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World Championship Runup Begins

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We're less than a month away from the Anand-Topalov world championship match in Sofia, Bulgaria. The official website is even up already. Not much content, but there an English version of Topalov's post-Linares interview with Vasiliev of Russia's Sport Express. The sauciest bit:

The prize fund in our match is 2 million Euro - about 3 million US$ - but if Anand would have made even a minor attempt, it could easily go over 5 million. India is a vast market and Anand is very popular in his homeland. But the World Champion preferred that someone else does all the work and even play the victim. 'Well, you see, I prefer not to play in Bulgaria, but there are no other options.' We were prepared to play in India half the games or even the whole match, but Anand didn't make even the slightest effort to arrange anything about this.

I have no way of knowing if and how hard Anand worked at finding sponsorship at home, but it was striking that no bid came in from India. With Anand's legend status you would think there would be at least a few "new India" companies eager to hitch their wagons to his star.

Topalov's manager Danailov made more news than his charge by announcing that Topalov wouldn't accept or offer draws during the match, essentially applying the Sofia Rules unilaterally. I suppose the implications of his words, and stating it so brashly, were more interesting than the meaning, which isn't really a big deal. It makes sense for Topalov, the younger player, to stretch the games out early and often. Danailov later told ChessVibes that they tried to get Anand to agree to play under the Sofia Rules unsuccessfully. But eliminating the offered draw is the heart of the Rules, and it takes two to agree to a draw, so it's odd they made a big deal about it. Other than passing draw offers through the arbiter, there's not much more to it. I guess Danailov didn't want to pass up a chance to call Anand a chicken.

Are we ready to start making half-assed predictions yet? 12 games.


Yea. I predict Anand will go on ignoring toilet remarks and then smash Topa over the board. +2 or +3 seems about right.

The obnoxious trash-talk signals (at least to me), that Topa-Danailov remains perfectly ready to cheat to win the match. They haven't grown up. Which makes the match site potentially lethal for Anand. If Topa does cheat (and frankly, not difficult on home court), Anand has 0% chance of winning and 100% chance of loss.

As to an objective odds-making, it's too close to call. Assuming no cheating, a toss-up - exactly 50-50.

Normally, I'd favor Anand. But his recent play has been tepid, and one wonders if he's lost something off his fastball. And Topalov was unsound, quite wild in his last tournament as well.

Anand made a huge mistake by agreeing to play in Sofia, I think it will cost him the title.

As the saucy bit of the Topalov interview is given again (it was already discussed [off-topic] in earlier threads), I also have to be repetitive:

- There are (or were) no other options but Bulgaria?? Wrong, there were bids from Turkey and Singapore. But Bulgaria made considerable efforts to secure Topalov's home advantage, literally at any prize - the prize fund went up because there was some competition. And now they claim it's sort of a disadvantage ... . And FIDE let money (including FIDE fees, a fixed percentage of the prize fund) and/or Bulgarian interests prevail over a match on neutral ground.

- "Anand didn't even make the slightest effort ..."
Mig doesn't know "if and how hard Anand worked", how would Topalov know? And Bulgaria had sent early signs that FIDE is on their side, and that India wouldn't be up to the task of organizing the match. If an Indian bid wouldn't stand a chance anyway, why spend time and money (including a non-refundable bidding fee) on it? Only now and "out of the blue", Topalov comes up with the idea of sharing the match and combining financial resources.

Yet another story is if a player or his manager should actually be closely involved in organizing his own WCh match. I find it a bit odd (though understandable) that Vasiliev asked Topalov about venue, hotels and where the money comes from - this may be unprecedented in the history of WCh matches? Also a tiny bit disturbing IMO that it isn't clear where the money actually comes from ... .

Anand’s recent play wasnt tepid, or timid for that matter. He used the past few tournaments where he played, as training grounds for the match.
He set up positions where he was worse without much counter-play, then ‘tried’ to allow pressure to build up near the time control (just ask Kamsky about this – who played better chess then topalov for most of their match), and survived them all. This was important because those are the positions in which topalov excels.
I think Anand is prepped and booked beyond belief. The question is how much will playing in bulgaria affect him

Going by Topalov's showing in Linares, where he played against time pressure addicts and people with 100% predictable styles, I would say it's Topalov who is tepid, no?

As zigomar writes, it's obvious that Anand has practiced being able to hold against anything - which is good prep given Topalov's unpredictable repertoire. And when Anand met Kramnik, it seemed he was able to ramp up his game at will, no?

Let's hope, for the sake of chess, that the championship is run well, and that the two camps sort out any differences with honest moves on the board. The world at large considers chess players to be immature divas, and the fact that sponsors have grown wary of supporting chess at top match level is not only due to the financial crisis, but to the kind of childish behavior that top level chess often displays.

Do others think, as I do, that 12 games is too few for a W Ch. competition?

My idea is that having too few games puts too much emphasis on opening prep before the match. Too few games/too little time to recover from prepared surprises.

What's the best number of games? 18?

It will be close.

Anand will win if he isn't tired of being the World Champion and having to prove over and over that he is #1. It must be tiring to hear fans ask why his play in tournaments isn't where they think it should be.

On another note...Can you imagine Danailov as FIDE president?

12 is certainly not enough. I want 24 (as in the halcyon days of yore), but will settle for 18.

The grounds in my coffee cup seem to spell out "Topalov 6.5 - 5.5 Anand".

"The question is how much will playing in bulgaria affect him"

Less than playing in India would.

Didn't Anand play even worse before dismantling Kramnik in Bonn?

I would not play the match in Sofia and agree with Hesam... It will be really hard for Vishy :(

Topalov-Anand 6.5-4.5 :(

I've consulted my crystal ball and Anand will win.
I'm also offering the gods a burnt offering (my breakfast) to ensure an e4 match. Special extra prediction: someone will whip out the Petroff!!

Zigomar is spot on. Anand is prepared and will prevail. Danailov is trumpeting bizarre restrictions because he lacks confidence in his protege. When Topalov wakes up and learns of this lack, he will seek a new manager and restore dignity to his professional existence. We can hope.

Sad news from TWIC:
"Former World Chess Champion Vassily Smyslov (March 24, 1921 - March 27, 2010) is reported to have died at the age of 89."

I am very sad to read of the passing of Vasily Vasilyevich. He was a great chessplayer! He played Mikhail Moiseyevich three times for the World Championship and not many realize that he had an overall plus score (+1 out of 69 games).

"Ave, Imperator, morituri te salutant!"

"Creativity includes Harmony and Beauty, the things that bring the individual closest to his divine origin" -- Vasily Smyslov. RIP.

His games are a wonderful legacy, his endgame brilliance, huge opening contributions, multi-faceted play, achievements in his youth and making it to the match v Kasparov in his later years, a real chess Titan.

I completely understand if Anand did not make an attempt to get the match to India. Having known India and Indians for over 30 years, I can imagine how difficult it would be for Vishy during the match - off the board during non-playing days, etc. Close to zero privacy outdoors. Remember how he lost to Kamsky in a 8-game match after being +2 ahead. Vishy's too classy to use all that was happening around him as an excuse, but surely it wasn't just Kamsky's play that won that match, which Vishy went on to prove in convincing fashion in their subsequent PCA match where he thrashed Kamsky..

Bummer that Vasily will not get to watch the upcoming Anand-Topalov 2010 WCChamp match with us.

Vasily said he wished he had longer than one year to "enjoy being world champion". I think the routine rematch clause was awful.
He was just as proud for having won a WCC candidates match vs R.Heubner in 1982. (Match ended in a tie. A roulette wheel spin won it for Vasily. That tie-break technique immediately left a bad taste in everyone's mouth and led to Blitz playoffs instead).

It is a shame that the great G.Levenfish & V.Smyslov book titled "Rook Endings" (Batsford, 0 7134 0449 3) has been out of print for so long. Inexcusable in this age of POD (Print-on-Demand) technology. Superbly organized chapters.

Anand Nair wrote:
Remember how he [Vishy Anand] lost to Kamsky in a 8-game match after being +2 ahead. ... surely it wasn't just Kamsky's play that won that match, which Vishy went on to prove in convincing fashion in their subsequent PCA match where he thrashed Kamsky.

Good Point?

So, except for the games that Anand lost to Kamsky, Anand crushed Kamsky. Hmmm.

"It makes sense for Topalov, the younger player, to stretch the games out early and often."

I disagree. Anand is definitely more accurate player. Stretching games would benefit Anand. If you look back at Elista match, you'd see how attempts to stretch games backfired for Topalov (for example in the 1st game). All this trashtalking is just a psychological ploy to get Anand off-balance mentally.

Anyone think that Topalov is taking a gamble by not offering draws? What might happen if he has the better chances in complicated position but is in deep time pressure? Other players might bail out by offering a draw. Topalov could be taking a risk by playing on?

What I meant was that Vishy's losses in games 6 and 7 of their first match not just because of OTB chess - there were several external factors with having played the match in India. In their second match in Las Palmas for example, Kamsky never had a sniff. Even the first game which Anand lost on time was more because Vishy forgot to come out of his training mode than due to any real otb problems.

Also, generally speaking, Kamsky is a decent 2700-level player. And nobody is taking away credit from him for that. But his over-achieving results against Vishy do not imply he is in the same league. Some players do have certain opponents who trouble them more than their class and ratings actually should (Lautier for Kasparov, Shirov for Kramnik, Aronian for Anand, etc).

As for India being a chess-hub, I am afraid its really not so.. If you count all the chessplayers, club players, enthusiasts, college-players etc, I think that at the maximum, there will be about 100000 people (and I suspect I am being very generous here..). In the year 2000, there where 1 billion people (imagine 2010...). So u can see why there is very little market for chess in India.

"[Kamsky's] over-achieving results against Vishy do not imply he is in the same league."

At least purely based on ELO, he was (roughly) in the same league as Anand in the mid-1990's when their matches took place. Kamsky was a top10 player, at most 25 points behind Vishy, and in some lists even a bit ahead of him.

The post-comeback Kamsky is another story: here winning the World Cup and playing a close match with Topalov - if one looks beyond the result at the actual games - may be considered over-achievements. And maybe nowadays he (still) is a difficult opponent for Anand, despite the current rating gap.

Re: predictions of openings to be used in the match: I have the feeling Anand's going to go for 1. e4, not d4 (though doubtless Topalov's preparing for both), and defend with the Caro-Kann (which I think will be Topalov's 2nd choice after the Sicilian as a defense). I'm guessing Anand has some sharp stuff prepared for Topalov's Sicilian, where his hallmark is an early ...h5; I'm surprised no one's cracked it yet, and I think the time is ripe. If Topalov plays 1. d4 I think Anand will play the Nimzo.

What do others think?

Anand-Topalov 6.5-4.5

Difficult to call, based on the previous records - Topalov showed great ingenuity in Linares, but will such measures work at the highest level?
Anand seemed off-key in Wijk but he wasn't in trouble in a single game, except maybe the Shirov one and beat Kramnik in a good game. He looked good even in Tal except for that last round disaster against Aronian.

My guesses: Anand will play mainly 1) e4. Topa might reply with one of Kramniks openings (Petroff or Berlin) coz that is what scared Vishy away from 1) e4... Against Najdorf, Vishy may go back to 6) Be2. Topa might even consider a Dragon or Sveshnikov against e4.

Topa will play 1) d4; Anand may go for QGA/Ragozin. He would like to get a Nimzo but Topa would go for QID or Catalan...

IMHO Anand's biggest threat is still bugs in his hotel room

Anand 6.5 - Topalov 5.5. Ship it.

well, ok..looks like using Kamsky as as example seems to be a bad idea on an American blog ;)

But my point was that, like mentioned by Vishy in interviews before, playing in India is more a disadvantage and distraction than home-territory advantage probably because of the lack of respect for privacy by the public there. So its understandable if he didn't try to get the match organized in India.

Regarding match predictions, although I was spot on with my "+2 or better" prediction here about Anand-Kramnik, this one is tougher simply because nobody knows for sure if Topalov-Danialov has ever cheated in the past. If cheating is something that they are capable of, then, of course, Vishy has no chance. But on purely chess terms, I'd go for "+1 or better" this time (i.e. Vishy will win without having to go to tie-breaks).

Is it also striking that India clinched its first ever individual Olympic gold medal only in 2008? Or that Anand hasn't played in a single chess tournament in India since Goodricke open 1992?

Nearly half of the total Indian population lives under the global poverty line of $1.25 per day (PPP). Of the other half, Anand is only a legend amongst the 3000 rated chess players and a few thousand others; the remaining billion+ don't follow chess at all and hardly know anything about it.

India is a vast market only for cricket because the game is not only extremely popular it is tailor made for showing advertisements on TV...

That Topalov thinks they could have raised 5m USD for chess in India is just more nonsense from him.

