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Borislav Ivanov
Number of games in database: 10
Years covered: 2011 to 2012
Last FIDE rating: 2318
Highest rating achieved in database: 2342
Overall record: +5 -2 =3 (65.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.

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(born Dec-21-1987, 28 years old) Bulgaria

[what is this?]
Borislav Krastev Ivanov is a Bulgarian chess FIDE Master. 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 and excluded from FIDE's rating list in January 2014.(1) What follows are links to a number of news articles that chronicle his chess career:

1. 4 Jan 2013 - <Cheating Suspicions at the Zadar Open in Croatia>: - initial suspicions concerning Ivanov after a 2697 performance, 450 points above his actual and highest ever rating.

2. 8 Jan 2013 - <Cheating scandal in Croatia – feedback and analysis>: - skeptical feedback from readers

3. 13 Jan 2013 - <Letter and Report (PDF file), addressed to the Association of Chess Professionals in regard to the performance by Borislav Ivanov at the 2012 Zadar Open.>: - statistical analysis by Kenneth Regan concluded that: <"... for a 2300 player to achieve the high computer correspondence shown in the nine tested games, the odds against are almost a million-to-one. The control data ... show several respects in which the performance is exceptional even for a 2700-player, and virtually unprecedented for an untitled player.">

4. 17 January 2013 - <Cheating scandal – Borislav Ivanov speaks out>: - interview in which Ivanov makes the comment that:

"I practiced a lot with the computer, and after beating Rybka and Houdini by 10-0 each, I was absolutely sure that no-one was gonna stop me winning."

5. 23 March 2013 - <A Game of Chicken: Ivanov rides again>: - analysis of the contrasting results by Ivanov in Plovdiv, where he placed 88th with a TPR of 1942, and then won a short time later with a 2696 performance at Villava ahead of a large battery of IMs and GMs. Includes video analysis by Valeri Lilov.

6. 24 March 2013 - <Open letter by the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) to FIDE on anti cheating>: - addressed to the FIDE President and signed by over 700 players.

7. 21 May 2013 - <CHESS Magazine: Cheats are prospering>: - editorial by the Executive Director of CHESS Magazine, Malcolm Pein, concerning the increased prevalence of cheating amongst young players and recommending specific sanctions.

8. 3 June 2013 - <The show goes on: Ivanov in Kustendil>: - further report on Ivanov following his win at the 2nd “Bogomil Andonov” Memorial rapid tournament with 7.5/9.0 ahead of another phalanx of IMs and GMs, including Kiril Georgiev, whom he defeated in their individual encounter. Also concerning his 8/9 result at the 1st Cup “Old Capital” International Open where he was denied first prize due to three forfeits accumulated by players boycotting their games against him. Includes another video analysis by Lilov.

9. 5 June 2013 - <Experts weigh in on Ivanov's performance>: - comments by Kiril Dimitrov Georgiev; by Kenneth Regan, a member of the FIDE Anti-Cheating Committee and "statistics professor and International Master from the University of Buffalo who have studied extensively the correlation between computer and human moves in tournament games"; and by Robert Houdart, inventor of Houdini.

10. 6 June 2013 - <Chesschat discussion about cheating> including a comment by GM Ian Rogers:

11. 12 June 2013 - <Chess bid to checkmate cheats>: - newspaper article concerning the appointment of Australian master and International Arbiter Shaun Press to the anti-Cheating Committee, including comments by Press.

12. 19 June 2013 - <Rombaldoni: "He never calculated moves">: - interview with Axel Rombaldoni concerning his impressions of Ivanov and the manner in which he played their face to face game.

13. 3 July 2013 - <Irina Lymar: FIDE must develop anti-cheating rules>: - Interview by Oleg Korneev with lawyer Irina Lymar concerning some legal aspects to be considered and the shortcomings of professional chess in the modern day.

