Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Anand-Topalov WCh, g6

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Anand with white and a 3-2 lead as we near the halfway point in Sofia. Official site. Will Topalov avoid the Catalan? Can Anand go 3/3 with white? Will the lights stay on? Will the Dirt stay up? I hacked the templates up a bit to reduce the database load, will see if it works. If it goes down again I'll redo them on the off day.

Update: Topalov holds with black for the first time. It was another Catalan and the Bulgarian defused it with very active play, typical of his style. Anand's knights had to work overtime, covering half the board to hold the balance and avoid being trapped. They played down to next to nothing before Topalov again went to the arbiter to formalize the draw by repetition (but with handshake this time). For some reason having the players at the board a little longer than absolutely necessary enrages some commentators. Sure it's not relevant to the sporting result, but this is a spectacle, too. If it's so trivial, play it out quickly. It's not as if it's degrading to go from a drawn position with five pawns to a drawn position with three. Fun game. 3.5-2.5 Anand at the half.

Since before the match started I'm hearing a lot of how Anand's famous proficiency at rapid chess gives him close to draw odds in the 12 classical games. Dunno about that, but it's clear he's in the driver's seat. Topalov hasn't been able to lay a glove on the champ since the first game. Anand comes back with white in game seven on Monday.

It is absolutely prohibited to bring swords, ice axes and ice picks, or scissors aboard the aircraft. ChessBase is violating this prohibition.


No video on official site today?

First question answered: Catalan again. Topalov is stubborn.

Stubborn or stuck?

And it looks that Topalov walked into prepared territory again.

Why couldnt Topy play 13...b5?

a8 rook hanging after the white queen moves away.

I think vishy is a sandbagger...

is the chat feature functioning? I opened it but couldn't see where I key in my worthless opinions.

Seems to be working okay. Pick a handle to log in, click "enter without password" and then it loads for a few seconds. Should be a yellow box at the bottom with a Send button with ample room for your worthless opinions.

14.Rac1-e5 played, if 14..Qe7 (to defend the d6 square against Nd6) then 15.Qa3! :)

Very interesting stuff from Topalov, finding ways to insist on returning the pawn for good compensation and the bishop pair with attacking chances. If nothing else it looks like he may actually get his style of game.

My worthless browswer is cutting off the bottom with the yellow box and send button. C'est la vie les echecs.

Crunch Time.

I kind of like this sacrifice by Topalov. I am sure he has it all prepared. Have to see a few moves how Anand handles it.

He has spent 45 min, as opossed to Anand 18 min..if this is 'all prepared' he is slow to move

move 17: I'd take white every time in this position. The Nd3 is the best minor piece on the board, and white holds the c file.

I feel Anand can not play for win from this position.Poor opening preparation from Anand.

Well, queens are off AGAIN. I'm sure Topalov is ecstatic :). Looks to me like the position hinges on what happens to the white square bishop. If White can get rid of it or deactivate in Black is in bad trouble.

Looks like Vishy "went to the well" one time too many today. No advantage obtains and now he faces the Bishop Pair. Ah well, 2.5/3 is pretty darn good...

guys, the two bishops aren't the be all and end all of chess. I reckon the knights are better here.

Anand should have played for a win in this game.By allowing an easy draw he has given Topalov chances to make a comeback in this match. As we all know, Topalov plays very well in the second half of the match.

Unequal bishop pair: one strong, one weak. Black has to be cautious, or his queenside pawns may become targets. White has to be cautious, or the bishops may start playing offense. Looks like a board full of strategic trapdoors to me.

Topalov decision to follow sofia rules means there will be no short draws even in equal position.Both players have to think and find a way to continue the match without making large number of small inaccuracies, which can pile up and become a major disadvantage at the end.Let us see , whom this sofia rule is going to benefit at the end of the match.

Anand usually plays very resourcefully with two knights in this kind of position. If Topalov is playing for a win here, he should be careful not to overstretch and end up in a lost position. Anand as usual is objective and playing for two results here.

I never did like such endgames...too much thinking involved. At this stage, i would be wishing my opponent would offer a draw.

Topalov is strong in the second half of tournaments, not necessarily matches. He is playing the same guy, not a set of different players, and this makes a difference. Also, Anand has back-to-back whites in this match; there is nothing terrible about being +1 and starting the second half with white, if that is how this game ends. Finally, Topalov is the one who is trailing in the match, so there is no such thing as a draw that is not good for Anand, especially given the likelihood that Topalov must actually go +2 in the second half of the match to win the title (due to disparity in playing strength at faster time controls, which favor Anand).



So is it safe to say that neither player prepared this line?

I heard someone say it's been Anand who's gone off book first in every game. True in this game?

Open the Applet in a new window or tab. This will overcome the cropping problem.

Topalov's 11...Qxf6 was this game's novelty.

Topalov has not played many matches to judge whether he plays well or not in the second half of the match. All we have is a match against Kramnik and in that Topalov played better in the second half of the match than first half of the match. As far as tournament play is concerned we have innumerable occasions to conclude that he can fight back from deficit and win it. So till it is proven otherwise , there is no way we can conclude that Topalov cannot repeat his tournament performances in matches as well.

I cannot agree with your second point that Anand is superior to Topalov in rapid time controls and hence Anand has the advantage in tiebreaks. I will not dispute the fact that Anand is generally a better player than anyone else in rapid play but in match situations history tells otherwise. Anand lost both of his rapid tiebreaks against Kamsky in 1994 and against Karpov in 1999, after the intial match ended in a tie. So I firmly believe it is 50-50 even in tiebreaks.

They were both dancing on the edge of doom
Challenging eachother
To see who disbalances and falls into the abyss.
And Aruna was watching.

The grandmaster of the Bulgarian haiku.

The original sanskrit is quite moving.

I love Anand's Dancing horse!


Anand is not allowing Topalov to coordinate his pieces with his Knight moves. Both are nearing time trouble and that might cause one to blunder.It is really good for the spectators that this game is continuing in spite of an even position. Kudos to sofia rules.

29.Na7 ..might it be that Anand disbalances first ?

Anand should have played 29.Nd6 and then b4 he would have been better

What's this? Anand trying to solve the Knight's Tour chess problem?

That just loses a pawn to
29...Re6. 30. b4 Bxb4 31. Rxd6 Nxb4... otherwise you get 29...Re6. 30 Nc8

he is remembering how he got from frankfurt to sofia :)

Start revising your "most consecutive moves by a single piece in a world championship game" trivia question. And if you take both knights, that's 11 in a row and counting...

A) Topalov was not mighty in the second half of the match vs. Kramnik. The only reason he got out of the classical games alive was because Kramnik forfeited a game and then lost another shortly after the disruption. Also, we have established in earlier threads the many reasons why speaking of rallying in tournaments is irrelevant to facing said task in a match (e.g. no out-of-form bottom-feeder to score against, no chance to gain ground by winning while opponent draws, etc.)