Maybe your first sentence can go to GeneM, maybe not ... but I consider myself free of American bias, I am not even American ,:) . I think it is a simple fact that Kamsky belonged to the world top in the mid-1990's, see also his results in matches against other players.

BTW, I would reserve the term "thrashing" or "crushing" victory for Fischer's 6-0 wipeouts, maybe I sound American again now ... .

That being said, you probably still have a point about home disadvantage for Anand in India. It would have been best to have the WCh match on neutral ground, and there were such bids. Spain might be ideal because that's where both Anand and Topalov have their homes away from home, but it's suffering from the financial crisis (see Linares as well as other non-chessic news).


Dibyendu Barua won a gold on the 2nd board in the Novi Saad Olympiad in 1990.

Anand played the world championship in Delhi in 2000. Played again in the World Cup in Hyderabad, 2002.

Anand is by no means a peripheral star in India with only a few thousand fans. See for example: http://www.sportzpower.com/?q=content/anand-tops-trust-list-sports-sachin-2nd

$5M is no big deal for a sports event in India. India is blowing zillions on the meaningless commonwealth games which are only as popular as chess compared with cricket.

The real question, why should a professional sportsman have to raise money for a world championship. Does Federer spend the spring finding money for wimbledon or does he perfect his volleys trying to win on the grass court?

"Anand played the world championship in Delhi in 2000. Played again in the World Cup in Hyderabad, 2002."

Were these sponsored in major part by Indian sponsors? Anand, played in them just because they were FIDE events... If Anand and chess are as popular in India as you seem to think then how come in the last 18 years India hasn't been able to find sponsors to organize even a single tournament worthy of participation of Anand (like say Mtel Masters in Bulgaria)?

The statement
"the remaining billion+ don't follow chess at all and hardly know anything about it."
is based on ignorance. I was raised in India, and every family that I met had at least one person who knew the game (although may not go to a chess club). In the villages too people know the game. This game is not only originating from India, but has always been present.

However it is played more as a pastime (like snakes & ladders), something to do when you visit an acquaintance. Also, among some stringent elders, it was considered a clever game but an unproductive habit.

Moreover, there are some differences in Indian rules from the western rules. For example, pawns always move 1 square, and there is no castling. These differences can be an obstacle for a good Indian player to transition to international chess.

It is possible that, being a developing country, India does not have a viable chess financing like Europe, there being more important things to accomplish. You can never be sure about that, as all it takes is a rich guy to want to have a chess tournament.

Apologies for posting off-topic but this study of gender style differences in chess is rather interesting.

If you think they do "follow" chess, try asking them who the number 1 player in the world is or asking them against who/when Anand is supposed to defend his chess crown...

That is the least I expect people who follow chess to know.

You are addressing a specific issue of competitive chess but making generic statements like:
"the remaining billion+ don't follow chess at all and hardly know anything about it."

I had to add real information here, because it is easy to infer from your statements that the game of chess has no following in India and Indian culture.

Let's go hypothetical:
There is FIYE (Federación Internacional de Yoga), and there is a world yoga champion and you know who that is. And you come to a yoga blog and write
"the remaining billion+ don't follow yoga at all and hardly know anything about it."

That would not hold true and some Indian might try to correct it.

I think you have comprehension issues there. I am only offering suggestions as to why there is hardly any sponsorship money available for major chess tournaments in India despite supposedly having a vast market and Anand... In particular, I disagree with Topa's remark that over USD 5m could have easily been raised in India if Anand had "made even a minor attempt".

The visibility of a world chess championship isn't that much... counting eyeballs, I'd rather blow $5m on a good Superbowl ad.

What is the audience in the tournament hall? 100 people with luck? I remember attending the 1995 Kasparov-Anand match, which was better matchup AND better location (the top floor of the now-destroyed WTC... something like the 101st fl), and the audience totaled maybe 80 persons... and I'm not sure they were there for the chess, rather than curious passerbys headed for the roof or observation deck.

We have seen WCC does not get big funding except from 3rd world dictators (Marcos, Kirsan, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein - almost, and whoever this Bulgaria guy is.)


It's obvious you don't know India and was just "making it up as you go along", and the Indian dudes called you out. It's time to cut your losses.

My prediction: The match will see another major controversy and will turn messy. Just a hunch.

last time i checked, india is still a third world country. therefore it is understandable that they cannot find sponsors. Anand is famous in the chess world but he is nothing compared to cricket players for example

Question is not just whether there'll be cheating, but if yes in what form. For example, I don't think Topailov could afford to consistently play Rybka moves even if he were capable/willing. Rather, he could (hypothetically) aim at blunder-free play. Then the question is no longer of character/ technical nature, but becomes a chessic one: can Anand beat a blunder-free version of Topalov?

I am for the bad boy Topalov, though Anand is the more honest chap. It's time we returned back to having a controversial champion. There is only so much you can take of a nice guy.

I can never get this lingering, intense suspicion that Topalov cheats out of my mind. I don't know why, but it doesn't smell right with him...

Although you are Topalov's fan, your comment is against the Topalov line.

Anyway there are also two Indian citizens among the top 5 billionaires.

It has been pointed out that Bulgaria's bid was backed by the Bulgarian leader. That is not possible in India, it being a conventional democracy.

"We have seen WCC does not get big funding except from 3rd world dictators"
I don't know what you mean with 'big' funding, but we also saw
- matches including Kramnik in London (Kasparov), Brissago, Switzerland (Leko) and Bonn, Germany (Anand)
- a KO WCh in Las Vegas
- WCh tournaments in Argentina and Mexico.

In general, peak income (certain rich people or companies, or government money?) is more relevant than average population income - Bulgaria is also a relatively poor country by European standards. The issue is whether they are willing to spend money on chess [rather than cricket or football or ...], and even then on what type of chess activities: Spain had money for the Kasparov-Karpov match, Dutchie Joop van Oosterom spends quite some money on Amber and Rising Stars vs. Experience.

Is it really so obvious to you? Not only am I an Indian but I have very good reasons to believe I should probably know more about India than most other Indians on this blog...

Both are great chessplayers, and Vishy is beloved by chessplayers all over the world (especially in India.) I think it will be close, but Topalov will win by +2.

Any references to cheating is shameful. It would be a cheap way to detract from any of Topalov's achievements. This guy is clearly one of the top three players in the world in every legitimate sense, and has been for years.

Here's to a good match. I'd be happy with either one winning--well, maybe I'd prefer Anand to win as Topa's svengali manager might make future challengers jump through major hoops.

Anand v. Topolov is a weak sell.

Not certain if the match could draw $5 million sponsorship anywhere on the planet, frankly... and even the current $3m bid probably comes from Bulgaria's government, through back channels. Highly unlikely these tiny Bulgarian firms have $3m to burn on a chess match.

Anand will win with what is necessary. Anand is cool and harmonious. Moneywise it is paramount to Danailov personally, that Topalov wins.
A clearly disturbing element in the Sofia camp.
Anand must have been much in doubt if he could beat Kramnik. As the match developed, Anand has gained tons of self-confidence.
For him it is now a matter of technique how to take down Topalov.
Topalov will show good and surprising things,
but finally he will succomb to his weakness: emotions.
One or two grave errors against Anand's fluent style will be enough. We will see them.
And Topaloc will have lost 2 WC matches.
For the same reason.
Eat your heart out, Silvio.

"That is not possible in India, it being a conventional democracy." I do not see any way in which India is a "conventional democracy" and Bulgaria is not. Bulgaria is as democratic a country as India. Of course indian politics and government is fantastically more corrupt:)) - not that Bulgaria is anything to boast about but still....

I predict a Topalov victory in a close match - it will be much more difficult to catch Toplaov in the opening he is a very fluid in his openings unlike Kramnik and he thrives in dynamic positions again unlike (the post 2000) Kramnik.

I think the the idea that Anands recent performance was engineered as a training is preposterous - just review his interviews during the tournament....

Topalovs recent risky opportunistic style is quite close to the way he has generally played - I think it will be one of the most exciting matches we have seen in the last 20 years. 16 games would seem an ideal compromise number - time enough to recover from 1 or 2 mishaps

I hate to say it but I think Topalov will win. I don't think Anand will cope very well with the nonsense. He let Gazza get to him off the board in 1995 (or whenever it was), and I doubt whether he's any different now. Of course Anand is the stronger player other things being equal, but they won't be.

I believe this belongs here:


A big interview with Danailov , where he talks about Kirsan vs Karpov , Anand vs Topa , Karlsen and other issues.
I have to say, i don´t like at all Danailov´s opinion about Kirsan , the ufo-boy really has everyone in his pocket by now.
Anyway , bon appetite.

"That is not possible in India, it being a conventional democracy." I do not see any way in which India is a "conventional democracy" and Bulgaria is not. Bulgaria is as democratic a country as India.

Well suppose the Indian prime minister or sports minister wanted to give a government backed bid for WCh match. He/she will have to bring the proposal to the cabinet for discussion. Next, some sort of parliamentary approval would be needed. (I am not expert on government though).

Bulgaria did have a totalitarian form of government during the Soviet era, so it has had a transition. Toplaov/Danialov mentioned the Bulgarian leader's personal guarantee in their interviews. Does that sound democratic to you?

"Of course indian politics and government is fantastically more corrupt:)) - not that Bulgaria is anything to boast about but still...."

You are making random jumps from democracy to corruption. Corruption is present in both democratic and non-democratic countries. However, India has been a democracy for last 60+ years (after the British occupation). Consider its regional neighbours: Bangladesh, China, Mynmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Except Sri Lanka all others have had totalitarian governments for long periods.

All this does not mean India is perfect, but if you like Topalov, you can still keep to facts.

Chess-wise, I like Topalov, specially how many times he wins his final tournament game. But compare his pre-match interview with Anand's (if any).

Anyway, if Anand wins, that would be a nice surprise to me. It should be a great contest though.

Lets keep the discussion on anand - topa,forget about india and bulgaria. As for the match it will be a very interesting one. In recent games anand has been subdued and topa quite wild. But it remains to be seen whether they will keep to their current styles during the match. The announcement by topa`s camp regarding no draws is a pre-match psychological ploy. During the match it will be almost impossible for topa to stick to it. I cannot imagine topa trying to overpress anand in an equal position with black! It will be interesting to see whether topa offers the draw or waits for anand to offer. Because repeating moves will also be like a tacit offer for a draw isnt it? This being a match, i think anand has the better chances; but if topa is able to rattle him early somehow, then he could upset anand. Otherwise i think it will be anand 6.5 - topa 4.5.

Anand v. Topalov and Anand v. Topailanov is not the same thing. Given Dainalov's ambitions (e.g. the interview over at chessdom.com) Topalov might want to consider the extent of his collaboration with Dainalov.

I'm hoping the match goes off with the cannon fire on the board, not off. Chess has a tough slog ahead of it if it wants to raise its respectability. After the confusion introduced by the Braingames v. FIDE mess, the two competing c(h)amps, the changing rules and intervals for conducting WC-matches - the public at large has absolutely no clue as to who is the real world chess champion, how that's decided, and why they should care.

So starting to fix that, step by step, would be wise. If the Fincher/McGuire collaboration around the Fischer movie becomes successful, chess might poise itself to take advantage of that publicity. Particularly now that the young guns are getting ready to challenge the established players - that might catch hold of the public imagination, if used well.

I'm looking forward to the good chess I expect from these players, and believe Anand has stored up ammo that will blast mightily. Consider his effortless win against Kramnik at Corus, and his tactical obliteration of Kempinski in the Bundesliga.
Topalov at Linares was just warming up, and in order to win he'll have to pull of tactical mysteries like his second game in Elista, which went wrong when he didn't find Rxg4, Qc7 - but which was enormous fun to follow nonetheless.

Hoping for a strong but honorable fight, with no blows below the belt!

Three (acirce, greg koster, meshrath) splitting the score 6.5-4.5, giving 11 matches as total. Predicting another "incident" I presume.

Anand 7-5.

"Silvio Danailov speaks out his mind in a long interview" - surely that headline's crying out for a word other than "mind" :)

Interesting about the MTel Masters being cancelled this year. I wonder if the real problem is that the sponsors are only interested if Topalov's playing and he wouldn't have been able to. They could do with Cheparinov recovering some form. At least Chessbase don't need to think up another amusing way to cover the event without using any of the website content...

Of course only the very naive, or disingenuous, would be surprised by Danailov supporting Ilyumzhinov. Despite Kirsan's henchmen (Azm... & Makro...) seeming to be Danailov's real friends & fixers he hasn't exactly had a bad relationship with the boss: http://www.chessfidelity.com/elections.php?txt_id=95

"Hoping for a strong but honorable fight, with no blows below the belt!"

Expected low blow count after match is over:

From Anand: zero.
From Topailov: lots. Especially from when he's losing.

