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Anand was First in Seconds

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Really horrid of me to be so buried with other work when the US championship and a Grand Prix underway. I promise new thread tomorrow. And I'm sure everyone has already read and discussed the fascinating interview with Vishy Anand at Chessbase, where he talks about getting advice and preparation from a few guys who know about world championship matches. It's almost rubbing it in to say you got close and personal help before and during the match from Carlsen, Kasparov and Kramnik! I do hope this serves as a rebuttal to the members of the commentariat who were skeptical of Garry's rooting interest in the match.

As much as it says about Anand's status as beloved nice guy, it probably says as much about how the chess community at large has rejected Topalov like an incompatible transplanted kidney since the insanity he and his manager Danailov created around his Elista WCh match with Kramnik in 2006. (Was it really that long ago?) Openly accusing your opponent of cheating brings shame and scandal on everyone. Certainly a lot of fans went from loving Topalov's sharp chess and uncompromising attitude to wanting him to die in a fire. Well, that 2006 match united the chess world in several ways, I guess. It unified the title and it unified much of the chess world -- against Topalov.

While I'm dropping Magnus's name, I had a chance to chat with him for a while at the Karpov2010 party and I'll be including those remarks in an article I'm told I'll be writing for Chess Life, of all places. There goes my reputation! Nah, should be fun. I can bring any publication down to my level in a page or two.


Who knows, with a little luck and planning, we could end up with some good and predictable and fixed rules for how top level matches are to be conducted, and how one becomes a candidate for one.
FIDE/Chess hasn't had that since the latter part of the previous century.

Now to the really important stuff:
Can we have the notation for the two games played between Carlsen and Kasparov with adjutants? :-)

"wanting him to die in a fire"
Whoah Mig, that's pretty horrible taste, and I don't even like the guy.

Danailov is the worst chess manager ever. He managed to gather no less than the last three World Champions and the number one player against Topalov in 2010, he undermined Cheparinov's confidence after a humiliating defeat against Nigel Short following a handshake scandal in 2008, he brought the toilet-gate on us all in 2006, and he prevented Ponomariov to play a match against Garry Kasparov himself under the reunification Prague agreement in 2003.

What's next, Silvio? Are you really sure you want to run the European Chess Union? Who is going to be foolish enough to trust you?

I totally agree with you, Mig. Topalov's fans, if there is any left, might find useful to wonder why past and present Chess elite (Kasparov, Kramnik, Carlsen...) has obviously turned his back to Topalov and chosen to help Anand any which way but win.

I would like to add that whatever he might be thinking to find explanations, Topalov is punishing himself with these "so called" blunders like in the 12th game. Actually he did the same with Kramnik, remember ? Throwing away a game (the 8th, the 9th ? I forgot) in an equal position, which allowed Kramnik to get even and play the TB.

Listen to me, Mr Topalov : if you ever want to compete again for the World chess title with real chances of winning, you HAVE TO :
1) fire Danailov, and
2) publicly and officially offer excuses to Kramnik and the whole chessworld for having been part of the set up of the Elista toiletgate.

If you fail to do so,
1) you won't restaure normal relationships with your fellow-GM, and,
2) you will NEVER have a chance to win the supreme title because of this little voice saying and working inside: "You don't deserve to win, and you know why."

The problem is that we aren't entirely free, regardless of appearances. Have you ever read Freud ? Any shrink will explain that to you.

"Errare humanum est. Perseverare diabolicum." Remember ? It's up to you.

Most amazing - and I still have difficulty grasping this - is Kramnik's help with the Catalan. That's supposed to be his secret sauce...

I think problem is Bulgarian corrupted system, Topalov has too much of benefits and too much to be scared of... He can't be so stupid he doesn't understand this, it's just a third world country and Topa is a coward, who unlike Kasparov can't fight the system, nobody wants him to die on fire... Agree bad taste... Guess flushing his head on Toilet would leave bad taste enough

Amazing! Anand used a human cluster comprising Kasparov, Kramnik, Carlsen and seconds against a computer cluster (Rybka 4, 112 cores) used by Topalov. I just can't believe everyone was rooting Anand to win....Well I am sure everyone backed Anand who dared to take up the cudgels in Topalov's backyard against so called mighty "Danialov" whos notorious for toilet warfare!

