Hence my interest in Spas Kozhuharov, International Master from Bulgaria. I beat him in July: the best player I've ever beaten and one with a rating remarkably high for an untitled player. Well, at the time he was untitled, or so said his FIDE entry when I looked it up after the game: but he seems to have the title now.
So when did he get it? Between then and now, presumably, but when? Last month FIDE listed the titles they had recently approved - and he didn't appear on that list. Which bothered me. Perhaps he had, in fact, already received the title by the time we played, but hadn't been aware of it, or his FIDE entry hadn't been updated? So perhaps I had, in fact, got my maiden win?
I hunted round their website for more information but without sucess: I looked up the website of the Bulgarian chess federation. But despite owning an English-Bulgarian phrasebook from 1988 (What are your yields of wheat per hectare? Kakví dóbivi ímate ot zhito na hékat?) I didn't feel up to searching for information that might not even be there, using a keyboard employing the Latin rather than the Cyrillic script.
So I wrote to FIDE to ask them. When was the title awarded? And, to the credit of their Elista office, they replied straightaway - though their reply indicates that not everybody is so prompt and well-organised.
Dear Mr. Horton,So there you have it. How close have you come to beating an IM? A missed win, perhaps? An winning endgame misplayed, a win of material overlooked, a good position slipped away in time trouble? Here's how close I've come - a missing application form. A piece of paper. A sodding piece of paper. For pity's sake.
Please be informed that his application was considered by the 2nd quarter Presidential Board Meeting held in Tallinn, Estonia in June this year and the comment was NO, as the federation did not provide an application form. Later 31 July 2007 after the provision of the requested document the comment was changed to YES and the title was awarded.
I mean, if I'd known, I'd have filled the bloody thing in myself.