Player Profiles: IM Valeri Lilov Player Profiles: IM Valeri Lilov

Jun 3, 2016, 5:20 PM |

This weeks player profile is the player and chess coach that has been listed as one of the top coaches on for many years, IM Valeri Lilov, also known as Tiger Lilov from Bulgaria. He is a known movie fanatic, and besides chess he makes a living as a computer specialist. He learned the rules of chess when he was three years old from his dad, who is also a chess master and teacher. In 2007, the former president of Bulgaria, Georgi Parvanov, officially awarded Valeri Lilov with a one-year scholarship in recognition of his achievements in chess through the years. 


Name: Valeri Lilov

Title: International Master

Date of birth: 9th of July 1991

Fide rating: 2438

Country: Bulgaria username: TigerLilov



Is there any chess book that has had a deep and lasting influence on you?

”My System” by Aaron Nimzovitsch. It covers the fundamentals. As they say – study it and you will become a master in the end… It is one of the essential chess books of all time. I also like the books by Mark Dvoretsky, they help you understand what the strong players know. Dvoretsky´s books are for the already advanced players.

What is your favourite movie?

Well, I love movies, I´m even reviewing them on YouTube. Most impact I guess is the ”Lord of the Rings” – movies, but the movie that has had the most emotional impact on me is "Hatchi" by the Swedish director Lasse Hallström, that is the most touching movie for me. A lot of messages about trust and so on, I would strongly recommend watching it. You might cry…


What would your last meal be?

Its gonna be lentils! I love when my mom cook them for me, so that would be it.


 If you could choose to live one day of any time in the history of mankind, which time would that be and why?

That is a very challenging question, but for me, there is not one day in particular as much as a period in time. I´m thinking about the beginning of the 20th century, because of all the incredible things that happened in the history of my country, Bulgaria.


What is the best chess game you ever played?

In 2005 I had to play against one of my biggest competitors. We were both 14 years old, and my dad, who taught me chess, helped me against the Sicilian Scheveningen. He suggested a line by Tal, the Keres attack, I played the line and I won an amazing victory. That is my absolute favorite game.


What music are you currently grooving to?

I like different types of music: When I work I like pop from the 80s and 90s. I also like classical music, but that requires you to really focus. I am a fan of movie soundtracks too, like the music from the Transformers: It really gets me pumped up and after three minutes I feel like I am able to win any chess game! Then there is the music from ”The Tree of Life” – not the Brad Pitt movie, but tracks made by someone called Audiomachine.


How do you train chess?

I do mainly two things: First I do thematic studies, like ”Guess the move” in grandmaster games. It´s enlightening. Then I study theoretical things – endgame studies and so on. I like to highlight the moment in a game when the player wins. I make pointers: When did the position get better, what did moving his d and e pawn do in the game etcetera.


What do you do when you relax?

Mainly I like to og outside and enjoy nature. I also like watching tv shows like ”Breaking Bad” with my dad, smart shows. Then of course I like to go to the movies very much.


Who is your favorite chess player?

 There are a few, but the one that has had the most impact on my game is Alexander Alekhine. Through him chess became an art for me, and I began teaching. Alekhine was like a true painter of the game, he taught me how to be creative in chess. His games are like a symphony on the board.




Aleksander Alekhine - the fourth World Chess Champion. A creative genius and one of the greatest artists of the chess board. 



What five words do you think best describe you?

Wise. Honest. Loving. Passionate. And well, let me think, Improvising. I am an improviser, and I always improvise with almost anything.


Is there any lesson you’ve learned in chess that resonates in your real life?

The most important lesson I learned from chess is patience. You can always take time and improve your position. To analyze your situation and keep searching, the more you get into it, slowly you will find something better, something more optimal than what is in front of your eyes in the present moment.


Do you have any thoughts on how can get even better?

I think it would be great to see a social system on – not just the tools and profiles, blogs and so on, but more like Facebook in a way, a version of that would make it easier to communicate. I think that would attract more people, if would implement a real social environment to make interaction between the users easier.