Borislav Ivanov

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Borislav Krastev Ivanov
Country Bulgaria
Born (1987-12-21) 21 December 1987 (age 29)
Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
Title FIDE Master
Peak rating 2342 (January 2013)

Borislav Krastev Ivanov (Bulgarian: Борислав Кръстев Иванов; born 21 December 1987)[1] is a Bulgarian chess FIDE Master.[2] During 2012 and 2013 his results improved significantly, and he beat several grandmasters. This led to cheating accusations against him, and he was subsequently banned by the Bulgarian Chess Federation in December 2013[3] and excluded from FIDE's rating list in January 2014.[4]

Chess career[edit]

Ivanov currently mainly resides in Blagoevgrad, where he was born.[5] He is enrolled as a pedagogy student at the South-West University.[6] His first coach was Marin Atanasov from Victory Club in Blagoevgrad and his chess idols are Veselin Topalov and Tigran Petrosyan.[7] In August 2012, Ivanov won the Balkan chess festival for non-professionals held in Belogradchik.[8]

His major breakthrough came at the strong 2012 Zadar Open chess tournament in Croatia held between 16 and 22 December, during which he finished in fourth place after defeating a number of higher-ranked players and also increased his Elo rating by 70 points.[9] His tournament record against the grandmasters he faced was 3 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss.[10] It was alleged that he had been using outside help, but no evidence was uncovered and Ivanov received an apology and an invitation to future tournaments from the organizers.[9][11][12] At the time, Ivanov's achievement was lauded by key figures from the Bulgarian Chess Federation and he was personally congratulated by executive director Nikolay Velchev, who saw in him a future member of the Bulgarian national chess team.[7][10]

On 14 April 2013, Ivanov defeated grandmaster Kiril Georgiev in a tournament held in Kyustendil, eventually winning the competition after finishing joint first with Grigor Grigorov, scoring 7½/9 points (securing the victory due to tiebreaker criteria).[13] Kiril Georgiev alleged irregularities in the nature of Ivanov's tournament play.[14]

In April 2013, in part due to accusations levelled against Ivanov during his previous tournament victory, more than twenty Bulgarian Grandmasters and International Masters signed a petition that they will not participate in chess tournaments together with Ivanov unless special anti-cheating measures are taken.[15] Shortly after that the Bulgarian Chess Federation banned him for four months on ethics grounds—due to comments made about other chess players rather than the suspicions of cheating.[16] In response to the controversy, Grandmaster Veselin Topalov, ranked No. 1 in Bulgaria, stated in an interview on 21 May 2013 that there is no evidence that Ivanov is cheating, and that "it's simply stupid to blame a chess player for performing well on the board".[17] The validity of the chess federation's decision was disputed in court[18] and Ivanov received support from Blagoevgrad city councillors (who sent out a protest note to the chess federation)[19] as well as public figures from other cities.

In June 2013, the administrative court of Sofia stated that the sanction imposed on Ivanov by the chess federation had violated proper legal procedures, essentially confirming that Ivanov is free to participate in tournaments.[20] On 19 June 2013 the Bulgarian Chess Federation organized an event (including a lie detector) that was supposed to clear Ivanov from the cheating accusations, but Ivanov did not appear.[21][22] In a letter addressed to the chess federation, Ivanov said that he had been unable to make it to Sofia on the chosen date due to his intended participation in the Varna Open chess tournament (enabled by the recent lifting of the four-month ban by the administrative court) in particular and his tight schedule in general.

He also expressed a willingness to undergo all the necessary tests, but under the condition that he is notified of the next such possibility at least 15 days in advance and is accompanied by his lawyer Mihail Ekimdzhiev.[23] However, in Ivanov's view, the Bulgarian Chess Federation has refused to offer him any further opportunities to subject himself to rigorous testing of that nature.[7]

Retirement from competitive chess and brief return to chess-related activities[edit]

On 4 October 2013, Ivanov announced his retirement from competitive chess.[24] Ivanov's retirement came shortly after a controversial performance in a tournament in Blagoevgrad, in which Ivanov, among other things, voluntarily forfeited his games after refusing to be searched for suspected cheating devices, was observed walking in a "gangsta" fashion with a limp, and referred to one of his opponents, Grandmaster Maxim Dlugy, as a "clown".[25] According to Ivanov's version of the events, Dlugy had brought his own personal security officer to the tournament room during the competition in question in violation of procedure (Dlugy's guard eventually heeded the tournament officials' request to leave the competition room). Dlugy is also alleged to have applied pressure on chess referee Dimitar Iliev to extensively search Ivanov and require him to take off his shoes, which the latter refused, resulting in a loss by default for Ivanov.[7]

On 26 and 27 October 2013, Ivanov participated in the rapid chess Nayden Voynov Memorial Tournament in Vidin, scoring 6½/9 points and finishing 7th out of 61 players.[26][27]