Topailov has already commenced with two verbal cheap shots... obviously, they think it's effective to try to get under Anand's skin in such ways.

And about these two elections:

Danailov for European Chess president
Illumsomethingavich for FIDE president

I am not a WASP. But we need a WASP or someone strongly imbued in the WASP tradition to direct these not-for-profit organizations properly. These eastern despots can't ever do it properly (by eastern, I mean anyone east or south of Austria, which happens to include my ancestry.)

I hope I'm wrong but I think Topalov will win. He's by far the hungrier of the two. It's very rare for a world champion to retain the drive after climbing the summit so I'd say Vishy has lost that edge. Topalov must be desperate to win especially with Carlsen et al coming up fast. It may be his last chance.

After 6.5 the match is over cos it's impossible to catch up.
"It's very rare for a world champion to retain the drive after climbing the summit "
True in earlier times, but Kasparov and Karpov broke this trend, one reason I admire both!

Anand's precision is far above Topalov that Topalov stands no chance against Anand. That is my opinion. So I would want Anand to win by at least 2 point margin. Anand has committed, reliable seconds and he has Carlsen to root for??!!! and he has good experience in choosing other seconds on rotational basis. Anand should be careful however with his preparation from being stolen. He can switch places and connect from from friends, relatives etc. Also I think he should have computers unconnected to the internet to do deep analysis.

With the Grand Slam reduced to three qualifying events - Nanjing, Corus and Linares won by Carlsen, Carlsen and Topalov - will Shanghai-Bilbao become a match between Carlsen and Topalov?

Bilbao had six players in 2008, four in 2009, maybe two in 2010, what's next? ,:)

[quote]and his tactical obliteration of Kempinski in the Bundesliga.[unquote]
Oh yeah!

Maybe he should also remove Danailov from his list of Facebook friends ...
Nice tips , i'm sure Vishy's team were unaware of this , just forwarding prep to all their contacts and uploading videos of their meetings with Vishy all web long.

Wasn't there some reports recently about Google being hacked? My point here is not about the veracity of any of these reports, but this shows things like this could happen to companies who have taken all the precautions and security measures in place?? Then Anand could be an easy prey.

Well he is certainly sponsored (or was) by one of the major companies in that field , so i guess they must know a trick or two.

I am amazed how everybody presents Anand as the possible naive victim in this match , he will be clearly the favorite and it would take the best from Topalov to beat him.
I have the feeling that the match will have an unprecedented number of decisive games , and i am also positive that Carlsen will help Vishy , if he is not doing it right now.

Maybe Anand could put up some fake preparation which the other side is allowed to hack - possibly with the help from some super-GM friends: Carlsen once 'crushed' Topalov with the Alekhine, Kramnik played both Scandinavian and Pirc ... .

Like various others, I fear a Topalov win. Not that I think he couldn't do on purely chess terms: he is a fantastic player and destructive when on a run. What I fear is the after-WC, when Danailov could become too powerful.

It will also be fascinating (or nauseating) to watch what the Bulgarians will do if their favourite loses one or two of the early games like he did in Elitsa...

I doubt Carlsen is part of Anands team. They are competitors and Anand doesn’t want to teach Carlsen anything which can be mirrored against him later on. Anand is 41 and still on top. Playing a title match earns something between $1-2 million directly/indirectly. Anand wants to keep his cash cow regalia as long as possible.

Eventually, he pays Carlsen to be a sparring partner for some days. Let him sign a letter of confidentiality and use him as a punching ball, testing the opening repertoire. If the novelties can take down Carlsen, then they might be usable against Topalov, too.

¨Eventually, he pays Carlsen to be a sparring partner for some days. Let him sign a letter of confidentiality and use him as a punching ball, testing the opening repertoire. If the novelties can take down Carlsen, then they might be usable against Topalov, too.¨

Wouldnt you consider that HUGE help or you actually need the person to play the match for you?

"Wouldnt you consider that HUGE help or you actually need the person to play the match for you?"

-I'm just a patzer, so I'm not in the position to say anything weighty in these matters. I don't really know how these things works out. I see that Topalov has hired quite a team of super GMs, including Smeets and Dominguez. I guess they work as sparring partners, too. Probably Anand/Topalov need to test out opening novelties against humans, not Rybka, since the computer never can be caught by surprise like people do.

Interesting stuff. I can't wait for the match to begin! Yesterday I re-read a lot of the writings from Kramnik - Topalov match 2006 in Elista, as a warm-up to this years match. I am quite sure the practical matters in Sophia will run smooth, and that the focus will be on the games.

There is no clear favourite because their ratings are close - Topalov is actually slightly higher. So every serious commentator is predicting a close match if anything Topalov is slight favourite because of his age, rating advantage and recent performance. Styles make matches and Topalov is a harder opponent than Kramnik - he plays more quickly and is more comfortable in dynamic situations where he needs to attack - he also has home advantage.

Lets see I think it will produce the most exciting chess match we have seen for the last 20 years :)I still remember Topalovs devastating crush against Anands QID before the Kramnik - completely won in 20 moves and Topalov had the whole game played out in preparation. Food for thought.

There is a clear favourite since rating didn´t meant much historically at matches , and one of the players has the psychological advantage of playing without the same amount of pressure than the other.
Not to mention that only one of the two has the confidence that comes when you already won an event of this caliber.
About recent results , well obviously Vishy has shown that he can´t be World Champion AND a dominant figure in tournament play , but this is by no means a handicap for him in this forthcoming match.
I´m sure this advantage could grow even further when it comes to seconds and the extra help Vishy can summon from the likes of Carlsen and such , not to mention media coverage , with almost every single place cheering for Anand .
This is going to be the hardest match in Vesko´s career , i have no doubt about it.

ok cant understand where the clear favourite status arises. Relative amounts of pressure? The challenger is more pressured just because he's the challenger hmmm. Toplaov has won an event of this status - he won a world championship tournament in tremendous fashion. Carlsen is not an official second - his input is a matter of speculation and anyway the rating of your second is not necessarily a determinant of his effectiveness. Incidentally he as stated that the match is too close to call. I would imagine the entire population of Bulgaria will be rooting for Topalov - and that's where there playing!

should be a very interesting and tough fight. if the official site have their math right Topalov is +1 in classical games, so the head-to-head doesn't indicate a clear favorite. neither does the rating difference/recent performance.
but don't understand why topa & co are talking up the age factor, length of games etc. do they think kramnik was the older one in Bonn or Anand has suddenly become too-old for WCC in these 18 months. something to say to the local media I guess.
apart from rooting for Anand, his tenacity in defending difficult positions makes me go for Anand: 7-5.
And yes, cat, 7 is possible, when, from 6-x the last game is not won by the one leading. If the one doing catch-up may not offer/accept a draw if he finds himself in a lost position. For principle, or for bravado, if thats what is preferable by Silvio-standards.

that should be:
7 is possible, when, from 6-x the last game is WON by the one leading

Anand should try and take Topalov out of opening theory from as early as move 8 or 10 or 12, and he can then go on scoring one after the other! I would like Anand to aim for the ideal 7-0! Motto should be "win, win, win...". Then Anand can go one year vacation!

lol @ 7-0, Anand will develop kidney problems before that happens. I predict white wins and black draws for Mr Topalov

"Relative amounts of pressure?"

There is nothing relative in the amounts of pressure that Topalov will have to face because of playing in his own country.

"The challenger is more pressured just because he's the challenger hmmm."

I'm not sure where did you get that , he will be more pressured for the reasons stated above , and below.

" Toplaov has won an event of this status -"

No he didn't , as much as i like him as a player winning a WCH match is the only thing that he has yet to achieve , adding even more pressure on him, the same kind that Anand had before trashing Kramnik.
Of course it could be worst, others never won a WCH tournament or even classified for a WCH match...
It will be Topalov vs rest of the world , i hope this turns out to be motivational for him and his team.

I see - you think that playing in your own country brings more pressure and that makes Anand clear favourite. I think playing in your own country brings home advantage and less pressure. Do you think Fischer would have liked to play Spassky in Moscow or St Petersburg? Its so funny. Topalov is Bulgarian - he is very popular in Bulgaria so he will have more support. I know of know chess commentator or GM who thinks Anand is clear favourite please name one. :)

Manure, as usual ur comments are crap. Carlsen will be the next champion and he OWNS Topalov while Anand is a nemisis, why in the hel would he be on Anand's tem you stupid sllut?

True, my bad. Always expecting the last game to be the deciding one.

If the incumbent retains the title in case of draw, then my 7-5 prediction is impossible. In that case 6.5-5.5 for Anand.

My dear friends, Being an indian i can tell u guys for a fact that Anand is far far far shrewder than he presents himself.. His only problems is his lack of cojones..

¨Manure, as usual ur comments are crap. Carlsen will be the next champion and he OWNS Topalov while Anand is a nemisis, why in the hel would he be on Anand's tem you stupid sllut?¨

Mmm , What to do?

a) Ask the host to delete personal attacks and insults , start a pro-censorship rant all over the site.
b) Call the justice league , they helped the handsome guy , i´m sure they will do something about this ...
c) Host is busy, insult him until he understands what is his job here.
d)Go berserk and insult every poster that dares to talk with my aggressor , accuse them of being worst than him if they laugh.
e)Have a muffin and forget all about it .

I know historical parallels are difficult but is there a Tal-Botvinnik parallel?

Tal was a magician like Topolov and we all love that style of play but its hard to make that style pay consistently at the highest level.

I'd prefer Anand - aggressive but sound - especially in a match but its gonna be interesting. If Topolov can pull off an early win it will be close which I'd like to see - my hunch though is Anand will turn on a performance like he did with Kramnik (when it matters) and win comfortably especially as Topolov tries more and more risks to get something started.

I don't think the pre-match games will matter much I think its more about a player psyching themselves in than psyching others out.

Depends on the muffin.

"Tal was a magician like Topolov and we all love that style of play but its hard to make that style pay consistently at the highest level."

Let's not get carried away. Topalov is a wonderful player, but hardly Tal.

Isn't Shirov considered "the modern Tal", also because both are (originally) from Latvia and because Shirov actually studied with Tal in his youth? Whether they are comparable is a matter of taste and (quoting Shane H) "historical parallels are difficult" ... .

Further info from Wikipedia:
- Tal actually had an even score with Botvinnik (winning the first WCh match, losing the rematch) and an almost even and very drawish score with Karpov (+0-1=19).
- Tal quotes I didn't know:
"They compare me to Lasker, which is an exaggerated honor. He made mistakes in every game and I only in every second one!"
Nevertheless, when asked about his opinion on who was the greatest player of all time, he answered: "Lasker, for he made miracles on the chessboard."

Manu : "Of course it could be worst, others never won a WCH tournament or even classified for a WCH match..."

Every current thread on this board features you dredging up the old whines about Kram not qualifying for his WC match. Am I reading too much into the coincidental timing of these posts, or would it be correct to assume you maintain the same stance regarding Topalov's presence in the current WC match?

It's a bit of struggle to see you logic here - would things have been more to your liking if Kramnik had lost a WC match to Karpov prior to playing Kasparov?

¨It's a bit of struggle to see you logic here - would things have been more to your liking if Kramnik had lost a WC match to Karpov prior to playing Kasparov?¨

I´m not sure what is the point of that hypothesis , but regarding that issue (although i wasnt talking about that exactly) my point is very simple really , Topalov should have played the winner of Kasparov vs Shirov or whatever the outcome of a serious qualyfication process...
In 2000 was decided that the ¨classical¨ title should not risk to get lost outside Russia , i really dont care who decided that and why , but look at those who were involved at that time and you will provably get some answers.
I found very interesting that the next elections in FIDE would have 2 friends of Putin as contenders , What are the odds for that? That guy doesn´t seem to have many friends.

There's an almost hour-long Russian video interview with Karpov here: http://www.1tv.ru/pv/si=5756&fi=3667&v=18347

Quite a lot of it's interesting - e.g. on Kasparov, the dirty campaign Ilyumzhinov is fighting within the Russian chess federation, and there are some very random questions including how would you like to die? ("suddenly") - but I do wonder about his claims to look after the interests of the world champion... when this is the second or third interview I've seen where he's downplayed Anand/Topalov (he said in one interview that without computers they wouldn't have achieved the success they have).

He was asked to give the top 3 players of all time, in order. He starts by saying all the world champions up until Kramnik ("perhaps" - for beating Kasparov) make up an era in chess. Then he says Euwe is a bit weaker, but still above the contemporary world champion! (he does laugh at this point) Eventually he selects the strongest 5 in no particular order - Capablanca (his teacher), Tal, Fischer, Kasparov and himself.

The full text, in Russian, is again under the video.

Does someone want to translate some more of this video?

Thank you for the link! The interview is quite interesting. Pozner is a good interviewer.

(This has nothing to do with chess, sorry! If you like that lady you might find Pozner's interview with ХИЛЛАРИ КЛИНТОН interesting too.)

