Greengard's ChessNinja.com

WCh Postponement?

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So, I hear there's a volcano or something? The ash cloud hasn't reached Brooklyn, but it's not entirely out of sight or out of mind. The flight cancellations grounded Garry Kasparov, trapping him here in NY for an extra five days, and counting. It's also grounded Vishy Anand in Frankfurt, en route to Sofia for his world championship match with Topalov. The opening ceremony is just a couple of days away and the All-India Chess Federation has requested a three day postponement of the match. The same wonderfully detailed volcano report at ChessBase includes the AICF letter to FIDE and a link to Anand's message from Frankfurt claiming a force majeure situation. A three day postponement, if they stick with the schedule, would mean the opening ceremony on the 24th and the first round on the 26th.

That's going to be pretty rough on the hosts, but what to do? I'm sure there are a number of other people involved with the match in similar situations. And anything that would lead to intimations that one player was disadvantaged by the organization is to be avoided, within reason. This would probably be the first volcano-related postponement of a major sporting event since the Pompeii Marathon of 79 AD had to be canceled. Anyway, at least it will gave overworked bloggers an extra day or two to get their acts together and put up a few coherent preview posts after their bosses finally fly back to Russia.


It is being reported that he is actually travelling at the moment. Is he taking a taxi or did someone lend him their private jet?

Where is it being reported?

First Toiletgate, and now a volcano?! Proof once again that Danailov will stop at nothing.

@Ashish -- that was a good one!
These guys want to create tension as it would be advantageous for Topa. i think it would have been fair to agree to the postponement....
I hope the rest of the match is fair play!

¨These guys want to create tension as it would be advantageous for Topa.¨

Why would they? Last time tension didnt work well for them and Topa ended up losing his title on tie breaks...
If anyone Vishy is the only one who can profit from this kind of tension , he is well known for having nerves of steel and everybody would blame the Bulgarians anyway.
Lets recap : The guy wont show up on time , or comunicate with the organizers , gets stranded because of a major force situation and we should blame Danailov?
Get real , get on time.
Early bird gets the worm.

I just repeat in this column:
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.

As a minor point of information: Anand was due to arrive on the 16th, and was booked on a flight for the... 16th.

Neither the volcano or the organisers jumping to the assumption that Anand had arrived a day early and was "hiding" are Anand's doing.

The ¨hiding¨ concept refers to the unusual lack of comunication that Anand showed to the organizors and FIDE before and after the vulcano thing.

Oh my , did anyone noticed how the AICF letter starts? :

¨His Highness Kirsan ILYUMZHINOV¨

Highness ?!? Is he a king? Isnt he short enough to be a jockey?

Judging by Sergiev they hold a grudge that a letter to the Hilton addressed to Aruna didn't get an immediate response - though if she was a thousand miles away it's understandable, don't you think?

They'd told the organisers they were arriving on the 16th - when that fell through they made them aware of their problems on the 17th. Hardly "unusual". Given the Bulgarian team have been attacking Anand and Aruna at every opportunity why would they choose to contact them more than absolutely necessary? Sergiev complaining of "disrespect" is the funniest thing since... all the other bizarrely hypocritical things they said.

I am waiting for Manu's posts after Topa looses couple of games. Lets hope Manu does not disappear.
I think Anand just wanted to keep the things unnoticeable by arriving at his comfortable time as a weak time is enough for rest. But the volcano messed it up. Well, by will or not will Bulgarians seek controversies in everything.

¨bizarrely hypocritical ¨ , that is not fair , now i have no words to describe your point of view.
I wouldnt blame FIDE if they refuse to move the schedule of the match , 3 days of grace seems more than what the Indian camp deserves considering the way they are handling this situation.

Please explain to me how is the thought process for blaming the Bulgarians about Anand being late.

They triggered the volcano eruption didn't they?


Only the guest can arrive late. The host can not. Because they are there! So if you complain for lateness it is not fair. So take the match to a neutral venue, please, if you want to complain.

They can always arrange the opening ceremony as planned on the 21st -- there are a lot of invited dignitaries who wouldn't be able to reschedule.

And then they can consider postponing the start of the match itself, if Anand's travel has been very arduous.

Why do Bulgarians always sound as if something was "lost in translation"?

I love Sherman's concept of geography. Not far from Germany to Bulgaria. Did you take a look at a map, Sherman? See all those countries in between, count the kilometers?

Chess players, it dawns on me, are a petty bunch.

There are comfortable trains in Europe. Believe it or not they reach Bulgaria, that godforsaken country, too. European trains are probably not good enough for our Indian friend. He could charter a nice German bus of course, but that would be too easy.

You know what, blame it all on Topalov/Danailov/M-Tel/Bulgaria. There are enough ignorant donkeys out there, ready, capable and willing to swallow.

As I said or any body can see, Anand's is NOT late but was arriving at his comfortable time a weak earlier. But due to obvious reasons he couldn't. Any other organizers (Non Bulgarians) would have stated that they could do their best to resolve the situation. Instead Bulgarian organizers preferred to pull out /at least initiate the controversy by stating "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." The statement looks provoking to the rest of the world if not to the Bulgarians. Bulgarian recent chess history isn't scandal free either.

"See all those countries in between, count the kilometers?"

Are you out of your mind you stationaty midget? A train trip between Frankfurt and Sofia is nothing!

Official letter to Anand by organizers published here http://www.chessdom.com/topalov-anand-2010/anand-topalov-2010 where they claim the match can be delayed one day, but the ceremony not.

That would be four changes of trains, when all of Europe was crowding on to trains, with your baggage for a month's stay in Sofia. Including Chess engines, software, equipment. Yours truly, The Stationary Midget

"A train trip between Frankfurt and Sofia is nothing!"

Frankfurt(Main)Hb Mon, 19.04.10 12:21
Wien Westbahnhof Mon, 19.04.10 19:22
Wien Westbahnhof Mon, 19.04.10 19:50 Budapest-Keleti pu Mon, 19.04.10 22:49
Budapest-Keleti pu Mon, 19.04.10 23:00
Sofia Tue, 20.04.10 17:43

That seems to be the best train option. 28 hours 22 minutes. Now, even if you can get all the necessary tickets - and you have no problems with visas or customs for Serbia (not a Schengen visa country), and you manage to carry all the computer equipment you probably have with you - you arrive in Sofia needing a few days to recover simply from the journey. You've lost a vital part of your preparation.

To be honest I agree there's an argument for keeping close to the schedule despite the disadvantage to Anand, but the way the organisers have reacted is appalling.

Noone blames the Bulgarians for Anand being late, but the Bulgarians blame Anand for being late - while it's due to circumstances wholly beyond his control, also called "force majeure".

As for trains from Frankfurt to Sofia, it's possible .... :
Frankfurt 12:21 - Vienna 19:22
Vienna 19:50 - Budapest 22:49
Budapest 23:00 - Sofia 17:43
[28.5 hours, it seems that Anand consulted the same or a similar webpage]
These trains may be rather comfortable under normal circumstances, but not if they are over-overbooked. And what happens if you miss a connection?

As to the link mentioned by alex, the organizers actually say that postponing the first game by one day is "to be discussed with ... Prime Minister of Bulgaria Mr. Boyko Borissov. This will take some time."
Methinks FIDE shouldn't _request_, but _insist_ on postponing the first game in case of need - but they seem to be leaning towards the Bulgarian side ... .

Weak excuse from Anand. Inter milan is travelling by bus to Barcelona for the crunch semifinal affair...they are not asking for a postponment. If they can do it, Anand can do the same. No excuses. First game should start on Friday. By now both players should have been sufficiently prepared for the match. I suspect something has gone wrong with Anand's preparation.

@pircalert>Topalov lives in Spain genius , and like someone mentioned he was in an island not so long ago but still arrived early for the match ...
Being late for such an important event is unfair for the organizers regardless of their nationality IMO.