B) Anand may be the best rapid player in the world and definitely has a known advantage over Topalov in this phase. The fact that you refer to a match from when I was half my age suggests that you either fail to recognize how a player can improve in a decade and a half or have nothing else to grasp onto to argue for Topalov's chances. Topalov played rapids in match play much more recently, losing to Kramnik to conclude their match. His chances against Anand at such a time control are not better than against Kramnik.



..That just loses a pawn

not that direct Thabo, but 29.Nd6 Re6 30.Nf5 (threatening the d4 pawn) 31..Bb6 32.b4! fixing and securing the c5 square, and now Anand is better !

His c2 Rook is over worked; he needs to play Kf1 at some point.

Out of 32 moves so far, 12 have been made by the Nb1 alone!

I made a wise decision, took a nap :-., two hours later nothing has changed on the board :-).
btw, Jan Timmnan's Power Chess with Pieces is a very good book dealing with knight vs Bishop.

After 32.Nb5 it looks like Anand is going to get the piece exchange that he has been trying for a while. Ipatov believes that would put him in a stronger position due to the weak Black d pawn.

I meant 32Nd5...

They are not playing by Sofia rules -- there is nothing that compels the players to continue competing in individual positions. Topalov has declared that he will play by these rules and will, of his own accord, not accept nor offer draws. The business of going to the arbiter when Game 3 was clearly drawn was pure spectacle.



Regarding Topalov's unilateral Sofia rules, it's a serious disadvantage if he really takes it seriously. Take this hypothetical: Anand, with a superior position but perhaps low on time or nervous about the position and the lead, offers a draw. Topalov knows he's worse, but he's been boxed in by his own unnecessary announcement that he won't accept draw offers. It's a bit of a stretch, and of course I'm in favor of the Sofia rules generally. But imposing them only on yourself is a bad, if in some ways admirable, tactic. I have to believe if he is faced with such a situation he'll be pragmatic enough to take the draw.

I'll throw in with Mig. The problem is that by announcing this behavior to Anand, you've given him concrete match strateg information and thus at least a slight advantage in the form of predictability.

I don't get 34. Nc5. Why not place the rook on the seventh instead?

The unilateral Sofia rules could play into Topalov's hands psychologically. Every day Anand has to go to work knowing he's not getting an easy rest day. He's going to have to fight tooth and nail every position. It's all on Topalov's terms. Over the course of a long match that might effect a player. I'm sure Anand's no pushover emotionally, but he is a little older too.

Yermo is making some hilarious comments on chessfm. He just thanked God for his voice not sounding like Karpov's (ROTFLMAO!). Then he said that somebody thought he had a Spanish accent; "J.C.!"

I always thought Karpov sounded like Truman Capote. Shame on me for even noticing.

Shipov: "So the hero's glorious route has come to an end: a1-a3-c4-e5-d7-c5-b7-d6-c8-a7-c6-b4-d5-b6!"

Seems like Vishy is taking the tough road to equality here. Must have been an easier way.

I do respect your views but I have a different opinion.

A)I am not even suggesting that Topalov will outplay Anand in the second half and win the match comfortably.All I said in my first post was that, Anand should try to play for a win with white pieces to keep the pressure on Topalov. One point lead may not be enough because Topalov can strike one back at any point of time.

B) As you yourself stated , matches are different from tournaments and similarly Rapid tiebreaks after a tied match is a different proposition from any other rapid game. Even in 1994 and 1999, Anand was considered a better rapid player than both Kamasky and Karpov and was expected to easily win rapid tiebreaks but he lost because of tremendous pressure.That is the reason I consider it pretty even in Rapid tiebreaks.

hah, Topalov sac a pawn to derive white from a very good knight outpost on c5, fix white's b3 and rid himself of the weak d pawn. looks like i woke up at the right time.

32..a4 was the mistake for Topa, 32..Be6 34.Ndf4 Bf7 would have kept his chances and the dance going

Oh, the b-pawn falls. Topa has some activity for it. Hard to judge now.

what was wrong with 40. Rb8+ followed by b4?

Topalov seems to have conspired to get himself a pawn down.

Black has enough activity for an easy draw. Very correct chess today from both players.

The position seems very double-edged now (after 41.Re4)

"I have to believe if he is faced with such a situation he'll be pragmatic enough to take the draw."

Definitely disagree.

With Russians, Kramnik, and match postponements, agreed draws are part of the "Axis of Chess Evil" against which no compromise is morally permissible.

For Veselin to agree to a draw would be to commit existential suicide.

Albeit with the aim of getting both rooks on the 2nd rank.

now looks like Topalov is better with Rdd2

One of the mysteries of the match so far has been where Vasiliev was for Chesspro, but he's arrived in Sofia now :) The first report is mainly photos: http://chesspro.ru/_events/2010/at1.html

ok, here comes the repetition and draw. I predict knight returns to c5 and black's rook to the second rank, then repeat.

wait, not so easy! Topa has ...f5 to play if the knight returns to c5. Hmmm.

But then Anand plays Red1. I say draw. That's my final answer!

Why not f6?

chess dom gives 44..Rdd2 45.Ne4 Rd3 44.Nc5 Rf3! -+

After Rd3, Rc7 will be played. "maybe"

Topa decides to play on. I don't think he has anything. draw!

bravo Topy !, you saw it ! (Rd3-f3)

Now it looks like a draw. Interesting game.

nice little move f3 by Anand. threaten g4. open escape route for the king. make Topalov decide to trade rook or not.

These guys will play down to lone kings! haha!

There was a better move than 51...h5. - 51...Ra2 wasn't it?

The body language of the players seems to indicate something like [Anand] "What's this nonsense?" and [Topalov] "sorry can't help it, it's all my manager's fault ..."

Topalov finally seems to have solved the Catalan problem. Time for Anand to change his opening in the next game.

I do not understand the official website's claim that there is:

"Live commentary by
English: Zurab Azmaiparashvili"

I see no such, and there is no link? At:


Click on the video, turn the sound on (and be patient while Stefanova is talking in Bulgarian). BTW, at least in some browsers the video is only visible when you zoom to full screen.

good game for Topalov. He must feels good after this one - a) he solved the Catalan problem (a huge psychological burden), b) turned it around at the end with the pawn sac to get (tiny) winning chance instead of playing passively.

Here's another why Topalov's employment of the Sofia rules could backfire: Imagine he gets sick. There are no timeouts. He's forced to play. A normal person with white might aim for a quick draw and then back to bed. Not Topalov

nothing to feel good about, he has win two games to have some chances, every game not won is bringing his loss faster to him.

Topalov did well. He accomplished the first goal on his to do list going in to today.
1) Stop the bleeding
2) Turn this baby around

Shipov at the end:

51.Kf2 If you'll permit me, I'll keep quiet. I don't see any point in pretending that something important's happening. Or rather, perhaps it is! But not in a chess sense...

51...h5 52.Ke3 Rc2 53.Ra1 Kg6 54.Ra6 Bf5 55.Rd6 Rc3+ 56.Kf2 Rc2 And once more the stupid spectacle with the arbiter has been played out. He had to approach, look at the players, accept their agreement to it - and formalise the draw. True, the players shook hands anyway. I don't get it - what's the point in this hypocrisy? Why not just offer a draw and agree to it? All this is ugly... Very ugly. In general, DRAW!