Anand by one.

Very hard to call, I think, and it will be very close. The small number of games would imply more conservative play, as one loss puts so much pressure to win back. But Topalov is rarely so conservative.

In such a short match, the best strategy is to win early and then play like Leko, draw draw draw, exchange and take the heat out of every position.

Not a fan of Topalov, but if we give him the benefit of the doubt, he said he was so involved in the chessplaying that he knew little about the mischief Danialov was causing. I wonder if Topalov had any idea that Danialov would commit him to the Sofia rules? Danailov is saying Topalov will not adopt the most sensible strategy, even if he gets an early win. Just hot air from Danailov, I think, but we'll see.

"Topalov should have played the winner of Kasparov vs Shirov"
Kramnik lost his qualifying match against Shirov and then played against Kasparov - so far so questionable
Topalov lost in the final of the Dortmund qualifier against Leko (who, BTW, isn't Russian either) and then should have played a WCh match? There would be a certain logic behind this, I fully agree with Manu ... .
Extending this logic: now Kamsky should play a match against Anand ,:)

If Topalov wins, will you consider him the equal of Anand or Kramnik? Why or why not?

Yes, every now and then, but he never climbed to the very top. Much as I love Shirov, he doesn't quite measure up to the great man, but who does?

actually, no matter who wins, he is only warming up the seat for the boy wonder

"Once upon a time", Shirov was one match away from becoming world champion, but then the match didn't take place (or Shirov wasn't part of it).
Regarding your earlier Tal-Topalov comparison - while I don't like Topalov as a person, he was (sort of) world champion and also had other tournament successes. He is behind Tal in terms of career length and probably cannot catch up: I dare to predict that ten or twenty years from now, all of Topalov, Anand and Kramnik will either be retired or will be declining as Karpov (Timman, Huebner, ...) did - nowadays it is probably no longer possible to keep up with younger players beyond the age of 45 or 50.

The general question is: what to think about strong players that never became world champion, for whichever reason(s)? Korchnoi comes to my mind or, before my time, Keres, Tarrasch (anyone can fill in other names). If I step into a time machine to predict future history, among currently active players Ivanchuk might be the "most memorable one"!?

I hope that time machine takes you 100 years before chess is invented or a 100000 years after chess is no longer played .

I hope Anand is taking the same kind of precautions an American diplomat would have taken when visiting East Germany during the cold war.

Trust no one. Be suspicious, very suspicious. Encrypt all data. Sweep the room for bugs everyday. Check for video cameras. Ask the hotel to move you to a new room everyday. Discuss match strategy in a code language with rock-and-roll music at maximum volume in the background. Check your wife's DNA everyday to make sure she has not been replaced by a double.

What did I miss?

What everybody is missing , evidence.

Anand plays chess against Topalov, Aruna handles Danailov. May the better tag team win.

Thomas: 'If I step into a time machine to predict future history, among currently active players Ivanchuk might be the "most memorable one"!?' [referring to strong players who never became WC]

There are many people who discount Ponomariov as a world champion. Some say it is because of his title being awarded in the Fide knock-outs, and others have their reasons, including noting that the knock-out series crowned champions who were for the most part, shall we say, outside the absolute elite (although Pono certainly established himself in this and subsequent events), an aging Karpov and Anand notwithstanding.

I wonder though, had Ivanchuck won that final match, would he (and in fact the entire knock-out champion series) be looked upon in the same way? As an established member of that elite, would his reign be considered 'more legitimate' than the others? Following Anand might have led to a 'legitimization' (I'm not here to start or participate in a debate on the legitamacy of any of the titles, Fide or Classical, or whatever) of the entire series in general.

Obviously there are those who would stick to their opinions (both ways) concerning the title lineage. But I have a distinct feeling that Chucky being referred to as a 'former world champion' would be much more accepted than several of the other knock-out champs.


(By the way, Thomas, I agree with you. Chucky would also be my choice for the contemporary strongest player never to have won. There are some younger players who might become eligible for this 'honor,' but for now, I feel there is no question.)

A few other candidates for great players who never became world champion: Rubinstein, Pillsbury, Teichmann, Zukertort, Janowski, Nimzovich, Flohr, Larsen, Geller, Stein, & of course Bronstein.

Ah yes. Evidence. I guess they don't have a word for that in Bulgarian. That's why Topalov's team made those random accusations against Kramnik without any... what was that word... ah yes, evidence.

No. It doesn't make any more sense to say, "Former world champion Ponomariov" than it makes to say "Former world champion Topalov" or "Former world champion Khalifman." FIDE wants to call the knockouts "world championships" but the tournaments just don't have the legitimacy to justify the lofty title. Linares, Corus and even Pearl Springs are better tests. Nowadays, there is no longer such hokey pretensions about the presstige of the knockouts. They are rightly and more humbly considered as qualifiers for candidates for WC contenders, and not even as good enough tests for picking WC challengers, let alone picking the WC. A failed experiment.

Khalifman and Kasimdzhanov might be (even) better examples of random KO world champions, or does it make a difference that their names start with the letter K? Ponomariov was at least a top10 player at the time, another story is that he couldn't quite keep that level. Anand also once won the KO WCh, no questions were asked ... .

To rephrase your second paragraph: Is it because the knockout format is questionable, or because (in three out of four cases) the wrong person was winning? Seems like one and the same question to me ... .

In any case, a world champion has to prove that he is worth the title - maybe before, in any case after obtaining it. Not necessarily winning most or every single tournament he plays, but at least keeping a top10 or top5 level. [Actually this would make Bobby Fischer an unworthy WCh, but that might be too dogmatic].

Tal and Smyslov are remembered not (primarily) because they were "world champions for one year" [related to Botvinnik's questionable rematch privileges] but for their entire careers.

The heck with Carlsen. What Anand really needs is someone to keep Silvio in check. Klara!

GKK made a big mistake in firing her. The minute he did, he started getting attacked with chessboards and flying penises.

Random accusations? Lets make a deal, if Topalov leaves the board 30/40 times per game to a private unmonitored area you can make any claim without evidence , until then try to back up a little your ridiculous claims.

Leaving the board "30/40 times" per game. So which one is it? 30 or 40? Or is it 3/4?! Hilarious.

Even if Kramnik left the board "30/40 times" per game, that is evidence of Topalov not taking a shower. It is not evidence of cheating.

Of course it is not evidence of cheating , it is evidence that their claim was valid and that they were facing a very suspicious behaviour from their opponent , who was local.
Like i said , if Topa does the same thing to Vishy , you can go and claim cheats all over the net with my blessings , meanwhile show some evidence or STFU.

Dude, you are so messed up. Topalov's team accused Kramnik of cheating. You concede that leaving the board "30/40 times" is not evidence of cheating. So basically you are agreeing that the cheating claim was baseless.

Once you build a reputation, it sticks. Topalov's team has a bad reputation. The burden is on them to clean it up.

Apparently your reputation on this message board is not that good either. So I'm not going to waste my time trying to use words like "logic" and "evidence" with you until you show me that you understand those words. Until then, control your blood pressure and have a little fun in life. I get this feeling that you're wound up too tight and are going to pop one of those blood vessels...

¨Dude, you are so messed up. Topalov's team accused Kramnik of cheating. You concede that leaving the board "30/40 times" is not evidence of cheating. So basically you are agreeing that the cheating claim was baseless.¨

You are not making any sense ¨dude¨, good thing that you wont use words like logic and evidence anymore, because you don´t seem to have much of both .
Thx for your concern ,but i do have a lot of fun in life , i mostly write here while working and in between internet blitz , despite what you may think it helps me to relax.
And about my reputation , well , my situation here is too Sui Generis to care about such things , this is not real life after all , at least not for me.

Aw... don't flatter yourself. And using capital letters in a latin term won't make it true. Unfortunately, neither you nor your "situation here" - whatever that means - are not that unique.

It is also the name of a very well known band from my country , hence the capital letters.

Topalov said Anand arranged nothing.
Danialov said Anand refused to play Sofia rules.
But this is only the beginning.
Did Topalov ore Danialov say anything about how often Anand is allowed to go to the toilet during a game? Will they monitor it themselves or will the arbitral-court monitor it like in Elista?

Topalov is no match for Anand. Final result: Anand 7 Topalov 5

"Did Topalov ore Danialov say anything about how often Anand is allowed to go to the toilet during a game? Will they monitor it themselves or will the arbitral-court monitor it like in Elista?"

The guys will have to hold it , but in case of extremely urgency Aruna will watch Veselin and Silvio will go with Vishy.

Notwithstanding our earlier spat, that was funny!

Speaks highly of u_thx.

The Topalov/Danailov team behaved like bad losers in Elista. Danialov should have been banned for life. The accusations against Kramnik was totally groundless. Topalovs behavour after he lost the match have also been very offensive and insulting in every way possible against Kramnik.
Loved when Kramnik said in an intervieuw that he will never speek to Topalov again, nor shake hands with him, untill he makes an apology for his behaviour in Elista. Everybody, besides people from Bulgaria and a clown called Manu on this board, hopes that Anand will win the match.

I wish i was a clown , they have much better public.

I hope there's another toilet debacle, at least that way that'll freshen this cursed interminable topic, well, at least as fresh as toilets can get, anyway.

Krusty also wishes he was a clown.

Said Sideshow-koster.

STFU is a latin word? Hmmm ... veni vici STFU. Or maybe et tu, STFU? Sorry, please enlighten me if I am mistaken.

STFU - sic transit (but for the rest, the Latin I had in high school is too long ago)

I dont hope Anand wins although I was delighted that Topalov lost to Kramnik after behaviour by him that amounted to cheating. I have got over the insanity of his post match interview where he said that Kramnik was receiving computer advice even in the rapid play offs (LOL). I prefer his chess style and think he is the slight favourite

surely veni vidi stfu? :)

This is a google translation of a German article on Anand's preparation: http://tinyurl.com/y872mzt

It's amusing for revealing the identity of a couple of Anand's seconds, foiled as they went to buy buns at a bakery...

So by now Anand's seconds must have learned to "think outside the bun!"

Was it really difficult to guess Nielsen and Kasimdzhanov?

Hardy, you're on a roll!

This is from a long interview with Mark Glukhovsky, the editor of "64", the Russian equivalent of "New in Chess": http://www.crestbook.com/?q=node/1158

"Anand or Topalov?

- I don't have the slightest idea. I rate the talent of both of them very highly and think the match should be extremely interesting. The vast majority of the professionals I've come to discuss the topic with consider that the question should be put differently - not who'll win, but will Vishy survive? There are genuinely few who believe it's going to be played fairly. That surprised me, but I've got no basis to doubt people who've been in this business a long time and understand it a lot better than I do. Nobody, of course, thinks that Topalov will get computer assistance. But they're all sure that if the match is going badly for Topalov they'll try to disturb Anand in any way possible. What will Vishy eat? Maybe he'll have an upset stomach? Where will he sleep? Mightn't the maid turn on a vacuum cleaner in the room next door at 7 am? Or maybe unknown drunkards will make a racket outside his window to 3 am? Will there be hot water from the tap? And so on... You can treat all that as paranoia, of course... But Danailov has such a lousy reputation that no dirty trick would surprise them".

"64", the Russian equivalent of "New in Chess"

The magazine was named 64 after Putin won the 2007 election with 64% of votes , they tried to rename it to any other number when the number of political murders during Putin's government reached 64 victims .
One KGB agent even suggested the number 65 and a great number of chess sets with that number of squares was made to help with the transition , but for some obscure technical reasons they couldnt make it work.
Im sure that this guy is completely unbiased in his comments , though.

So Anand could be in hot water? Or not? I'm confused now

Well I guess Topalov deserves all this paranoia after his managers previous display. It only goes to reinforce the idea of home advantage. Its funny but Anand is the only player I know of to accuse Kasparov of very disturbing and unpleasant behavior at the board. .

Kramnik >Call the 64 magazine, tell them to do something about the match.
KGB agent>They already suggested that Topalov might cheat.
Kramnik >Of course that i want something to eat .

Me too :)

Actually quite a heated debate sprung up around Glukhovsky's responses, but mainly because he was asked about internet chess sites and described the one he was answering questions for (Shipov's crestbook.com) as "amateur". As he explained in an additional statement he just meant in the sense that the contributors weren't paid, but then he spoilt the diplomacy by saying it would be better not to publish at all than to publish some of the material on crestbook.com (personally I think he completely missed the point about internet chess sites).

That said, I don't see any reason to doubt that he's heard leading GMs expressing the opinions stated (I've seen at least half a dozen interviews saying something similar) - and "64" deal with the same mixed range of GMs as New in Chess (they have a deal to share some content, but not articles). It's not about home advantage as such, just home advantage plus Danailov's proven lack of scruples.

