Maatalkko: Interesting that a few players noticed something unusual about GM Pilavov several years ago.
The other day, computer scientist and IM Ken Regan identified a tournament called the "Don Cup" in 2010 that appears to be a fabrication. Six of the games are EXACT COPIES of games played in computer chess championships. The other games also showed perfect computer play. The biggest points gainer in that fishy "tournament" was GM Shojaat Ghane (2321 current rating).
What do you know. It appears that Ghane gained his GM title on the strength of several dominant performances in Azov, Novoshakhtinsk, and Kamensk on the July and October 2007 rating lists. His triumph came at the expense of players like "Valentin Statsenko" (stats sink-o, get it?) "Alexander Borilov", "Pavel Zaichenko", and "Roman Borovlev". These unfortunate players have (at most) one game a piece available in online databases, and seem to have decided to quit chess after nuking their ratings to below 2000.
GM Pilavov was also lucky enough to catch some of these generous fish while their ratings were fat. In fact, he played in three of the four events where GM Ghane gained his points. During mid 2007, he was also lucky enough to play several events against Anatoly Egorov and Serguei Lizinov before they lost all their points.
It seems that traveling to the Caspian Sea area to play multiple tournaments against all those rarely active, overrated masters really paid off for GM's Pilavov and Ghane! Perhaps they owe some "thanks" to Chief Arbiter Nikolai Pushkov for orchestrating each of those events.