Sofia rules will only be a factor in a position where both players want to draw, but there is no reasonable way to repeat moves. I don't think that is very likely, except in a time-trouble situation.

Ah ha!
In my IExplore.exe browser, the video works if but only if I view the browser in FULL SCREEN mode. How odd. Thanks for the tip Thomas.

He maybe right in his own way.But,they are playing for world chess champion title.So, it is not only a question of testing chess skills,but also mental strength.And,I appreciate Topalov and Anand playing the game till it became a draw.I have always wondered why GMs take draws so easily.Such games allow amateur players like me to understand chess better.Today's game will be interesting to study and learn.

He maybe right in his own way.But,they are playing for world chess champion title.So, it is not only a question of testing chess skills,but also mental strength.And,I appreciate Topalov and Anand playing the game till it became a draw.I have always wondered why GMs take draws so easily.Such games allow amateur players like me to understand chess better.Today's game will be interesting to study and learn.

Again, Sofia Rules are NOT a factor. They are NOT part of the rules for this match. Topalov is making this spectacle and people are acting as though this is because of rules that are in place, but Topalov can very easily reach across the board and offer or accept a draw with no issue. The only reason that play would continue under those conditions would be so that Topalov could save face after his pointless declaration.



the results in the first half has been:
- all decisive games in 2008 (#3,5,6) are drawn here.
- all drawn games in 2008 (1,2,4) have ended 1-0.

I wouldn't mind the same trend continuing - game 10 drawn - and the remaining 1-0 for an overall Anand win 6.5-4.5. However, what are the chances of decisive games 7,8,9,11?

correction.. it would be 7-4 in that case, not 6.5-4.5.

I tend to agree that there was nothing wrong with playing on for a few moves, but the silliness with looking for a draw by repetition so Topalov can call over the arbiter is pointless. It doesn't help amateurs as it's not even a logical conclusion to the game but just the players conspiring so that Topalov won't be forced to keep things going until doomsday.

Constantin Landa had a similar comment to Shipov at Chesspro: http://chesspro.ru/chessonline/onlines/index_3104.html

"50.Rd1 I wouldn't be at all surprised if only the manager of Veselin was left in the hall in Sofia, while everyone else had understood it all and gone home. After all it really is wrong to reduce a chess game to absurdity. Intellects are struggling with each other, not computers".

I'd add - if Sofia rules are intended to be for the audience's benefit then Topalov should have taken that to the logical conclusion and kept playing on in game 4 until mate, or at least until the final blow was totally obvious. At the end of the game a lot of the audience spent a while looking at the board trying to work out exactly how Anand would win. If today's game had ended in a draw at move 50 or sooner I really don't think anyone would have been perplexed.

@good game for Topalov. He must feels good after this one..

It was a game more topalov-like than anand-like, he got lucky today with his prep.

I'd imagine that Topalov/Danailov's insistence on Sofia Rules is a smokescreen for the actual intent - which is to avoid short draws because that means there's a greater chance that Anand will get worn out as the match progresses.
At this level, each move takes a lot of effort and Topalov is working to reduce Anand's advantage as they head towards the final games of the classical section.
Topalov has an excellent vantage point now, just one point behind. Whether it works is another matter, Anand seems supremely fit and confident - and Topalov's play hasn't been able to rattle him, beyond the misplayed first game.

Looking forward to part II.

Don't disregard the fact that Anand starts with white again after the off-day. Should Topalov emerge from that game no greater than a point behind, then he can start to dream of a comeback, but losing G7 would be devastating, especially since he hasn't been able to force the issue with Anand when both players are contesting new positions over the board. Topalov won Game 1 due to prep, but this doesn't mean that his prep is so flawless, as is indicated by the fact that he had prepped the entire Game 5 until Bd2 and never saw the ...f6! response.



"To avoid short draws" doesn't require Sofia rules! "World championship rules" (AKA rules of chess) include the rights to offer a draw, AND to refuse a draw offer. Or would Topalov's concentration be disturbed if Anand had offered a draw today, say right after the time control?

Mig, it is not the extra moves that "enrage" me but the fact that, even after 3-fold repetition, Topalov has to put on a show of calling an arbiter to make a draw 'offer'. The arbiter has nothing to do -- it is already a draw by FIDE rules -- so the whole exercise is only to send a message. And what message? That Anand cannot be trusted to shake hands peacefully, and someone has to be called to oversee it? I think even in the worst match situations of the past, players were gentlemen enough to be able to agree to a draw between themselves.

Maliq, I know Sophia rules are not official here, but they are the sort of rules that can be imposed unilaterally by one player. E.g. if Topalov refuses to hear anything Anand might say to him, except through an arbiter. So, Sophia rules are effectively in place, unless Topalov decides to abandon them.

As far as I'm aware, it is Anand who has been the first to come up with new moves in every game so far. He screwed up the first game by mixing up two moves. The question here is: when will Topalov get the chance to use some prep? And how will Anand respond?

Will Topalov and Anand break a record set by Topa's second Cheparinov and Ljubojevic? In their game at "Rising Stars vs. Experience" in 2008, they played a ninefold repetition, and then (after an arbiter interfered) started arguing who should have offered or claimed a draw, and who was slightly better in the final position.
See videos at http://www.nhchess.com/Old/2008/index.html

"I always thought Karpov sounded like Truman Capote."

I think he ressembles Peter Lorre. Voice and appearance.

You're missing the point, Thomas.

By declaring that they are against short "convenient" draws, and that they wish to play for a decision, in accordance with the Sofia Rules - they have cover for when Topalov pushes on past the point where "everyone" sees that it's heading for a draw.
If - speculation - if the goal is to wear down Anand, gambling on Topalov being more fit, then they have paved the way for using that tool.

That said - Anand looks to be in excellent shape.

Broadcasting WCH moves without paying for them is a clear statement of disrespect for chess as an spectacle, if the moves of this game are worthless , How are we going to convince a sponsor into mounting shows around them?

Both Chessbase and ICC are wrong. I mean you have to be 'paying' members to watch games live w/commentary on Chessbase or ICC. Now they charge us for it but would not pay the Bulgarian organizers? To me that does not sound right.

If ICC and Chessbase believe they dont have to pay then they should not charge us 'for this WCC' as well.

ICC/Chessbase do not charge you the games I believe, they charge you for the commentary.

There would be nothing to comment without the match being organized.

OMG is Anand trying to bore Topalov to death?

It's hard arguing with his game strategy but these games are not worth €100K (winner) in spectator's money.

Give us some e4 action!

Makes you long for Kasparov...

