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

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 74 OF 74 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-21-14  LIFE Master AJ: <<Mark> As I see it, Ivanov had a 'natural' rating of maybe 2000 - possibly less.>

You are being far too generous, I can show one game where he blundered in a very simple endgame ... the average 1800+ player holds that easily. I would say 1800+ is a far more accurate depiction of his ability, he also drew (and lost!) to sub-1800 players when he wasn't "plugged in."

May-21-14  LIFE Master AJ: I am not sure why CG removed all of his games ... some of his "un-plugged" games were both interesting and a better reflection of his real playing ability. (And his wins over GM's showed that <the chess engine> Houdini is far superior to any mere mortal, even running on a very low-end machine.)

Apparently, ChessBase is following suit, the word is that Ivanov's games are all being deleted from their database as well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <LMAJ> Yep, I've been looking over a few games he played without computer help, and I reckon you're right. Without assistance, he runs into trouble against players under 1900. He's probably just about 1800, or so, maybe - I'd fancy my chances in a straight fight. Incidentally, while Lilov's videos are logical and well reasoned ... the guy takes forever to get to the point, doesn't he?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <AJ> -- <Apparently, ChessBase is following suit, the word is that Ivanov's games are all being deleted from their database as well.>

I'm sure that's true, but can I ask where you heard it?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: <LIFE Master AJ: <<Mark> As I see it, Ivanov had a 'natural' rating of maybe 2000 - possibly less.>

You are being far too generous, I can show one game where he blundered in a very simple endgame ... the average 1800+ player holds that easily>

Do you mean the one against Jovanic? Yes, when he blundered away the draw he was in time trouble and evidently couldn't consult the silicon monster.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Before anyone quotes it again -- <As I see it, Ivanov had a 'natural' rating of maybe 2000 - possibly less> -- that was me, not Mark.
May-21-14  LIFE Master AJ: <<Do you mean the one against Jovanic?>>

I did not mean that one, but it is (also) a good illustration of what I was talking about.

The one I was talking about - he was unplugged, and blew a draw that most of the 1500 players in my club ... they knew what to do when I showed them the game.

Sad thing is I can go back (now) and show the game - CG has yanked all of his games ... however, if you go vack through all of my previous posts, I had a few downloads of some of Ivanov's games ... unless it was deleted, I posted several PGN files that had all of Borislav Ivanov's games from various events.

May-22-14  LIFE Master AJ: <Dom> I really think you could take Ivanov ... as long as he could not manage to be "plugged in."
May-22-14  LIFE Master AJ: Of course, when he was plugged in, no one could take him, not even the Bulgarian Champ, GM K. Georgiev.

But the only credit goes to the engine Houdini ... not B. Ivanov!

May-22-14  N0B0DY: Down the hatch!
May-22-14  LIFE Master AJ: Borislav Ivanov (1915) -
Christian Brauer (2132)
6th Georgiev Memorial
Sunny Beach / Kesarovski; (9) / 18,09,2007.

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.Nh4 0-0 10.Nxf5 exf5 11.Qc2 g6 12.Rd1 Qe7 13.a5 b5 14.Bd3 a6 15.Na2 Bxa5 16.Qxc6 Rfc8 17.Qf3 Ne4 18.Qe2 Ndf6 19.f3 Nd6 20.b3 Nd5 21.Rb1 Re8 22.Kf2 Qh4+ 23.Kg1 Rac8 24.g3 Qh3 25.Qf2 g5 26.Rf1 Qh5 27.b4 Bb6 28.Re1 Qg6 29.Kh1 Qf6 30.Bd2 Nc4 31.Bxc4 Rxc4 32.Rbc1 Rec8 33.Rxc4 Rxc4 34.Rc1 Qc6 35.Qe2 Rc2 36.Qd3 Rxc1+ 37.Nxc1 g4 38.Qxf5 gxf3 39.e4 Nxb4 40.Qg5+ Kh8 41.Bxb4 f6 42.Qh6 1-0

The earliest game I could find for B. Ivanov in the ChessBase database.

It was about the time that he supposed played in some event, the suspicion (then ... 20111 or 2012) was that he had a keypad (or something) taped to his leg. It was only later that he resurfaced with the "new" technology ... and attracted all the attention.

<Dom> Right now, all the CB games are still there, I have CB 11, and it pulls up over 300 games in the CB (on-line) database. I think that they are considering removing games from the CB database, but I do not know when (or if) this will take place.

May-22-14  john barleycorn: < the suspicion (then ... 20111 or 2012) was that he had a keypad (or something) taped to his leg.>

Source? Other than your "von Neumann" chimera, of course.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkFinan: Okay, going through the last few pages here I see AJ has Ivanov at possibly a 1500 rating! I think he'd beat you unstrapped AJ. You don't have the heart to enter the events he was entering before he started cheating, you wouldn't even play me for friendly competition!? #heartless
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Now <Mark>, you are just being mean by calling <AJ> heartless. I would, however, agree with brainless.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jambow: Probably if he had been more incremental in his approach Boris might have hid his cheating much longer. I agree he seems to struggle at about 1800 so that is where his rating must approximate.

Chess Life has a rather stupendous article about catching chess cheats involving Dr. Ken Regan. At the same time Chessbase has an article on that topic as well. Appearantly it is being taken seriously finally so perhaps Ivanov may have served his purpose in life.

In the Chess Life article they analyze and prove the game Nakamura cheated against LMAJ, nah just joking. ;0]

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I heard Naka was consulting John von Neumann in that game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: I'm sure von Neumann had a different set of headphones than those clunky old things from ten years before.
Sep-05-14  fisayo123: Why can't he be summoned to explain his thinking behind the "amazing" moves he plays? Summon him to a press conference to explain his games. Simple.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Ivanov's explanation of all that went in the fiasco B Ivanov vs B Predojevic, 2012 would doubtless prove highly edifying.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: One of the few good things about Ivanov is he has made everyone from beginning scholastic to the very top of the chess world, very aware of cheating.

As long as we are aware, there is a better chance we will be more diligent to apprehend these ruiners of the royal game.

Helping at a scholastic tournament a few months back, I saw one student accuse another of cheating simply because he had a mechanical notation taking device. Upon examination, the device was clean, but the awareness of cheating at even this level, is good (but not the false accusation of course).

It should be noted that different cultures view cheating differently.

Most in western culture are positively appalled by it, yet a couple of eastern cultures look at it more as "gamesmanship" or "cleverness", which I hope most professionals in all realms of the chess world would find disgusting.

Kids growing up with parents who find cheating in many of its forms as an expression of profitable cleverness, or just a part of gamesmanship, will plague us as both youth and adults.

Just another reason that cheating will not go away and needs to be kept in mind and addressed aggressively throughout.

Sep-05-14  Everett: Co-ed naked chess solves these issues.

Wouldn't stop implants though, cyborgs neither.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Well, if he was cheating, and I've yet to see any actual evidence that he was, it was obviously cleverer than that used in 2015 by Gaioz Nigalidze.
Sep-28-15  technical win: <If you have a cheating pair on your team.…>
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.
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