Seeing as this is Mig's site it's probably worth translating Glukhovsky's comments about his old boss at KasparovChess:

"I rate Mig extremely highly and consider him the best chess journalist currently around (perhaps only Ilya Odessky is at the same level). His writing is wonderful - interesting, witty and demonstrating a knowledge and love of chess".

"I don't see any reason to doubt that he's heard leading GMs expressing the opinions stated (I've seen at least half a dozen interviews saying something similar)"

I'm sure Moro and Nigel would say something along these lines without being asked. And we've heard from the very expert in this area GM Kramnik. But I'm curious which are the "half a dozen interviews" you are referring to?

Re Mark Glukhovsky: "What will Vishy eat? Maybe he'll have an upset stomach? Where will he sleep? Mightn't the maid turn on a vacuum cleaner in the room next door at 7 am? Or maybe unknown drunkards will make a racket outside his window to 3 am? Will there be hot water from the tap?" If the leading GM's gave him these ideas... these particular theories are pretty improbable even in Bulgaria with Danailov around. Someone should tell Mark that Anand is staying in a big suite in a 4-star Hilton. I'm sure the windows can't open so Anand won't be hearing the drunks fighting all night on the street to deprive him from sleep. And if there isn't hot water, this will not be Danailov's fault for sure.

Right on - please this pathetic attempt to rationalise an Anand loss is absurd. Poisoning his food LOL - this is just playing to childish fears. I am sure that Topalov will not resort to the unpleasant tactics that Kasparov resorted to when he was losing against Anand and about which Anand later complained :) Facial grimacing, laughing,tapping, inappropriate pacing slamming doors - nasty stuff which cost our hero dearly in New York

All these mumsy shock horror responses whenever Danailov opens his mouth are hilarious - I know Vishy is a bit of a wimpy veg but he is made of sterner stuff than this and is a very experienced match player
Plus he has wifey with him if he gets scared.....

Migloid the best chess journalist??? Surely some mistake - his coverage is sometimes intermittant and non existent because he has to return to the "real world" [aka Gary gophing] best chess journalist who works for Gazza - he has held this title for years!

"But I'm curious which are the "half a dozen interviews" you are referring to?"

Gelfand & Grischuk are a couple, but I'll try and make a full list at some point (I've read/translated too many interviews!). I should point out they've mainly just said something like, "as it's in Sofia Topalov is favourite", without fleshing out the reasons. I agree on the whole about Glukhovsky's specific examples, but of course there are any number of other tricks.

In any case, numerous respectable GMs signed letters of support for Kramnik during the Elista match. And Kramnik himself is a genuine expert, as he did experience what Danailov is capable of.

During the Kamsky-Topalov match, Bulgarian security guards appeared on Kamsky's hotel floor. He hadn't requested them and asked them to leave - in vain. As far as I remember, Kamsky stayed in the (same) Hilton.

How "improbable" are theories similar to things that happened before?

Both experts of conspiracy theory Thomas and mishanp keep entertain us. Thanks guys. You're very funny:)

By the way Topalov is favorite in any case, in any place out from Russia. Thanks to Mr Kramnik, Mark Gluchovsky, Thomas and mishanp for opening our eyes about dirty tricks in chess.

"experts of conspiracy theory ..."
I was merely pointing out things that happened in the past. BTW, I am not (necessarily) implying that the Bulgarian security agents listened to conversations between Kamsky and his seconds, it may have been just psychological warfare - "A threat is stronger than its execution" (Tartakower).

There are three reasons to suspect anything along the lines of Glukhovsky:
- Topailov's track record
- their extreme ("heroic") efforts to get the match to Bulgaria, and avoid one on neutral ground
- most recently, their insinuations and accusations against Anand before the match even started

All this wild talk, is there going to be a machine gun nest in the hall ready to gun Anand down if he wins a game? How about some respect for such a prize fund? I'm sure Anand will grit his teeth and bear the horrible suffering when he thinks of that juicy cheque.
So Topa insists on Sofia rules. Fine. This is his right. He wants to raise the competitive spirit? Good.
India made no bids. It's not completely off the wall to complain about this. Chess is not overflowing with sponsorship, asking the world champ to participate in getting some greenbacks isn't exactly an acid attack.
Topailov's antics v Kramnik were despicable, but let's just wait for something real to happen this time, and quit the conspiracy theories. Anand is a big boy and can take care of himself.
"A threat is stronger than its execution"- wasn't that Nimzovitsch?

Thomas, excuse me, but you just lie. Sorry.

misha, that's quite a leap from "as it's in Sofia Topalov is favourite" to "top GM's agree - Anand will be poisoned in Bulgaria"

Of course no machine gun, there are more subtle and secret methods - no matter whether one believes in rumors or not that the Bulgarians have or had assistance/manpower from the secret service at their disposal.

Seriously on the rest of you post: I see you points to some extent, though I may disagree already at the start: For me first priority isn't "making the players as rich as possible" but "having a match under the best possible circumstances (where money is only part of the story)".

But even then it's a matter of "c'est le ton qui fait la musique" (how to translate this into English?):
Sofia rules:
- They could have simply said "Topalov feels bound to Sofia rules", and you can say so in public, in private to Anand or not at all but still act accordingly during the match.
- But no, they said "draws are for old, conservative, lazy players" and "not accepting Sofia rules shows disrespect to the city of Sofia".

Sponsoring from India:
- They could have said "We would have been happy with additional money from India, and would have been willing to share the match" (never mind that this contradicts their earlier statements that 'India isn't up to the task of organizing the match')
- But no, they said "Anand could have easily raised a few more millions and should have done so, but didn't lift a finger". How would they, or anyone else even know how many fingers Anand or others acting on his behalf/in his interest raised? India tried to put up a bid but didn't succeed - maybe it's not that easy after all?

BTW, IMO this part of the story lacks credibility for another reason. Maybe the Bulgarians could have shared the match with Asia, Singapore to be precise who had a competing bid which was also quite attractive financially spoken. Did they lift a finger or two, maybe a whole hand making a proposition and trying to find a deal? No (to my knowledge) because until recently they were quite happy to get the whole match!?

I/we don't know much about the other bid - only Bulgaria made lots of noise while the bidding was still open and in progress. It may have played a role that Anand is popular also in non-Indian Asia? Also because Singapore has no prior experience with chess events and no own chess culture to speak of ... . And, for example, Dominguez is also popular all over Latin America, not just in Cuba.

"A threat is stronger than its execution"- wasn't that Nimzovitsch?"

I was googling for the German version ("Die Drohung ist stärker als ihre Ausführung") and ended up with Tartakower. But indeed the first link ( http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/nimzowitsch.html ) attributes it to many people, namely Nimzowitsch, Tartakower who himself attributed it to Tarrasch, and a certain Karl Eisenbach.

And there is another link [in German] invoking Nimzovitsch:
Brief summary: Nimzovitsch hated tobacco smoke, and his opponent Vidmar promised he would only smoke if he ends up in a very bad position. The game was nicotine-free and Vidmar won. Nimzovitsch complained to the tournament director: "He threatened to smoke, putting a cigar next to the board. So I didn't dare to make the strongest moves. As you know, the threat is stronger than the execution."

Is there a link with the Anand-Topalov match? The threat to interfer with the match (in Bulgaria, Danailov involved in the match organization) is stronger or as strong as its execution?

If anyone was lying, it was Kamsky, Sutovsky or someone else from his team inventing the story about security guards on their hotel floor. However, it sounds plausible given that there were other incidents or provocations during the match that everyone at the venue could see - e.g. Sutovsky passing through airport-style security including a metal detector like everyone else, but Danailov swiftly walking by without being stopped, then making mobile phone calls inside the venue.

The rest of my (9:27AM) post are undeniable facts.

Anyway, calling other people liars is your debating technique, not mine ... .

Kramnik > Call Thomas tell him to start posting in Topalov' s favor.
KGB agent> Right away , sir.
Kramnik >Sigh...

'Is there a link with the Anand-Topalov match? The threat to interfer with the match (in Bulgaria, Danailov involved in the match organization) is stronger or as strong as its execution?'

Thomas, now you are being very silly.

"For me first priority isn't "making the players as rich as possible" but "having a match under the best possible circumstances (where money is only part of the story)"
This is a sign that you are getting rather too absorbed in the issue.

I find it difficult to become excited about this upcoming match. I hope Anand will win however.

- Topailov's track record - nonsence/bla, bla,../
- their extreme ("heroic") efforts to get the match to Bulgaria, and avoid one on neutral ground - LIE 1 /BIG LIE/
- most recently, their insinuations and accusations against Anand before the match even started - LIE 2 /little lie/

+1 Hardy

chesshire cat said: "Topalov's antics v Kramnik were despicable, but let's just wait for something real to happen this time, and quit the conspiracy theories."

You do realize that, by definition, "conspiracy theories" (or any kind of speculation even if it is reasonable and grounded in past actions) cannot be made post facto. In other words, you can't "wait for something real to happen." I surely hope you don't use the "wait for something to happen" philosophy when you play chess...

I think it is reasonable to expect bad things from a team that has, as you rightly put it, done "despicable antics" in the past.

I believe in forgiveness, but only after the person or entity that is to be forgiven repents. As far as I know, there has been no repentance from Topalov's team for their "despicable antics." I say: no repentance, no forgiveness.

Well yes, actually I do expect some kind of silly nonsense if the match goes badly for T, but the kind of stuff flying around this thread can be called "conspiracy theories" in that they are exaggerated. That has nothing to do with "forgiveness", either.

Conspiracy theory is a term that originally was a neutral descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal or political conspiracy. However, it has become largely pejorative and used almost exclusively to refer to any fringe theory which explains a HISTORICAL or current event as the result of a secret plot by conspirators of almost superhuman power and cunning.[1]

I rather like the upcoming chessbase lecture about Anand and Topalov, especially their willingness to debate the most topical chess variations. It's a shame it's only a 12-game match but this match could be a real humdinger of a chess fight, a real feast of hand-to-hand combat.

I am drooling at the prospect of seeing 2 of my heroes in action and dare not call the match either way. Maybe we'll finally see a 'refutation' of the Berlin? Am I alone in being genuinely undecided about who to support and who to predict as winner?

OK, then we agree. Mischief is expected from T's team if things go badly for him. Some of the theories that are being thrown around in this thread are exaggerated.

Good point. None of what has been said in this thread is a conspiracy theory because it relates to future events. Agreed?

Some hypothetical questions:
If the players (actually one of them) could choose the venue, what would or should their decision be?
- Anand choosing between Sofia (prize fund 2 millions) or Singapore (1.6 million)
- [hypothetically:] Topalov choosing between Sofia (1.6 million) or Singapore (2 millions)
- either player choosing between Sofia and Singapore if the prize fund was exactly the same

Simple bottom line: home (dis)advantage is part of the story ... .

Off-topic: Biased as I am, I am glad that Manu was eliminated from the Champions League tonight - here mishanp might disagree with me ... .

This is it , Topalov must shine , it would be nice if he arrives at the match with one of those amazing ¨the computer dont like but i will crush you¨ state of minds and with the same selfcontrol he had at San Luis.
And i also hope Vishy shows his best chess and feels completely comfortable during the match , this should be a celebration .

¨Off-topic: Biased as I am, I am glad that Manu was eliminated from the Champions League tonight - here mishanp might disagree with me ... .¨

Wow , more racist comments from a German , that is unexpected like a mother in the park , paraphrasing Prince´s song ¨Wall of Berlin¨.

Manu: "Wow , more racist comments from a German..."

Huh?! There is not a hint of racism there. Grow some gonads, pinhead, and maybe you won't be so pathetically sensitive.

Lost & Found inventory update:

+1 manly action figure w/3 pair of gonads simil hooligan , accesories :pacifier and chess set

Shocking, Thomas!! What a totally absurd play on words... how could you possibly think Manu has any similarity to ManU!??? You should learn from the man himself who came up with the brilliantly clever, what was it, Donuts encOunter a tReacle Kramnik?

Anyway, as a Liverpool supporter I'm not overly saddened to see either Manu lose :)

I thought the comment had something to do with Tevez (who played there), and i believe the question was Do yOu Root 4 Kramnik?

Singapore was never seriously in the running to host the Anand-Topalov match - they had no money, as FIDE Vice-President Ignatius Leong has admitted. But it served FIDE's purposes to pretend to have more than one candidate as host for the world title match.

Ivanchuk on The Anand-Topalov match:

¨"I expect a good quality of games, good preparation, novelties." Chances are about equal, maybe Anand is the slightly greater favorite, since he has played classical matches against Kasparov and Karpov, so he has more experience than Topalov.¨

Im glad that Chucky agrees with me on this one , the guy mus be one of the few GMs 0% manipulative on interviews.