You're missing the point, as are Danailov and GM Inkiov (who's responsible for the live transmission on the official website). One pays ICC/Playchess for all the services they provide around the bare moves (which include the possibility to play blitz 27/7, don't forget that) because if they'd only bring the bare moves, they wouldn't have customers. You're paying for commercial sports channels to watch soccer games and commentary by former players/trainers etc., not to be able to see 'in the 24th minute Messi scored with a shot from 22 metres', which you can read for free anywhere. You want to see the real thing, the camera showing it, and Van Basten explaining it. I.e. I could charge for the videos I make (but since it's published on the internet people expect it to be free anyway). The moves are facts, which everyone is allowed to share. Representing it in a 2-dimensional chess viewer instead of writing it down makes no difference I believe. Coming back to the World Ch: copying Azmai and Stefanova's commentary would be illegal, but telling or showing the moves wouldn't, and it wouldn't be disrespectful either.

I agree with people saying that not paying for the rights of broadcasting moves is extremely disrespectful. Obviously the organizers and sponsors want to create as much traffic as positble to the official website, in order to have some compensation for their investment. Charging some costs to third parties who benefit from the match is 100% justified, in my opinion.

I agree. Its actually more than disrespectful. Its just plain stealing. OK as some other have pointed out ICC/Chessbase charge for commentary. They also provide 24/7 playing services. All fair points. This is not about other services.

Without the match where is the commentary?

All I want to say perhaps ICC and Chessbase should provide this service (WCC broadcast) for no charge because they themselves did not pay for it. That would not make it legal in any case.

ICC and Chessbase should be made to pay period or should be sued.

Spent some time today in the game hall and the press room for Game 6.

The security was serious, no phones, metal detectors – the security guards were actually watching, like two presidents were playing.

Saw the usual crowd – Aruna & entourage took their usual place in the back of the playing hall.

Then spent two hours in the Press Room where I spoke to various folks. The usual crowd was there – from the Ian Rogers to the Vasiliev types and many other familiar faces that I couldn’t a put a name to.

Couldn’t speak to Danailov – saw him twice, but there were some major events, interviews, etc.

The general opinion on Anand’s play is that it is “very solid”. Some newspapers picked on a line by Sergiev and went to report that “Anand is better than the computers” and other similar sensationalist superlatives – you know newspaper are…

Got schooled greatly as the game proceeded by one of the familiar local IMs who was comparing notes on several engines.

Asked several folks why this obsession with the Sofia rules. Got the genuine response that they feel that it is very hard to sell Chess Tournaments if the games are short. One quipped that there has to remain some blood on the board at the end of the game. Another opined that Topalov may be trying to tire Anand.

It was fairly clear that the game was a dead draw at around move 20 – asking whether people felt that Topalov was more likely to make a mistake during the dance to the end, which did appear sharp at times, one said that if he was, then he might as well quit now.

The IM explained that the 2b’s were not an advantage at this particular junction against the strong knights of Anand unless the game opens up a bit.

On the question of crazy insistence on playing the Catalan over and over again I heard different responses. One felt that it was Topa’s ego. Another called it just stubborn. The sources I spoke to were close to the team, but not exactly total insiders, but still they knew the people well for many years and had some insights. One said that Topa’s rating presupposes that he is not afraid of the Catalan… Two people opined that if one looks historically Anand has pulled greater dividends from the Catalan and seems to have better understanding of it.

It was the general sense that Topalov has to change the program for the second half if he is to achieve anything.

Spoke to the press people and suggested that their “media performance” does stand an “opportunity for great improvement” and that many things are being said in a manner that does not foster understanding with the broader World…

Some were genuinely surprised by the ultra-negative event feedback on this and other blogs that I pointed out. One responded that he prefers to stay with the positive and negativisms burden him. All played down the “missed handshake” after g3.

There is a hilarious little “chess tournament” that takes place two hours before the main event, in another room, including people rated from 1800 to 2500 – some funny games were discussed – the IM felt that there is more human element in those…

What else… Ah, heard all kinds of funny stuff and little gossip about former players and glories by various age groups folks of IM/GM makeup.

Overall, I got positively charged from attending the event – I felt good vibes trough and through and there in the main hall it felt like less tension than on the forums… Perhaps because people speak face to face..


Moves should be free for everyone in the planet only AFTER the game is played , DURING the games they are the most important item of the broadcast.
If FIDE gets money and players get money , organizers and sponsors should get money too , don´t you think?
We should not forget that the moves are already being broadcasted 4free by the official site , there is no ¨free public service¨ provided by chessbase or icc here, so it is hard to believe that they shouldnt be paying for their rights to use the moves during the games...
Aren´t we looking for organizers and sponsors?
Well , then we should try to convince them that they can actually buy the absolute rights of broadcasting our thing... at least while the games are being played.

Playchess/ICC ARE not charging for it... Anyone becoming a member during this period, especially to follow the match, gives them money for their commentary, not for the moves. The bare moves can be seen anywhere. (And again, mentioning facts can't be stealing.)

> How are we going to convince a sponsor into
> mounting shows around them?

I don't know. How?

Dimi, wow! thanks man! I haven't felt strongly about either player winning, and quite frankly, I've been turned off by some of the straw-man arguments against Topalov on the Dirt. He's being put in a no win situation with the accusations. If he wins, he and his team cheated or manipulated the situation to his advantage. If he looses (well, first of all, he loses) then Vishy has foiled all of their feeble attempts to unsettle his composure. Is there any way that Topalov can actually earn this match in some people's eyes? I'm not sticking up for Danailov and the whole Sophia rules thing; I'm just saying that I haven't seen any evidence of outright cheating so far.

¨ we should try to convince them that they can actually buy the absolute rights of broadcasting our thing... at least while the games are being played.¨

Which means that we should give them the right to control the road of information during the games so they can get more profit on choosing which brands would be displayed on the signs of that road...

One could also argue that Chessbase and ICC should be paid because they provide additional publicity for the event: live broadcast AND related quality content (expert GM commentary)?

If the official match homepage doesn't get enough traffic, maybe this is because it doesn't have much to offer:
- I won't assess the quality of Azmai's live commentary, but for many people it's distracting having to listen to Stefanova in Bulgarian at least half of the time, and not understanding a single word (nothing wrong with this service for a local audience, but then non-Bulgarians go elsewhere).
- they have very limited game analyses, round reports etc. (compared to, for example, the Corus webpage)
- if they had decent audio coverage of the press conference, I would listen there. The way things are, I have to wait a few hours until Peter Doggers finished editing and publishing his own videos, and adding subtitles ,:) .

And obviously the organizers have other reasons to single out Chessbase - they didn't like their independent and critical coverage of what happened in Elista.

According to the law in my country, there is nothing wrong with showing the moves -- real time or not. Actually, they are also allowed a couple of minutes of footage video -- and even a real time short stream.

I guess much of it is true in most countries, and there is simply no case. So, u

I do not watch ICC or Playchess but I still support that they should be allowed to broadcast the moves for free. The problem in this world is not more copywrite but we should have none. Especially we should get rid of plant pantents and many other so called intellectual property. They are only used to steal money from the people fo the world.

I think the main point is not a debate about charging money for providing commentaries or whatever. The real issue is that the organizers of the match, who put a great deal of money and effort for this event to take place, have clearly requested that they do not want the moves to be retransmited on other websites. Blatantly ignoring their request is disrespectful.

Come on guys, don't feed the stupid troll!
The comments have been readable again since the guy shut up, now don't let him hijack the blog again. Ignore him, at least until the match ends, please.