In early December 2013, Ivanov played in the classical chess tournament XIX OPEN INT. NAVALMORAL DE LA MATA in Cáceres, Spain. After five rounds, he had scored 4½/5 points and was tied for the lead, ahead of 19 grandmasters.[28][29] Ivanov was then excluded from the tournament, amid conflicting reports about the circumstances.[30] The organisers subsequently issued a press release. According to the release, Ivanov had agreed to have his shoes searched after round 4, and no suspicious devices were found. However, suspicions were expressed about an apparent bulge in his back; one of the participants reported that he felt the bulge and concluded that it was an electronic device. Before his next scheduled game, his opponent, the Azerbaijani Grandmaster Namig Guliyev, asked that Ivanov be searched. While he was being frisked, Ivanov became agitated and refused to allow the search to continue. He then withdrew from the tournament.[31] Ivanov has expressed disappointment regarding the way in which he was treated by his chess opponents and the general atmosphere surrounding the tournament in Spain.[32] Prior to that, he had not been granted permission to compete in a tournament in Milan.[33] On 8 December 2013, the Bulgarian Chess Federation banned Ivanov permanently.[3]

The FIDE Ethics Commission opened case 1/2014 against Ivanov via a report from the Executive Director,[34] but the case is curiously missing from the September 2015 commission report, listed neither in concluded cases nor pending cases.[35]

Other pursuits[edit]

Ivanov is presently also employed as a chess coach[36] and since 2014 has been studying law in the South-West University in Blagoevgrad.[37]

Media appearances[edit]

In June 2013, he discussed his situation on the popular Slavi's Show, during which the host Slavi Trifonov also engaged in a telephone conversation with the vice-president of the chess federation Plamen Mollov in an attempt to shed further light on the case.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  2. ^ Borislav Ivanov rating history at
  3. ^ a b (22 December 2013). "Ivanov Suspended by Bulgarian Chess Federation". Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Former FIDE rating card of Borislav Ivanov
  5. ^ "Шахматистът Борислав Иванов: не съм измамник, ще го докажа в съда". Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  6. ^ "Благоевградският Фишер - Борислав Иванов: aко искат да разберат дали имам чип, да ми направят аутопсия! Пребивам душманите ми с игра, а те искат да ме ликвидират". Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Скандалният шахматист Борислав Иванов в спор с Маргарита Войска от Българска федерация по шахмат". Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  8. ^ "Б.Иванов: шахът е наука, спорт и изкуство". Retrieved 2013-11-04. 
  9. ^ a b ""Голият шахматист" се кълне, че играе честно. "Oпипваха навсякъде, ровиха ми в ушите, подозираха чип под кожата и дори телепатия, възмутен е Боби Иванов". Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  10. ^ a b "Българският Остап Бендер". Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  11. ^ "Събличат гол наш шахматист в Задар, подозират "чудото" Боби Иванов в измама с чип". Retrieved 2013-08-02. 
  12. ^ "Борислав Иванов – любителят, победил гросмайстори на шахмата". Retrieved 2013-08-02. 
  13. ^ "България дава шахматист от бъдещето или убиец на шаха?". Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  14. ^ "Борислав Иванов разцепи шаха, благоевградчанинът ползвал електронна помощ". Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  15. ^ "Experts weigh in on Ivanov's performance". 
  16. ^ "bTV Репортерите: Борислав Иванов - виновен до доказване на противното". Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  17. ^ Sergiev, Stefan. "Случаят Борислав Иванов" - обвинения без доказателства". Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  18. ^ "Шахмат с ходове в обувките". Retrieved 2013-11-04. 
  19. ^ "Съветници бранят с декларация наказан шахматист". Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  20. ^ "Съдът оневини благоевградския шахматист Борислав Иванов". Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  21. ^ "БФ Шахмат смята случая с Борислав Иванов за приключен". Archived from the original on 2013-08-05. 
  22. ^ "The game of Borislav Ivanov vs. Kiril Georgiev, decision text of the Bulgarian Chess Federation that "case is closed"". 
  23. ^ "Ситуацията с Борислав Иванов".форум. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  24. ^ БЛИЦ Спорт - Други - Скандалният Борислав Иванов сложи край на кариерата си
  25. ^ ChessBase News | The shoe assistant – Ivanov forfeits at Blagoevgrad
  26. ^ "Мемориал "Найден Войнов" - победа за гросмайсторите". Retrieved 2013-11-04. 
  27. ^ "XV Tradicionen Shahmaten memorial "Naiden Voinov" 26-27.10.2013 Zala na Obshtinski savet grad Vidin". Retrieved 2013-11-04. 
  28. ^ "Chess-Results Server - Tournament-Database". 
  29. ^ "Borislav Ivanov profilen". Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  30. ^ Doggers, Peter (10 December 2013). "Borislav Ivanov is back – "device found" but still no evidence". ChessVibes. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  31. ^ Club Moralo de Ajedrez (12 December 2013). "Ivanov in Navalmoral – the real deal". ChessBase. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  32. ^ "Скандалният Боби Иванов: победите ми не бяха плод на измама". Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  33. ^ "Спряха с доноси Иванов от турнир в Милано, ФИДЕ-майсторът напразно би път до Италия". Retrieved 2013-12-11. 
  34. ^ FIDE Ethics Commission report (Athens), June 2014, Annex 31 to Tromso General Assembly
  35. ^ FIDE Ethics Commission report (Abu Dhabi), Sep 2015, Annex 52
  36. ^ "Нароченият за измамник Борислав Иванов става треньор по шахмат". Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  37. ^ "Скандалният Боби смени пешките с микрофон". Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  38. ^ "Борислав Иванов, 13 юни 2013 г., Шоуто на Слави". Retrieved 2013-10-20. 

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