Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Burn the Tapes

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Not to inflame the situation, but just for the record I'm told that Sr. Bellón has the entire Topalov interview recorded and that there were no errors in transcription. So efforts to deny it - instead of apologizing and retracting it, are just going to make things worse. As Nixon taught us, it's not the crime that gets you, it's the coverup.


The only thing that will redeem Topalov in the minds of many chess fans, including myself, would be an abject apology to Kramnik as well as the rest of the chess world. I'm not holding my breath, though.

mig, it seems that only your link to the denial is incorrect. As far as I can tell it is still up: http://www.veselintopalov.net/article/team-kramnik-replies

Oh good, must have been temporary. Thnx.

Topalov and Kramnik will play at Wijk an Zee in a couple of weeks I think. Will they shake hands?!

Will they shake hands? Who cares? Will they use the same bathroom?

Not inflame the situation? Well, that's kind of you, but I think it is time to lance the boil.

You got to be kidding me. Did they know it was being taped? If they did they have to me the biggest idiots in the world to try and brush off the story as not authentic. Those tapes ought to be pretty good evidence for the FIDE ethics committee.

two questions:
1. It may have been taped, but if I am not mistaken, interviewees often get approval rights over their interview. Does anyone know if this is the case here?

2. Will they shake hands? They shook hands at the end of Elista, right?

I think the real question is: 3. Will Topalov continue to complain/accuse in Wikj?

4. And did anyone count how many times Kramnik went to the bathroom against Fritz?

If I were Kramnik playing Topolov in Wijk, I'd get up to go to the bathroom every...single...move.

Topalov would mentally implode at the board.


Recorded conversations are inadmissible in U.S. courts as evidence; this has nothing to do with FIDE. Unless there is some international law which forbids the sharing of the recorded interview, all the recorder may be accused of, at most, is shaky ethics. I find it reprehensible that these charades have gone on for as long as they have without FIDE taking action of its own accord. (Then again, I find FIDE itself reprehensible, so what is new?) Only a year ago, Topalov was a proud champion, and now he is dirt -- the shame of it all is that I once cheered this man as a competitor, and now I see that I was fooled, and that only a coward and his puppet-master hold the #1 ranking in the world.



rdavis, this time Kramnik didn't need to go to the bathroom, he had direct access to the computer screen. By the way, fritz was playing from a toilet. So ... if you pee on Fritz central unit his rating is likely to drop from 2800 to 1000.

Check out a new Danailov's interview: http://www.sport-express.ru/art.shtml?132478.

The guy is a creative thinker, you've got to give it to him. He says that the bank's guarantees could not be obtained because of the death sentences for Bulgarian nurses in Lybia - and the whole Bulgaria at a standstill as a result.

And of course "we never accused Kramnik of cheating." (This happens to be the title of the article.) Sure, who could have ever thought otherwise...

Some Christmas comedy from Danailov ;) So he's not actually denying Topalov said what he said...

Interviewer: But the interview with Topalov actually took place? Or it was the fruit of a Spanish journalist's fantasy?

Danailov: In the newspaper, that is on paper, this interview doesn't exist. It's impossible to react seriously to the fact that, in one form or another, it's "doing the rounds" on the internet. Topalov gives a lot of interviews, you can't keep track of them all. Veselin never saw the given text - in the form in which it appeared on the internet - with his own eyes. There's nothing I can add to that.

All I can add to that is- Topalov's hopes of a world championship match are finished. Good.

British people need to watch out for the behaviour of Bulgarians if they emigrate here in 2007 too.

>British people need to watch out for the behavior of Bulgarins if they emigrate here in 2007>

Where, in Londonistan ? Rest assured, I don't think they will. Just watched the UK's channel 4 as it went ahead with the full veiled muslimina as an alternative to the Queens speech, interspersed between her Islamic propaganda & taqqyia were a multitude of coffins draped in the Union Jack, unless we didnt get the message.

You are monitoring the wrong guys mark, perhaps as a delusional substitute out of fear for monitoring what you should.

Ovidiu, I don't think that anyone needs to tell you that profiling Muslims is unacceptable. All that aside, since you usually give well-thought-out comments, I'll assume that it's just a case of the eggnog hitting you too hard.

Poor Brit bastards, if it's not their own countrymen (Irish) trying to kill them, it's the damn islamofascists doing the same.

Also, Merv, Perhaps you need to stop hitting the nog and wake up. It isnt Roman Catholics flying plans into buildings, or blowing up trains in US, Spain, Britain, and Israel, now is it?

Let's thank reactionaries over the world for adding such beautiful words to our vocabulary.

30's: "Judeo-Bolshevism"

00's: "Islamo-Fascism"

Speaking of one particular Bulgarian again, namely Danailov, and his interview mentioned above, the guy is no idiot at all. He pointedly asks the legitimate question of Kramnik's participation (or non-) in Mexico. Something to the effect that Kramnik is a big boy and why can't he himself voice his intention to play? Why does Kirsan have to speak for him?

On admissibility of recorded interviews as evidence before a court: ethics is supposed to impose higher standards than mere non-illegality of one's actions, and recorded interviews may well be admissible as evidence of non-ethical behaviour before an ethics committee as distinct from a court.

I doubt that FIDE has pertinent provisions in this regard. On the other hand, there may be precedences on how FIDE has decided in the past.

acirce, a Stalinist's view of history is always refreshing. You should apply for your own shelf in a well-known Russian museum (http://www.kunstkamera.ru/english/index.htm)

Quite likely, though, you will fail at that, too...

Topalov will protest, of course, that giving those tapes out violates his privacy.


It all looks as if a fierce Kirsan-Kramnik match is happening behind the scenes and Krisan's "fact accomplished" kind of declarations are moves in this game to put more pressure on Kramnik.

On the other hand Kramnik likely agreed in principle but he tries to squeeze from Kirsan as many concessions as possible. He plays tough and this leads to this prolonged negociation game that we witness, and it may lead to a breakdown of it too.

At any rate Mexico, instead of UK or other islamic country, is a good choice if you think ahead and you want to build a future for WCC.

On Kramnik himself instead of Kirsan voicing Kramnik's intention to play in Mexico City: I remember that in the post-Elista-match press conference in Moscow, and in response to this question, Kramnik himself said that he has to look more closely at the contract.

My reading of Kirsan's recent statement is that Kramnik did not refuse playing in Mexico City. This is merely trying to put a positive spin on what we already knew since Kramnik's statement in Moscow, but there is nothing new in substantive terms.

I'm not alone in preferring Kramnik's and Hensel's more private approach to negotiations, compared to the inflammatory approaches of Danailov/Topalov, or even the flamboyant approaches of Kirsan exposing uncooked negotiations to the public, he has done that compulsively since more than a decade and see how much turmoil and bad taste he has created.

Sorry, but where are the tapes? Maybe I missed something...


I won't carry on this argument with you because biased thinking has shown itself to be quite resistant to good arguments (cf. the staunch Topalov supporters). I will instead take leave of it and advise you to Google "availability heuristic" and "representativeness heuristic". BTW, Mark Howitt should also take this advice in light of his quip about Bulgarians.

As regards the main purpose of this thread, I would find it completely hilarious if Topalov's camp complains about the correctness of using unauthorized tapes to launch an investigation. Further comment is superfluous.

I knew that thing was going to be on Channel Four so I didn't watch it. You're right, British people need to be careful about a number of things. However, continuing EU enlargenement is a key danger.

Perhaps Danailov does not read this forum and so is not aware of their (tapes) existence?

"...continuing EU enlargenement is a key danger."

Do I detect xenophobia here? Tsk, tsk, can't be... Europe is just one large family, you know. Embrace your cousins and all that jazz.

Back on topic, Danailov's latest contributions have been a tremendously pathetic effort on his part. I can see the appeal to being a total arse, but the value of being so inept at it escapes me...

"However, continuing EU enlargenement is a key danger."

Oh, come on, it's not that bad. Topalov and Danailov already live in Spain anyway.

acirce, I am so glad you are still able to contribute to the discussion. Do they provide Internet access in the Kunstkammer these days?

I guess in the spirit of holiday generosity I should explain the reference to you. The museum was founded by Peter the Great (of whom even you may have heard by accident as he had some history dealing with your home country) and is mainly known in Russia for its huge collection of freaks of all kinds. Don't know if they have a separate section for Stalinists though.

to Mark Howitt:

watch out, in january i am coming in!

a bulgarian

Well, I hope you've got your work visa. They're limited in number. If you haven't the authorities will soon know about you.

"Recorded conversations are inadmissible in U.S. courts as evidence..."

May I suggest, Maliq, that you don't know what you're talking about?

what? work visa? come on Mark i'm coming to destroy the economics of your country

"Recorded conversations are inadmissible in U.S. courts as evidence..."

hahaha. we have some real legal scholars here.