Dimi, thanks for your amazing report.

I see your point, but isn't the way they "celebrate" Sofia rules when a draw is unavoidable rather embarassing for everyone: chess fans, the arbiter, even Topalov himself? Or is he enjoying this comedy??

I wonder what really happened today between the players in the final phase of the game: quite some non-verbal communication, pointing at the score sheets, then Anand shrugging his shoulders and making another move, ... .

But ironically, I played a "Sofia style" game myself in an amateur team competition this (European) afternoon:
- a queenless middlegame with two knights against two bishops (of course blissfully unaware of the coincident WCh game)
- my opponent had to play Rh8-g8 keeping his king in the center
- at some stage, I lost my advantage (if I ever had one, not so sure in hindsight) and ended up in a slightly worse ending. I considered offering a draw but decided that my opponent should do so as he was a little better (and we were behind in the match).
- Finally I somehow managed to win this inferior ending, or rather my opponent managed to lose [but I think this was only possible at amateur level]

¨One could also argue that Chessbase and ICC should be paid because they provide additional publicity for the event: live broadcast AND related quality content (expert GM commentary)? ¨

Nonsense , their(icc´s,chessbase´s) sponsors are getting free trafic out of an event organized by other persons, it is simple stealing.
If a person /organization is able to come up with a couple millons euro for a chess event ,they should have the absolute rights over the broadcast of the games while they are being played (moves included) as long as they provide a free way for the public to follow he event.
It is not a public show ,brands should get all available incentives to put money into the event , icc and chessbase are not charity organizations , they should pay for every valuable broadcast item they use.
¨live¨ moves belongs to organizers and general public only.

Great, great comment, Dimi! Thank you for taking the time and effort, providing this in-depth report from the very center of the storm. Postings like this, and the previous report from Mishanp, adds to the uniqueness of this blog.

Next time you have a chat with Danailov, tell him that chess fans are indebted to Bulgaria, for hosting this match. We get the moves instantly. No delay, like Bonn in 2008. We even have a live webcam transmission for free. Highly appreciated!

Some of you are confusing copyright with broadcast rights. In a public event, anyone can provide a description of the ongoing event. However, like baseball in a stadium, this event is happening inside a private venue. Your ticket is a contract - to be allowed into the venue to witness the spectacle, you agree not to broadcast or transmit the content of the event.

So we are not talking chessgame copyrights, but rather, broadcast rights to an event happening in a private venue, with spectators who, as part of their ticket, are contractually obliged not to transmit the game live (until they go home). The owners of the private venue can then sell broadcast rights to whomever they want.

The interpretation that chess moves are "information" or "news" suits me fine from an audience perspective. I don't understand the Bulgarian commentary on the official site and enjoy following the games on chesspro/chessok/playchess/icc. But another interpretation of live chess moves can be that they are the equivalent of "raw feed" (video minus the licensed broadcaster's commentary) in action sports, since it is a known fact that chess audience do not care much about videos of the players' facial expressions, etc (as proven by the lackluster response to the Bonn WC "unique experience" with webcam videos of the players thinking and walking around). And in action sports, transmitting raw feed without having rights is universally considered stealing. While I'd love the first interpretation as an audience or a fan, I'd probably want the second if I happen to organize a tournament, pay top players appearance fees, pay FIDE 'fees', and if I seek to "sell" broadcast rights. But then the main difference between chess and other sports is the importance of commentary in chess. The average football or cricket audience has a much better understanding of the game (and sometimes even more than the commentators), whereas in chess even strong players find it difficult to understand what's going on unless a very strong GM commentator presents the game well. Therefore it can be argued that while the most valuable part of an action sport broadcast is the raw feed (live scores/blogging or even audio commentary in a cricket match are not rights which are usually sold), in chess it is the moves+commentary part. Since chess is clearly different from other sports, maybe a compromise between the official and unofficial broadcasters would be to attach a price tag on timestamps and clock info in a live game than the moves themselves?

In today's game, Topalov played aggressive chess with good moves throughout. It seems he has shaken off his apparent nervousness which marred his efforts with both the White and Black pieces in the first half of the match (excepting the 1st game where Anand forgot his preparation). I fully expect Topalov to play well during the 2nd half of the match. Both Anand and Topalov will be using the rest day tomorrow to refresh themselves of their preparations and be ready for the 7th game, which I'm fairly certain will not be yet another Catalan. Maybe Topalov will give us a KID, remembering that Anand demonstrated a certain vulnerability to a K-side attack in his game vs. Shirov.

I see your point, but isn't the way they "celebrate" Sofia rules when a draw is unavoidable rather embarassing for everyone: chess fans, the arbiter, even Topalov himself? Or is he enjoying this comedy??
Sofia rules are embarrassing whenever and wherever they are invoked. I find it absurd to force two top-ten players to play on and on in positions they both consider to be drawn. The same is true for 30-move rules. Let the players draw when they decide it's time to pack it in.

In this match, Topalov again shows what a dunderhead he is.

This is all much hullaboo about ABSOLUTELY nothing. There are hundreds of websites that cover sporting events like Basketball, Football, Baseball, etc., play-by-play but seconds later. They don't violate the broadcast and they don't pay the respective leagues. The information becomes public the second it is broadcast (but of course not the signal transmission itself). So just relaying information is not a problem. EVERYBODY GET OVER IT (and that means YOU Bulgaria)!

I know what you mean, but please don't implicate a whole country in the actions of a few jerks. For one thing, it helps the jerks who are already trying to make this into an 'us vs. them'.

"Sofia rules" have made the match *more* interesting... Most folks thought White better in the "dead drawn" position, but a couple loose moves by Vishy gave Black a bit of an edge, although still drawn.

actually relaying the content of a broadcast IS illegal in many places, including the US. Don't you hear that long quote about "any rebroadcast or retransmission of the events and descriptions of the game is strictly prohibited," etc?
Baseball spent years closing down radio stations who "just relayed the play by play", even erected signs in ballparks to block radiomen who perched in neighboring buildings to do "public" play by play. Read the back of your ticket at any NFL or NBA game, you are not allowed even to do cellphone play by play or photos, strictly speaking, they can escort you out. Same with concerts and rock shows, Youtube notwithstanding!

Formula One shut down Everyone who tried to do near-real-time news of Grand Prix racing, even small fan websites were blasted out of the water by F-1 lawyers. If you didn't pay the fee, you couldn't describe the races you saw on TV, couldn't use the words Formula One or Grand Prix, name the drivers and teams, and so on. They were ruthless in preserving their "broadcast rights."

I know in many cases, big sports leagues have finally become smarter, and realized it hurts the fan base to strictly enforce their broadcast rights; but if they wanted to stop someone, they could.

I can't believe I am supporting the organizers view, not being any fan of Danilov or his steed, but we are just talking about the wording of broadcast rights, not whether I agree with the result.

Right, tjallen.
It is clear that the German company ChessBase is committing fraud, and also that they know it very well.
But they also know that Danailov and the Bulgarian chess federation can notpunish them despite both countries being in EU. The EU media legislation (AVMS) holds the "country of origin" principle, under which broadcasters would be held liable to media regulation from their home governments, not the supra-national European lawmakers.

