Bulgarian Chess FederationAfter a number of irregularities were found by financial auditors, government prosecutors are investigating the Bulgarian Chess Federation for corruption. This was the news revealed in a press conference by a trio of prominent players. One, three-time Bulgarian National Champion GM Kiril Georgiev, called the Federation a “money laundering machine.”

Silvio Danailov, president of the Federation, denies the allegations, among which are “inflated financial spendings, organization of false or nonexistent tournaments, unreasonable travel expenses, and mind-boggling amounts spent for security and ceremonies at events.”

It has also been alleged that Mr. Danailov himself was involved in a scheme to defraud other national Chess federations of significant cash. The scam was supposedly accomplished by registering in Delaware a corporation with the name “European Chess Union LLC”. That entity then opened a bank account in Europe and convinced members of the real European Chess Union (a Switzerland-based organization) to send their membership fees and other payments to the wrong account.

Clearly not appreciating the publicity, the Bulgarian Chess Federation on Saturday announced multi-year bans for the three players who held the press conference.

In connection with the public deliberate, targeted, and coordinated actions and the statements… aiming to undermine the prestige of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, sabotage of its activity and discrediting of its leaders via revealing publically untrue, unproven, and defamatory statements for corruption and misuse… the board of BCF deprives of playing, arbitering, organizing, club managing, and coaching rights under the BCF system: Metodi Sotinev for 3 years, Kiril Georgiev for 3 years, and Simeon Stoichkov for 5 years.

Why the 5 year ban for Stoichkov, while Sotinev and Georgiev get 3 years? This is Simeon Stoichkov’s second run-in with the federation hierarchy. He was previously banned for running an online Chess forum.