Well, Maliq might have inadvertently typed "inadmissible" when he meant to type "admissible."

If not, then his business must be booming with Mob clients, who thanks to Maliq Esq. now need no longer fear ill consequences if they order hits or whatever in the presence of an informant who is wearing a "wire."

What Maliq refers to applies to telephone conversations and the like in cases where there is no prior warrant and neither of the parties involved in the conversation consented to the taping. Interviews, I would assume, are in another class, particularly since they have to be recorded by their very nature.

BTW, may I myself suggest that we bring forth facts to argue against points instead of ridiculing the people who put them forth? I've seen far too much nonconstructive criticism on this board in recent months.

"BTW, may I myself suggest that we bring forth facts to argue against points instead of ridiculing the people who put them forth?"

How about both, would it be admissible? At least, in some very special cases?

Two things, Danailov never denied the interview in e-mails to me. Secondly we should think about the court of arbitration in Lausanne because the accusations are against FIDE and its officials too, they surely can't rule on it, or if they do then it will have to go to Switzerland to be confirmed.


I should have clarified further, but the context of the conversation clearly spoke to Topalov not being aware that the conversation was being recorded, and therefore having the right to censor the contents of the recordings. In the U.S., recorded conversations for which the recorder does not possess a warrant are not permissible as evidence in court. As regards the quips about understanding of law, I probably have more knowledge of penal code than the jokesters themselves, so an end to the foolish ego-tripping would be recommendable.



Well, dz, there are certainly times when ridicule is demanded by the situation, but these situations seem few and far between. If it's completely called for (such as if someone says something completely abhorrent to all of the civilized world), I might be tempted to contribute to the ridicule myself.

While mentioning facts, I'd like to ask Mig for further information on these tapes. Specifically, I'd like to know how credible the tales of this recording are. We've been told in the past by politicians in chess and elsewhere that there was irrefutable proof of some misdeed but failed to ever encounter said proof. While I am personally inclined to believe that the recording exists and that Topalov himself gave the offending interview, belief is not and should not be a substitute for clear evidence.

Merv, I generally agree with you. And I personally consider someone being a fan of Stalin (a mass murderer on an unimaginable scale) a prime example of "something completely abhorrent to all of the civilized world", as you so aptly put it. Even so, I try to limit my ridicule to the occasions when that person start propounding his "views" on history and related matters.

All that is in case you meant my posts in your (basically fair) suggestion.

Maliq, are you suggesting that Topalov, while giving an interview, was "not being aware that the conversation was being recorded"? Is there any other area of human activity, besides chess, where such a thing happening to a top-rated person could be possible?

when you say something as ludicrous and broad as "Recorded conversations are inadmissible in U.S. courts as evidence" on a blog you should expect a little light ribbing. it's hardly ego tripping. perhaps it's ego tripping making the statement in the first place, trying to be all knowledgable. if you are going to start boasting about your legal expertise, say the right thing perhaps...


Fluffy, at no point did I claim to be a legal expert -- I merely spoke on the situation and addressed the idea that Topalov likely has no grounds on which to protest the sharing of interview tapes. There is no ego involved in simply citing information; it is fellow bloggers who feel the need to puff out their chests and chirp about "legal expertise", as though only lawyers may actually discuss such matters. Your comment about "trying to be all-knowledgeable" rings as similar to kids in junior high who get upset when another student actually bothers to answer a question in class; please, some display of maturity is in order. Indeed, I was not clear in expressing what I meant, but this is not a license for people to act like fools in response.




Dz, I am not suggesting that Topalov did not know that he was being recorded. I am actually speaking to the idea that he may not, at this late date, now feign ignorance of this in order to absolve himself of accountability. Not unprecedented from his camp is the practice of pretending to be ignorant of the ramifications of its own actions.



Maliq, I fail miserably as a mind reader, I was just trying to interpret your phrase "the context of the conversation clearly spoke to Topalov not being aware that the conversation was being recorded".


What I mean by "the context", dz, is that I was responding to a question about whether Topalov knew that the interview was taped and a subsequent comment about him having rights over whether his interview may be shared with the public. Sorry for the confusion.



Yes, Maliq, I see now what you mean. Sorry for being dense before.

maliq, come on, when you say "Recorded conversations are inadmissible in U.S. courts as evidence" you are going to get a reaction. when you say I probably have more knowledge of penal code than the jokesters themselves, so an end to the foolish ego-tripping would be recommendable." you are being a bit of a know-it-all and making assumptions about those that call you on your original statement, which was questionable to say the least. but I guess you are right about everything and you are the "mature" one. I am the junior high student. uh huh. If I was in junior high and someone said something like your original statement, I would be "immature" for questioning it? get off your high horse. also, the idea that Topalov would not realize that an interview was being recorded is preposterous.


Maliq McSoter, your original statement was wrong, after which were corrected by others in sober and playful ways. In response to this (and not the first time for you), you insulted everyone with your "I'll lower myself to explain to these idiots what I meant" claptrap. Very poor and transparent form, kiddo. You must learn to take a joke as well as give it out, especially when you're wrong.

In the 70's there was a popular T-Shirt that read I KNOW YOU THINK YOU UNDERSTOOD WHAT I JUST SAID, BUT WHAT YOU HEARD WAS NOT WHAT I MEANT. But I bet this is already tattooed on your chest.

Hey acirce, it wasn't a reactionary who coined (or restored) the term "Islamofascism" after 9/11: it was Chistopher Hitchens, Marxist scholar and pitbull of the Left. He proposed the term in his Nation magazine column in late 2001, and it appeared five years later in a GW Bush speech.


Santa Claus

Kris Kringle, try again. Christopher Hitchens has been a reactionary dolt and a self-serving establishment shill for many years now.

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamofascism , "...the term was introduced by the French Marxist Maxine Rodinson to describe the Iranian Revolution of 1978"

Christopher Hitchens a "dolt"? No, you're a dolt for saying that.

Christopher Hitchens a "dolt"? No, you're a dolt for saying that.


Fluffy, it is not the questioning of my statement that I have spoken against, but rather the manner in which it was done; I have already acknowledged that I did not accurately relay my thought and amended my point. Also, please read my response to dz for clarity on my point regarding Topalov's knowledge of being recorded.



Guys I have a question.
Suppose in court the journalist says:
"Mr. Topalov was well aware about me recording the whole thing. Actually, the recorder was in front of him, on the table".
Topalov says: "No, I was not aware".
What then? Does the journalist have to provide a signed document that Topalov has been aware of recording?(this is ridiculous ihmo, I assume 99.99% of recorded interviews are acquired without such a document).

It's extremely common for journalists to record their interviews. I doubt Bellón made any effort to conceal it and Topalov would surely have been aware his words were being recorded. There would've been no reason for him to object, he was comfortable saying the things he did. He and Danailov have come to believe their own nonsense, and the claims made here are nothing new, except it's usually been Danailov spouting off in such a fashion rather than Topalov himself.

It's only after Hensel has threatened to bring the matter before FIDE that Danailov is trying to find a way to weasel out of the situation.

Any claim by Topalov denying knowledge of the recording would be pretty hard to believe, and it'd be impossible for him to demonstrate he was deceived.

Donald, maybe it is the way around. That is, in such cases, when there is no written evidence, whom should the court believe? Logically it should be Topalov, or else every journalist could make a fake recording and claim in the court that the interviewed person has been informed.

Topalov's accusations against Kramnik falls under FIDE's jurisdiction, both players are bound by FIDE ethics, no questions here. FIDE could therefore ban Topalov on this ground alone.

Topalov's accusations against FIDE falls IMHO under FIDE's jurisdiction also, in the same way a parishioner accusing his priest could be banned from the church. This is a second and independent ground for a ban.

Of course, Topalov could appeal both cases to Lausanne, but the jurisdiction at first instance is with FIDE, IMHO.

Poor Mark, you still believe in the efficiency of your government:


Actually, the UK is much more pleasant to visit these days, with all the capable eastern European workers in hotels and restaurants. Less dealing with surly Brits with incomprehensible accents.

I'm astonished by how many people are convinced that Topalov "must have known". Why? There is no thechnical difficulty with recording secretly; AND previous behaviour by Topalov and Danailov would suggest it wise. (Of course in my country it is leagal to secretly record any conversation that you yourself partake in...,)

But most interestingly, no facts about these things are released so why are you so certain?


Just for the record regarding admissibility of tape recordings in US courts...

While state law varies from state to state, the basic rule is whether the person speaking had an expectation of privacy. Thus, there is nothing prevent anyone you speak with from recording your conversations, just as there is nothing to prevent them from repeating what you told them. Some states do make it illegal to tape a phone conversation you are having, and in those states it would be inadmissible.

Third party eavesdropping is a different animal altogether. Not generally permitted. Police eavesdropping pursuant to warrant is treated differently of course, but that is a different issue.