It was Dimi, not Manu who came up with plays on words, others were Little Ignorant Arrogant Russian (LIAR) and GEnerally pro-Russian MANiac (GERMAN).
It was Manu, not Topailov who coined the term "legal sponsorship"
But maybe all of them are actually "one and the same person" (was this from Danailov or Topalov, I am getting confused?).

BTW, Bayern Munchen also had, and still has an Argentinian player (Demichelis) on their team.

I can´t hear you over the sound of Messi´s goals , sorry .
But i have a question 4u:
Do yOu Root 4 Kramnik?
in case of hurry you can ask directly :
Are you a D.O.R.K.?

Two irrelevant things in one post:

1) Messi wasn't playing in Manchester, for whichever reasons (money, language, climate, ... ?) he prefers Barcelona. BTW the Dutchie in me says that Robben's goal wasn't bad either - just one but beautiful and decisive.

2) Kramnik won't play in Sofia - he probably wouldn't even if he had won the match against Anand, quite a few people (top GMs included) understand why ... .
I will root for Kramnik in the candidates matches, but that's for a forthcoming thread a few months from now.

I take that as a yes.

Wish Mig would create some type of poll. Only so I can gloat on the extremely high chances of Anand winning this thing (according to the poll, I mean).

Agreed, absolutely right. No justice, no peace!
Btw, nobody even had the funny idea that morozevich could work for Anand as an ultimate weird weapon... That would explain why he withdrew so much recently; he's the most active topalov hater amongst the chess elite... I would say there is about 1% chances but i like the idea!

I like this idea too. May also include Mr. Barski, Mr. Short, Mr. Kasimdzhanov and all other mice were beaten by Topalov and are signed under that cloth during the match in Elista in support of Mr. Kramnik. Especially for Mr Morozevich this role is very relevant. To hide like a criminal and mouse without the courage to come forward with his face. We could include also Mr. Kramnik, but he will participate in a tournament in Baku. And there aren't toilets like in Elista. So the match would become more attractive. Topalov against mice and Vichy Anand. But I hope that Anand dont work with mice.

The Paddypower.com betting site has Anand the favorite:

Anand 4/7
Topa 5/4

Of course Anand IS the favorite , What have i been saying?
10 days 4 impact.

I suppose you think you are funny. Not so mate.
The chess world wants the idiots Topalov and Danailov to loose this match.

I believe they want them to footloose the match.

One kid. One town. One chance.

All he wanted to do was dance.

The music is on his side.

They said he'd never win.

He knew he had to.


One sure sign you're dealing with a small child, an idiot, or a Bulgarian chess blog is their remarkable ability to find humor, over and over and over again, at the same "joke."

At the slightest "provocation," our toilet-obsessed friends recycle the same material that has bored the rest of the chess world for nearly four years.

So let's not provoke them.

Avoid mention of "Elista," "Kramnik," "Topalov," "Danailov," "World Chess Championship," or "chess" whenever possible.

Are we still allowed to say "Anand" - at least for the time being?

Good question.


Where r u from (which country)? Let the WCC Match begin and i Hope you will change your mind. Pls Wait for 9 more Days..

I assume you are new @ here.
Messi is futbol , futbol is Messi.

Manu, Saravanan is one of Anand's seconds!

Anand should be little careful if anti-FIDE person has to be in Topalov's camp. Because the politicians move in mysterious ways.

I hope Anand-Topalov battle it over the board.

Ok , i was just using Messi to hint my nationality , i understood that he wanted me to stop cheering for Topa ,hence my joke about him being new.
If he really is one of Vishy ´s seconds i would ask him to tell us more about Anand´s state of mind before the match and if he considers himself the favourite.

BTW Nigel Short is playing something somewhere @ this days , i wouldnt be surprised if he tries to claim some attention with comments about Vishy playing in Sofia or something like that.
Regarding the match i just hope that both players show their best chess and that someone plays 1e4 at some point , nothing more.

Hello Manu ,

You got me wrong. There is an IM With name Saravanan. But I am Not. The Name Saravanan is very Common in our Place. I root for Anand to Win the Match

Good for you , welcome to the best chess forums on the entire net.

Nigel Short doesn't need to 'claim some attention'. He's a top GM, former WCC candidate, President of the Commonwealth Chess Association and newspaper columnist. He's also a current FIDE delegate and one of the people whose votes will determine the next FIDE President.

Just curious: How do you know about Anand's seconds? It seems (to me) that Anand himself wants to keep their names as secret as possible - which obviously doesn't prevent, but rather encourages others to speculate.

My guess would be that there would be a lot of 1.e4 action in this match. Replies, no idea. I hope at least for a couple of .. c5 games where they go for each other's throats.


Topalov's seconds: Francisco Vallejo Pons has been dropped (something about stress) although he might help via the internet. Cheparinov, L'ami and Smeets are all in Topalov's hotel in Sofia. No mention of Dominguez.

The "surprise" is that Topalov's team also includes a Czech chess player (rated 2276), Jiri Dufek. The Rybka web page actually has a game between Topalov and Dufek and says that Dufek is working on the opening book for Rybka 4: http://www.rybkachess.com/

So Dufek is the "transmitting entity". Well that clears that up.

Sounds like a significant upgrade over the chess-retarded KGB agents who helped Kramnik in Elista.

1.e4 will not be played.

A player needing a win won't want to see the Petroff or Berlin. A player needing a draw won't want to see 1...c4.

Are you sure he is still a newspaper columnist? , i remember articles on chessbase on him getting fired , but anyway , i hope you are right and he keeps his ugly mouth shut.

Vishy played 1e4 to draw in his last match , your statement is not including important options , don't get mad at me i know you did what you could , it was a truly complex array of possibilities.

Short's commentating on the event for chessgames.com. He was asked there who he thought would win and said: "If I were forced to bet, I would wager on Toppy."

Reconstruction of the venue , inspection by the organizing committee here:


1.e4 worked as a drawing weapon against Kramnik - who had little recent experience with the Sicilian, and hadn't yet discovered the Pirc ,:) . Topalov is a different opponent with a different opening repertoire.

BTW, according to chessgames.com Anand has played the Petroff with black 40 times (not that much over his entire career), and the Berlin only in two rapid games.
Topalov has 15 Petroff games and a few Berlins - funnily, all of his opponents responded with 4.d3.

So, unless it's specific match preparation by either player, Petroff and/or Berlin don't seem to be the most likely options anyway.

Wanna bet about 1e4 being played on this match?

Thomas, these guys are friends and they visit Anand when he is in Chennai. I don't know you can call him a second but last time Saravanan helped and I expect him to help Anand in some way. So I think there is nothing secret about it or this is going to compromise anything.

Upgrade? or an effort to Minimize? Look at the upgrade in spying from a report a few days ago.


A "spy" agency hacks into classified and restricted documents and another "research" agency keeping a tab on this "spy" agency??

This shows how vulnerable Anand or his second's preparation is. When you can stealthily monitor, can't you stealthily transmit information? When a government is going to be directly involved, the cover up possibility is more. That increases the chances of foul play. Likewise when politics is going to be played using world champion, stakes are high, and foul play possibilities cannot be ruled out also.

When you conduct an examination, you need to secure all the arrangements and supervise the hall. So I think it is FIDE's responsibility to do what they have to to guarantee a proper match.

I think players should be fully monitored, their conversations, their correspondence etc, during the course of the tournament. Players coaches, managers, seconds should also be subjected to the same scanning throughout the course of the tournament. When you don't do that, or when you are not willing to do that, there is no point in attacking some one who cries foul after the event. Is FIDE doing that? Or don't conduct the match at all!

"Men make counterfeit money; in may more cases, money make counterfeit men (read world champions!)."

What is with the Bulgarians and toilets ?


From Chessdom: Viswanathan Anand is already in Sofia for the World Chess Championship match. There is confirmation from Hilton Hotel in Sofia that all rooms of Anand's team are already inhabited. The defending World Chess Champion has not informed the organizers for the hour of the arrival, as he wanted to escape journalists at the airport and keep his seconds secret to the last moment.



not really a secret... takes seconds for immigration to let danailov know...since bulgaria is not part of the schengen yet.

the cerny exhibit has me wondering though: are the toilets at the military club going to be squat toilets or western-style ? either way, anand should be comfortable since he grew up in india after all :)


[quote]not really a secret... takes seconds for immigration to let danailov know...[unquote]
That will be kind of fun... How do the immigration possibly know who are Anand's seconds??

Anyone with chess boards or war elephants will be reported to Danailov inmediately.

It's stamped on their foreheads and they will be clutching books on the Semi-Slav, so should be easy enough.

Immigration could only identify Anand's seconds if they queue up together with their boss. Or if they know a bit about chess, they might notic that a chess VIP (Carlsen/ Morozevich/Kramnik, ...) arrived in Sofia.
It's easier for the Hilton Hotel management and front desk ... as they know which rooms are reserved for team Anand, and now who's occupying them.

But what's the whole business of keeping his seconds secret all about anyway?
- Does he have a secret weapon / surprising name on his team? With all due respect to an IM, Saravanan would not be shocking news - and Nielsen and Kasimdzhanov were obvious even before they were spotted by a German journalist.
- Is he bluffing, making Topailov think there is a surprise which might affect the outcome of the match, or at least his opening choices?
- Or does he just want to play a little, and fairly innocent game?

With the flights I'm guessing Anand just wanted to avoid any chance of a repeat of the minor scandal there was with Kamsky - where he was apparently supposed to be met at the airport, and presumably hung around a while, but wasn't met (the organisers said they weren't given the exact flight details). The less contact with the organisers the less potential for distractions.

One thing from the press conference yesterday - some of the reports say that the only thing Anand's team weren't happy about was the toilet... but they don't say why. The players are supposed to share a toilet, be accompanied by an arbiter, and there's a camera there. All sounds a bit awkward if they decide to go at the same time :)

Where did you find (such) reports on the press conference? Russian language ones as I couldn't google them!?
Hmmm, I wouldn't be happy to be filmed and watched by an arbiter while doing my toilet business, but who am I? Nowhere near to competing in a WCh match, that's for sure ... .

The report I could find - on the official match homepage and elsewhere - is on a press conference which apparently included only sports minister Svilen Neikov and the organizing committee. One remarkable quote:
"Stefan Sergiev, President of BCF, said, "Thanks to Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, who did everything possible to assure the financial side of the match ..."
No mentioning whatsoever of (last-minute) private sponsors!!??

e.g. mentioning the toilet and sponsorship - and with a photo of the press conference: http://tinyurl.com/y7kadln

Actually I think Anand's team probably didn't say there was a problem with the toilet - it's probably just Google Translate getting confused: http://tinyurl.com/y69at7y

immigration can match names with the suspect list (ELO >2400) provided by danailov. even if there are 200 matches, danailov can probably guess who the seconds are.

at the hilton, it is indeed easier, but possibly they could use false names...

Then every single customs officer at Sofia airport has to remember several hundred names by heart - or always compare names with a long list which leads to enormous queues. I don't think the match is THAT important for Bulgaria - at most, they could spot rather unusual names such as Vachier-Lagrave or Nepomiachtchi ,:) .

At hotels, they often also ask for a passport when checking in. Even if this isn't standard procedure at the Sofia Hilton (I never stayed there or in any other Hilton) they could do so temporarily during the current "sensitive" period.

thomas, you are right about the hotels... but i think that in these days of computers, it will take a few seconds for immigration to cross-check all entries for a given day into bulgaria against a list... i am sure they cross-check against several different databases before allowing entry into bulgaria.

You are probably also right, but what would be the point of screening at the airport immigration? "Of course" they could refuse entry into Bulgaria to one of Anand's (potential) seconds (and find/invent a reason), but then:
1) We would probably already know
2) The match would start with a BIG scandal, and
3) might be over before it even starts.

For all other purposes, the Hilton Hotel will do - it shouldn't matter that they get the information a few hours later? Actually (while I don't know about you) I am basically joking, I am not (that) paranoid ... .

Still it reminds me a bit of a recent interview with Ivanchuk: Asked about the role of his second GM Leon Hoyos, he said "wait a minute" because Gelfand was walking by. But now the interview is on the Internet for everyone to hear and see - for everyone including Gelfand.

""Of course" they could refuse entry into Bulgaria to one of Anand's (potential) seconds (and find/invent a reason), but then..."
Thomas, why on earth do you mention such an utterly, completely ridiculous scenario? And then enlighten us with the obvious consequences?

Just fooling around a bit ... and this would be the only reason to screen thousands of people at the airport in order to find one or two of Anand's seconds - which was ap's suggestion, not mine.

ahh thomas, but you misunderstand. they don't have to screen anyone at the airport. at night, after the airport closes, someone with access to the immigration database runs a 30 second check and tells danailov who has come in... simple as that...same for calling up the hilton to find out whatever...

thing is, once the government and national pride are involved, such minor "advantages" go with home territory. i cannot know if there is a more organized and sinister conspiracy... though topalov's difficulties against kamsky suggest that once the game starts, they may simply be playing chess.