Clearly the motivating force bringing the mighty triumvirate to anands aid is for whatever reason an anti Topalov feeling rather than pro Anand especially as he was playing in the "bad guys" backyard. In the end though I think Topalov remains something of an enigma and the match was not a great one. Carlsen said it best when he said that he would have felt happy playing against either player given the overall quality ofn their play. The 12 game format came off badly and the prospect of the rapid/blitz play off probably played a part in topalovs play in the last game although its his style - hard to see other top level players not settling for a draw when Anand had objectively equalised out of the opening. There was never a feeling that Topalov was playing solidly at any point in the match

Is it just me or is anyone else getting the feeling that the credit for Anand’s success is being shared by one too many? Like one of Topa’s fan mentioned, it took so many GMs collective efforts to keep Anand alive, plus Topa’s obvious errors.
Makes me wonder how he will manage to retain the title, or if at all he will be able to defend his title in two years, when most of the helpers might be on the other side of the board. Will Anand reach out to Topalov? :)
When was the last time the defending champion’s considered an underdog even before the challenger has been identifed?

Wow, it'd be interesting to hear Topalov's views on these revelations. Having the higher echelons of the chess community collectively gang up on him will either make him realize how unpopular he is or push him further into self-denial about the reasons for this. Hopefully, it is the former so he can get rid of his manager and then maybe people will get to see his `real' personality. In any case, it'd be interesting to see how much this result has affected him mentally. Hopefully for chess, he will be able to make a strong comeback!

Hello All, part 2 is up now on chessbase: http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=6348

@ make him realize how unpopular he is

I don't think that Topalov spends much time pondering over how popular or unpopular he is.
At 35 years old he is no longer a high-school student anxious to win the "Mr. Popularity" contest.
And he knows that the "KACK-team" dislike is worth nothing as long as he continues to top the ELO-lists and he wins at least one big tournament every year.

Topalov had a clear hardware advantage, and the role of Kramnik's helpers shouldn't be exaggerated either: They helped him with opening preparation - maybe specific lines, maybe just general suggestions on what might work best against Topalov. But Anand had to take over completely once the prep was over ... .

Specifically for game 12: "They" may have helped him to equalize out of the opening, "he" then proceeded to win the game.

BTW, it seems that Anand's errors were far more obvious than Topalov's - but this has been discussed extensively before.

Topalov played fair and square. He tried his best OTB and gracefully accepted the verdict. So nothing to complain about Topalov. In way it was good for Anand that Topalov had a manager like Danailov. Topalov was unapproachable for opportunistic politicians to cut any deals with him that could have compromised the integrity of the title.

Here is the machine Topalov had access to (with the help of the Bulgarian government, according to chessbase):


"Another Blue Gene/P has been installed on September 9, 2008 in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, and is operated by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Sofia University."

So it turns out the venue of the match may have been a serious factor in the match, not just a psychological one. I wonder if anyone will ever again play a World Championship match in the other player's territory, given the possibility of access to such hardware.

raindeer: There is nothing wrong with official Bulgarian support for Topalov, and nothing wrong with being a third world country for that matter. Please don't generalize about corruption etc. from Danailov to the whole country.

cvbh: I don't think Kramnik, Kasparov and Carlsen want to take any credit for Anand's victory. None of them have even spoken openly about it. If Topalov fans want to believe that a couple of Skype conversations amount to "so many GMs collective efforts to keep Anand alive", they are welcome to their delusions. Remember, Topalov doesn't even think Anand won the match, he thinks he (Topalov) lost it. As for the idea that Anand is already the underdog for his next title match, that is just hilarious.

But surely you could play anywhere in the world and still connect to your local super computer over the internet!?

I presume Anand had ICT security consultant(s) involved. Dunno how secure Skype is but any eavesdropping on any types of conversations would be disastrous for any WCH participant. Not much talk of screening

Difficult question to answer - tried to do some research on how secure Skype actually is. Some links that may be of interest:

My conclusion: it would take a pretty determined effort to hack the skype calls - assuming Topa and co know that Anand was making these calls in the first place. I would like to believe that Topa and co were not contemplating such actions... Also I dont think Anand would share his entire prep with Kram or Kasparov - probably specific lines for discussion..he will still have plenty in the tank for use later in the year...