This merely goes to the legality of the tape. One must also provide a foundation for admission, i.e., proof that the person on the tape is who you claim it it is, that the tape is authentic and so on.

Bottom line--I know of no US jurisdiction which would not admit a reporter's tape of an interview, as long as proper foundation could be laid.

And that is your evidence lecture for today:)


And your bottom line would apply whether or not the interview subject knew he was being tape-recorded; there is obviously no "expectation of privacy" when you're talking with a reporter.

We ignorant jokesters await your retraction and apology.

One way to solve all this:

Get FIDE representitives and Topalov/Danailov to meet in a neutral country ...dare I say London?

Clear questions are asked to Topalov/Danailov
- Do you think Kramnik cheated?
- Is it true that a cable was found in Kramnik's toliet?
- Is it true that the 2nd appeal's committee wanted to resign?
etc. etc.

If Topalov/Danailov are not chickens, then they answer as they did in the previous interview.

If they answer as before, then FIDE can proceed with their court case unless they need to hide anything.
If they answer in the negative, then the case is closed and Topalov/Danialov are stained forever.


Since we're all into theoreticals and hypotheticals here, I'll inject one further fact that may indirectly bear on the Topalov interview situation. Please don't anyone misunderstand me as implying any support for Topalov/Danailov's position (either for the substance of what he/they were reported as saying, or for his their denials/non-denials that he/they said what Bellon reported).

Journalists have been known to assert they had recordings, but refuse to produce them when challenged.

The most famous example is Oriana Fallaci, who died recently.

On the one hand, I have great respect for her: to my knowledge she was the only intellectual figure in all of Western Europe over the last several years to take an inclusive definition of human rights (i.e., one that embraced "Jews" within the category of "human").

But in the 1970s, when Fallaci was the world's best-known interviewer, she was challenged several times by interview subjects who denied saying various compromising things she had quoted them as saying. The most famous of those was probably Henry Kissinger, who denied telling her that he sometimes thought of himself as a knight on white horse galloping in to save the damsel in distress (I may have got that slightly wrong: maybe it was a sheriff galloping in to fight the outlaw who'd been terrorizing the Wild West town. It was definitely something involving a horse, and Henry riding in to save the day.)

As with other interviewees who challenged her reporting of their encounters with her, Fallaci responded that she had it all on tape. But I recall reading that she refused all appeals to produce such tapes. This practice reportedly earned her the nickname, "Oriana Fallacious."


Mr. Koster, you await a retraction and apology on no grounds but those that serve to massage your own ego. I already have spoken to clarification of my point and have long since acknowledged the inaccuracy of my original statement. At no point did I EVER claim that Topalov had an expectation of privacy; quite to the contrary, I explicitly replied to dz that my entire comment was aimed at assuaging the concern that Topalov might be able to weasel out of this by claiming that he did not know.

Furthermore, you apparently had no understanding of the subject matter yourself, or you would happily have leaped forward with the rebuttal; instead, you woke up, noticed that somebody else addressed it, and chimed in with "so there"! Such an action does nothing to forward the discussion; you could easily have written "Yeah, what he said!" and saved yourself more time.

Quite clearly, the entire jist of this conversation is that Topalov and Danailov cannot now absolve themselves of accountability for his comments and accusations, and it would be best to actually stick to the subject rather than going off on this juvenile tangent in hopes of proving a point that you don't even have.



1) Very Soon, Topalov team will issue a denial of "their earlier denial".

2) Topa will wear a T-shirt with a picture of a toilet pot on it (gifted by Danailov, of course) in his Wijk-aan-zee game versus against Kramnik and Kramnik. Kramnik would piss on the picture after every move.

^^Now that would get chess on tv.


Oriana Fallaci was under no more obligation to produce tapes than any journalist not compelled by a subpoena. If the liar, thug and mass murderer Kissinger was serious about an alleged libel, he would have dispatched his legal counsel forthwith to force Fallaci's hand, but of course this did not occur. Years later Kissinger backed away yet again when faced with Hitchens' The Trial Of Henry Kissinger, well aware that the discovery process would afford Hitchens the opportunity to provide corroborating evidence for all charges levelled in the book.

And anyhow Fallaci was for decades the victim of name-calling because she was a female with considerably larger testicles than her male counterparts. Her honesty and courage made enemies right up to her death.


Your ego is raining blood upon us. You did not "speak to clarification", you merely refused to admit you were wrong. It is better for you to keep quiet and let others believe you are a fool than to continue posting and leave no doubt whatsoever.

Is it just possible this is all being staged in the hopes of drumming up interest in Kramnik-Topalov a la Kasparov-Karpov? If so, how talk of cheating and three-year bans is supposed to attract sponsors is a question for longer heads than mine tho.

Club sandwich,

You never have anything even remotely relevant to say when you post in a thread; it is all about being a troll for you. Find some meaning for your life, and get a better name.


Mig's original post:
"Not to inflame the situation, but just for the record I'm told that Sr. Bellón has the entire Topalov interview recorded and that there were no errors in transcription. So efforts to deny it - instead of apologizing and retracting it, are just going to make things worse. As Nixon taught us, it's not the crime that gets you, it's the coverup."

Mig: Who told you he had the interview on tape? Was it Sr. Bellon himself or is this more Mig third-party hearsay? And did YOU record that conversation yourself?

Fair game, Maliq, since I was not joking in my post. But your joke is delightful, if perhap unwittingly ironic in its denial of your role: the fact is that I often post on caissic matters when posters like you aren't around to skewer and collapse the discourse with raging egomaniacal tangents. But nevertheless, you have my heartfelt thanks for finally omitting your disingenuous Peace/Hotep nonsense.



Club sandwich,

Nothing turned personal until you and others decided to make it so. If you can't take it, then don't start it. There was nothing tangential about my original post, but obviously your lack of reading comprehension leads you not to be able to understand the clear relevance. The only "nonsense" is you continuously trying to take shots at me, fooling yourself into thinking that your opinion actually carries any weight whatsoever. Forgive me for refusing to appeal to your ego; I don't seek the favor of idiots. The reason I omitted my standard greeting and send-off is obvious; I reserve it for people I actually respect, and I do not respect arrogant fools like yourself.


Yeah, peace, friendship and respect all over the place... Exactly what Merv above was calling for. (Not denying my own contribution to the mess, of course.)

To all sad geeks who have nothing better to do on Christmas than argue about US law system:

Why, pray tell, should US law have anything to do with Topalov's predicament as neither he nor the interviewer is American? I'm curious here.


Murderer? Kissinger? Come now. We all know that Vietnam's tragedies were thought of and executed by the thug named MacNamara.

"We all know that Vietnam's tragedies were thought of and executed by the thug named MacNamara."

I know no such thing. Last time I checked my history textbook, the US engagement in the Vietnam Conflict began in the Kennedy administration. I hope you are not suggesting that McNamara had the last word over his commander in chief.

On the one hand, I have great respect for her: to my knowledge she was the only intellectual figure in all of Western Europe over the last several years to take an inclusive definition of human rights (i.e., one that embraced "Jews" within the category of "human").

Care to expound upon this bizarre statement?

What is so bizarre about that statement? The connotation is perfectly clear.

In a vain attempt to get this blog more or less back on track ;)

On the basis of FIDE's code of ethics Topalov is in big, big trouble. Given how keen Danailov and Topalov are for FIDE to apply their own regulations to the letter when it comes to a challenge for the title it'd be ironic if FIDE actually follwed the regulations here!


Among the many breaches:

2.2.9 Players or members of their delegations must not make unjustified accusations toward other players, officials or sponsors.

The current FIDE regulations as well as the code of ethics consist of three words exactly: "whatever Kirsan says".


Evidentiary issues are covered in codes of civil and criminal procedure not in the "penal code".

I used to believe everything you said. But after watching you trip all over yourself trying to pass yourself off as a legal savant, I feel like Dorothy must have felt when Toto tore open the curtain.

I gotta weigh in on this recorded conversation bit. In New York City, telephone conversations are admissible as long as one of the parties is aware that the conversation is being recorded. I know this because, I was involved in such a case. The recording device must be tape not digital or it would not be admissible.

Parsnips, who said anything about Vietnam? We don't need it when we already have Chile, Cambodia, East Timor and Cyprus beefing up the docket for the prosecution at the Hague against Kissinger, one of the last living 20th century war criminals at liberty. MacNamara was not so much a thug as a gelid bureaucrat with strong positives as well: he presided over the invention of the seatbelt and helped eradicate the River Blindness plague in West Africa. Meanwhile his successor Kissinger continues to pad his bank account on Saudi payrolls while avoiding frisky magistrates outside the US.

And hey JJacobs, Fallaci actually DID make the Kissinger tape available and later published the transcript in a collection of her work.