If you don't know the answer yet , then you have bigger problems than him , i'll give you some options to think about :

1) Because his best friend ever was scooby-doo but got cancelled.
2) Because he is biased but not very bright.
3) Because he didnt follow the very easy 15 steps recovery plan i recomended to him.

I remind you that all or none of this options may be true.

Just to clear up what Sergiev said about toilets in the press conference - it was actually that toilets were the only thing that Anand hadn't complained about!

Seldom have truer words been spoken than by Topalov here: http://topsport.ibox.bg/interview/id_53437246

"Do you expect any more whims from [Anand's] team?

Topalov: I don't think so. The organisation's been at such a high level that there's barely anything left to object to. But if someone's looking to create a provocation they'll always find something".

Also from the interview:

"Apart from the location and the opponent what is different between this battle and the one with Kramnik?

Anand is a true champion, balanced and a machine for playing all types of chess - blindfold, blitz, classical... He's not a genius, but is naturally talented, born to play chess. This allows his play to be quick and error-free, while I play slowly and well".

Q: What is different between this battle and the one with Kramnik?

Topalov: Anand is a true champion...


Q: OK, then I must ask -- do you consider Kasparov a true champion as well?

Topalov: Of course, yes.

Q: Who ended his World Championshp reign?

Topalov: Kramnik.

Q: And when you faced the false champion Kramnik in a match, who won?

Topalov: He did.

Q: Interesting...so how high is your opinion of yourself?

Topalov: Well, there you are [laughs]. Not very high, it would seem.

Q: If not chess, what would you be doing today?

Topalov: Cult member.

It is hard to judge the creativity of someone who cant tell the difference between Lennon and Mcartney (literally), but the effort is still commendable.

A long and quite interesting interview (in Bulgarian): http://tinyurl.com/y6e9t4g

This translation is based on Google's, but checked and slightly edited. The madness is all Topalov's :)

"How would you comment on the words of Kramnik, who said that Anand is the better player, but that you're the favourite because of playing in Sofia?

- Don't forget that he was saved by the match being on Russian territory in Elista. There the organizers managed to hide his tracks. They didn't show video footage which clearly showed his behaviour. He doesn't behave like a man. A man with dignity and who believes in his honesty would seek out and show the records himself. His opinion does not reflect the views of the entire Russian chess community. We have excellent relations with most Russian chess players - Karpov and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov will come to Sofia. The International Federation has repeatedly said that the protest of my delegation was correct. What he says is another matter. Kramnik managed to play several matches for the world title because he is Russian. If he was from a small country, no one would give them to him. The Russian Federation and previously the Soviet Union has always had influence. Even in controlling who will be president of FIDE. Kramnik benefited from this and played matches without any cycle. After Elista he was given a new match. Even in Bonn last year I should have played, not him. They almost managed to remove me from the cycle for years to come. This happened to Kasparov because he began to criticize the former president Vladimir Putin. All his troubles in chess came from that as the world champion could not secure a sponsor".


"Anand refused to play under "Sofia rules", which was a mistake. [...] I said that during the games I will communicate with Anand only through the arbiter, but this is also normal. Perhaps there is an element of psychological warfare."

Chessdom now have a full translation of the other interview I quoted above (the one about Anand being a true champion): http://interviews.chessdom.com/topalov-world-chess-anand

"someone who cant tell the difference between Lennon and Mcartney (literally)"

As part of a psychotic break occasioned by the upcoming WC match and played out on these pages, Manu recently posted the lyrics to the song "Jealous Guy" to ascribe wife-beating tendencies to posters who had the nerve to react to Manu bellowing the same lies over and over.

I pointed out the connection, to which Manu responded that I had mistaken Lennon for McCartney. He chose to repeat himself today, so:

In a surprising lapse from such a reputable musicologist as Manu, no such mistake occurred. Lennon's violent nature towards women had been active in life and reflected in lyrics as far back as Rubber Soul, whose concluding track was actually banned on British and Canadian radio stations some three decades after the album's release. Later on "Getting Better" and "Jealous Guy" were Lennon's acts of acknowledgment and penitence in the same direction.

Perhaps Manu believed McCartney to be the wife-beater of the group; after all, it would be difficult to avoid such a conclusion if all one read were tabloid reports of his 2008 divorce proceedings. Yet example of impeccable and unbiased research from our Manu.

It sounds to me that you discovered Cynthia's allegations after our last confrontation and did some research about it, but in any case it is a relief to know that you are able to tell the difference.
I stand corrected .

Thanks. What a sad little man.

A rare admission of error. Maybe he's growing up...maybe someday he'll be able to do it without the smarminess.

" Manu recently posted the lyrics to the song "Jealous Guy" to ascribe wife-beating tendencies to posters who had the nerve to react to Manu bellowing the same lies over and over."

That is some twisted interpretation of the truth , it is a lot simpler than that : i was just pointing out how jealous some dorks(™) were about the forthcoming WCH match ... hence the lyrics of " jealous guy"...
But this statement also contradicts your logic , Why would i use the song to call someone "wife beater" if i was ( like you said) completely unaware of the allegations against Lennon?
Giving your lack of taste, i just assumed the most logical interpretation of what you wrote : you just thought that Mcartney was the one who wrote "jealous guy" !, and giving the fact that you didnt answered anything in that confrontation , i must continue to believe so.
This is all my fault for trying to come up with alternative ways of telling you how much your creativity sucks, wont happen again.

^^Anand is already in Sofia for the World Chess Championship 2010
The latest information from the WCC in Sofia
Viswanathan Anand is already in Sofia for the World Chess Championship match. There is confirmation from Hilton Hotel in Sofia that all rooms of Anand's team are already inhabited. The defending World Chess Champion has not informed the organizers for the hour of the arrival, as he wanted to escape journalists at the airport and keep his seconds secret to the last moment.^^
This is what I read here http://players.chessdom.com/viswanathan-anand/anand-world-chess-championship-sofia
And, now, the following is what I read:
^^Will the Icelandic volcano affect the World Championship?
17.04.2010 – Just after landing on a stopover in Frankfurt, World Champion Vishy Anand was informed that all further flights were cancelled, owing to volcanic ash from Iceland. With 25,000 flights cancelled per day, hundreds of thousands of travellers, including Anand, are stranded, with alternative routes (rental cars, trains) almost impossible to arrange. The AICF is seeking a three-day postponement.^^

Which news do I believe??

Unless Anand's team's rooms are curently inhabited by ghosts, then either chessdom or some Sofia Hilton officials were being economical with the truth. I think the chessbase news has the ring of truth to it.

He can't reach Sofia by other means, such as train, because...?

There isn't necessarily a conflict of info from the Hilton, just an error in assumption on the part of Chessdom (not always a reliable source of info). Someone may be "inhabiting" Anand's suite of rooms, but that doesn't mean it's Anand himself (could be family, seconds, etc.).

By road (according to Google), it's an 18-19 hour trip from Frankfurt to Sofia (via Germany/Hungary/Serbia/Bulgaria). That would be a grueling two day trip, assuming weather and road conditions permit steady travel, to say nothing of potential issues with visas or government restrictions on travel. I know that I'd need at least 3-4 days to recover from that trip and get acclimatized to a new place to work/live for awhile (especially under the duress of a WCC).

Looks like a significant delay is in the works...

http://www.chessdom.com/topalov-anand-2010/anand-topalov-match-postponed is live reporting from Sofia, FIDE meeting starting. Hopefully it will all go normal.

Btw organizers still claim Anand is in Sofia... or at least his team.

Why did not Anand call?! I mean in advance.

Acirce brings up an interesting alternative; while I'm sure that trains are deluged with an extraordinary amount of travelers, according to this web page it's feasible: http://www.seat61.com/Bulgaria.htm

It's not obvious that the match has to be postponed if Anand can get there several days ahead of its start, tired or not. Even more to the point, why not go by train to some open airport?

"Trains to Sofia would take about 28 hours to reach and I would not be in a mental state to play immediately after travelling such distance."

Immediately? What is he talking about? Very odd. Even if he went NOW he's be there 3-4 days before the start of the first game. He would already have been there if he had taken the train as soon as it became clear that he could not be there by the 16th by flight. Again, not obvious that the match should be postponed - it is annoying to the opponent too, and awkward for the organizers - just because your trip became more grueling than you had expected.

The rules don't even allow for timeouts if you get sick during the match, mind you.

From: AICF Letter TO FIDE
"As you are aware, the Volcanic Ashes across Europe has rendered many passengers sulking in various Airports across the Globe, "


Bobby's final resting place sends ash cloud over Europe to disrupt World Championship match.

Which open airport? And it's easy to suggest a 28 hour train trip, standing or sitting on the corridor because all seats are reserved ... .

The mystery about Anand already being in Sofia AND stuck in Frankfurt may be resolved: it seems that Hans-Walter Schmitt arrived in advance and got the keys of all reserved rooms in the Hilton Hotel. The rest of the organizers' statement on Chessdom (supydrup already gave the link) isn't reassuring that "all will go normal":

"AICF (All Indian Chess Federation) themselves do not play a role in this championship and we have to consult FIDE immediatelly. ... Stefan Sergiev, President of the BCF said for media in Sofia, "We believe Anand's team is here. If Anand had called or warned about the possibility, or at least for the time of his arrival, earlier, we would have made everything possible to arrange alternative transportation to Sofia. I have a feeling the Schmitt coming earlier and checking in all rooms could be a trick." Sergiev continued, "Topalov was also in SPain on an island, but managed to come on time, Anand is looking for excuses and reasons. No World Championship has ever been postponed."

Huh? It's understandable that Anand - unlike Topalov - doesn't want to spend too much time in Sofia before the match, isn't it? Or could he have predicted
- a volcanic eruption
- unusual northerly winds, and
- prolonged dry weather, if it rained the volcanic particles wouldn't remain in the atmosphere

Maybe a representative of the German Chess Federation can personally verify that Anand is still in Frankfurt - but then the Bulgarian organizers might argue that, like their Indian counterpart, the German Chess Federation has nothing to do with the match.

I didn't say it would be fun, I said it's not compelling reason to postpone the start of the match.

Any delay should not be done. Anand was in Germany from April 16. By car can travel to Bulgaria for less than 24 hours. The opening may be omitted from Anand, but the first party should begin on the date – April 23.
And I'm sure that the first party will be on April 23.

Tomas said: "Huh? It's understandable that Anand - unlike Topalov - doesn't want to spend too much time in Sofia before the match, isn't it? Or could he have predicted
- a volcanic eruption
- unusual northerly winds, and
- prolonged dry weather, if it rained the volcanic particles wouldn't remain in the atmosphere"

... It's all Anand's problems. The first party will be on 23th April.

That damn volcano is casting a cloud over everything!

I've heard of saved by the bell but it looks like the Bulgarians are saved by the volcano!

Anand can ask the Bulgarians to be magmanimous.
But will Mt Topailov erupt?

Anand is apparently on his way now, so far unclear how he is traveling.

Good for Anand. It should serve as extra motivation to beat Topa.

"It should serve as extra motivation to beat Topa."

I did it all for you, chess fans!

Just got in from attending the Polish President's funeral to see this. I'm not saying Poland tops the league for media management skills, but I note they didn't launch any wild attacks against Obama, Prince Charles, Merkel or all the other leaders who couldn't make it. Seriously the Bulgarian organisers, ably abetted by Chessdom (I love their comments about giving a first and second warning about the ash cloud!), have made absolute fools of themselves.

On a brighter note... if they do postpone things I might make it to the first game :) Though after a 30 hour bus journey I'm rather glad I won't have to play.

Arguably the funniest part of the (latest) Chessdom report is "While the latest news arrived that Sofia airport is again open for flights ..."

Great for Anand, he could land, very helpful if he cannot take off. But maybe he could actually go by chartered plane: Frankfurt airport was briefly reopened between 4:00 and 8:00PM local time - but this window was too short, and came at too short notice for Lufthansa to resume regular flights.

This volcano disaster looks like Danailov's job. Was he recently in Iceland?

@mishanp: actually Chessdom thought Anand is in Sofia, as this is what the sports minister announced, so thought the whole country and all media. And about the warnings, they were mostly to chess fans travelling to the match as far as I understand, which has nothing to do with Anand.

Good that there is at least one source there on site, Chessbase I am sure did not move their finger or bother going to Sofia, they will be as lazy as always and also report whatever they hear, making scandalous mashups.

Germany is not far away, by car is 1 day, and note 22nd is rest day before game 1. So Anand should make it, no excuse there. Let's hope for good match and strong games, and less play under the table.