@raj >"Any other organizers (Non Bulgarians) would have stated that they could do their best to resolve the situation. "

That is pure BS , no organizer would be glad to reschedule everything just because one player got delayed by playing hide and seek with the host .
It was Anand's choice to arrive with little time for the event and not collaborating in the promotion of the match , now it is his problem to be on time for the ceremony and games .
If i were the organizer i would give him one extra day , so he wont be whining about being tired ,and also to take away some pressure from Topa avoiding unnecessary collateral damage in case game one goes wrong .

If you're trying to cite football as an example of this not being an issue then see e.g.: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/front_page/8622315.stm
It's Barcelona travelling, they're going half the distance Anand would need to, over better roads and with no troublesome borders to cross - and they're still planning on splitting it over a couple of days.

If it's really too awkward for the organisers to delay the match then ok, Anand will have to make do - but seeing as delaying a chess match is vastly less tricky than delaying an important football match it's reasonable to ask the question. And expect a civil response rather than the absurd suggestion that Anand's making excuses.

Off course "no organizer would be glad to reschedule everything" but the Bulgarians put it as "playing hide and seek with the host" which others would not. Anand started with sufficient time and volcano has delayed it. It is now organizers problem (unexpected event) which they gladly used to blame Anand. As usual Bulgarian fans like it.

I think Anand can safely skip the movie about how chess originated in India and was developed by the "proto-Bulgarians". Its got bad rankings on IMDB anyway.

Maybe it should be mentioned that InterMilan or Barca have a gigantic support apparatus of assistants, trainers, etc?

No comparison. But the thing will come off, almost as planned.

And I'm guessing we'll soon be hearing that Anand had all his equipment packed in a Lufthansa cargo container (they are bringing a month's worth of personal luggage, plus his equipment, including sensitive preparation materials) - and that it simply wasn't feasible to be lugging this across Europe.
Train stations have been flooded with stranded travelers, and there have been numerous instances of quite ugly scenes between people fighting to get on board.

But there was a respite withthe ash clouds, and Anand will be in Sofia.


The Bulgarian reaction to this has been predictably ugly. Why ever did he agree to play there? Kramnik was right.

Another Match with Fuss For Topalov


It seems Topalov & Co cannot understand the current scenario.

Anand Please Win the Match.

@Manu: Really, either you ignore the current situation in the european skies or this is just another one of your Topa fanboy charades.

Airports in Spain have been operating fine through the weekend but that's not the case in Germany, as well as another dozen countries. Topalov had no trouble flying to Sofia but there are thousands of travelers stuck in the airports.

Trains, buses and even taxis are extremely difficult to find and the high demand made prices obscene in some cases.

There's been no real information on when flights were going back to normal. Hell, I had a guest from northern Italy here in Girona (Spain) that had to hitchhike his way back home on Sunday. Still today they're talking about "Wednesday at 13:00", the same way they were talking about "Monday at 13:00" two days ago.

Pretending Anand has been sitting in Frankfurt just because he wants to create tension is just plain stupid. And I'm not even going to comment on the whole "inter traveling by bus" because it sounds like a joke.

Given that postponing any of the games is against the regulations -- that's not a matter of opinion, but fact -- I still don't see why it should be done unless, as a minimum, Topalov agrees to it.

No rule should be followed so strictly that it gets absurd. But breaking it just to make Anand feel more comfortable, even though he could easily play anyway? Nope, I disagree.

Us chess players, we're petty shits, aren't we?

"They can always arrange the opening ceremony as planned on the 21st -- there are a lot of invited dignitaries who wouldn't be able to reschedule.

And then they can consider postponing the start of the match itself, if Anand's travel has been very arduous.

Why do Bulgarians always sound as if something was "lost in translation"?"

Well, guess what, that's exactly what the Bulgarians are doing.

The contract gives the right to a postponement on the basis of "force majeure", I assume. Sergiev claimed that was invalid as Anand didn't tell them immediately or use all possible means to get around it, but that's not very convincing.

It's possible you're still right and if Anand does get to Sofia before Friday he technically has to play - but some leeway in the interests of not giving one player an advantage doesn't strike me as unreasonable.

But what force majeure? Anand can easily get there in time. He always could. He never denied it. It's not an issue.

"Official letter to Anand by organizers where they claim the match can be delayed one day, but the ceremony not."

It's an impolite act of course, but rather understandable that Anand doesn’t want to attend the opening ceremony. I mean, one full evening with Bulgarian folklore…
In fact, I can’t recall a single chess tournament opening ceremony which didn’t suck.

PS: I think Anand will arrive on time and everything will run on schedule. He is after all a gentleman.

"Easily" doesn't quite cover the last minute arrangement or probable travel conditions. And of course the point isn't getting there but what condition he'll be in to start the match. Requesting a postponement is normal and understandable. That doesn't mean it should automatically be granted, but neutral organisers would try to accommodate it where possible and certainly wouldn't immediately attack the stranded player.

In any case as someone pointed out on Chessgames Anand had to invoke force majeure just in case something went wrong and he didn't make it to the opening ceremony (and yes, if events linked to the volcano get in the way it's definitely force majeure!). Otherwise he's in breach of contract with a lot of money at stake. He had to do it now in case the Bulgarian side decided to try and get out of it by saying he'd delayed - reasonable caution as of course that's what they immediately did!

"Now, even if you can get all the necessary tickets - and you have no problems with visas or customs for Serbia (not a Schengen visa country), and you manage to carry all the computer equipment you probably have with you - you arrive in Sofia needing a few days to recover simply from the journey."

1) Serbian visas are issued at the Serbian border, on the spot, it takes minutes. They are also issued in Germany. Anand's biggest problem in Serbia would be having to sign too many autographs. And if this is not good enough, charter a bus and travel through Romania which is a Schengen visa country.

2) Poor Anand, he has to carry ALL the computer equipment. What's this, is he opening a computer store in Sofia? He has noone who can lend him a hand, carrying a computer or two?

3) He HAS a few days to simply recover from the terrible journey. The first game is scheduled for April 23r:d. He must have been aware of the problem at least a week before the above date.

Pity that Anand, such a great chess player, feels the need for bulls**t tactics like this. Lame and uncool.

Manu: "Last time tension didn't work well for them and Topa ended up losing his title on tie breaks..."

Didn't work well for them?! He clearly got at least one of his wins (forfeit) as a direct result of the tension and another win may well have been part of the aftershocks.

And "losing his title"?! You must mean the FIDE knockout title. Whooptidoo.


According to above link from the Frankfurt airport, both flights to Sophia today, Monday 19th., are cancelled. So, most probably Anand is still stuck in Frankfurt.

""Easily" doesn't quite cover the last minute arrangement or probable travel conditions. And of course the point isn't getting there but what condition he'll be in to start the match."

Yes obviously, but I addressed that by making an analogy to getting sick during the match. I would much prefer if there were time-out possibilities, but if they aren't, don't we just have to play along as long as we have agreed on the rules? Again barring _extreme_ circumstances. Besides, I really can't see any sensible reason for Anand not to contact the organizers as soon as he learned there would be problems getting to Sofia. Yes, there were certainly reasons to distrust them, but it would have increased the chances of getting there earlier and more comfortably, and couldn't really have hurt unless he indeed wanted them to think he was already there...


"Transit passengers at Frankfurt Airport with visa problems are provided with camp beds, warm blankets, hot food, personal hygiene items as well as diapers and baby food."

-I guess Team Anand has all the motivation to check in at Hilton in Sophia as soon as possible.

Impolite act is that someone cannot arrive from Spain to Bulgaria for a week to get at least 800 000 euro.