Maliq darling, your feather duster is almost down to the nub, but boys keep swinging.


Greg, I am not a lawyer, nor have I ever claimed or aspired to be a "legal savant". I speak to what I know, and that is all; it is perfectly within my right to point out that I am probably more familiar with rules of law than the people who decided to crack wise rather than provide useful contributions of their own. If I am in error, then I gladly say this, accept the correction, and move on. It is, however, the arrogance with which some people reply that leads me to take aim at them. As for where evidence is contained, I do, in fact, own a book of New York State penal law, and matters of evidence and illegal recording are, indeed, discussed in this book, if I am recalling correctly. (At any rate, my point, that Topalov had no grounds for escaping accountability by claiming ignorance of being recorded, remains unharmed by anything that anyone has said here.) Finally, there is never any reason to believe everything that anybody says. Belief is suspect; our goal must always be to know rather than to believe. Many an assumed and accepted premise has been falsified upon further review, so there is no tragedy in you finding fault with my statement.




Greg, upon further review, you are correct. Good work, bro.



wow. I've never seen someone write so seriously, or so arrogantly, on a blog. "impressive".

Has anyone here read the last books of Oriana Fallaci ?


Kissinger, the man who won a Nobel Peace Prize, is a war criminal?

You're off your rocker dude.

Next time you're smoking, I want in too, must be premium stuff.

Kissinger is widely acknowledged to be a war criminal. I haven't read the Hitchens book, but I believe at least some of the indictments against him were issued by organizations with some credibility, such as Human Rights Watch and various Latin American non-governmental organizations. (Perhaps African ones too. Henry was directly involved in supplying US weapons to one of the sides in Angola's late-1970s civil war, and might have helped support the pre-independence Portuguese colonial regime in that country, which perpetrated at least one infamous genocidal massacre during the early '70s while Kissinger was a high US official.)

Giving Kissinger the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an end to the Vietnam War might have been justified in a purely "realpolitik" sense -- that conflict at the time was the deadliest war then going on in the world. In a moral sense, however, it's a little like giving Bush the Nobel Peace Prize if he is finally forced to pull out of Iraq. Or giving a Feminist Human Rights Award to a batterer who finally tires of beating his wife, so he stops for awhile.

A similar dynamic may have been behind the award that went to Rabin and Arafat: the prize committee might have felt that by rewarding the treaty, they were improving the chances that fragile agreement might ultimately succeed in bringing peace to the Middle East.

That is a Koster-esque (pragmatic, grown-up, and decidedly non-idealistic) way of making such decisions.

I'm not prepared to condemn it (or endorse it either). My intention is merely to point out that anyone who (like parsnips) would think being a war criminal is incompatible with winning a Nobel Peace Prize, must be a middle school student; or if already in high school, most likely attends a decidedly inferior high school.

Wait a second...

"but just for the record I'm told that Sr. Bellón has the entire Topalov interview recorded and that there were no errors in transcription..."

We are speaking about a journalist from Spain. Is that the same Spain where Kramnik was declared the winner of a 1998 match against Shirov without winning a single game (an losing twice)?

So, I got it, from a false statement anything else can be considered true without contradiction. So, I don't discard that Kirsan was taken by aliens ...

Besides, I found impressive the following:

- Kramnik has received the benefits during this world championship match, as well as after 1998, despite the obscure tactics and means to arrive to such a privileged position. In addition, he has received a large amount of money for putting the WCC name in a commercial match against a computer program (for example, losing his last game by choosing a opening system he hasn't employed a long time ago, just to emphasize the abilities of the machine to the eyes of potential buyers)

- Topalov has lost a big part of his reputation and any chances to recapture the title in the short term (according to Kirsan rules, at least not in the next year, despite being having the #1 ranking and being most recent challenger for the title).

- Kramnik is considered the good guy and Topalov the bad guy (when likely, both sides are equally corrupt).

As I told before, I guess anything can happen... I guess if Nixon would have been president in this time, he could have received a Peace Nobel Prize and his coverup would have worked perfectly...

Adding to JJacobs post:

Le Duc Tho, the North Vietnamese co-winner of the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, refused to accept the award because, since the war continued apace, he believed an award for negotiating a nonexistent peace was something of a joke. As always unburdened by shame, Kissinger travelled to Oslo and accepted his $57,500 share of the prize. The war ended in a North victory two years later.

Parsnips, I bet there are several books on the subject to hand at your local library. A few premium weed dealers are Hitchens, Shawcross and Hersh.

Is there a new story out there about an Indian cought cheating by using a bluetooth device inside his cap ?


I find another explanation for Kramnik's choice of opening against Fritz to be more in line with what regular tournament players are familiar with. When a draw is as bad as a loss, picking a system that carries a greater chance of defeat is preferred to picking one that gives a smaller chance of victory.

As regards calling either Kramnik or Topalov corrupt, accusations without evidence are not sufficient. Should you or someone else produce legitimate evidence of corruption on Kramnik's part, perhaps we would be inclined to view him in the same light as Topalov.

Finally, we should point out that there is no reason to suspect that Spain was biased toward Kramnik (Shirov was declared the winner of that match but simply couldn't get funding for a title match). Spain happens to be where Topalov and Shirov make their home these days, so I fail to see why the outsider would get privilege over the home team.


Yes. The India Chess Federation has banned him for ten years. World Chess News has a short article from Yahoo News.

Ah, and so now we see the "source" of such claims. Leftist anti-American groups like "Human Rights Watch", which has a long history of attacking the US as some sort of modern "Imperialist" entity.

Jon Jacobs, if you want to say that Kissinger is widely regarded as a "war criminal", let us be honest. He is widely regarded by leftists as a war criminal, leftists who disagree with an interventionalist foreign policy.

That would be a lot more credible, and intellectually honest, then attempting to paint your intellectual superior as somehow being of middleschool understanding of issues.

Today's TOPSPORT.BG (Bulgarian) has a statement by Kirsan ruling out a rematch Topalov-Kramnik in March/April due to the lack of time to organize such an event.


Will translate it later if there's interest.


As quoted by Russian radio Mayak, Kirsan, on the contrary, says: "I am absolutely in favour of any big chess competition!"


Or perhaps Clubfoot, the good General was too busy invading his neighbors (Cambodia, Laos) and attempting to support communist regimes in those countries (through genocide) to have had time to go collect his share of the prize.

Let's be honest here, Hitchen's book has long been discredited by the facts. Not to mention his own ever changing political philosophy (cant remember if he's a socialist or a neocon now) in an effort to peddle his tripe. Perhaps that is why you are attracted like a fly to his ideas.


Now that you have painted yourself into a narrow, far-right speck of the political spectrum...

...And have broadcast your belief that any bold declaration you make, automatically becomes so, simply by virtue of your having declared it (examples: "That would be a lot more credible, and intellectually honest, then attempting to paint your intellectual superior as somehow being of middleschool understanding of issues."; "Hitchen's book has long been discredited by the facts." and the like)...

...We, your fellow Dirt readers, are all eagerly awaiting your next act of verbal magic.

Will you declare yourself a multi-millionaire on this thread, thereby making it so?

Or perhaps you will declare yourself the owner/husband of a mate whose beauty easily outshines both Kasparov's bride and Kramnik's bride-to-be (as someone else here -- was it Ruslan? -- did some weeks ago).

Or, if it is not money or radiant nookie but chess skill that you pine away for, perhaps you will declare yourself the proud owner of a 2300 (or 2400 or 2500) FIDE rating.

Imagine Jon's shock when in response to his own insults, he is insulted.

And the showmanship! Bravo!

Facts aren't some magical property that one wills into existence (though to someone of your mental abilities it certainly must appear to be so). No, not even I have the ability to declare and make it so. If I did have this ability though, to be sure, I would use it to turn you from a strawman so your perpetual trip to Oz would finally be over.

As for me "painting" myself into a "far right narrow speck" of the political spectrum, we just have to ask, How have I done so?

Surely you cannot be one to deny that Hitchen's personal "convictions" are apt to change. This is well known to those who have actually read his work. I suspect you are one of those 'lazy intellectuals' who fell free to opine and cite in support famous authors you have never read, nor understood.

Perhaps your time is better spent working on your chess game, because anything more serious than that, causes you to have mental fits when presented with the simplest of ideas.

While Mig and Co. try to present Topalov as "a lunatic" by posting suspicious interviews(?), Topa is involved in fundraising for children in need:


My wish is that FIDE and Kramnik mess it up between them. That way we will again see some quality chess by Topa in Mexico...

Silvio? I didnt know you read this blog..

A lone voice of reason at long last... And speaking of "quality chess by Topa in Mexico", what would it be this time, Rybka or Fritz? Hydra perhaps?

"quality chess" means attacking, entertaining chess, just like the kind of defeats Kramnik suffered in Elista...