Last Wednesday, I watched the match via ICC in the morning and the Cubs from the 3617 Sheffield rooftop in the afternoon. (Great sight lines for both, and the Pat and Ron Show is the Chess FM of the rooftops.) It's not necessarily crazy for ICC or ChessBase to pay 17% of the "gate" (ICC annual revenues x 12/365 x 17% is probably not far away from the reasonable fee that the Bulgarian organizers requested), but chess is weird in that it's a game of pure information.

FIDE and the WC organizers should look favorably on professional coverage of future matches. Every WC will have a different organizer: are revenue sharing agreements for live broadcasts to be negotiated anew each time?

So what? The game was completely drawn on move 40, completely drawn on move 58 when they shook hands, and completely drawn all the time in between. It is irrelevant that Anand chose a safe way and that the engine evaluation may have gone from +0.3 to -0.3 .
K+P vs. K is either won or drawn, only weak amateurs can lose if the other side is "just slightly better". If such a position occurs in the match, will we see an endgame lesson from Anand and Topalov? K+B vs. K is "slightly better", but impossible to lose.

I do like the Argentinian laws and so, but here in the Netherlands (Hello Maxima!)transmitting mere facts is not illegal. Thank God!

So everbody calling ICC or chessbase thiefs are 'verrekte mongols' (impolite dutch for raving lunatics) Going down the legal way, could be usefull in legally-not-so-modern-country's as Bulgaria or Argentina, but everybody with a love of chess and a little knowledge of modern life/IT realises that making money out of chess will be in the 'added value actions' (commentary, pictures, chatt 3D or anything else)by sponsors, players and organizers, not in shooting the messenger.

You agree with this part of Tjallens view also?:
+I know in many cases, big sports leagues have finally become smarter, and realized it hurts the fan base to strictly enforce their broadcast rights; but if they wanted to stop someone, they could.+

Cause from my legal-laymans-pov I disagree with his assesment that the OC could stop anybody transmitting moves, I do very much agree thats it is commercially very stupid what this OC wants.
Propably old people, grew up with the copyright laws of Julius Ceasar, and transmission possibilities of Napoleon.

Charging for disclosing moves only, will -for sure in my commercial blood- diminish total 'revenues' going to the chess world.

@You agree with this part of Tjallens view also ?..because disagree with his assesment that the OC could stop anybody transmitting moves.

You misunderstood what he said. He did not say that in this case Sofia-OC could, he was offering examples from other sports and countries where this thing happened so as to make apparent that it was normal, that "yes, it is (it should be) up to organizers to decide, it is their show, they put their money on it to make it happen, and they have the right to decide on free or not broadcasting"

In this case the Sofia-OC can not defend their right, can not enforce it, outside Bulgaria.

Thanks Dimi for this. Helps me get a feel of the situation "at the scene". I am very impressed by the quality of the play displayed in the matches. You do feel as if two super GMs are slugging it out at the peak of their powers. And while we critize one or the other move the general standard of the moves, the necessity of applying Sophia rules blindly, the brilliant sacrifical attacks and the quality and precision of the two players is truly extraordinary and shows us why a WCC based on matches throws up superb chess.

Sofia Rules
I am grateful they played from move 20 to move 40. They demonstrated the fine art of balancing dynamic and static aspects in generally equal, but asymmetric position. For me it looked like dancing on a minefield. I wish I could playlike that. The draw was obvious to me when it became clear that Anand could force the exchange of a rook. To others it may have been obvious sooner, or later. No damage done when they make a move or two more. That said, I think Sofia Rules are good for tournaments, but shouldn't be enforced in match play. The sideshow with the repetition and the arbiter at the end of each drawn game is not necessary and a little silly.

Broadcast Rights
In principle I agree with the argument that the organizers should participate in whatever income stream the event generates. But Danailov doesn't seem to be interested in solving the issue either legally or economically, and he chooses to single out one of the offenders. It looks like he is pursuing a personal feud.

When it comes to broadcasting and copyrights issues I believe that it is better left with the lawyers as it is not a very intuitive part of the law with simple rights and wrongs. Somewhere I read that Chessbase were sentenced to pay something on one of the previous events. Does anyone know whether this is true? If true then that says enough.

On another note – I heard that Topalov has had a very difficult childhood that as told to me sounds like a book-story material. For some reason they don’t talk about it and I can’t disclose the little that I’ve heard, but I think that it is regrettable for keeping this interesting story hidden.

On yet another note – staying in the darkened main hall of the WC Event, watching the board without any access to Internet one feels so very isolated. Being jetlagged I started to doze off until moves 12-16 where the board became rather lively and I started racing my mind to evaluate what’s going on. I thought that Topalov played some really promising complications. Talking to the people behind the engines later, if didn’t appear that there was never strong shift in either favor despite the board appearing lively. So, it is rally a good exercise to close these engines from time to time and try to evaluate a position without any outside influences..


A post on chessgames suggests that the child Topalov was under the guardianship of Danailov since the age of 12.


Thanks for a great post and report. I agree that the match has been fair. It is impressive that a small nation has taken a great responsibility of a WC match of the most popular and widespread sport in the world.

When you talk to Danailov, you should tell him not to continue the antics he has been resorting to till now. These mindgames against Anand and the threats to sue against FIDE have not helped Topalov or hurt Anand. They risk hurting the reputation of the country and organizers who have spent/invested so much effort and money into the event. And he should stop talking on behalf of the organizers and let the OC do it.


From the Ottawa Chess Club board:
GM Kevin Spraggett:

"I know a little bit about Topalov because he lives in Spain, less than 200 miles from where I live in Portugal. From time to time I see him, and once I even slept over at his apartment. He is a very simple and kind person. Easy to like, too.
In Bulgaria he was a chess prodigy of sorts, but not like Kasparov. His talent developed in a different way and rhythm. He had no state support. But when he was about 12 years old Danailov, his actual trainer and companion, spoke to Topalov’s family and got permission to personally train him.

Danailov took Topalov to his apartment and told him ‘From now on, you live here and this will become your new home. I am not just your trainer, but I am also your mother and your father. I am your cook. I am the one who will wash your clothes. I am the one who will pay your bills and expenses to tournaments. All I want from you is to think only about chess!’’

Topalov developed very quickly under Danailov’s guideance [sic]. He became a super star in the chessworld by the time he was 19. This relationship has remained just as strong until today. Topalov does not have a girlfriend or any real friends in the classical meaning of it. He has only his chess, but he would not change his universe for any other.

And he has Danailov. Danailov is paid, I am told, 50 percent of everything that Topalov wins, and while many might think that is excessive, the Topalov-Danailov relationship is very unique. And mutually beneficial. And now it seems as though their faith in each other will make history in this tournament."

A good "parent" tries to provide his "child" the tools to become an independent person.

Danailov has done the opposite, creating around Veselin a frightening world that he can't manage without...Danailov.