@ptr just a worried Vishy fan, that's all.. as for the underdog bit, i've been reading up far too many posts where folks are already talking up the next match like it was a foregone conclusion.
Wonder what anand will come up with. Any more aces up the sleeve for the next wc?

So now the "thirds" have to be security analysts who will be looking for bugs in their hotel rooms, which is a much better and easier way eavesdrop..?

Computers do make our lives complicated..at times..

I don't think the problem is with Bulgaria or Bulgarians, but a few select individuals souring the dish for everybody else.

I'm pretty sure Bulgaria and Bulgarian chess fans are just the same as fans everywhere else..i.e guys who just want a good battle on the board.

Punkalov and his Toilet mobsters have really brought the flaming pile of doodo upon themselves. Unfortunately, decent Bulgarian chess fans have been caught up in it.

More than Danilov, I feel the president of the BCF has done more harm. Lets face it, the guy is a little punk...

However, it is good to see some big guns in the chess world unite behind Anand or rather against Sauron/Mordor (Team Toilet).

This must be the single most interesting and informative chess interview ever. Every single sentence is a gem.

Danailov is not Sauron. He's just Grima Wormtongue.

Mig sez: "Openly accusing your opponent of cheating brings shame and scandal on everyone."

I honestly think that all this started because people started accusing Topalov of cheating when he won his tournament title, completely and utterly without proof. I've heard many GMs being mentioned in this regard, and I seem to recall Short wrote an article or/and made some statements fanning these flames, which led Cheparinov to refuse to shake his hand. My point is, what proof did anybody have that Topalov cheated? Answer: none. It was sour grapes.

I saw some ludicrous video footage on Chessbase of some video purporting to show Danailov making hand signals, which was breathtakingly unconvincing.

Can you imagine how the guy must have felt, being accused of cheating when he's playing the best Chess of his life and storming to No. 1? My guess is, he and his team decided that two can play at this game, and the unfortunate business in the match with Kramnik resulted. He realised too late I think that two wrongs don't make a right. I have to say though, I don't see any of those who falsely, slanderously and libellously accused Topalov of cheating eating humble pie now.

Before invective rains down on my poor head, I have to say that I am utterly turned off by the poor sportsmanship displayed by Team Topalov in the Anand match (refusing to acknowledge force majeure, Sofia-rule business etc), but many in the past did as bad or worse. Remember Fischer-Spassky, Karpov-Korchnoi, or Botvinnik-Tal in 61? Botvinnik wielded so much power that he could insist the incumbent, Tal, turn up for a medical exam to prove that he was too ill to play. Tal was too proud, and too confident, said he would play anyway and duly lost.

If any healing is to take place, there has to be also acknowledgement that Topalov never cheated, by those colleagues who prominently accused him.

I fail to see the backup behind these conspiracy theories "Topalov vs. RoW".
It is well-known that Carlsen and Anand are friends; besides, Nielsen is a link between them. They played blitz (rapid?) for 2 days, so what?!
Kramnik hates the guy's guts--for obvious reasons. So he called Anand (after having seen the first 3 games) and said things like screw this dead ending or yeah, that stuff might work. Period.
Kasparov is simply chess addict. He has been having this rather funny "political career", but never stopped loving the game (and the need for feeling important...). Furthermore, he stated that he finds Anand the better player of the two and decided to offer his advices. He wouldn't do it with Kramnik (you know why), but I can imagine other talented players he'd help.
You can add that Anand is a polite chap and Topalov blew into some nasty horns back in 2006...

"Will Anand reach out to Topalov? :)"
I guess he wasn't the one seek contact with any of the above-mentioned players, now was he? (Apart from Giri of course.)

"At 35 years old he is no longer a high-school student anxious to win the "Mr. Popularity" contest."
Having read a recent report from some GM, who wrote about the relation between him and his manager--yes, you are right, I actually do not think he ever had this high-school situation of having friends or so.
"as long as he continues to top the ELO-lists"
Just to inform you: Topalov does not top the ELO list for some time now.

raindeer you wrote : "...it's just a third world country"

From which country are you?