It’s understandable that Team Anand prefers to wait for a direct flight from Frankfurt to Sophia. But the airport was closed on Friday. And it was closed on Saturday. And on Sunday. It’s closed also today, on Monday. Who knows how long the volcano gonna keep on smoking? And who knows which direction the win will blow tomorrow? If Mother Nature stays grumpy for another 3 weeks (or 3 months) Team Anand will look quite silly still being stuck in a hotel in Frankfurt…
Better start with Plan B, the sooner the better, and find alternative transportation.

How many planes must a man walk on
Before you call him a champ?
Yes, ’n’ how many seas must an Indian dove sail
Before he sleeps in the sand?
Yes, ’n’ how many times must Danailovs cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Topalov already has an advantage of the match being in Bulgaria. I believe it is reasonable to postpone the match so that Anand can acclimate himself to the environment. Why begin the match with controversy and regrets?

Comments from acirce and manu that place blame on Anand are almost as bizarre as the Bulgarian federation's refusal to grant more than a one-day reprieve. Somehow, they imply, Anand should have known that a volcano eruption would halt all air traffic, and overwhelm all available transportation alternatives!

If the president of Bulgaria wants a timely start to the match, then let him dispatch 3 limousines to Germany, accompanied by Bulgarian diplomatic passports that will allow Anand and his team to travel comfortably by land.

The Bulgarian response spits in the face of the FIDE motto, "gens una sumus."

BCF explanation http://letters.chessdom.com/bcf-statement-anand-topalov Sounds logical, but a little strong?

Thanks svej. Yes, they could certainly have done without the attacks and accusations this time too. But on the whole, it seems reasonable.

-BCF has a valid point. How long shall they wait for Anand? Airplane traffic from Frankfurt has been cancelled for 4 days now; Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. If Anand doesn't find alternative transport soon, it is turning into a comedy.

Anand's rights must be respected. But also Topalov and the organizer has certain rights. Being chess royality doesnt mean that Anand can act like "The Princess and the Pea"...


Anand is not stupid, and I don't think he wants to be seen as a "spoiled" champ. I am quite sure he is allready on the move towards Sophia by train, road or whatever.


"After several test flights flew successfully on Sunday, Austria, Spain, Italy, Russia, Turkey have their airspace open on Monday, yet many flights remain canceled. While Finland, Denmark, France and Norway reopened for limited air traffic. Meanwhile, airspace in Britain, Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Romania and the Netherlands remain closed."

How practical is it to drive from Frankfurt to Wien, then to fly Wien-Sofia?

Sick BCF...

There are lots and lots of comments from the Bulgarians around now, including: http://bnt.bg/bg/news/view/26888/shte_dojde_li_anand_za_macha_s_topalov

"Silvio Danailov - manager of Veselin Topalov:

- How can we postpone? Moreover, he'll be here on Monday or Tuesday [by car, it seems]. Barcelona don't want to postpone the match - Barcelona, this great team, having won all kinds of titles, and they tell them that if you don't make it to the match on time, you lose. Postponing the match here ... ridiculous.

For several days, a special team of Anand's has been in Bulgaria. In secret they're finding out everything about the preparation for the big chess clash here.

His representative - the German Hans Walter-Schmidt already arrived on Thursday in Sofia and thereby really deceived us. He took the keys to two apartments and four other rooms. The hotel notified us that the rooms are occupied and we thought he had come. He'd just wanted to come incognito and hide. This was misinformation, it's part of the game, a little spy mania - no problem".

I'd still love to know how having one person arriving on Thursday and Anand arriving at 1 am the next day was supposed to deceive anyone!? It's pure madness. Who would assume Danailov and Sergiev would 1) jump to such a strange conclusion on the basis of one German arriving, or 2) broadcast their groundless suspicions to the world!?

Anand is such a sissy. BCF is correct to bully him. Chess is not for the wimps.

Had it been dear Bobby in the place of Anand, he would have spewed out some choice expletives, deliberately ignored the deadlines, posted on the internet a photo of himself sunbathing with a half-naked blonde whilst Game 1 clock is ticking, forfieted the first two games, turn up late for Game 3, kick out everyone from the first two rows...and win the championship handily. That's what I call a world champion.

Or Sergiev: http://www.gong.bg/view_article.php?article_id=130983

He complains about Anand turning first to the media and says the question of postponing the match 3 days was never on the agenda (nothing about 1 day). He uses the brilliantly relevant argument: "how could one member of Anand's team get to Sofia but Anand couldn't?". I think he says, "It probably won't come to a forfeit win, but FIDE might impose financial penalties" [I'm not sure about "forfeit win"]. Also "Under the contract we gave him the privilege of 7 days before the first game, he can use them as he wants". Charming as ever.

full of drama, accusations left and right ... that's how a chess WCC match should be. The match in Bonn was an abnormality and should be stricken from all official records.

Those of us, myself included, who few months ago were naive enough to think/hope/pray for civility from Topalov's team should go find some other games for entertainment :-)

Says, mishanp, dripping with irony: "Who would assume Danailov and Sergiev would 1) jump to such a strange conclusion on the basis of one German arriving, or 2) broadcast their groundless suspicions to the world!?"

Kramnik was right: Anand should never have agreed to play in Bulgaria.

Daiim: "Why begin the match with controversy and regrets?"

Because that strategy of generating controversy worked great in Elista--it just wasn't enough to push Topalov over the top. Why not try it here too?

Anand is a real scum bag. He had this whole volcano thing planned out in advance, just to rattle the organizers and his opponent. He's cheating just like Kramnik was in Elista when he pulled the bathroom ceiling panels off and plugged his laptop into the power cables he found there and analyzed the games using Fritz 13.

....and here we go again!
This time they put the pressure on before the first games is lost. Even if the organizers are within their rights, their behavior shows their intention. They are not interested in resolving the issue. They are stirring things up.
C'est le ton qui fait la musique.

he could take the train , he could take a bus , he could take a car , he could even ask the Bulgarians to send someone to pick him up , he'd be there and have 3 full days of rest .

He asked for postponement because of Amber which was accepted , yet Anand didnt particpate in Amber . Now he's trying to destabilize the organization of the WC

He should be stripped of WC title if he doesn't show up on time , simple as that . Nothing prevents him to be there on time

Wait a minute. That party of Bulgarian engineers that were looking shifty around the vicinity of the volcano a few weeks ago...that fact finding mission where they bored into the volcano and left that strange device...MY GOD IT ALL FITS

Wow. After reading that response, can anyone doubt that the organizers are firmly in the anti-Anand camp? I realize Topalov is Bulgarian, but they could at least do a better job of feigning impartiality.

No way Anand is winning this match. If his openings aren't stolen and he somehow manages to take the lead, his food will be poisoned. Well, actually they'll probably do something more creative. And ... it's entirely Anand's fault for agreeing to play there.

everyone who thinks that changing 4 trains taking 28 hours at a time when everyone is taking trains is crazy. This is as force majeure as it can be.

India is at least as much corrupt as Bulgaria proportionally , on the whole India is a far , far worse place regarding corruption , manipulation , scheming and injustices , staging the WC in India wouldn't have been a better guarantee of impartiality really ..

Secondly , Bulgarians have been more than patient ... they ALREADY gave Anand his wish by postponing that WC because Mr whimsical Anand said he'd need rest after Amber .. Then just when he got what he wanted , it turned out Anand then decided to not play at Amber ...

it 's obvious Anand wants to undermine the WC , he's trying his best to screw it up , so he can keeep his title without playing for at least 2 years , he knows how difficult it is to find sponsors and million dollar prize money ...

NOTHING prevents Anand to take a bus , a train , taxis and get there on time with 3 full days of rest . Certainly not the bulgarian organizers

Simple question to the Topalov/Danailov/M-Tel/Bulgaria haters:

Why not contact the organizers as soon as the problem appeared???

This is common sense and easily done. Any reasonable person without hidden agenda would do it.

Google Translate

Topalov Supporter English
"This match will go smoothly."

