…. Will any
small kid believe such a thing?

Yes, ridiculous indeed. I usually went away from the board when it wasn’t my turn to move: I like to go out to the fresh air and also to wash my face. Moreover, I played most of my games on the stage, broadcasted, so I didn’t have to sit at the board to see my position. And yes, the lip balm was always with me. Kids, beware, Rybka is in it!

So they were just talking ot they took other actions as well?

Right before the start of Round 9, I was informed by the arbiter that there were some players stating I use some kind of “outer help”. I had to give my bag to him and leave it at the arbiter’s desk for the entire game. I could only keep with myself the things which were taken “under control”. My tiny little box of lip balm was particularly asked to be checked. Things became even more ridiculous when my opponent arrived. I held out my hand to him but he didn’t bother to take it. It was for greeting, so I thought he just didn’t find it necessary to shake hands with women. When the arbiter said to start the clocks, I held out my hand again, but he refused to shake hands with me. I asked him why and he replied: “you don’t play fair”. “I don’t play fair?” — I said, surprised. “Yes, you don’t” — he answered. It created a very “friendly” atmosphere for the game… The game itself was ridiculous, too. He played an “anti-engine” system: e6-d6-b6-g6. Also, whenever he saw I wanted to get up from the board, he tried to make his move immediately, not to let me to. I tried to forget about their accusation during the game, but I hardly managed and couldn’t really concentrate. Finally, I blundered in an equal position. Surprisingly he took my hand when I resigned. Perhaps just because my loss proved that I wasn’t cheating for that — only that — game. I ended up in tears and not because of the result itself, but the way they did it…

Marie told us that they will repeat their actions in the next tournament.

Yes, I heard about this madness. They know I’m going to play on the Cappelle-la-Grande Open, so Krivonosov promised to accuse me there as well. The tournament hasn’t even started and I’m already cheating! I would like to help Mr Krivonosov’s work and let everybody know that I’m a very evil-minded and dangerous girl, using the strongest engines in the shape of a lip balm!

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A very strange situation indeed. Were cheating accusations simple cheating paranoia that is slowly but steadily entering the chess world or they were a direct attempt to play with a young girl’s psychology? This is not a case for Chessdom, but for the FIDE ethics commision. However, one thing is sure. Not shaking hands may lead to a full point in the last game for Anna Rudolf according to

Any player who does not shake hands with the opponent (or greets the opponent in a normal social manner in accordance with the conventional rules of their society) before the game starts in a FIDE tournament or during a FIDE match (and does not do it after being asked to do so by the arbiter) or deliberately insults his/her opponent or the officials of the event, will immediately and finally lose the relevant game.

That would be itself a strange situation, as Anna Rudolf has the highest Bucholtz and will win the tournament. However, she has not filed an official complaint because she was not aware of the rule. Can she file one after the tournament is finished? Were there any additional details around the non shaking hands situation? We will get in touch with the arbiter of the competition. Stay tuned for updates!

More on Anna Rudolf in Vandoeuvre open

Vandoeuvre open – report with photos

The story of Anna Rudolf – as told by Marie Boyarchenko