14. 8 July 2013 - <Anti-Cheating Measures – the discussion continues>: Article by David Neil Lawrence Levy with Reader Feedback

15. 11 July 2013 - <Ivanov misses an anti-cheating test organized by the BCF>:

16. 27 July 2013 - <Thirteen Sigma>: - Ken Regan article that reports the outcome of a computer analysis of the Don Cup 2010 International and concludes that the games were fabricated, confidence level for the conclusion being a z score = 13 sigma, ie: 6.15 times 10^-39 or 1-in-163,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000- ,000,000. The two tailenders in this event were found to have intrinsic performance ratings of over 3000.

17. 3 August 2013 - Jens Kotainy disqualified from Dortmund Open:

18. 3 October 2013 - - Ivanov refuses to allow his shoes to be searched, forfeits the game against Maxim Dlugy, but is allowed back into the tournament by the organizer for the final round.

19. 5 October 2013 - - Ivanov retires from chess.

20. 9 December 2013 - - Ivanov restarts his chess career. Ivanov expelled after round 5 (when he was leading) when he refused to allow his shoes to be examined.

21. 12 December 2013 - - Ivanov in Navalmoral – the real deal. <An examination was requested by his round six opponent, and a suspicious device was detected. But Ivanov refused to allow the search to proceed and left the event voluntarily.>

22. 1 January 2014 - - Ivanov's FIDE player card purged from FIDE's database.


Lilov's video analyses of Ivanov's games include:

- <Chess Mysteries - The Cheating Scandal in Zadar>:

- <Chess Mysteries - The Zadar Scandal Conclusion>:

- <Chess Cheating - The Zadar Investigation and New Revelations>:

- <Chess Cheating - Episode 4: A New Hope>:


On 4 June and in consultation with the ACP, FIDE set up a 10-person Anti-Cheating Committee to make recommendations to be put to its General Assembly when it meets in Tromsø in 2014:

There is also a <Facebook Group Against Cheating> accessible via


(1) Wikipedia article: Borislav Ivanov

 page 1 of 1; 10 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. V Vasilev vs B Ivanov ½-½38 2011 Team Ch GrB MenD04 Queen's Pawn Game
2. B Ivanov vs M Schachinger 1-035 2012 19th Open AE92 King's Indian
3. B Ivanov vs R Zelcic 1-032 2012 19th Open AA45 Queen's Pawn Game
4. I Saric vs B Ivanov 0-140 2012 19th Open AB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
5. D Kuljasevic vs B Ivanov  ½-½34 2012 19th Open AD85 Grunfeld
6. B Ivanov vs B Predojevic 0-134 2012 19th Open AD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
7. B Ivanov vs Kurajica 1-035 2012 19th Open AE00 Queen's Pawn Game
8. A Sumets vs B Ivanov ½-½42 2012 19th Open AA61 Benoni
9. O Jovanic vs B Ivanov 1-0118 2012 19th Open AD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
10. Z Kozul vs B Ivanov 0-134 2012 19th Open AA37 English, Symmetrical
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Ivanov wins | Ivanov loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <User: technical win~>

That's a fascinating article. Bridge cheating seems quite quaint. No computers, just hand signals.

Sep-28-15  savagerules: A few years ago a couple of high ranking german bridge players cheated by having one of them cough at certain points in the bidding, which is mainly when the game is won or lost at top levels. Apparently a soft cough meant one thing and a louder cough meant something else etc.
Oct-24-15  PJs Studio: There is a simple way to test if Ivanov is a cheater (although it looks as though he was near proven as a cheater):

Anyone who can beat a grandmaster can play damn good speed chess. Have him take on a 1900 or 2000 rated player. If that player can beat Ivanov (without his special shoes on) there is NO WAY IN HELL Ivanov can beat multiple 2500+ GM in consecutive events.

Oct-24-15  PJs Studio: Also, I'm from the west (NY,MA,VT area) and in such a conservative and educated area, only a total looser! would use a computer to even glance at a position on a smart phone. Total toilet move!