And he knows that the "KACK-team" dislike is worth nothing as long as he continues to top the ELO-lists and he wins at least one big tournament every year.
--"Dislike?" "Contempt" might be more accurate. "Worth nothing?" Anand called Kramnik's help "priceless." The KACK-team's contempt for Topalov was the obvious motivation for their historically unprecedented assistance to his opponent. And in a match decided by a single game, the KACK-teams's assistance could very well have denied Topalov the world championship.

Minimizing the help provided by Kasparov, Carlsen and Carlsen when Anand himself says the the two first were very helpful and the third incredibly helpful is quite odd to say the least.

I meant Kasparov, Carlsen and Kramnik. Sorry for double posting.

Copy that. I stand corrected. :)


Accusing someone of cheating is very serious and shame on FIDE for not taking more severe action against those making BS accusations. I did not know Topalov was himself accused of cheating. Why were the accusers not punished?

Take this other punk biznatch Mamadeyrov, he accused somebody of cheating, could prove squat and got away with murder. Seriously, is a computer really THAT good?

"Is it just me or is anyone else getting the feeling that the credit for Anand’s success is being shared by one too many? Like one of Topa’s fan mentioned, it took so many GMs collective efforts to keep Anand alive, plus Topa’s obvious errors."

Both of them had advisers to help them choose opening lines. Both of them were on their own once they were out of their prep. Remember, Anand made quite a few blunders too, or else Topalov would have been defeated quite handily, instead of being tied up to the final game.

It so happens that Anand had the better set of advisers, but is it his problem that the world's best players prefer to work with him, and against Topalov? Carlsen, Kasparov, and Kramnik all got in touch with him, and volunteered their help.

The 12 game format came off badly and the prospect of the rapid/blitz play off probably played a part in topalovs play in the last game...

If there wasn’t a rapid/blitz playoff, then presumably we would have had the old system, in which the reigning champion got draw odds. That would, if anything, have led Topalov to take even greater risks, since a draw would have ended the match in Anand’s favor.

While Kasparov hardly could gain anything personally from working with Anand, surely all the rest have gained in someway from this experience of working with Anand..(especially one of them might be the challenger in 2012).

Hypothetically, if any of them had called Topalov would he have opened his heart and mind to them?

I suppose there is no easy way to "add" ELO ratings to say whether C+K+K+G..> Rybka's...must be mathematically possible to give at least some bounds?

I agree with you. The reasons for all 3 helping is different (Carlsen - old friend, Kasparov - passion for chess, Kramnik - good friend and anti-Topalov). The common factor for all 3 is that Anand is a genuinely nice guy.

Few questions/comments (some from other thread):
Did Mig know about it?
It is also amazing that Anand agreed to share all his match preparation with Garry considering that they didn't get along well at one time (by Anand standards, I mean). It is also interesting because Carlsen is the most likely challenger and Garry his coach.
I am curious about potential conflicts of interest as Garry also works with Carlsen. Was Carlsen informed about it? Is all the preparation fair game now that the match is over? I was thinking that Anand would unleash most of it over the year and get his rating up. He had to hide all of it for over 2 years and his tournament results suffered and he also was subjected to unfair criticism based on his tournament performance.

"When was the last time the defending champion’s considered an underdog even before the challenger has been identifed?"

Uh, that'd be Elista 2006 when Topalov was widely thought of as the favorite (and the overwhelming favorite by many, e.g. Kasparov).

I agree with the earlier comments re KAsparov's involvement but one aspect that has been overlooked is the better Vishy's recent success the better historically Kasparov's '95 match win looks. So not only did he best the mighty KArpov in a series of matches but he also soundly defeated the mighty Anand. KAsparov is very aware of his legacy. To re-iterate I think KAsparov helped Anand for good wholesome reasons i.e. love of chess, fear of Topalov/Danilov getting the reigns etc but the above may have been just a little factor.......

"Errare humanum est. Perseverare diabolicum."

Nice! I hadn't heard that quote before, but I like it--much spicier than "To err is human; to forgive, divine."

@"Worth nothing?" Anand called Kramnik's help "priceless.

So what ? If he called it so does it make it so ? Perhaps you haven't yet noticed how polite and diplomatic Anand always is.
It might have been completely useless (or even annoying, see Anand comment on Kramnik "lecturing" him) yet Anand would still have found words of praise for something which was meant to help him.

