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Kiril Georgiev

at Slivnitsa, Bulgaria, 2011
Country Bulgaria
Born 28 November 1965
Petrich, Bulgaria
Title Grandmaster
Peak rating 2695 (July 2001)

Kiril Dimitrov Georgiev (Bulgarian: Кирил Димитров Георгиев; born 28 November 1965 in Petrich) is a Bulgarian chess grandmaster and three-time national champion.

Kiril Georgiev first caught the eye of the chess world in 1983, when he became the World Junior Champion with an unusually strong score of 11½ out of 13. This result automatically gave him the International Master title. Two years later, FIDE awarded him the International Grandmaster title.

In the process of becoming the Bulgarian Champion of 1984 (shared), 1986 and 1989, he rapidly became recognised as Bulgaria's number one player, taking over from Ivan Radulov and eventually giving way to Veselin Topalov. He has represented his country at the Chess Olympiad many times, playing on either board 1 or 2. Exceptionally, in 2002 he played for Macedonia, while he was temporarily resident there.

His record in international competition has been remarkable, considering that he has never quite reached supergrandmaster status (Elo 2700 or above). He was a winner at Sarajevo 1986 (and would meet board boy Ivan Sokolov there again, some 15 years later), San Bernardino 1988, Elenite (Burgas) 1992 (ahead of Sokolov, Topalov, Josif Dorfman, Yuri Razuvayev and Vassilios Kotronias) and the 1993 Budapest Zonal (ahead of Judit Polgár and Ľubomír Ftáčnik). He repeated his Elenite success in 1995 (with Topalov, ahead of Nigel Short, Boris Gulko and Sergey Dolmatov) and won at Belgrade 2000 (ahead of Alexander Beliavsky and Ulf Andersson).

Since 2000, his achievements have been no less impressive. First at Sarajevo 2001 (his first Category 16 tournament win - ahead of Topalov, Ilya Smirin, Alexei Dreev and Ivan Sokolov) and first at Bad Worishofen 2002. At Gibraltar Chess Festival, he was joint winner (with Levon Aronian, Zahar Efimenko, Alexei Shirov and Emil Sutovsky) in 2005 and the outright winner in 2006 (ahead of Short, Sutovsky, Shirov, Vladimir Akopian and Viktor Bologan) with an 8½/10 score. This was also the year that he won a bronze medal at the European Individual Chess Championship (behind Zdenko Kozul and Vassily Ivanchuk). At the Aeroflot Open in Moscow, he finished only a half point off the lead.

Accordingly, these results have caused his Elo rating to advance rapidly during 2005 and 2006, reaching 2680 in July 2006, and placing him at number 26 in the (FIDE) World's 100 top players.

Georgiev has also participated in the World Chess Championship cycle. In 1990, he qualified for the Interzonal Tournament in Manila and placed a creditable 14th out of 64, surpassing expectation and losing only to Alexei Dreev. At Groningen in 1997, he lost in round 4 to Loek van Wely. In December 2009, he tied for 1st-4th with Georg Meier, Julio Granda and Viktor Láznička in the 19th Magistral Pamplona Tournament. In 2010, he came third at the World Chess Open in León. In 2011 he won the 29th Andorra Open.

In 2009, he broke the world record for the most simultaneous chess games played: 360 games in just over 14 hours. He won 280, drew 74 and lost 6 for a total score of 88%. A score of at least 80% was required for the record to be accepted.