Kramnik may have won that match but Topa's wins were far more convincing than Kramnik's, with or without ToiletFritz 10...

Silvio, dont you have 2 million dollars to gather for the return match? Why are you wasting time posting on a blog?

Silvio is cooking KFC (Kramnik Fried Chicken) now! No need for the 2 million if Kramnik chickens out of Mexico... :)

Giannis, of course, I totally agree with you with regards to the quality of Topalov's chess in that match. Only phony experts like Kasparov have the cheek to think otherwise. What does he know about chess anyway?

Parsnips, by now your posts are so hilariously wrong it would be difficult to determine where to respond first -- that is if your sincerity could be believed. But of course you're not serious at all, you're just trolling. You're not a "lazy intellectual", you're just lazy: you may or may not have read Hitchens (I doubt it), but you definitely haven't read Trial of Henry Kissinger, because then you'd know that not even Kissinger himself disputed the facts. The book was built upon declassified cables, documents and conversation memos from the State Department, White House and CIA between 1969-76, so any attempt from Kissinger to "discredit with the facts" would have made him look even more ridiculous than you look right now. His defenders merely disagreed with Hitchens that taken together, the facts were prima facie evidence supporting a case against Kissinger for high crimes against humanity. So you not only haven't read the book, you haven't even read the numerous attacks on the book.

To be fair, Hitchens DID make one correction a year after the book came out, when the National Security Archive declassified a State Department memcon revealing that in December 1975 Kissinger gave the green light to Suharto's genocidal invasion of East Timor (using weapons furnished by the US on Kissinger's order). This link just isn't that funny: http://www.etan.org/et2002a/february/01-09/09ksngr.htm

Not that there's anything wrong with trolling, but take it from me, you'd be more entertaining if you showed a sense of historical accuracy when trying to insult me or JJacobs or any Dirtkicker: the problem is that your recollection of events in Indochina during the 1970's is writ on whole cloth culled from your backside. Get to a library. And don't worry, libraries offer free Net time so you can update us on your progress.

DZ, get an opinion of your own instead of quoting Garry (please provide us with a link with Garry's statement by the way). If you are so patzerized that you don't see Topa's chess as more entertaining or attacking than Kramnik's, than you seriously need some lessons in chess. If not Kasparov, KFC might do the trick for you :)

Giannis, I just gave you my opinion, didn't I? Why should I provide you with you a link (or half a dozen of them) if your reading comprehension is so lacking? Kasparov's comments are freely available to anyone who cares to read them (well, maybe only to those who have heard of google or some such tool, sorry that life is so unfair.)

Hilariously wrong? What claim did I make that I was incorrect about? You say I'm wrong, and go on a diatribe about a series of unrelated documents that were sewn together by an author with a personal vendetta,who on numerous occasions has changed his own political philosophy in an effort to sell books to dolts like you. Hitchen's book is a mockery of reality.

If you really want to get the scoop on Kissinger's anti-Socialist/Communist foriegn policy (after all, you probably take personal offense to the man being a far leftist yourself)... Then take yourself to the same library and read the actual policies of the man himself (he has authored several fascinating books). Perhaps then you can divorce yourself from the ugly nature of the countries that the US had to deal with (as if the Turks were a peaceful nation before Cyprus, lol), and realize that when dealing with 3rd world nations, lives are continually lost. Maybe then you would find your blame falling not on Kissinger, but on the violent leftist guerrilla factions that attack innocents daily in countries like Guatemala and Colombia.

Socialism died once, and Kissinger is a hero for killing it.

Oh yeah right DZ. Chicken out just like your idol, KFC the Great.

You know very well that there is no such link with Garry saying that Topa is not playing "attacking and entertaining chess". Otherwise you would have happily posted it, like a mean old Kramnik-fan you are... ;)


What one considers entertaining is certainly a matter of taste. I prefer clear and correct chess to speculative attacks that work only because someone fails to find the gaping hole in the analysis. Of the 2800's in history, Topalov appeared to be the one most susceptible to defeat precisely because of this style. His ideas were enterprising, yes, but they weren't always correct.

Some people are fans of music that they can dance wildly to while others prefer some light classical music. Cultural currency aside, there is nothing to say that anyone is wrong for preferring one over the other.

Merv, with "clear and correct chess" do you also mean short draws in 15 moves or boring Petroffs where everything is exchanged in 20 moves?

In that case, you can bet that we have very different tastes indeed. That's why I prefer Topa instead of Kramnik playing in Mexico...

Giannis, the kind of ignorant stupidity you invariably exhibit may not help you win any debates but at least helps to end them quickly. Congratulations!

And sorry to disappoint you, KFC is not my idol. I don't have idols in general and I am not into junk food in particular.

Chill out DZ...

It's good that Kramnik is not your idol and good that you're not into junk food.

But I'm still waiting for your link... ;)

Try holding your breath, that often helps.


When I speak of clear and correct chess, I mean that a man wins a game without making losing moves. He should've lost the second game against Topalov because of a blunder of his own, but for the most part, Kramnik is less likely to blunder than Topalov. Lest we forget, this man defeated the two highest-rated players in history in match play. Call him what you will, but there is nothing but foolishness in any statement that hints that Kramnik is not amongst the strongest players in history.

Very funny kiddo, but I pointed out exactly where you were wrong without cant or diatribe. And the "sewn-together" documents were not at all unrelated -- in fact, they all involved Henry Kissinger. So since you admit you haven't read the book, I will admit I actually have read Kissinger's work; so what exactly is your argument here -- that Kissinger's record as Defense Secretary and Secretary of State is exempt from examination because he's written "several fascinating books" since? Or are you arguing that since your hero Kissinger "killed socialism" [sic], his crimes are above the law? (btw the "personal vendetta" charge is the time-honored rhetorical shiv of weaklings on the left and right, so I'll leave it in the garbage where it belongs).

But okay Parsey, if you believe the latter, then were you loud and proud about your great anti-communist warrior Kissinger when he publicly supported Deng Xiaoping's order to clear Tiananmen Square with bloodletting and terror in 1989? Did you stand erect behind your Cold War liberator Kissinger when he chastised the US government for taking a hard line on human rights in Communist China?? I know I know, one can hardly blame Henry for seeking to protect his influence-peddling business Kissinger & Associates, even if it meant -- gasp -- supporting the repressive activity of godless one-party states!! This would probably also explain his support of Milosevic in Yugoslavia, Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the military junta in Burma during the 90's. Today his promiscuity with dictators to enrich himself seems a far cry from his good old days as a murderer who subverted the US constitution each day before shaving.

But again, Kissinger killed socialism, right? Then how odd that the fearless Cold Warrior refused to receive Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the greatest anti-communist of the 20th century, at the White House! "Brezhnev might get upset", he explained to then-president Ford. There's your hero.

Anyway, I'm getting tired of crushing your arguments like ripe grapes, it's too easy. And you can't respond to me without name-calling, so take care and we'll see you when you get back from the library.

Clubfoot, this is not to pick a battle with you (nor even to dispute the point you are making), just to comment on your characterization of Solzhenitsyn as "the greatest anti-communist of the 20th century." Some people would certainly agree with you, the Archipelago was a serious (perhaps, decisive) blow indeed, no argument here.

However, other people would disagree quite emphatically. Their point of view is that Solzhenitsyn was not all that unhappy with the system itself, he just demanded (or so goes their reasoning) to have the pieces on the board rearranged. Colors reversed might be a better metaphor. And, I must say, that his (Solzh.'s) cosy relationship with Putin (a former KGB colonel, among other things) rather tends to support the latter group's theory.

Isn't it funny how things that seem so clear cut and obvious tend to become way more fuzzy once you look a little closer.

FIDE will NOT Consider Request for Topalov’s Disqualification
December 27, 2006
FOCUS News Agency

News from Sofia

According to the FOCUS News Agency, FIDE press office told them that they would not consider the request for Veselin Topalov’s disqualification over insults made towards Vladimir Kramnik after the match for the World Chess Championship title.

Even though the issue has not been included in FIDE Presidential Council's agenda in Antayia on January 29, 2007, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has indirectly confirmed that nobody in the federation thinks of imposing penalty on Topalov.

“I would like to thank two of the world’s best chess players Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik for agreeing to play a joint match for the world title. In April they signed an agreement for this match under the auspices of FIDE. I hope the argument between them on the chess board will continue to the delight of everybody who loves chess,” Ilyumzhinov said, cited by Mayak radio.

He added that the atmosphere in Elista during the match was nervous. “After all this was a match for the world chess title. Now everything is over and what has left is the result – Kramnik is the world chess champion. Actually this toilet scandal played a good PR role – a lot of people took an interest in chess,” Ilyumzhinov concluded.



Then my apologies, I should have said "one of the great" instead. And moreover, I shouldn't have pulled the thread so far from chess.