@"Dislike?" "Contempt" might be more accurate.

Poor people, it would be pitiable if indeed the truth were that the KACK-team watched the whole WCh-match in an agonizing state of loathing and nausea. I can picture the over-excitable Kasparov waisting his time consumed by such feelings but for calm people as Kramnik and Carlesen 'dislike' might be more accurate.

What I am interested in is: how was Rybka modified to run on 112 cores? I think the max that any chess engine commercially sold can run on is 16 cores - did Vas share the code for Rybka 4 with the IT experts. Also - as a commercial product - does it make a diff whether Rybka or Stockfish runs on the IBM machine? If the machine is using brute force and multi-core processing power, presumably the results from firebird, stockfish and Rybka would all be roughly similar and significantly better than the engines running on "normal" systems - Also the 100,000 euros was paid not just to Vas - but presumably to the IT specialists who modified the engine codes to permit running on 112 cores... I wonder if any more technical details will be forthcoming from the IBM team...

Guillaume, you misunderstood me--the help he got must be mind-bogglingly awesome and i don't want to minimize it in any ways.
on the other hand, i wouldn't compare it to some fischer-ussr cold war setup against the axis of the evil or something

"What I am interested in is: how was Rybka modified to run on 112 cores? I think the max that any chess engine commercially sold can run on is 16 cores - did Vas share the code for Rybka 4 with the IT experts." (dev anand)

Rybka 3 running in Aquarium claims 2048 as the max # cpus value.

You know I was getting totally confused at this "112 cores" thing, esp when it was associated with Anand. In my mind I kept reading it as '112 Crores'...meaning I thought "Wow, what an expensive computer'...!!!!!!!!!

"Carlsen said it best when he said that he would have felt happy playing against either player given the overall quality of their play."

Indeed he said that at the fundraiser party. But that statement feels a little over-confident. May be he is not taking into account the match pressure when he will be playing. He has got a little bit of Kasparov's attitude to him.

One more question:

I am not aware of Kasparov having bad relations with Topalov. In fact, his relations with Topalov might have been better given that relations with Anand weren't good a few years back. I think Garry's involvement has more to do with his passion for chess and a desire to be involved in the action/making of history (disillusionment with politics and lack of tangible results could be another reason).

Thus, I feel he could very well have helped team Topalov if they were open to it. Any idea if the two talked? One stumbling block could have been the anti-Russian tirade by the team (though they are close to Russian chess establishment and were favoured over Kramnik in Elista).


We can speculate about the reasons for helping Anand. I'd only note 2 things: 1) Kasparov always dominated Anand 2) Anand will be around 40 for the next world championship and probably past his prime.

While KKC helped Anand is significant and unprecedented and shows friendliness among top players that didn't exist earlier, I still feel that in terms of contribution to preparation/novelties etc. Rybka 4 on 112 cores would have been more useful.

Anand might have benefited more in terms of overall strategy (which opening etc.) and in psychological aspects (validation of his ideas, confidence etc.).

In terms of long term impact, I would give it to the 112 core usage. One of the participants in a WC match preparing with a supercomputer for a long time would have a huge edge and might play novelties which the other player/team might not have seen even if they investigated the same line. And, if both are using the supercomputer, then the WC match would be more about preparation than OTB play.

What do others think?


in chessvibes -- http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/carlsen-giri-kasparov-and-kramnik-all-helped-anand/#more-25466

"So ultimately, even though I lost the match, I managed to achieve a dominance over Anand in the openings in all games, in which I played with the white pieces"

Cant understand why Topalov is defaming himself as a chess player by stating indirectly that in spite of getting opening advantages in all games as white he could not win the match --- speaks a lot of about his incapability.

Wow…Wow…Wow… this is Shocking news???!!!!!????
And I must admit even more shocking than Bobby Fischer’s death.

One really wonders what a World Championship match should be?…..
Between two humans or a team of humans (World Champs) +Powerful comps…..

While quality of chess has improved incredibly, as far as I’m concerned, true creative chess beauty between 2 players is lost forever!

"So what ? If he called it so does it make it so ? Perhaps you haven't yet noticed how polite and diplomatic Anand always is."

