"Borislav Ivanov Arrested In Bulgaria"

"Borislav Ivanov Arrested In Bulgaria"

| 113 | Chess Event Coverage

Borislav Ivanov, the Bulgarian chess player who was strongly suspected of cheating in chess a few years ago, has been arrested in Bulgaria for forging documents. This was reported by Chessdom.

Remember Borislav Ivanov? The name might ring a bell, although it's been a few years. He was the Bulgarian player who, without a title and a rating below 2300, started to score several grandmaster performances at different tournaments, now four years ago.

Image courtesy Gospodari na Efira/Chessdom.

According to Chessdom, Ivanov has been arrested on March 17th by the police in Kyustendil in western Bulgaria. Ivanov is suspected of forging and selling driver's licenses. He was exposed in the Bulgarian TV show "Masters of the Broadcast" (Gospodari na Efira). According to Chessdom, Ivanov is "facing eight years of jail for producing fake documents," and there might be additional charges.

Ivanov's name became known in the chess world starting from the Zadar Open in December 2012, where he was strip searched after being suspected of cheating. He was 25 and rated 2227, but scored 6/9 and a 2697 rating performance which included victories against GMs Bojan Kurajica, Robert Zelcic, Zdenko Kozul and Ivan Saric.

Suspected of getting help via an electronic device, Ivanov had to take off his clothes, but the arbiters didn't find anything and apologized.

At that time, the FIDE regulations on anti-cheating were in its infancy stage, but the Ivanov story accelerated the developments in that area. His games from the Zadar Open were analyzed by many, including Ken Regan, Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of the University at Buffalo. He concluded about Ivanov's performance: "the odds against are almost a million-to-one."

Two months after the Zadar Open, Ivanov scored a mediocre performance, finishing 88th at the Tringov Memorial in Plovdiv. However, mid-March 2013 he finished first, with a 2696 performance, at a rapid tournament in Spain.

Despite the absence of clear evidence, in May 2013 the Bulgarian Chess Federation suspended Ivanov from playing for three months. Soon after this ban was over, he got involved in another scandal as he refused to remove his shoes during a search, while involved in a game with GM Maxim Dlugy, in a tournament in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.

Thereupon, Ivanov announced that he would quit chess, but two months later he could be found behind the chess board again, at the Navalmoral de la Mata in Cacéres, Extremadura (Spain). He started to beat grandmasters and was subsequently expelled from the tournament after round 6.

During a search an electronic device was found on Ivanov's clothes. The arbiters gave him the choice of playing on but showing them the device, or leaving the tournament, and he chose the latter. In an interview with ChessVibes, Ivanov denied having a device on him.

In December 2013 the Bulgarian Chess Federation again suspended Ivanov from playing, now for a period of four months. Since then, things have been quiet around Ivanov, until his arrest last week.

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