While I don't agree with the latter view, which has grown considerably since Solzhenitsyn's return (after all, he was bitchy about Putin before and after the celebrated photo op), I think it's definitely true that he was often an ambiguous public figure, quite apart from the singleminded persona of his published work.

"Today's TOPSPORT.BG (Bulgarian) has a statement by Kirsan ruling out a rematch Topalov-Kramnik in March/April due to the lack of time to organize such an event.


Will translate it later if there's interest."

Please do.

Kissinger, Indo-China and Imperialism?

When issues such as these are in dispute, we need a clear and final disposition by an undisputed expert.

Maliq Soter, where are you??


If taking isolated facts and weaving them together as if there is somehow a cohesive conspiracy involving Kissinger lining his pockets and his supporters is now 'crushing grapes', I can introduce you to a few Vince Foster conspiracy theorists you would get along with great.

If you want to discuss the reasons for every individual decision, taken in context of a much larger pretext of the cold war and the expansionist threat of the Soviet Union(for example specifically as it relates to Kissinger's blind eye to the atrocities committed not by him, but by the Turkish Cypriots, for example), and contrast them with the alternatives had he not acted the way he did, then by all means let's have that discussion. But dont sit here and try to pretend that somehow your clouded worldview, affected by one man's book (who himself has changed political ideologies yearly, depending on which magazine he's writing a column for) is the overriding truth. It isnt.

Lastly, I spell some words incorrectly,yes. English is my second language, as it is for many posters on this blog. Dont critique my spelling or grammar as somehow being indicative of my age or intelligence or how voracious of a reader I am. I have read Hitchens "Novel", it does nothing to set in context the decisions Kissinger made as far as the back drop of the cold war goes.


"Today's TOPSPORT.BG (Bulgarian) has a statement by Kirsan ruling out a rematch Topalov-Kramnik in March/April due to the lack of time to organize such an event.


Will translate it later if there's interest."

Please do.


Here is a rough translation


Title: Rematch Topalov - Kramnik is impossible according to FIDE's President.

Subtitle: Sofia doesn't have time to organize the match, thinks Ilyumjinov.

The president of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumjinov stated that it is practically impossible to conduct a rematch for the World Title between the new champion of the planet Vladimir Kramnik and the pretender Veselin Topalov.

"In my opinion, the organization of such match is practically impossible due to the lack of time. It is necessary to present a bank guarantee of 1 million Euro. The other condition, according to the regulations, is that the match needs to be completed no later than 6
months prior to the World Chess Championship.

"As the new World Chess Championship will be in September, the match Topalov - Kramnik has to end in March. The organization and conduct of a match in such short time frame is almost impossible", explained Ilyumjinov.


This is not new, though. That is what Kirsan said in his Sport Express interview with Vasiliev a while back. Probably, they just got around to translating that interview... (I wonder, is there anyone in Bulgaria who could not read the original thing in Russian?)

One more time...

1)I did not critique your spelling or your grammar, nor did I insult you personally beyond addressing your unquestioning and dissembling hero-worship of Kissinger. You, on the other hand, called me a "dolt" and a "fly"

2) I said nothing about a conspiracy of any sort regarding Kissinger's business ethics, and once again, the facts were NOT "isolated" in any possible stretch: they were all about Kissinger

3)I did not express enough of a worldview to merit any adjective, let alone the bizarre use of "clouded"

4)I claimed no ownership to the "overriding truth" but instead merely supported the idea that this rapacious war criminal should be put in the dock before he dies. And I am not alone in this view

5) You are lying if you now contend that you have read Hitchens' book: your own words failed you here, as I demonstrated earlier

6) Your implication that I base my argument on evidence gathered from a single book is weakly delivered and far off the mark. I've read more than one book -- I'm no Christian ;)

7)"Contrasting with alternatives" is a tautology. Kissinger's crimes were not occasioned by a rigid either/or, they were most often the result of his or Nixon's amoral and grasping initiative, viz: he had an alternative NOT to order the murder of a senior military officer in a democratic country with which the US was not at war; he had an alternative NOT to drop ten times as many bombs as were dropped on WWII Japan onto an officially neutral country in an illegal campaign without declaration of war. He had an alternative NOT to send a congratulatory telegram to the Pakistani general conducting the Bangladeshi genocide. You see where I'm going with this?

8) I'm going back to chess now

Speaking of news from Bulgaria that FIDE is not going to punish Topalov - that actually makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Assuming, of course, that Danailov is indeed capable of getting millions whenever he feels like it.

You can say many things about Kirsan, but he is not stupid. Why would he kill a goose that is not only laying golden eggs but deposits them in his (Kirsan's) own pocket?

The only question I have, why don't any other sources confirm this? Perhaps even (gasp!) the FIDE site itself?


When has the FIDE site ever been on time with anything? It took them some time to even put up the result of the biggest event in chess in the last 15 years! There could surely not have been any claim that it took them long to get the news...

Right. And in defense of Kirsan, we have to keep in mind that even more fateful events haven't yet made it to his site. For example, the story of the simul he himself recently gave to a group of kids in a small Russian town.

The story of the simul Kirsan gave to a group of kids in a small Russian town may never make it to his site, he lost all games...

No, you may be underestimating him. He says (to Vasiliev in Sport Express) that even though kids played to the (latest?) theory, he still managed to win 3 games and draw 4 - in addition to also losing 3 (2 of them to known local talents.)

So some Bulgarian news agency claims that FIDE will not even consider the complaint against Topalov. E.g. because it is not on the agenda of next meeting of the Presidential Council. Should we believe this? Or is it in the category "I'll send the bank guarantee tomorrow", as Mr. Danailov is promising for 2 weeks already?

Officialy the Ethics Committee decides about the complaint, not the Presidential Council. I think it is highly improbable that they took a decision in only one week, especially if that week contains Christmas.

In real life, it is Mr. Ilyumzhinov who decides. The quote from FOCUS that should "prove" he dismisses the complaint (thanking Topalov and Kramnik for playing their match, hoping that their struggle on the chessboard continues) is from an interview with Russian radio Maiak. Maybe this is the interview he gave on the 17th of December (or earlier), the one in the link? A few days before, not after, the complaint was made? Or does Mr. Iyumzhinov give interviews to Maiak every week?

Until there is a more reliable source reporting, with more information (and not a quote that can be interpreted in a million ways), I think it is better to assume that there has not been taken a decision about the complaint of Mr. Hensel yet.

I agree with your reasoning, I think this "news" firmly belongs in the category of speculation. It would certainly help clearing things up if we could get information from a reliable source. Knowing Kirsan, however, I personally would not count on that happening any time soon.

However, speaking of Kirsan's Mayak interview, I think it is dated December 27th, not 17th, isn't that so?

I think we all know that FIDE isn't going to take any action against Topalov without needing it spelled out in the newspapers, don't we?

I'm more interested in Jon Jacobs' observation that some Italian journalist is the only Western intellectual in the last several years to have considered that human rights extend even as far as the Jews. On the face it this statement would seem, shall we say, to contain an element of exaggeration.

Oriana Fallaci was hardly "some" Italian journalist. Your rhetorical attempt to belittle and downplay is self refuting. About some authors there is also, little (i.e some) debate. Not the case here, she spills over even a chessblog.

She was one of the first well known, with large audience, intellectuals to speak out and take a stand against the fast islamization of Europe.

Europe was being islamised in the 1970's? I must have missed it. Now had you said the 1170's, we'd have been talking.

But anyway that doesn't have much to do with Jewish human rights.

are the bank guarantees from Topalov team already in Elista as announced by danailov?

No, the latest is that it has to wait until after the New Year's holidays, and that it's Libya's fault.

rdh, you seem uninformed but this chessblog is not the place for such debates. You better start reading the last books of Oriana so as to understand the context of her defense of Jews and Israel and why you are so off mark. Then you can upgrade to more scholarly work as Bat Ye'Or and Eurabia( yes it started in early 1970s) and so on.
Being the smart ass that you are you will get the point crystal clear in exactly one week of readings.

Credit Danailov with a masterful job of improving his client's image.

Before Elista even thoughtful and level-headed types like Kasparov were repeating allegations that Topalov was an evil, crafty, computer-cheater.

But after a two-month Topnailov p.r. blitz, Topalov is seen (outside Bulgaria) as a pathetic fool, dominated by a Svengali manager.

That's an improvement, isn't it?

And by uninformed he means "you don't parrot my views". Sophisticated and nuanced as always.

mondo, we know that all those who do worry aloud about the islamization of the Western world -- such as Bassam Tibi, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq, Ali Sina -- are bigots all, and so too is the scholar of the dhimmi condition Bat Ye'or, and Professor Bernard Lewis, and Professor Hans Jansen, and so many other scholars . So too was the late Oriana Fallaci (wasn't she practically a Fascist? Wasn't her family part of Mussolini's crowd?), and Alain Finkielkraut, and Alain Besancon, and Pavel Kohout, and those crazed right-wing editors of Jyllands-Posten, and that crazed bigot Theo van Gogh, and all the others who have concluded that Jihad is something to be resisted.