At Elista, Veselin said: "I believe that his (Kramnik's) play is fair, and my decision to continue the match proves it." But what should have been the proper end of the controversy was immediately and decisively overruled by....Danailov.

Sad to say, he and Silvio are indeed, one entity. And there are problems when Veselin is all alone up there on stage behind a one-way curtain. No Silvio to look to for moral support. No Silvio to tell him what to do when bizarro-world claims of operating under Sofia rules run into a real-world arbiter operating under WCC rules.

I wonder if sometimes Veselin feels like trading all his success for a little independence.

I read that thing by Spraggett long ago but I generally don't trust much of what he says. Or put it this way, there is probably something to it, but he is also probably exaggerating.

And he has Danailov. Danailov is paid, I am told, 50 percent of everything that Topalov wins, and while many might think that is excessive, the Topalov-Danailov relationship is very unique. And mutually beneficial. And now it seems as though their faith in each other will make history in this tournament."

Shades of Edge and Morphy!

Rgearding transmitting chess moves, it is not clear what is legal and that surely varies across nations. What is surprising and unacceptable is the singling out of Chessbase for this treatment? Have chessdom, polgar etc. paid the organizers for the moves?


@Danailov has done the opposite, creating around Veselin a frightening world that he can't manage without...Danailov.

Topalov doesn't look a fearful, subdued, character. Had it been like this it would have become apparent in his play.
Probably that Danailov managed their relation wisely enough so as to avoid or pre-empt strong conflict. This is one thing that actual parents often can't do (they can't overcome theor own, and formed early, perception of their child as being..well, a child) and by doing they help, foster, the natural break-up and separation as the child becomes teen/young adult.
I suppose that Topalov simply doesn't care that he has developed unilaterally with the "help" (and for the profit) of Danailov. He doesn't see this as an issue. Chess aside, for whatever (and that may be a lot) he can't do Danailov will step in an solve it for him.

Topalov doesn't look a fearful, subdued, character.
--He's often been described as "robotic."

Had it been like this it would have become apparent in his play.
--Unless trained otherwise by his manager.

Probably that Danailov managed their relation wisely enough so as to avoid or pre-empt strong conflict.
--My point. Many conflicts with the outside world and no conflicts with Silvio.

He doesn't see this as an issue. Chess aside, for whatever (and that may be a lot) he can't do Danailov will step in an solve it for him.
--I think underneath it all he envies Kramnik's independence. It's why he fantasized about hitting the Moscow nightclubs with him.

---He's often been described as "robotic."

so what? he may be a "hard worker", always hyper-focused ("compulsively" so, that's the personality type which often gets the "robotic" qualificative). What I wrote was that he hasn't been described as a fearful or subdued character.

--My point. Many conflicts with the outside world and no conflicts with Silvio.

your point, the wrong one, was what I was correcting. What I said was :

"no conflicts with the outside world because they are solved by Danailov for him as soon as the needs appear, and no conflicts with Danailov because Danailov has been wise enough to realize that some needs can't be denied without creating destablizing conflict".

Topa has been content up to now but it is not
clear how will he manage to keep this going when he will get alone eventually since he has developed little real-world skills. He never needed them, Danailov took care of the "how".

---I think underneath it all he envies Kramnik's independence. It's why he fantasized about hitting the Moscow nightclubs with him.

I won't be that sure, even Freud had difficulties interpreting dreams, they can mean many things.
He may have fantasized that simply because it was very difficult for him to accept that the match was really over.

I call BS

@Have chessdom, polgar etc. paid the organizers for the moves?

Chessdom is given as 'partner-site' by the official site http://www.anand-topalov.com/

" In principle I agree with the argument that the organizers should participate in whatever income stream the event generates. But Danailov doesn't seem to be interested in solving the issue either legally or economically, and he chooses to single out one of the offenders. It looks like he is pursuing a personal feud."

He can choose to single out anyone he likes (or dislikes) , he is not the one stealing others people's work.

Broadcast Rights
In principle I agree with the argument that the organizers should participate in whatever income stream the event generates.
Formulated like this, even I would have to agree.

But that takes a whole lot of 'legalisation' in the chessworld. Everything from copyright (who owns the 'moves'), portraitright, broadcastrights etc etc has to be formalised, just like it is in grownup sports like soccer, formula 1 racing, the olympics or those american sports.

Untill then, I would say it's legally 'laughable' for the OC to start charging on commentating/interpreting public info they themselves make known in real time to the public.

Commercially it is even more stupid, and contraproductive for 'Chess'. Its not simply the moves or live cameras on stage (There should be more televised chess, Letterman)which creates the value to the consumer, especially not to non-addicts.

One of the noisiest, most outraged supporters of the Bulgarian match organizers' broadcast rights told us some time back that he routinely pirates instructional chess materials.

Haaaaa ha ha nicely spotted

"Somewhere I read that Chessbase were sentenced to pay something on one of the previous events."

You may refer to the Topalov-Kamsky match, that story is at
(3 March 2009, see also links in that article).

To make a long story short, the sequence of events was roughly as follows:
- the Bulgarian organizers put the same "anti-Chessbase note" below their live transmission
- after game 4 of the match, they threatened to sue Chessbase at a German court. Quite some German eyebrows were raised because Rainer Polzin (German IM and lawyer) was supporting their case.
- Chessbase then stopped their live coverage _before_ the matter was settled in court.

Predictably, the reaction by the organizers was triumphant, something like "Chessbase is chickening out".
"„This is a precedent in the world of chess and we are grateful to attorney Polzin for his assistance”, commented BCF president Dr. Stefan Sergiev – This case will serve as a lesson to everybody who violates the copyright law.”
(from http://www.wccc2009.com/en/news&article_id=41.html)

But why does Chessbase now transmit the games, and why do the organizers limit themselves to simple warnings again? Apparently "the Germans" are sure of their case, and "the Bulgarians" no longer believe they will stand a chance in court.

As to why Chessbase is singled out: Ovidiu is right that Chessdom is an official partner of the event - and they serve as an outlet for biased views of the organizers. Susan Polgar also tends to be pro-Topalov, ICC at least doesn't seem to offend the organizers (in their point of view). But Chessbase is said to be "Krambase" ... .

Last but not least @Dimi: While we often disagree, I also appreciate your onsite reports!

I'm no Topalov fan, but his post Kramnik match interview (dreams etc.) must count as the most interesting thing said by a top GM in the last five years.

Chessbase (and of course Friedel personally) was accused of taking Kramnik's side during Elista, thereby misleading a large number of chess fans into believing that there was actually something wrong with what Topalov's team did... of course if they did they took the same side as the rest of the world outside Bulgaria. (I thought they were actually relatively even-handed.)