Regular English
"This match will go smoothly, heh heh heh."

Posted in the comments on Chessvibes: Apparently Anand is travelling to Sofia by rental car and should arrive around midnight local time (source given: AICF).

That source is a comment made by someone who is playing around. AICF has not issued any such notice of how Anand is traveling.

Frankfurt-Sofia is more than 1300 km, (about Brooklyn-Chicago). It's manageable by car, or train, but it's a tough journey, and right now it's difficult to get train tickets, or rent a car.

For comparison: Barcelona-Milan is only 700 km, with no borders to worry, and they have their own comfortable bus with driver.

It's reasonable for Anand to ask for a postponement. It's also reasonable for the organizers to not be happy about it. Especially since it's possible that 3 days won't change anything if Anand stays in Frankfurt. A 1 day-delay sounds like a reasonable compromise, so why all the fuzz?

If Anand starts moving, he'll probably find a lot of chess players willing to help out with a room to sleep or means of transport.

"it 's obvious Anand wants to undermine the WC , he's trying his best to screw it up , so he can keeep his title without playing for at least 2 years"

Which other world champion in the history of chess was involved in 4 wch cycles in 5 consecutive years. 2007, 2008, 2010 and possibly again in 2011.

"NOTHING prevents Anand to take a bus , a train , taxis and get there on time with 3 full days of rest ."

Sure.. nothing also prevents Anand from instantly teleporting himself from Frankfurt to Sofia. A piece of cake these things are to comment and imagine.

@SemiNice: "Why not contact the organizers as soon as the problem appeared???"

Just speculating here but... maybe because according to Ryanair and other airlines the flights were going to be canceled just until monday and Anand thought he could still make it in time without having to panic? Nobody could predict that airplanes were going to be grounded for 5 days back on Saturday.

It sounds more like something I would expect from Anand than the whole "He's trying to sink the WC by making the organization look bad and not being there in time and..." that Topalov/Danailov/M-Tel/Bulgaria fanboys seem to accept as irrefutable.

I'm not sure why the need for the conspiracy theories. Those are the kind of things I would expect from Danailov. Maybe they are just projecting...?


chessbase has update that Anand will be in Sofia by Tuesday traveling by road.

In Ireland on Thursday, we were being told that the ash would be gone in a day, and Anand probably heard something similar. He probably thought, no problem, wait a day, then we'll fly again. Probably, if he had gone for alternative travel methods on Thursday, he would be there by now. By Friday, those alternatives were much harder to find.

Once all flights from Frankfurt were suspended, the phone lines to the airlines, and their websites would have been swamped with passengers trying to get seats.

The same would happen on the trains and rental cars.

However, I do think Anand would have enough contacts in Germany to get someone to drive him to Bulgaria. I would not be surprised if the Indian embassy in Germany could have provided a driver.

Lets recap again :
Anand asks to postpone the match so he can play in Amber,
his wish is granted but he wont play in Monaco anyway,
he refuses to promote the match in any possible way,
near the time stipulated for his arrival he stops answering mails and phone calls,
sends a member of his team to occupy all the designated rooms in the hotel, to make the organizers believe that he has already arrived ,
he gets stranded because of the volcano , but with enough time to get to his destination in time he wont contact the organizers to solve the situation,
but yet he demands to postpone the match 3 more days...

Now his request is denied and people start blaming the Bulgarians , amazing.

I like this quotes from the Bulgarian chess federation letter:

" For the fact, that Mr. Anand could not arrive on time in Sofia, the organizers bear no fault. The fault is to be placed on him and his team."

"If the organizing committee was informed, in a timely manner, for the problem with the arrival of Mr. Anand and his team, we would have given him full assistance to resolve the problematic situation."

"We understand the problem of Mr. Anand, but we are bitterly disappointed by his derogatory actions and attitude towards the organizers. All problems that emerge should be resolved in dialogue with shown understanding from all sides, and not in the form of pressure."

"Therefore, we consider the request for postponing the game as unacceptable."

And guess what , they are quoting the contract Anand signed to support their statements , i thought we all loved inflexible contracts ...

Manu your way of logic reasoning is obvious... stating and interpreting the news such that it justifies your claim.

so lets recap your story again:

1. "Anand asks to postpone the match so he can play in Amber"..

do provide me a link (not the ones Bulgarians made up two days ago), that Anand said he would be playing in Amber. (not just any link that says he wanted the match later in April..but one that specifically says he was going to play in Amber).

2. "he refuses to promote the match in any possible way,".....

lol, so what should he do. how should one promote the match. thats the organizers job so that they get the sponsor. well that was got long time ago, so is left to do other than just prepare seriously for the match. and how easily you inserted the "refuse" word in your statement. refuse is to be used when someone asks for something.

3. "sends a member of his team to occupy all the designated rooms in the hotel, to make the organizers believe that he has already arrived".

so what should he do, he goes himself first, checks that all is in place and then calls his team. quite absurd. If the organizers are so stupid to believe that Anand has arrived, then well they need to grow up. Also it was just going to be a one day gap, Schmitt arrives on 15th and Anand on the 16th. Whats so big about your manager arriving one day earlier.

4. "he stops answering mails and phone calls,"... Aruna was emailed as per the BCF as late as the 15th asking them date of arrival. Anand is already in transit when that email came. And Anand responded on his situation moment he got a little time from the chaos at Frankfurt.

5. "he gets stranded because of the volcano , but with enough time to get to his destination in time he wont contact the organizers to solve the situation,"...

The organizers never arranged for his travel, so why should he contact the organizer when he gets stranded.

6. "but yet he demands to postpone the match 3 more days..."....... intelligent rephrasing there Manu........ demand is no where close to request.

7. "Now his request is denied and people start blaming the Bulgarians , amazing."

whats amazing was not that the request was denied, it was the rude after explanation that the BCF gave in excuse of their denial.

Bullies always think that anyone who disagrees with them have derogatory actions and attitudes.

Of course, the Bulgarians' unsporting reaction had to be expected. I wonder how anyone with a miligram of sense can still defend Danailov after all he has done to turn chess competition into a freak show only paralleled by Don King's boxing circus. And after this last outburst about being "deceived" by "incognito" (only confirming his own "spy mania" delirium !), how can anyone not see him as an obsessed conspiracy theorist? What he needs is mental care! But he will continue to create mayhem and poison the atmosphere, especially if Topalov loses a couple of games. Poor chess world, in the hands of paranoids!

Nerds always skip lunch.

@Manu: "... and people start blaming the Bulgarians , amazing."

The only amazing thing is how you can still post comments with your head stuck inside your ass.

Here is one of my favorite: Danailov catches on the text "The Champion spent the weekend in Bad Soden, where he has a flat."

and makes this statement of his own. "Why did Anand spend the weekend just sitting around doing nothing?"....

roflllllllll........ where did all the news about sitting and doing nothing come from? Ingenious Danailov.

Just one point - even if it's true that Anand mentioned Amber (as he was thinking of possibly playing there) it was hardly a "postponement". At that stage all the participants were just trying to come up with dates they agreed on.

Insults should be your last resource , not your first.

Did you mean last "resort"? Anyway, it was not an insult. I am just amazed at your ability. How do you do it?

I'm beginning to believe Bulgarians suffer from terrible translation, and that they need to relax a touch when it comes to ascribing ulterior motives to anyone they're dealing with.

Was looking forward to the match in Sofia, and even planned on going there - but thought I'd wait until the match got going. Seems to have been a wise choice.

On the positive: they set the match up, it's got a great price fund, we'll be seeing to contrasting styles going head to head, it's a wonderful venue, and Bulgaria has done quite a bit for chess. M-Tel is an excellent tournament.

The negative - their spokesmen. You're not running a strip-joint in Soho, London, pretending to be in "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 2".
It's chess, there are tempers and there are tantrums - but hunt for a better word or two before spouting off to the media.