Right, so Anand was lying about Kramnik's help to spare feelings. Thanks for clearing it up, since Anand never tells the truth. You know him so well, it's lucky we have you here on the Dirt to explain it all to us.

"It might have been completely useless (or even annoying, see Anand comment on Kramnik "lecturing" him)"

The comment was made by Friedel. Anand did not complain of being "lectured" while discussing Kramnik's contribution, which he seemed to value as much as the others.

"the "KACK-team" dislike is worth nothing as long as he continues to top the ELO-lists and he wins at least one big tournament every year."

If it's rating and one big tourney per annum that matter, then why did he let Danailov secure a WC match for him, why did agree he play, why did he move heaven and earth and IBM to win, and why did he kick himself in public for losing? Maybe it means something to him after all, and in a 1-point match your best effort can't downplay the KACK team's willingness to help bury him.

Incidentally, didn't you tell us (somewhere around game 3) you'd be "leaving chess blogs for good" if Topalov lost the match?

It has been this way since at least botvinnik's time, so since at least after World War 2.
A little late to become disillusioned, no?
(obviously no real computer help, but teams working together etc.)


You should read the interviews of nine of the best Chess players of the world before the match,
instead of speaking about "incapability".
He is not 2812 Fide Elo for nothing.
One of the things Aronian said proved to be true:


Levon Aronian :
When I play against Topalov, I think that when he loses a game, he blunders things. Otherwise he’s very tough to beat, but he blunders. I think that blunder comes because he spends too much energy while he thinks, and because he doesn’t stand up during the game. So that’s one of the factors that I think may represent a threat to him.

1995 chess championship was a private match. Anand seemed to have played the match for some extra cash. Anyway had he demanded, nothing would have been met. So you can't read too much from that. If it is real match, it should be played under neutral supervision with all security measures in place like Bonn or Sofia. The fact Kasparov ducked Anand afterwards and the fact that he avoid blitz, rapid kind of chess doesn't speak very well of Kasparov.

Actually, as much as I love Anand's style and grace, hearing just how lined up everyone is against Topalov makes you feel a little bit sorry for the guy. Even his list of official seconds is dicey; L'Ami and Smeets are Corus B-C guys most years, and Cheparinov is a local. Nielsen has pretty much swapped playing for working for Anand, but Ganguly and Kasim are still serious chess players.

Kasparov's comments during the match make more sense once you know they talked beforehand. Kasparov probably felt a little invested in Anand winning, hence his shock at Qa3?! in Game 2.

With the arrival of the Computer and the huge flows of chess litterature, Fischer was right when he said :
"Chess is Dead! it's only about books and memory"

"the better Vishy's recent success the better historically Kasparov's '95 match win looks."

Back in 1995, Kasparov probably would have scored a crushing match victory against the mighty Carlsen? ,:)
In other words: what's the point in comparing 2010 and 1995?

"I" am not speaking of incapability. Topalov himself is. So what does one infer when he says he got opening advantage in every white game and he still did not win the match.

Now it might be false that he did not get opening advantage in all white games. So he may not be really incapable. But then, Topalov insists in claiming this -- not me.

It seemed for a while that software was leveling the playing field (allowing someone like Carlsen to catch up much faster than in the past when having access to the Soviet School was a huge advantage in preparation).

But, now with monster hardware entering the picture, looks like we are back to the days where top players who can afford these machines and the staff to work with them will have an overwhelming advantage (the way Kasparov and his prep-factory used to in his hey days).

Of course, as Anand showed - OTB play still matters! He was clearly better OTB since he held off in spite of being inferior out of the openings in most games. Topalov's fear of rapids is the best proof of his being over-dependent on prep and at sea over the board.

But clearly, the silicon beast marches on.

Your writing an article for chesslife?! This might be the first article in years worth reading from that godforsaken magazine! Finally a reason, I've been getting this garbage magazine for all these years! What issue will said article appear in?!

It is definitely possible that one of the main reasons Kasparov pitched in might be to understand (team) Anand's preparation strategy so that he can use that information for Carlsen's WCC match in the future.

It is definitely possible that one of the main reasons Kasparov pitched in might be to understand (team) Anand's preparation strategy so that he can use that information for Carlsen's WCC match against Anand in the future.

nah... Carlsen already has that information by working with Anand.