If he was cheating he should be deeply ashamed of himself.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <PJs Studio: Also, I'm from the west (NY,MA,VT area) and in such a conservative and educated area...>

Eh... <west>?

And <conservative area>?

Oct-24-15  Howard: I lived in Connecticut for two years and never really considered that state to be in the "west." Probably no one else out there did either.
Oct-24-15  zanzibar: Well, if you lived in Maine you'd consider Connecticut a western state.

Just like in Boston we consider Pittsfield a western town (city).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <zanzibar> Well, yeah, all is relative, and I live in East Nashville, but would never say to a general audience that I live in the east. The statement would only make sense if I were talking to someone here in Nashville. I am inclined to think that <PJs Studio> meant to write east, or even north east?
Oct-24-15  PJs Studio: The whole of the United States is in west! - I was speaking of America. Which is how the term "west" was used here (see above) the rest of the world say west for Western Hemisphere. No question!

2. This is not a US website. Lots of Europeans.

3. North of NYC northern NY becomes about 70% hardcore FOX news watching republican. Not me, but I'm surrounded on all sides.

4. True. NYC is liberal... I'm in the MA VT NY area. Where the boarders converge. Being moderate around here is dangerous...forget about democrat. Oy!

Oct-25-15  PJs Studio: Cheater
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <PJs Studio:... only a total looser! would use a computer... >

What is a looser?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <offramp> The opposite of a tight player, of course!
Oct-26-15  PJs Studio: Offramp- it's a colloquialism from where I'm from. Slang for "dead beat, bum, woman beater, slow witted..." It's got a lot of uses.

Obviously I meant if he uses a computer DURING AN OTB game. I use machines for Schach as much as I can, but OTB I turn my phone off and leave it in my pocket. Grossly unfair to check analysis at a critical point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <PJs Studio: Offramp- it's a colloquialism from where I'm from. Slang for "dead beat, bum, woman beater, slow witted..." It's got a lot of uses.>

It sounds to me like you meant "loser".

Looser means "more baggy".

Oct-27-15  galdur: Guy 1: OMG! Todd is such a looser!

Guy 2: I told myself I was going to do this do the next person I saw spelling the word "loser" like that; so now I am going to set your house on fire. You brought this upon yourself.

Oct-29-15  PJs Studio: I catch others typos rather quickly. My own, not so much.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Looser means "more baggy".> So it does. Just who do these baggiers think they are?

<Draw, Loss'n'Tie> is an anagram of Andrew Soltis. Spooky or what?

<PJs> Um, you mean "others' typos", no?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Amulet: <Fishy: Borislav, a cheater or a revolutionary?>

He is a disgrace to our chess patron Caissa!

Nov-08-15  PJs Studio: You are very Incorrect. I meant "other's" - which is a small oversight on my part. But your others' is an enormous oversight on your part. You are correcting me incorrectly and you have the Internet at your disposal.

For shame Amulet

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <PJs Studio> I'm sorry you think <others'> is an enormous oversight. I still think it is correct, but it's possible that I'm wrong. I'm not really a pedant, despite appearances.

I quite like your bio, btw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: As some Irish dairy farmer once said: "I owe my success to udders".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: This page still has a link to "FIDE Player card for Borislav Ivanov" ... but it leads nowhere, as there is no such FIDE card.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Christof Sielecki with White vs a (probable) cheater 5...4...3...2...1...

You can 'smell' the cheater panicing when his time is trickling off.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Now already the blind (start to) cheat...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom....The Cork incident (of computer assistance) had some media coverage at the time, but I don't have a link to hand. I know that the Irish Chess Union debated it at length, and the young man who was caught with a computer even turned up at a hearing with a lawyer. The ICU eventually ruled that both players should be penalized - one for cheating, the other for taking the law into his own hands rather than calling the arbiter.>

One might say that it took a lot of cheek to do what the lad did.

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