Let's have a brilliant match - one for the ages.

Make that "prize fund" and "two contrasting styles"

Ahh... I guess I know the answer. You have learnt it from the master himself. It's really instructive how Topa goes about his business with his head firmly stuck inside Danailov's ass. You guys are all genius! I am conviced now that Anand has no chance against Topa, whatsoever!

In the interest of saving the honour of the Bulgarian nation - they're not all taken in by this. See comment 4 from "Boris" under this article: http://tinyurl.com/y2l9df2 (I haven't touched the Google translation)
"Whoever fails to appear, bear the appropriate sanctions."

Such a rule can apply only if the athlete did not appear for personal reasons. In this case it is a force majeure.

"In case Mr. Anand, if you were using alternatives to travel from Frankfurt to Sofia (train, bus, car, etc..) would arrive no later than six days before the first party, scheduled for April 23, 2010 - time enough for rest and acclimatization. "

It seems to me absurd such a statement provided that the physical form is such an important condition for good performance for any sport, incl. and chess.

"According to them, on April 15, Hans-Walter Schmidt, a member of the team of world champion, was accommodated in hotels in Sofia, took the keys for all rooms reserved for the delegation of Anand." It follows that Mr. V. Anand and his team have settled in the hotel. "

This is argument of communist apparatchiks. I am ashamed that they are Bulgarians.

This thread is just unbelievable.

Seems like both sides bear some blame to me.

I'm surprised that Anand wouldn't want more time to acclimatize to Bulgaria and arrive at least a week if not two weeks before the opening ceremony (Apr. 21st; which would have meant arriving in Bulgaria by at least the 14th, if not the 7th of Apr.).

I'm suprised and disappointed by the Bulgarian reactions, i.e., poor attitude, and lack of graciousness or understanding.

Sadly, this will probably result in bad feelings all the way around and the inclusion of "volcano" clauses in future WC contracts. I can forsee the day when all WC's are played over the Internet!

I think that the Bulgarians have a good point on not postponing. Anand is not the only person whose schedule is at stake here. Topalov is gearing up to play and a postponement does not necessarily do him any good. Not to mention all of the dignitaries that arrive for a thing like this. Being open to postponing the first game for a day is not a bad idea.

YET, what a nasty attitude they take in that letter to publicly lecture Anand (and make a few choice accusations)!

Well as they say in Bulgaria, the knives...sorry.. umbrella tips are out!

There seems to be no separation, real or even pretended, between the organizers of the match, and Topalov's team.


The debate now shifts from "DID-Danailov-cause-the-volcano?" to "HOW-did-he-cause-it?".

Maybe it's the plaid slacks.

But the most troubling news is that Vishy has for a manager a certifiable lunatic:

During a recent inspection of the playing site, Anand's wife and manager, Aruna, stated: "We've visited Bulgaria three times and we've always been well accepted, which leaves us greatly impressed. I am convinced that after this match we'll become even better friends."


"On the 15th of April this year the Organizing Committee of the match asked in writing Mrs. Anand about the time and number of the flight that will carry the delegation of the world champion"

The message to Mrs Anand (if it was really sent) went out within 24 hours of the cessation of Euro air traffic. The BCF anticipated both the overload of alternate transportation routes and Anand's likely choice of joining the majority of air travellers to sit tight and wait for the resumption of flights to Sofia, so the return statement was very likely composed before Anand's team made the postponement request.

To the fake-name posters calling Anand a sissy and soiling themselves (with Danailov & Co) at the possibility of a Topalov win or two for free: if you believe it's easy to get around flight restrictions, visa headaches and passenger stampedes to find a quick route anywhere with time to spare, tune into the WWE RAW broadcast tonight, a live-to-air program whose entire cast remain grounded at Heathrow. An army of 300-lb professional sissies couldn't find a way either.

We ain't seen nothing yet. Anand agreed to play in Bulgaria, after all. There will be tricks performed that will make Baguio City cops rifling Korchnoi's flat at dawn look like a harmless rib. One wonders if they've already turned one of Anand's seconds the way Karpov's camp bought off Ray Keene. Anand is driving into a hornet's nest and no malfeasance from Danailov will go unexcused by a number of posters here. Exciting match ahead.

This is going to be fun , Topalov playing against rest of the world plus force of nature ,i foresee dorks(™) crying all over the place.

Let us keep the contract aside for a moment. I'm sure the match would have been agreed upon to be played in a non-neutral country with some type of verbal assurances, if not written, of neutrality. Now with the BCF and organizers joining together and going public with their views, they are just violating the principles of neutrality, and producing a hostile environment. Anand should catch another flight and return to India, and should just bill the Indian Government for any monetary damages. Has a champion ever been humiliated so much in the history of chess? Talented foreign players are given lot of respect in a much more money flowing IPL cricket conducted in India. They just shifted a cricket venue for the semis and finals due to bomb scare. Unexpected things do happen and it is the organizers who should have had a contingency plan instead of starting on a complaining tone!

"bill the Indian Government for any monetary damages."

Not taking sides here, but the whole situation goes to show how horribly unacceptable it is when the organizing side is not neutral.

It's one thing when neutral organizer says "sorry, we can not postpone anything, please get to the venue on time". Such position would be completely understandable: preparations were maid, hotels and playing hall booked, money paid, people invited, tickets sold. Tough luck that Anand got caught in this air jam, but after all it's not only about Anand's comfort, other people have their own plans and Anand's problems should not affect them.

However, it's completely different story when such thing says Topalov's manager. Then this angle loses almost all credibility because of obvious benefit that Topalov gets from Anands predicament. In addition, I can hardly imagine neutral organizers issuing such brazen and insulting statements to the participants as Bulgarian organizers issued to Anand.

Bottom line: another screw up by FIDE who allowed openly partisan organizers for it's title match.

I thought if I Anand had to skip this championship, he had to pay some damage money as per the contract?? That was just my guess or understanding. May be, I am wrong, c. cat.

Sorry, missed this thread. I’ve been blocked myself from flying to Europe.

Can some point me to the most offensive piece that the “Bulgarians” wrote to arouse so much excitement?


Speaking of the politicians mentioned in that release, I heard that Obama had trouble with some travel and so does the Indian PM who has to take a different route to reach India. I'm sure all people, Bulgarians and everybody, will be understanding. I think it is only the Topalov camp and the BCF that desparately want to make Topalov win take offense at Anand's delay and trying to use organizers for their end.

A normal, rational and diplomatic interview published by Chessdom - seriously, no irony intended! The organisers might want to study it...

"The volcano in Iceland erupted, a lot of airports are having problems, a lot of flights are cancelled. Sofia is also one of those airports that partly has problem. We have late arrivals not only with Anand, but also of officials of FIDE for the Presidential board and for the match - the second arbiter is not here, the members of the appeals committee are not here as well, we do not know yet exactly when they are going to arrive. We are giving instructions and helping everyone with how to move and what transportation to take if airports are closed. For example, to fly to either Thessaloniki or Istanbul and drive from there. We are not sure if the FIDE President himself will arrive."

I hope Sergiev has already given Ilyumzhinov a stern talking to!

This may however be taking diplomacy too far :)

"I believe we have very good understanding, with all sides helping resolve the situation. Sergiev is very cooperative, Danailov as well, Aruna and Anand too. Everybody understands and cooperates. They see the problems of the other side."

Just for Sergiev's reference - a few examples of sporting events cancelled or postponed because of the volcano: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/front_page/8629705.stm

This chessdome page posted by svej, for a start..