Yep, I know the ash warnings were initially addressed to chess fans, but here they act as though they were supposed to have helped Anand, although he was already stranded in Frankfurt! http://www.chessdom.com/topalov-anand-2010/anand-topalov-2010

There they also comment that "Topalov was actively giving interviews for media" - repeating their earlier attack on Anand for hiding, though quite how he was to arrange media interviews in Frankfurt isn't specified. An apology would have been in order.

They say they translated the "most interesting" Topalov interview, but that one I quoted above with the lunatic ravings about Kramnik is vastly more newsworthy. It was the same with MTel not sponsoring the match - they carefully chose an interview so readers wouldn't grasp the main point. When a local chess site is so keen to shape the news for PR purposes I'm really not sure it's better than nothing.

Chessdom's brief comments from Sergiev on Anand's postponement request leave out a few juicy details too, assuming they're referring to this BGNES interview: (though in their favour they do translate the ridiculous statement about Topalov and his island!) http://news.v2.bgnes.com/view/824584

...the representative of Anand - the German Hans Werner-Schmidt arrived in the capital on April 15 and took the keys to all the rooms booked at the Hilton Hotel. This was an indication to the organizers that the Indian was already in Sofia.
"Yes, but it turned out to be a trick because Schmidt had come alone, perhaps in order to "secure" the rooms and apartments of Anand and his delegation. I guess the "spy mania" of Anand's team has taken on very serious dimensions", said Sergiev. He explained that the organisers pay 600-700 euros per day for both apartments and rooms in the Hilton.

"Bobby's final resting place sends ash cloud over Europe to disrupt World Championship match."


-It's the ghost of the eternal master casting his dark shadow and spell over his successors!

Sergiev continued, "Topalov was also in SPain on an island, but managed to come on time, Anand is looking for excuses and reasons. No World Championship has ever been postponed."

Apparently Mr Sergiev doesn't know the history of WCh matches - Spassky vs Fischer in 1972 was postponed more than once!

Maybe a compromise can be worked out, Anand retains title but FIDE constitutes a new one - Topalov can be crowned "Volcano champion".

Actually that seems to be another Chessdom inaccuracy. He said no World Championship has ever been postponed "because one team couldn't get there on time", which might be true, though I can't see that it has any relevance to the question!

Shefa makes a simple and powerful point Frankfurt to Sofia by car is not difficult. They could hire a There can be no problem getting a car - anand should already be there. There is no force majeure situation here, I think Anand is playing with fire and should get himself down there pronto. What is he up to?? He has to travel by car - if the ash situation continues for 2 more weeks is he going to sit in Frankfurt with folded arms saying if I cannot go by plane I am not going????? Wow he can get forfeited if he takes that attitude very odd and very silly.

btw shouldnt it be Anand-Topalov match instead of Topalov-Anand? After all Anand is the current champ.

Danailov will appreciate any chance to get a free point.

Going by car is very much a last resort. Unless they spend a night somewhere along the way they'll be exhausted for the next couple of days, and if they're travelling the direct route through Serbia there might be visa problems. Waiting at least a couple of days to see if a flight was possible makes sense (even though it sounds as though they looked at alternatives pretty quickly).

In any case barring a postponement they're now going to get to Bulgaria with much less time than expected to prepare for the match. It sounds as though the organisers will try to exploit that, which is just what we'd expect of them - after all they've been trying to unsettle Anand by being hostile to him before he arrived in Bulgaria, and even when they just imagined he'd arrived there... so the Icelandic volcano is a godsend for them.

It is not possible that the organizers could not have verified whether Anand was in the hotel or not. It would have been so easy for anyone from the organizers to call up the Hilton manager or security or whoever and check who has taken the keys for Anand's rooms. I am sure they knew Anand was not yet there but they went with the story that they assume Anand is there, because that would make Anand look like a secretive, crazy fella. So, Anand's tactic of avoiding contact with the press and organizers before the match, has been turned upside down by this volcano thing. But for it, Anand would have quietly slipped into the Hilton unnoticed on the 16th and no one would have missed him.

I predict the authorities will deny a postponement, Anand will get there somehow before the match, claim unfairness, beat Topalov like Kramnik did, and then say like Kramnik how he won in spite of all attempts by Topadailov to stop him :-)

Words by Anand at Chessdom http://players.chessdom.com/viswanathan-anand/anand-topalov-world-chess-championship and also his manager and wife Aruna.
All seems to be in order? Hm.

I wonder why couldn't the Indian ambassy in Frankfurt give Anand a limo?

also this business of not knowing whether Anand is already checked into the Hilton is odd to me. I have not been to Bulgaria, but have been to other European cities, one has to personally present the passport during hotel check-in. The hotel manager should know. Even if Anand seconds got the rooms' keys, it should be very clear from Hilton's record that Anand in fact have not checked in.

"it turned out to be a trick because Schmidt had come alone, perhaps in order to "secure" the rooms and apartments of Anand and his delegation. I guess the "spy mania" of Anand's team has taken on very serious dimensions", said Sergiev."

He may even be right that Hans-Walter Schmitt first wanted to check whether there are some "surprises" before Anand himself arrived. Is this paranoid spy mania? There were unsolicited security guards on Kamsky's hotel floor in the same Hilton hotel .... . Anyway, if Anand had arrived according to travel plans, Schmitt would have spent just one night on his own.

Of course it's nothing special that a Bulgarian site provides coverage of the match. Chessdom takes their job as "partner" for the match quite seriously, and the organizers show again that they are "seriously Bulgarian" rather than neutral. There should also be on-site coverage from Chessvibes: Peter Doggers mentioned that he has a flight to Sofia on Wednesday and is now also looking into other means of transport.
Chessbase had troubles and legal disputes with the Bulgarians before, so why should they bother going to Sofia where they aren't welcome?

I see trouble in the future , Anand will finally arrive to the hotel only to find Schmitt completely drunk in his suite wearing a black wig and playing chess with some hookers .

The way some of you talk, Anand will be lucky to get out of Bulgaria alive. I suggest he sticks his cheque behing the numberplate on his hotel room door and refuses to eat any presents of fruit sent to him.

Some more from Sergiev here: http://paper.standartnews.com/bg/article.php?d=2010-04-19&article=321669

He repeats the Hilton story. Then:

"Anand did not find it necessary to inform us about their difficulties, which for us is absolute disrespect. Moreover when we found out that Schmidt was in Sofia we sent a formal request to Mrs Anand, as manager, to inform us exactly when they would arrive. We did not receive a reply. Until then our correspondence with her had been flawless. We informed the FIDE headquarters in Athens and they immediately told us that they were unable to contact her because she was probably on a plane and could not speak.

Thus, the Indian chess player violated two points of the match contract. One of them says that if either party is unable to fulfil their commitments due to force majeure, they should immediately make it known. Another states that in the event of such situations the party is obliged to do everything possible to overcome them.

We are not willing to postpone the match. If Anand came from India it would be another thing, but not from Frankfurt. Also, if we were informed we would have rendered full assistance for them to arrive in Sofia on time.

You must remember that the Indian even postponed the event by 16 days under the pretext that he would play in the "Amber" tournament, but he did not participate there."
The thing I find oddest about all this is the time scale. At the press conference on Friday they acted as though Anand was hiding from the press (the first line of the article above is "Viswanathan Anand continues to play hide and seek") - but he was only due to arrive on the Friday! He'd hardly become a hermit. The same with the travel situation - it's not as if he's waited days or put no effort into solving the problem.

I have a question , Was Anand already late before this volcano story happened? Wasn't he supposed to be giving interviews and promoting his own match by the time Schmitts arrived?
I dont know the answer to that , but if the answer to those questions is yes then they should not postpone the match more than one day IMO.
On the other hand , arriving late seems to be the greatest effort our champion made to promote this event ...

I don't think Anand wants to promote the match in Sofia. Topalov is the homeboy and he is promoting the match and giving out interviews.

But, I do agree that Anand has behaved disgracefully in the runup to the championship. Letting the organizers and hosts know the date of his arrival is a minimum courtesy which is required. If he had been so apprehensive, he shouldn't have agreed to play the match in Sofia.

"But, I do agree that Anand has behaved disgracefully in the runup to the championship."

How so? Because Anand agreed to play in Bulgaria? Thats disgraceful? I mean no one would have agreed. Surely you must admit that. Anand agreed.

Now this thing with reaching in time. Anand in my opinion has asked for a 3 day time simply so that 'just in case ..just in case" he does not make it to Sophia in time he has enough material to say " well I informed you". But I think its just being cautious. The match will start on friday and Anand will hammer the Bulgarian team (afterall its not just Topalov is it?)

And by agreeing to play in your opponent's country takes some 'stones'. We will see in about 3 weeks when the WCC remains in India.

We´ll see , but for now it really seems that the hide and seek game backfired Vishy badly, he ended up in a position where he is asking for consideration and favours from others , and that could never be a good thing in a psychological warfare for a WCH title.

yes we shall see. no doubt. "nd that could never be a good thing in a psychological warfare for a WCH title".

maybe. But the fact Anand agreed to play in Sophia, Bulgaria speaks for itself. I dont think Anand cares. The fact that he agreed is saying "bring it".

why cannot the news be interpreted in a non controversial way

1. it could well be Schmitt came in early just to have everything ready for Anand and was never to fool anyone that Anand has arrived.

2. The BCF reaction could just be because they take pride in organizing this event and they dont want a postponement as it would not look good on their behalf, so they are upset and hence their reaction to Anand's request of postponement.

3. Anand is trying his best to reach Sofia in time, but with the over bookings and possible visa issues for road travel, he might indeed end up being late or very tired. Also it could be his last final preparation that were supposed to happen in Sofia with his team is now off track and he is concerned on those lines as well. Surely the volcano could not have been predicted and arriving a week early seems a reasonable cushion but not enough for this enormous travel crisis.

Just in this case no reason to postpone match. Because:
1. Bulgaria is not so far from Germany.
2. Anand was in Germany since 16th April.
3. All wishes of Anand's team were agreeded and fulfilled by the organizers and other side.
4. The match was postpone once with 16 days at the request of Anand by reason of Anand's participation in Amber. Anand didn't participate in Monaco.
5. The letter of AICF is nonsence. They would be more care about finding transport than writing letters.
6. This is just attempt to rise in psychological stress opponent before the match.
7. If Anand leaving for Sofia just right now, he will be there on the noon of Tuesday and will have more than 3 days for rest.

Has the 16 days postponement due to Anand's (possible) Amber participation been mentioned before? Or is this something the Bulgarians are making up now? In any case, I would consider it a reasonable request at the time - even if he decided later on to decline the Amber invitation - which stands loose from the current force majeure situation.

It seems that Anand informed the organizers about his planned arrival Friday 16th, obviously unaware at the time that he couldn't make it. Then during one or two days, he was hoping that 1) the air space would reopen and 2) at the same time looked for alternative transportation. Realizing that 1) won't happen soon and 2) poses considerable difficulties, he apparently contacted FIDE rather than the organizers because he doesn't expect cooperation from the organizers - he turned out to be right.

Finally, it may well be that Anand's VIP status is exaggerated for the sake of pro-Bulgarian argument. German politicians (chancellor and minister of defense) were affected by the transport crisis, TV celebrities were, probably also some top managers. By comparison, just how VIP is the world champion of a game played by how many percent of the world population?

On the interviews: If Topalov enjoys giving many interviews, that's his choice. Bulgarian journalists may be the only ones still asking questions about Elista, and publishing his nonsensical answers - so he benefits whenever he is in Bulgaria. If it makes him feel better ... .

If Anand instead wants to concentrate on the match, that's his legitimate choice.

What is "Amber" postponement has to do with postponement due to nature's fury? The whole world know the situation and therefore the organizers should have known and should have shown understanding and maturity in this matter if they hadn't.

Well, is not that hard to understand ,you know the "Sheperd boy and the wolf" fable...
If you ask to postpone something because of a compromise you have and then you dont play in that event , people are not going to trust you the next time you ask for a (unnecessary) delay.

I will happily take an unpaid position on Anand's behalf to respond to every one of Sergeiev's aggressive missives to the press, and also respond to the insinuations from Topalov in his interviews...

I think Topalov's camp and the Bulgarian organizers have behaved disgracefully in the run up to this match. Their public attacks on Anand have been ungracious, unnecessary and self-wounding. They have lost the PR battle already and many neutral observers (and some mildly pro-Topalovites) are being gradually alienated. They could have handled all these with a lot more grace, decorum and less brazen partisanship.

Check the news , it is Vishy who unnecessary lost the PR battle , my beloved dork(™).

I had got a desire to make my own commerce, but I didn't have got enough amount of cash to do it. Thank goodness my mate recommended to use the home loans. So I received the collateral loan and realized my old dream.

Thank you so much for letting us know about this! I must say that you are a very dedicated person to have written a wonderful post like this!

Thank you so much for letting us know about this! I must say that you are a very dedicated person to have written a wonderful post like this!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 27, 2010 3:47 AM.

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