Just look at France, England, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden. Look in particular at Malmo, and at Rotterdam. What's the problem? What's worrisome about any of that?

It seems to me that the only thing that Focus is reporting is that the Presidential Council will not deal with the complaint about Topalov. It is logical that the FIDE press office would confirm that that is not on the agenda for January. After all, it is the ethics committee that will consider the complaint.

Whoever stole Ovidiu's meds, kindly give them back.

This rubbish would all be deleted in an instant if it were about Judaism rather than Islam. And rightly so. Mig, were are you?



I disagree.

Defending the Topnailov freak show is a dirty job but somebody's got to do it, and Ovidiu evidently drew the short straw.

But on his own time, Ovidiu makes some valuable contributions to the blog. If not for him I would never have heard of folks like:

Bassam Tibi--
Syrian-born Muslim. Now a professor of political science in Germany. Advocate of core cultural values including democracy, secularism, the Enlightenment and human rights.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali--
37-tear-old daughter of a Somali warlord. Dutch feminist, filmmaker, works for the American Enterprise Institute. In 2005, named to Time's list of the world's 100 most influential people.
(Her Wikipedia photo is worth a look.)

Ibn Warraq--
A pseudonym meaning, "son of a paper-maker". Son of Muslim parents, grew up in Pakistan. Critic of the oppressive nature of Islam, and of religion in general.

Ali Sina--
A pseudonym for an ex-Muslim writer critical of the imperialist ideology of Islam.

"dhimmi condition"--
Non-Muslims enjoying a certain amount of toleration while living in a Muslim state.

Bat Ye'or--
Pseudonym meaning "daughter of the Nile." Born to Jewish parents in Egypt, now a writer in Britain, focusing on the rapid transformation of Eastern Christian lands into Islamic territories.

Well, if acirce talks about rubbish, I think, his expert opinion should be taken most seriously.


I'm all for life-long learning, but this is a chess site - not a political one, for wingnuttery or otherwise.

By the way, I can guarantee that a great number of American conservatives currently in love with the pronouncements of Ali Sini about Islam would instantly drop him like a hot potato if they had actually read his words :

"My criticism applies to all religions. The very concept of God sending messengers to be known and worshipped is absurd. All those who come pretending to bring a message from an invisible god that only they can see are charlatans and their claims are bogus. I do believe in a higher Reality and a Single Principle underlying the creation, but not in an egotistic self-centered petulant deity as depicted by these self-appointed prophets."

Let's get back to the important stuff, eh? Little wooden knick-knacks being pushed about by people on a lovely wooden board.


We in the blog have solved all the 2006 problems in the chess world a few days early, so we thought we'd taken on some of the world's problems.


Perhaps we should do something special on this blog so as to end 2006.

One idea, let's play a collective chess game.

Open a new thread :"Mig's Blog Game 2006" and anyone has the right to post a (the next) move in response to the last one posted. But, to avoid the same two players quickly exhausting the game, no more than one until Mig posts his move after which it is again "open to post one".

Great idea!

How about teams?

Bulgaria v. the world.

One move per day. At the end of the day the move with the most votes gets played "on the board."

I need to go to the toilet first.

Babson: I need to go to the toilet first.

Thank you for letting us know. If you need to go more than 17 times put it in the contract.


We went easy on you boys in Elista. But now we're getting serious.

--our KGB agents will NOT be chess-retarded,
--we will put wires where we can actually reach them, and they will actually connect to something!
--we will keep capturing your pieces, with total calm, even when your attack looks dangerous!
--we will wreck you! you will be unable to sleep and will spin around in circles!
--our sorcerer will hypnotize you into dreaming about visiting Moscow nightclubs with us,

--we will accuse you of cheating,
--we will challenge you to prove that you did not cheat,
--we will argue that we played more skillfully than you,
--we will argue that we played more stylishly than you,
--we will whine,
--we will cry,
--we will demand a rematch,
--but at least we'll get the money.

Greg Koster: We went easy on you boys in Elista. But now we're getting serious.


Greg, you always come off so nurdish it's delightful.


Good one greg.

Jennifer Shahade at chessbase : "I have very mixed feelings about the various Anna Kournikovas of chess who promote chess and themselves in sexy modeling shoots," she says.

Oh dear, supposedly she has "mixed emotions" as Mick Jagger but nevertheless she gets over them
and she poses in pink on the cover of that book. A book whose title, tellingly, isn't "On the concept of blockade" but "Chess bitches".

Men fight hard to get on the top (in sports, bussiness, professions), that is to to get status and money, so as to become sexually attractive ( as Al Pacino had it in a movie "you first get the money then you get the girls).

Women aim for the same thing but they want the status not for itself, not for getting money and power. They want to become the center of attention so as to have an opportunity to display their "charms", to have them known to the world. It is a struggle for having your add the first to be read and by everyone if possible.

What happens is what should happen.

+++ Breaking News +++ Breaking News +++ Breaking News +++

Two bulgarians are accused to have at least a finger in the pie of the sink of the Titanic.

Silvio Danailov and Veselin Topalov - chess VIPs from bulgaria, living in spain - are obviously proven to be guilty beeing actively envolved in the loss of the Titanic (we reported elsewhere some century ago!)

Asked for his reasons, Danailov answered: "I did it just for the money! And the fun, of course!"

Danailovs accomplice, Mr. Topalov, a former chess World Champion, recently dethroned by russias Vladimir Kramnik, complained: "I do not even know what a Titanic is, but i know everything about UTP-5 cables!"

Do you want to know more about this?

... hopefully not - yours Vohaul

Ovidiu -

She has mixed feelings because she's jealeous of these players, not only for being much better looking, but also having much higher ELO's.

She should be happy that through nepotism she has a job in the chess field (wholly unqualified for) and stop her bitching about chess.


1... c5


let's mix it up then

3. d4


4. Nxd4





I've known Jenn Shahade since we were fifteen. I can tell you that not only is she a beautiful woman (as many who've met her in person can tell you), but she's also a strong player (as many who've met her over the board can also tell you). Jenn is a highly-educated woman who has a very interesting perspective on the role of women in competitive chess and sports in general, and I would advise against throwing insults against her when she's presenting a viewpoint at least as valid as those which others put forth.


"What happens is what should happen" is either poor logic or poor phrasing of your point. It calls to mind that evil concept of social Darwinism.



Jon Jacobs wrote about Fallaci:

"... she was the only intellectual figure in all of Western Europe over the last several years
to take an inclusive definition of human rights (i.e., one that embraced "Jews" within the category of "human")."

Calling you silly Jacobs would be like bestowing an honorary degree on you.


Hey Mig! Anybody home? This blog post was from December 24. Checking the calendar, it's... December 29. Still have a hangover, or what?


As someone who has met Ms. Shahade, and knows her well publicized educational background, I can tell you 2 things:

1. She's very average looking.

2. She's not qualified to earn the pay as chief editor of the organization I belong to (USCF).

These are my opinions. Ask yourself this: How many 25 year old recent graduates have their first job being the Chief editor of a National Publication with over 100,000 members? And have it be their first 'job'? Does the fact that it was a closed (non-advertised) position make it even more questionable to you? It does to me.


In my opinion, Jennifer Shahade looks great.

Why should a person have to read gratuitous criticism of their looks on a public blog?

What kind of man, assuming you are a man (much worse if you are a woman) would say something demeaning (yes, very average is demeaning) about someone's appearance?

Did she give you some personal reason to dislike her? Like saying: Go away Parsnips, Hell will freeze over before I agree to have coffee with you.

As to jobs, it seems a reasonable job for someone of that age who has a degree, a chess title, a significant book, and a personality that draws attention. Some people have it, as in character and charisma, and some people don't.


In the context of her complaining (aka "mixed feelings") about "Anna Kournakova's" it is very relevent that she is average looking, because it is likely that her complaints are really a self image issue.

Secondly, she is the one out there making such statements publicly, one shouldnt be surprised that such statements will be rebuffed from an equally attentive public.

The points about her positives (she is educated, does have a book, and is good at chess) do not, in my opinion, outweigh the facts that she has no experience in the actual job field, and that she was hired in cloudy circumstances. As a dues paying member of the USCF, her employer, I think my opinion as well as every other member has merit.


Just to get the facts straight, she is just the editor of Chesslife online.

The editor of the print magazine is Daniel Lucas.

The website does look better than in the past. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Whether she is good looking or not, 25 year old or not, a good chess player or not, whether she is qualified or not, she is delivering the results. In the long run , that is what counts.

Actually, what counts is that the job was a closed position, and she had no track record of success in editing online publications. And the hiring process was shady at best.