Let me see if i understood you correctly :
1) the guy waits until last minute to appear (Schmmits shenanigans not included) , 2)the volcano thing happens , and the guy (with more than enough time to arrive on time) 3)demands to postpone the match 3 more days .
The organizers (who in more than one occasion offered their help and were ignored by this guy during points 1, 2 and3 )refuse to do so sheltering themselves in the previously signed contract , and yet you want to blame them!?
That just not make sense , pircalert , there are no contingency plans for such an insulting attitude , only contracts.
And this is what i was talking about when i said Vishy was the favorite here , the guy can disrespect the match and do whatever he wants , everyone will be blaming the Bulgarians anyway.

Yes, I can see what this noise is all about -- I believe that the tone of the letter was too harsh and way too petty. I’ve always said that these people would benefit from a bit of PR training. The points are legitimate, but the presentation sucks..


P.S. I may attend parts of the match if I can get myself to Sofia in time..

geez, why do those FIDE officials take so long? Just like Anand, they could have taken a bus/train/taxi/hitch-hiked and still able to get there just 5 minutes before the opening ceremony :-). It's all their fault for not being there two weeks in advance ... and the arbiter too, he should have been there three weeks in advance.

"I believe we have very good understanding, with all sides helping resolve the situation. Sergiev is very cooperative, Danailov as well, Aruna and Anand too. Everybody understands and cooperates. They see the problems of the other side."

:-) oh the things one sometimes have to say in public just to get people to get along.

Manu, just read that interview on Chessdom. It'll save everyone having to point out the obvious to you. e.g. when you talk about "last minute":

"I understand this very well, he needs several days, therefore in the contract it says that he can come 7 days before (last Friday). And he was preparing to come last Friday via Madrid - Frankfurt - Sofia flight. He could not get the connection from Frankfurt because it was cancelled."

I have no idea why the match is in Bulgaria instead of a neutral site. Why would Anand agree to such a disadvantage? However, that is done and he is being treated as if he is the challenger. The letter by the BCF bore no compassion for his situation and we may not see the last of these contoversies.

Although I like Topalov, I can imagine what the next cycle will be like it he wins. I can see another impasse and fights for another 10 years... especially if Kramnik gets back into the cycle.

Manu, I'm afraid it will be hard to make you understand at this point. First, Anand is the world champion, and not just a guy. Second, there is nothing that mandates the champion to be present 7 days prior to the start of the tournament if I am not wrong. If that is the case it is rude to suggest that Anand could have been here by this time and that time and he could have done this or that during the weekend etc. Third, tell me how Anand insulted Danilov and co? It is a non-neutral venue and Anand wants to maintain some sort of secrecy, the reason anyone can understand. Instead of that, why is Danailov team make this opportunity to bring up the contract clause to show as if Anand is violating something by not immediately letting them where he was. Even the contract doesn't say that. Fourth, no body is blaming Bulgarians. It Danilov who unnecessarily reacts. He cannot keep on thinking like a Kramnik-Topalov where both started on equal footing. Here Anand is champion. He should understand and respect and treat him like that. Not like, we generated the money, you signed a contract, now you are under us. We will raise our tone whenever. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. Anand's demands are nothing when compared to his predecessors. I think if Danailov can keep his mouth shut until this match is over, that will do a lot of good I think.

You know what Anand is doing? Playing a scotland yard game! You know that sometimes you would use the black ticket to conceal your mode of transportation. May be Shmidt used the double ticket that he was ahead of his team?? Rumor has it that Anand is using a tube and a double decker combo!

@mishamp >
Mmm , you need to first make up your mind about talking to me or not , so you wont quit when losing ...

If you are complaining about rudeness in the organizer's answer i wont stop you , but Vishy had a rude attitude towards them too .
My point is that their decision was fair and Anand can only blame his self about being trapped in his own secretive web , if arriving late hurts his preparation (which i dont think so) it is just his problem.
One more thing , pircalert , if you are going to start attacking me with stupid phrases like "i am afraid it will be hard to make you understand " and BS like that dont go crying about aggression later on , lets try to maintain a civilized dialog.

Manu why do you continuously rephrase things as it pleases you. You again stated that Anand demanded the match be postponed. There is indeed a big difference between demand and request. The BCF also seem not to know such differences in language and hence their tone is abrasive as yours. The latest post in chessdom also states everybody is stranded, not just Anand but FIDE delegates as well. The BCF is ofcourse upset over the issue that there will be money losses, but that is no excuse to makes such insulting statements.

See, you still haven't understood it and beating on the same thing.

I'll put it this way. Say I'm given 7 days time for acclimatization. The 7 days is like a worst case scenario and is for a person who cannot adjusted easily and who would require all the 7 days. Say I am person who will need only 3 days to acclimatize, I plan in a such way that I try and arrive 4 days prior (that includes a 1 day cushion for things like flat tire etc.). I won't plan for the full 7 days prior arrival. So in my case if I ended up arriving 3 days prior, I wouldn't mind and I would still go ahead as per the schedule. But if I had to end up arriving 2 days prior under unexpected circumstance, I would need an extra day or two to start. For an outsider 2 days prior would still look good, but as a player I would know the difficulties so it is not good to put pressure on the player to start as per schedule. There is nothing there to bargain if the side asking is reasonable. So if Anand wants 3 days and Topalov says 1 days, 2 days is not a compromise. A compromise could be say 7 days if the other side just don't want to agree to the one side initiated! Give more time and not less time, if you ask me. Again it okay to have Champion to have a final say between the two if his demands are reasonable. Everything is revolving around Champion and to a less extent the challenger, so organizers just have to adjust. For the IPL cricket, venue shifted and TV crew have to move from one city to another city far way due to an unplanned unexpected change.

FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos says the situation is indeed a forced situation. "Now, it is clear that here we’re facing a force majeure situation". Anand said the same thing a few days before thats it and requested a postponement. Let me see the BCF react this way to FIDE. Let us see if BCF will say FIDE is showing no respect.

It should be obvious that any expectation of reasonableness or understanding from Topa and the organizers should be nonexistent. This is a natural disaster and the plans of a lot of people and sporting events have been disrupted. But the match is in Bulgaria so they are going to milk that advantage to the last drop. Has there ever been more low class than Danillov in high level chess?

It should be obvious that any expectation of reasonableness or understanding from Topa and the organizers should be nonexistent. This is a natural disaster and the plans of a lot of people and sporting events have been disrupted. But the match is in Bulgaria so they are going to milk that advantage to the last drop. Has there ever been more low class than Danillov in high level chess?

"but getting to Sofia from Germany by car/bus/train is not such a big deal."

How are you so confident about that when all the news media says otherwise. Are you aware of the no of people stranded and the number of people who are trying the same car/bus/train transport. Everything is overbooked. Anand for sure is a VIP , but there are several other VIP who are also stranded and everybody is finding it difficult in spite of using their influence. FIDE depty president has stated the arbiter, FIDE appeals committe are all finding it difficult to get there. And for you its no big deal ?

"Obviously postponing the championship if he was in the USA would be a normal thing. But Germany?? You guys are crazy.. "

Who is crazy? Do you mean the FIDE deputy president is crazy because he seems to be on the same lines as what others are stating in this thread. Is Anand crazy?, why would be say he is finding it extremely difficult to get to Sofia if its not indeed not the case.

You are just not aware of the global travel crisis now. At least thats what it seems from your careless remarks.

Anand was just the first to point out the crisis and in fact amongst others stranded he would be the first to reach Sofia. Now what if the the FIDE president cannot make it in time (thats what FIDE deputy president mentioned that it is not clear how the Kirsan would make it), and what if arbiter and the appeals committee dont make it, will they be postponing the match then. It will be greater mess to postpone it 5 hrs before it begins rather than give at least couple of days of notice to others. Its still a mess and huge loss to the BCF, but everybody indeed is trying their best to be there and have the match take place in fair conditions. The only thing that spurred all the controversy was BCF reaction (not the letter which stated they deny of request), but the other letter which accused Anand of being derogatory. That was completely uncalled for. And I ask again if this is the respect that was shown to some other world champion say Kasparov, Karpov of Fischer... they would not be at the moment traveling by car for 18 hrs to reach Sofia.

