Valentin Yotov

Valentin Yotov is a Grandmaster chess player who won the 2006 Bulgarian Chess Championship and has represented Bulgaria at 4 Chess Olympiads, narrowly missing out on an individual bronze medal in 2014. Born September 6, 1988, in Pleven, Bulgaria, Valentin began playing chess at the age of 6. His brother, 5 years older than Valentin, was the first in the family to have learned chess. Determined to prove himself and always be a better chess player, he participated in nearly every major tournament year after year and has gone on to win numerous open chess tournaments around the world. From 2nd to 11th grade, he was a private student – his schedule of tournaments made it impossible to attend regular schools. His backpack was always packed and ready for the next tournament. For 5 years he traveled all over the world playing chess tournaments, often leaving behind the trophies that he won; for him, the game is what’s important, not the trophies. Gaining the title of International Master at age 16 and Grandmaster at age 18, he won the 70th Bulgarian chess championship for men, held in Svilengrad in 2006. He went on to play for the Bulgarian national team in 3 Olympiads: 37th in Turin, Italy (2006), 38th in Dresden, Germany (2008), and 41st in Tromsø, Norway (2014). He has also played in the 14th and 17th European Team Chess Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 2003 and Novi Sad, Serbia in 2009, respectively. In 2009, he attained the highest rating of his career thus far – 2603. After graduating from high school in Bulgaria, Valentin visited the U.S. and became an American citizen. He was growing tired of traveling all the time and living in hotel rooms. In 2011 during a short visit in Dallas Valentin entered the yearly UT Dallas Invitational Open tournament and won. Soon after, UT Dallas offered him a full scholarship and that marked a beginning of a new chapter in Valentin’s life. Representing UT Dallas for the 4 years he was there, he played in all the chess team’s Final Fours, placing second in the 2012/2013/2015 season. He graduated from UT Dallas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Technology. Valentin Yotov is ever-passionate about chess, and teaching the game remains one of his greatest loves. In addition to coaching numerous people privately, he coached chess at the UT Dallas chess camps every year that he was a student there. He looks forward to expanding his coaching activities and teaching chess online too, making the cost of getting a chess coach inexpensive enough for many more people to learn and enjoy chess as much as he enjoys the game.
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