Now that she is one, I agree, she's doing ok at it. I'd prefer the national site not to be a blog, but hey everyone has their own sense of what works. It still doesnt change the fact that she is probably not the best person for the job, nor that she should have gotten the job to begin with.

And dirtbag, one more note,

The facts never gotten confused. The website is a major national publication... Probably a defensive reaction to "Attacks" on Ms. Shahade, but everything I bring to table is factual.

"...but everything I bring to table is factual."


I'm curious how this thread made the leap from Topalov & crew's lated reality-challenged musings through the a debate about Oriana Fallaci to end up discussing Jennifer Shahade's job. Is there a connection here that I'm missing?

I'm not complaining. I often find the digressions in these threads just as interesting as the main topic. I just sometimes wonder how people get from A to G.

-deeply puzzled

"I'm curious how this thread made the leap from Topalov & crew's lated reality-challenged musings through the a debate about Oriana Fallaci to end up discussing Jennifer Shahade's job. Is there a connection here that I'm missing?"

You must have missed the communion service:


Chesslife online is not a major national publication (think Wallstreet Journal).

Editing it, for a financially-strapped organization such as USCF, is not a huge job. But it's a suitable job for a graduate with good writing credentials, contacts in chess, etc.

And 'mixed feelings' is complaining ....?

Dimitry Jakovenko had a 2809 performance in Pamplona. Yermo was right when he wrote after the Russian final that Jako was already Top-10 material.

I believe Jennifer Shahade is the best person for the job and she is doing a great job. I believe Jennifer and her brother Greg are 2 bright spots in chess. They work tirelessly for the good of chess. Bravo to both of them.

Now if we could simply get parsnips to do one good thing for chess a year we will be ahead. He is so busy knocking down all the good people. Maybe this morning when he gets out of bed he will look in the mirror and remember all his complaints about others just might have relevence to himself.

"Everything I bring to the table is factual." - Parsnips.

...."the organization I belong to (USCF)... with over 100,000 members." -- Parsnips.

USCF's current membership is around 78,000, as can be easily seen by visiting the USCF Forums web site. All-time peak membership since the current record-keeping system began was about 93,000, reached in the mid-1990s.


Being a paying member of an organization is not enough of a qualification to judge who should run what. A complete idiot is just as capable of paying dues as a genius, and I dare say that both views should not be considered equal.

I've had jobs where a ton of people had input on what should and shouldn't have been done, but they were not in position to see the things I could see or to consider the things I had to consider. So being, I took their suggestions into consideration with a grain of salt and weighted them according to the qualifications of those who were making those suggestions.

When it comes down to it, someone making a hiring decision has one and only one responsibility: to get someone in there who meets the demands of the position. How they do that is up to them. Your right as a USCF member is not to participate in the selection but simply to expect that whoever is selected does a competent job.

If you want to be concerned about something with the USCF it should be the fact that Sam Sloan is on the EB, and the fact that enough people actually voted for him to place him there.

As John Naylor (my late neighbour, rest his soul, not the chess player from Rugby) used to tell me, parsnips are best, sweetest, left in the ground and not dug up until after a hard frost. It must be a mild winter in those parts.

At 25, Alexander III of Macedon would already have been editing a "world" publication.

Admittedly, Harold Ross was an old man of 32 when he became editor of the New Yorker, but it should be remembered that he also had to found that magazine before anybody could edit it.

I was chosen to be the editor of a national chess magazine at age 21. I had never been chief editor of anything before that. I was a recent graduate, and it was my first "position" (of course, by a young age, everybody has had a "job" or five). Perhaps the reason for my selection was that, in the field for which I was educated, Mathematics, anybody who hadn't made a significant contribution by age 20 was unlikely ever to do so. I was hand-picked for the position, and although there was a process, five candidates, and voting, there was hardly any doubt what the result would be because the principals were all on my side. Twenty-five is not young to hold such a position as editor.

P'snips is free to think that J. Shahade is average looking. I've seen A. Kosteniuk in the flesh, and she could also be described as average looking. At the Women's Olympiad, where Kosteniuk sat a few feet from me almost every day, she was totally concentrated on chess and wore what I am going to approximate as a business suit. She had all the allure of an average school marm or an average bureaucrat. Some say that even Marilyn Monroe was just average looking, in particular before undergoing Wardrobe. All three average-looking, but all three, in their moments, with a spark.

P'snips is free to think that any woman's comments on the propriety of beauty shots are motivated by jealousy. In this case, I disagree, and I think that women are better placed to make such comments because they are, after all, women. P'snips' publication of those doubts *looks like* an attack on women as commentators. Or maybe p'snips is just jealous of Jennifer's good looks. Grin.

Nice job, JB.

Mr Berry, I've never heard or read of a single soul who described Marilyn Monroe thus! Even literature's physiognomy GM Saul Bellow reported he was "astounded at the translucence of her skin, difficult to describe and haven't seen it since."

As for Jennifer Shahade, many before her have been both brilliant and beautiful, hence the snipping and parsing from the back of the hall.

I really enjoyed the comments on the Spraggett game in your column today.

Can't say that I find Ms. Shahade to be my cup of tea; her reputation for beauty seems predicated more on her, um, "brassiness". Which, if you like that sort of thing, etc.

Now Antoaneta Stefanova, on the other hand - there is a woman to set the pulse to quickening!

I was basing the Marilyn Monroe comment on what I thought I had seen/heard in a TV documentary of her life. However, I couldn't find any web confirmation (via google), so perhaps it is an "urban myth" (in my mind). I *did* discover that a lot of contemporary celebrity movie stars and singers don't look at all exotic "before makeup".

Thanks for the column feedback. "Unfortunately", the Globe and Mail chess column is PPV on the web. They give the first couple of sentences as a teaser. But they're the ones paying for it, and that is their marketing model.


What does brassiness mean ? I looked up dictionary.com and it suggested brazen, bold , loud, clamorous, noisy. Is that the intent behind your post ?

It never ceases to amaze me how supposedly educated men feel able to discuss individual women's looks on public websites.

Anyway, far be it from to defend Ovidiu, but I believe his 'what happens is what should happen' a slightly mistranslated literary reference to the belief of the doomed rabbits in Watership Down - 'what happens is what must happen'. A very useful credo for prey animals, one imagines, although probably less so for chessplayers.

Actually on reflection I think it's 'What is is what must be.' It's been a while.

Speelman: "It's recently been confirmed that a 'UTP-5' computer cable was found in the suspended ceiling above Kramnik's toilet during the inspection at Elista. This was hardly a revelation in a theatre building (and indeed, if you're into conspiracies, could even have been planted). But it does explain the vehemence of the Topalov camp's protests at a supremely tense time when it was all too easy for paranoia to take over."

Confirmed?! Hardly. The photos don't confirm anything of the sort. Someone was holding such a cable in his hand up in the air next to an electrical wire that came down from the ceiling. It looked like an amateurish frame-up.

Not that it would matter at all, mind. I'd be shocked if any building constructed in the last 20 years didn't have such cabling. IT WAS IN THE CEILING. What, was Kramnik breaking it apart, connecting (with what?!) and rebuilding the ceiling after each game? And they switched rest areas each game. The whole cable thing is a total smear campaign and if Topalov bought into his own team's BS it's nothing less (or more) than instant karma in action.

As far as I understand, the Bulgarian articles talked about some document signed by Bobaev (?), and Makropoulos talked about the internet cable too. But I don't know Bulgarian myself, of course, and only had it referred to me so perhaps this was an invention by biased Bulgarians. Perhaps the document only talked about a cable without specifying.

I wasn't sure that they switched rest areas each game, but someone told me that. Are you sure? If then, it means even less, of course. If even less than zero is possible. Then it's misleading at best to say it was found in "Kramnik's bathroom".

Danailov says in New in Chess that there was a proposal to switch rest rooms, which Kramnik rejected. All three main participants are extensively interviewed. Topalov really does come over as a child in many ways, and Danailov, as you'd expect, a disingenuous bully.

Kirsan said on the press conference before the ACP Rapid World Cup: "If you break open a wall, any wall, you’ll find tubes, cables, metal works, etc. After the wall in the toilet room was demolished everything inside and around it was thoroughly examined, and all parties signed the protocol stating that the issue is cleared and all complaints are recalled. The papers are in the FIDE office in Elista."

Ok, the issue was cleared. And the complaints recalled. The Topalov side and everybody else agreed that there was no problem. Until... Until Topalov lost the match, of course.

So it looks like Ilyumzhinov is going to go along with the "let's pretend that interview never happened" line. Probably for the best, but it's just as clear from the less blatant comments made by Topalov in NIC that he believes Kramnik cheated. But will he and Stopwatch continue to say that in public? If so, there should be repercussions.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 24, 2006 12:53 PM.

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