>>but getting to Sofia from Germany by car/bus/train is not such a big deal."

>How are you so confident about that when all the news media says otherwise

How did I know? My good friend just drove all the way from Hamburg cause his mother is very ill in Sofia. And he reached just fine in 2+ days. I am not saying it is the most convenient thing to do, but the volcano crisis didn't start yesterday.


>The only thing that spurred all the controversy was BCF reaction (not the letter which stated they deny of request), but the other letter which accused Anand of being derogatory.

As I said, I don't agree with the tone of that BCF letter, despite seeing the point. But it should be considered that a WCH match is not a dinner party between two old friends that can be postponed easily. If on the same continent, within a distance by car, I'd think that being proactive on planning to attend is not too much to ask for. Has punctuality gone away, as a concept?


So what if Topalov got to Sofia from some Spanish Island? Did he get there before or after the volcano erupted? I doubt he got there after the volcano erupted.

Anand is showing up as required, a week before the start of the match to acclimatize. It's nobody's fault that the volcano erupted and delayed a lot of people including FIDE officials, and other dignitaries who were scheduled to visit Poland for the funeral. So why is Anand expected to get there faster than anyone else? Road trips are the last mode of transportation someone should resort to, especially a VIP like Anand, where the chances of accidents and robberies are higher. It would be foolish of him to embark on such a trip without having the necessary security and choice of vehicles.

Lastly, nobody is doing Anand a favour by organizing the match in Bulgaria. The title is for Topalov to take (of course by sporting and legal means). If the match had not been organized, Anand would have maintained the status quo which is good for him, so there's no point in repeating "at least Bulgaria organized the match". Who cares if they did? Certainly not Anand. The match would have been eventually held with or without Bulgaria's support.

I think if Anand is not granted any extra days, he should avoid the opening ceremony and choose to rest instead.

"I am not saying it is the most convenient thing to do,"

yes and this is indeed what Anand is doing at the moment. With all due respects to your good friend he is not playing a world championship chess match after he arrives.

"volcano crisis didn't start yesterday. "

Yes, until the 16th, Frankfurt was operating its flights. It was Anand misfortune that on the day he arrived at Frankfurt they closed it down. And there were always speculations as to when it would open again. If Anand had immediately taken a car and drove to Sofia that would have been foolish. What if the air space did indeed open up in 24 hrs. What if there was an alternate flight arrangement that could be arranged. There was nothing wrong in waiting 36-48 hrs and at the same time actively looking for alternate nearby airports to which he could travel by road. After some search, he notified the officials of the situation and and decided to travel all the way by road when all else failed. Everything looks very logical and handled very well from Anand's end.

>What if the air space did indeed open up in 24 hrs.

True, BUT you who like the media as a source of information should know that on that very day it was widely discussed a long time closure all across Europe. I know because I was supposed to travel on the 18-th and I watched the events from the USA. Now, I really think that if it was up to Topalov it wouldn't really matter when they start, but I think Danailov is freaking over all of the sponsors, etc. You guys tend to underestimate the fact of how much cash they raised for the WCh Match in this worldwide economic crisis, but consider that Bg s 150 smaller than India and there is a reason to freak, particularly knowing that the man is just in Germany, not somewhere far off like in Madras, or New Delhi..


I also see the point in BCFs statement and they are just clear upset with the situation as they are the ones bearing the cost and hence dont want to postpone. But such is the situation at the moment. Billions of dollars are at loss by major airlines companies by the day. Everybody is upset and want to resume to normality as quickly as possible.

BCF should understand that everybody is trying their best and Danailov should stop using this as an opportunity to make kiddish remarks as "why did Anand spend the weekend sitting and doing nothing"? What rubbish was that? May be it just got translated incorrectly.

If the match indeed starts on time it is a fact that Anand's preparation would have been compromised a little. Now everybody knows preparations go until the fag end and even during the games. In fact you get to know more about your opponent second's only towards the end and start looking into possibilities that they would have suggested in openings etc. and the preparation is really intense at the end. Still the match may continue on time, but if there is a remote possibility of postponement and obtaining fair conditions, whats wrong in requesting for it?

Please cut the personal attacks. This is going to be a long match and I don't want to have to shut down comments or worry about deleting inanities or filtering profanities. Hey, that rhymes.

Its pretty late here, I am off now. I just hope when I wake up I hear the news that Anand has reached Sofia and the controversy is all settled and the focus actually shifts to the board as soon as possible. Or am I being over optimistic.

"This is going to be a long match"

Wow, great news!

Sometimes I think Chess will become a Gentleman's game once again, but then there's Bulgaria.

Well said!

long match? Vishy should wrap it up in 9 or 10 (6.5-2.5/3.5) if all goes well..

Okay, so maybe it just already feels like a long match from a comments deleted and filtered perspective. Kramnik-Topalov also felt eternal.

Garry and I were putting together his NIC column on Smyslov and it was fun going over those candidates events. Not just 1953 and 56, but even his match with Ribli, a semifinal candidates event, was scheduled to go as long as this WCh match. Sad. 16 should be a minimum.

AN, you can vote your prediction on the homepage now. Although I didn't leave a slot for "blowout".

The gulf in class of behavior between these two grandmasters has never been greater.

No one needs to be told who the lifelong class act is and who life lifelong cad is.

Reading Mr makropoulos statement on chessdom.com I would say that from a 'legal' point of view things are settled now. Too much use of the words 'force majeur' too put any blaim on Vishy.

So all this Iceland volcano did was once more putting a spotlight on the lack of real sportmanship and -as important- the complete lack of marketing skills on the danailovside.
Before this volcanothing I expected Topa to beat Anand, now I think he will lose. He also knows a voiceless puppet can never be the real champ of the chessworld.

You need not play well - just help your opponent to play badly

Great. It only took a volcano to get the coverage of the WCC match going !

Anand has to get his butt down their on time and play chess - there will be no delay. Legally speaking airport closures are unlikely to rank as force majeure whatever Makropolous says. However its is not going to come to that as there will be no postponement. Of course if Topalov wins there wil be so much whining and snivelling from the Anand crowd for them the ONLY way Topalov can win is by cheating. For the professional chess world its a close match with either result possible

If this is not force majeur Andy what is? Makropoelus also hints that not all officials are there in time.
You wanna start without the appeals committee there? Whitout e second ref? Because thats the way it is in Danailovs agenda?

Anyway, it is also farce majeur, again.

But what makes you think the Indian government are liable? Or that they would willingly fork out?

Ok force majeure in this context means that you are effectively prevented from travelling through no fault of your own and therefor cannot practicably arrive at the playing venue on time owing to an act of god etc.This is not the case with Anand. Anand has to make reasonable efforts to get to the venue and only if events outside his control prevent this can force majeure be considered. If the contract specified air travel as an exclusive mode of travel then this would be force majeure. If he can travel by car or train there can be no force majeure - inconvenience is not force majeure even if its a significant inconvenience.

Anyway its all moot he must get there - by car if necessary.

The Indian government is not liable. But we citizens will make them liable. :)

With airways closed down, land routes booked up, and with the rental car having a flat tire, Anand is now coming, riding in an elephant in Royal robes, fitting well in for the Royal game.

Here he comes and the organizers go "singing ey ey yippy yippy hoi, singing ey ey yippy yippy ey"

He'll be coming coming round the mountain when he comes (when he comes).
He'll be riding six white elephants when he come (when he comes).


Anand is about to make at least 800000 euros. He could pay less than 10000 for a very comfortable limo with a driver to take him to Sofia, and another 1000 for a suite in a 5-star hotel on the way. I think this is not too much a hardship for a professional sportsman who has to honor a World Championship contract.

wow, that was surely a joke in poor taste at the expense of Pompeii residents :(

Imagine there is severe air disruption before the South Africa soccer World Cup and half of the teams arrive only two days before the start, instead of a week.
Do you think the World Cup will be postponed because these teams will be more tired than their opponents ?