Danailov and Topalov have accused Friedel of being the "anonymous Dutch fan" sending the Danailov "signalling" video to Kommersant. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqa9Ht3L71U

Topalov showed some sense of humour when he dedicated his quick win against Anand in Bilbao 2008 "to Frederic Friedel, also known as the 'anonymous Dutch chess fan', winner of the MTV 2007 Award for the best chess video" similarly to how he dedicated his win against Kramnik in Corus 2008 (with the famous Nxf7) to "Martin Breutigam, German journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner for the best chess article in 2007"

Well spotted indeed , so you can learn the difference between getting information for free and making money out of it ...
Moves are for everybody ,but that doesnt mean that everybody is entitled to make money out of them , specially companies like chessbase or icc who are hiring people to comment on the very games they decided to steal...
Does anyone ever downloaded a song without paying for it? Sure.
Does anyone ever used the song to promote a product without paying for it? I dont think so.
Live moves are for general public and organizers alone , if you are going to broadcast them you have to have permission from the organizers , this is pretty basic stuff actually.

""I accept that I lost the match. But the events of Elista still haunt my mind. At night I dream about Kramnik. I dream that he has accepted the offer for a return match in Sofia. Or that I go for a long walk with him in Moscow, after which we visit an exclusive nightclub. The strange thing is that the two of us are the only visitors there.""


Thank you.

"Many conflicts with the outside world and no conflicts with Silvio."

Shades of the Brian Wilson/Gene Landy relationship in the 80s.

Interview mid 80s:

RS: Will you tour again?
Wilson: Sure, maybe, if Gene says it's okay.

And if the cut-paste of the Spragster's creepy essay was intended to win Top fans, I'd like to see how it possibly could. Try as his fans may, it's very difficult to paint a sugar 'n' spice picture of the super-GM who was once called "the vampire among us" by Ivanchuk.

¨it's very difficult to paint a sugar 'n' spice picture of the super-GM who was once called "the vampire among us" by Ivanchuk.
I missed that completely , very interesting concept , would you mind posting link ?

Today's first move of Topalov: 1. d4. (once again d4?)
I really loved to watch in this match a pear of 1.e4-c5 or 1.e4-e5 ...

....And if the cut-paste of the Spraggett's creepy essay was intended to win Top fans.."

It was not intended either way, I pasted it to confirm ashish his : "on chessgames someone suggested that the child Topalov was under the guardianship of Danailov since the age of 12".

....the super-GM who was once called "the vampire among us" by Ivanchuk.

what angered Ivanchuk ?

Without context, it's not clear if Ivanchuk was actually angered - "vampire" could also mean 'the guy drawing blood on the board', which Topalov could take as a compliment.

Shirov ("Fire on Board") is a pyromaniac, Ivanchuk himself is ... ?

Dear MIG: On one hand we complain about not having enough money in chess and on other hand we ridicule the organizers from monetizing the game (your parting comment on chess base).

I do not see anyone passing such remarks for charging for live telecast of football in TV. Chess cannot be followed on TV but by the moves. If the organizers are not allowed to charge for the same how do we expect quality players to make money?

Please note that the money the organizers would get from charging chessbase would be minimal in comparison to 2million EURO they are doling out. Treat this as first attempt to monetize the game. If Chess is not monetized people may not be take it up as a serious profession and it may obliterate from mainstream competitive game into a coffee-shop cum living room past time.

I for one am happy that the organizers have highlighted chessbase's violation as not only what the site is doing is illegal but also it is undermining an honest attempt to bring up chess from current miserly renumeration.


Aren't the organizers already getting 600,000 Euros? What exactly do they provide for all that money, beyond a half-empty hall without bathrooms, with intermittent electricity? What's the rent in downtown Sofia, anyway? (Surely it's less than at the top of the WTC, where I watched Kasparov-Anand.) Why is providing the moves not part of the expected service?

Is there a video of Topa dedicating that game to Friedel?
And I'd love to see Ivanchuk calling Topalov a vampire, he was proably joking. Any link to the interview?

Welcome to the "double standard forums" , you are right of course.

Moves and video are provided by organizers , freely , on the official site of the match.
Why is that you don't check your questions before posting them?

It's referenced in the Dirt here


in the first post, but the source interview was on Kasparovchess and seems to have vanished online. Ivanchuk made the comments right after his match loss to Ponomariov.

"what angered Ivanchuk ?"

He may have been raw about Top's quick submission to Danailov's order to assist Ponomariov in the WC match, but perhaps he just responded off the cuff without anger. Anyhow it's the least of the potent quotables in the interview. When asked how he blew it as the heavy favorite against Pono, he answered "mysticism."

As the Big Liar put it so well in a 2009 NiC column, Ivanchuk's angels and demons walk hand in hand OTB, whether against humans or the pallid revenant from Sofia.

I think they also commented on psychics and stuff before Elista , it is a truly interesting aproach for people playing such a rational sport.

@He may have been raw about ... but perhaps he just responded off ..anyhow it's the least of the potent quotables

Ok, so you don't know yourself what was that 'vampire'-stuff about, I'm wondering what was then your point in quoting it.. but whatever

Kaidanov on the chessfm webcast said something like, he is being converted to the Sophia rules, that they are producing excitement and interest,
and at least for players who are paid well, they ought to follow them.

I also am seeing this upside of the Sophia rules, and have very much enjoyed seeing the players play out the positions. I've learned more from seeing that than anything in awhile. I enjoyed the longer games and I enjoyed seeing the theoretical endings in a concrete way rather than dismissing it with a hand-waved draw.

A player's judgment about drawn positions ought to be tested. There is a difference between "this position is drawn" and "I can draw this position against you."

What may further illumine Ivanchuk's comment was that it was in response to a direct question whether he was angry at Top's sudden and quite public endorsement and assistance of Pono; Ivanchuk responded that there were no hard feelings because it was par for the vampiric
course, as it were. There was a sense more of
resignation than anger.

"Ok, so you don't know yourself what was that 'vampire'-stuff about, I'm wondering what was then your point in quoting it.. but whatever"

I identified the time period for the interview in which the quote appeared and tried to retrieve it. If you were hoping I could read the mind of Ivanchuk and attach a printout, you will have to look elsewhere. As to my "point in quoting it", what's the point in quoting anything during an exchange of ideas? Perhaps it upset you that the quote was delivered in a way that prevented you from discrediting or otherwise dismissing the source. So if I contributed in any way to an interruption in your predatory mission to control the flow of Top-related information moving through this blog during the match, allow me to congratulate myself.

"There is a difference between "this position is drawn" and "I can draw this position against you."

Or as Korchnoi said: "It's a draw, but you have to prove it!". But this is not about Sofia rules, which only come up when BOTH players consider the position terminally drawn or - pragmatic approach at an earlier stage:
- consider winning attempts too risky
- not promising enough to spend several additional hours at the table for 10% winning chances (this may have been the case for Anand at the end of game 5?).

Personally, I am not absolutely against Sofia rules, though I still fail to see their added value, let alone necessity. But I am against the way they are "celebrated" in the match, particularly game 3 ("we simply forgot the handshake") - by now players got used to do things "Sofia 2010 style".

I wrote "Sofia 2010" because I don't remember such awkward and IMO embarassing game finishes from earlier occasions, including MTel, mostly including games by Topalov - but excluding Topalov-Kramnik, Corus 2007 which I was watching at the venue.

For other sports, the game score by itself is not. For Chess, it is.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 1, 2010 7:59 AM.

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