Thanks Mig. Just did that. Shall repeat from work in an hour.

Anand's request for a sturdier table is probably due to the paranoia about Topalov trying to drop the table 'accidentally' in a zeitnot situation?!

Chessdom and Chessbase are both reporting Anand's in Sofia. Chessbase:

"Breaking news: after an arduous journey lasting over forty hours – details on this adventure to follow – World Champion Vishy Anand arrived in Sofia on Tuesday morning." http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=6268

"Topalov trying to drop the table 'accidentally' in a zeitnot situation?!"
Guys. Really.

Surely Anand could have treated us all to something as thrilling as this :) http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/latest-news/live-blog-the-longest-journey

Chessdom now have a statement from the Indian chess federation confirming things: http://reports.chessdom.com/news-2010/anand-topalov-live-sofia

And includes: "The road route selected to reach Sofia was done after a look into the visas they had on their passport."

I am also looking forward to Ilyumzhinov's report if he has to travel overland ,:) - apparently it's still uncertain whether he will arrive in time for the opening ceremony and FIDE presidential board meeting.

It would surely affect the South Africa soccer world cup if European teams had to travel overland.

They won't get there in a state for football.

One must also question Vishy's wisdom in traveling from Spain to Bulgaria via Germany - instead of say Italy, Greece or Turkey. Especially since the volcano had erupted on April 14 - two days before he left Spain. This doesn't hold, of course, if he was already in Germany before the 14th.

In case Anand and the dignitaries arrive before the 22nd, why can't they just keep the day of the opening ceremony, and postpone only the games? He doesn't need several days just to attend a ceremony. And the organizers' troubles will me minimized.

In case Anand and the dignitaries arrive before the 22nd, why can't they just keep the day of the opening ceremony, and postpone only the games? He doesn't need several days just to attend a ceremony. And the organizers' troubles will be minimized.

> wisdom in traveling from Spain to Bulgaria via
> Germany

Frankfurt was supposed to be only a transit stop to change planes.

> Especially since the volcano had erupted on April
> 14

On April 14 nobody in Europe would have thought a volcano in Iceland could cause as much as the delay of a single plane in Frankfurt.

How many virgins did Danailov toss into that volcano to get it to mess up Anand's travel plans?

None, he just left an Eddie Van Halen record beside it.

Drained hero fighting the volcano?
-Time to pull out your old VHS of Joe Versus the Volcano!

The sad thing is that Topalov didn't take the high road and try to intervene on Anand's behalf. Now even if he does win the WC there will be many (I included) who will question if he really was the better player if at least for one match. Time for him to change his name to Dopalov.

Chessbase has an article on Anand's travel journey adventure.



I'm surprised you acknowledged the ridiculous analogy.

Given the tortuous trip from Frankfurt to Sofia, I hope that many of the posters here will realize how unfair they were in judging the situation.

Postponement of games coming.

A better or close football analogy might be: Would Barcelona have gone on a bus trip for a Champions League match in Kiev, Moscow, Istanbul or - why not? - Sofia?

Regarding your last sentence ("Postponement of games coming"): Do you have inside information, or is this hopeful and wishful thinking?

Kibitzers are whining about the match taking place in Bulgaria, rather than India. Well, it seems that Indian sports are heavily corrupted, with a cocktail of mafia, dishonest politicians and match-fixing. Here is a resent example how they mismanage their cricket league, the national sport of India:

-Makes Bulgaria look like Disneyland in comparison…

"Kibitzers are whining about the match taking place in Bulgaria, rather than India."

Who's complained about the match being in India, except Danailov, Topalov, Sergiev and co.? A neutral venue would have been nice, though in any case I can't imagine the Bulgarian team would have received anything other than a polite welcome in India.

apparently the move to postponement came from the Bulgarian PM (rather than the organizing committee), glad to see that someone in Bulgaria still retain their marbles.

"apparently the move to postponement came from the Bulgarian PM (rather than the organizing committee), glad to see that someone in Bulgaria still retain their marbles."

-The Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Mr. Boyko Borissov, is the Chairman of Organizing Committee.

It seems that everybody new that they would postpone the start. They were negotiating the price.

Chessvibes actually has two versions:

- the official letter from Makropoulos to Borisov, stating "I would like to inform you that the 1st game of the match will be postponed" [so it was his/FIDE's decision imposed onto the organizers?]. He justifies this by a force majeure situation and also mentions that the playing hall wasn't available for inspection at the specified data "due to the Organiser's delay".

- below: "According to one of our sources, however, it was the Bulgarian Prime Minister himself, who is also the chairman of the organizing committee, who agreed on a one-day postponement."
So he may have "retained his marbles", but doesn't want to say so in public? And Chessvibes' source wants to remain anonymous. Indeed, it would imply that the chairman overruled the rest of the prganizing committee and their rude and categoric statement "no delays, period".

News on the evergreen topic "Sponsors of the match": The homepage now mentions a total of seven sponsors, three of them seem to be the most important ones as they have their logos next to the playing table:
These are Ministry of Physical Education and Sports, IBM and (newcomer) Corporate Commercial Bank. Do we need "Sherlock mishanp" again to find out the story behind that bank?

I think I'll pass on that :) The list of sponsors grows by the day even though they're just about to begin, and I doubt they'll share details of who provided exactly what. What you can say is that for all the organisers' complaints about a postponement inconveniencing sponsors they've received a huge amount of extra publicity from Anand's troubles - which is surely what they'd want.

At the press conference, "Veselin Topalov thanked the Prime Minister Boiko Borisov and the Minister of Sports Svilen Neikov. He also thanked the sponsors."

Maybe he could have added: "I won't mention their names, there may be another one which joined just five minutes ago whom I don't know yet."

May be but he didnt:))

I think they should all start the match with a big group hug. Veselin, Vishy, Danailov, the organizers, the PM...

Hans-Walter Schmitt (German equivalent of Ben Finegold) could take care of the whole Bulgarian group at once!

Precisely as I said. Keep the day of the opening ceremony, but postpone the game. Anand doesn't need more days to prepare for the ceremony. But he gets more time to get ready for the game. And the logistic burden for the organizers is reduced. They don't need to adjust the big ceremony. Perhaps that's the optimal solution.

I apologize if this thought has been posted before, but...

Vishy is probably right to be on guard against any off the board antics from Silvio and given that Team Topalov is already putting out some light pre-match aggro, and thinks let's give a little back while testing exactly how objective the match organizers will be going forward. Knowing that he can still make Sofia in time, though less conveniently, he requests a three-day postponement, much more than he might need.

The organizers squirm and come off looking heavy-handed and not quite objective, while Danailov predictably exhibits freak mode behavior.

Vishy, riding in his limo, calmly watches the little firestorm sweep through, gauging the interplay between FIDE, the organizers, and Team Topalov and gets an idea of where they stand for future reference, and giggles all the way to Sofia...Brilliant.

OK, I'm old and cynical, but that's definitely how I would have played it were I Anand, and he's a lot smarter than I am.

Good point, and it seems that Anand has won that PR battle - at least outside of Bulgaria. Some people suggested the opposite, including our honorary Bulgarian Manu in an earlier thread - but I dare to suggest they are a minority.

Mig | April 20, 2010 2:08 AM
" Talking about the players is rarely a problem. Talking about other posters nearly always is, sooner or later."

Whatever else happens, Vishy got a lot of mileage out of the debacle.

The loans suppose to be very useful for people, which are willing to start their own career. In fact, that is not really hard to get a short term loan.

Ok so you give me money. I want one billion. I will tell you were to send one billions. I will pay back all one billions some day.

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