Anand turned 40 last December. So, he's already "old" in chess years. He also said he felt a decade older after the match. somehow I think Anand will continue to play strong Chess even into his 50s. Even Kramnik, in an interview a few years ago, said he seems Anand playing strong chess even after 40. Kasparov doesn't share this optimism for Anand. He gave an interview last year claiming this is (2010 Sofia) more likely Anand's last opprtunity to retain the title.

I'm surprised to see too many Topalov haters here. I think he's a terrific player and has boundless energy.

I could hardly disagree more with Mig on this one. Among the five or six best players, three chose to help a fourth against the fith guy. That's old chess, i.e. Curacao, Fisher-Spassky, Karpov-Korchnoi, etc. We're not in some sort of Rocky motion picture where the good guy must win to save the (chess) world! If the bad guy is the better player, then he deserves to win... Professionnal chess isn't mature yet - well, nothing new. Bad PR.

What could you possibly disagree with? Mig only said, in short, that these secret seconds (1) had a strong preference not to see Topolov and TeamToilet as unseat Anand as champion, (2) personally invested time and effort to avoid that result and (3) were motivated by a combination of positive feelings toward Anand and negative feelings toward Topolov. As Woody Allen would say, that is an obviousity.

I play a lot of online poker. My opponents are from all over the world. I make it a point to ask Norwegians about Carlsen, and Bulgarians about Topalov, and Indians about Anand.

Only once has someone told me they didn't know of their countryman, and about 98% of the rest usually have comments like "He's a great man," "Awesome talent," "Best in the world," etc. No one has ever told me they didn't know who Topalov or Anand were. Sample size is approximately 3-400.

Guess I'm going to have to start asking the opposite -- ask Bulgarians about Carlsen and Anand, for example.


I agree with Topalov -- he lost the match more than Anand won it. The 12th game being totally disastrous for Topalov, almost a gift to Anand. Given the openings that were played throughout the match, it seems Topalov's access to the huge computer array he had access to was a total waste.

Good point. I overreacted. Strange story anyway...

yes, he lost it. furthermore, from now on topa comes out += from the opening with white, then the opponent should immediately resign. man, seriously

"I agree with Topalov -- he lost the match more than Anand won it. The 12th game being totally disastrous for Topalov, almost a gift to Anand. "

Its always the case in chess that if one won it, the other can say its more that I lost it. Its a silly excuse. From your perspective, Anand also gifted Topalov with ...Bc6?? and ...Kf7? (two wins).

Fact is Anand won the match. period. (it does not matter how, why, why not....., if only, but also, only because... and all that crap)

Before the match started the blogger previous known as Manu, said that "it was Topalov against the rest of the world". Seems he was spot-on with his prediction, he-he.

What is this Elista Ending they refer to?

Speaking of seconds, there is an interview with Kasimdzhanov at the German Bundesliga webpage - in German and too long to translate everything:

"Last season Kasimdzhanov didn't play a single Bundesliga game, for a simple reason: He was one of Anand's seconds at the Sofia WCh.

[Intro by interviewer Georgios Souleidis:]
12 May 2010. I am at the Sofia Hilton, just interviewed the old and new world champion Anand, now I want to talk to one of his seconds. Team Anand ... rented the entire 9th floor. At the end of the floor, there is a meeting-eating room for the whole team. There sit the four GMs. Obviously quite exhausted but happy. Whom should I ask questions= I quickly calculate the variations: the unshaved Dane PH Nielsen? My God now, he looks too tired. Wojtasek? I just thought about it and he leaves. Ganguly? No, I cannot handle his English dialect. This leaves only Kasimdzhanov, who would probably be my favorite anyway because he speaks fluently German. Let's go.

Q: Rustam, let's get straight to the point. Why did Vishy win?
Of course it was a close call and before game 12 we didn't know that Vishy would be the favorite. He played black and we had problems with that duing the match. To be honest, we only wanted to survive with black, and normally Topalov is well-prepared with the white pieces. For the last game he was probably well-prepared for our earlier openings, Grunfeld and this Slav endgame. It was very surprising that everything ended so quickly and suddenly. ...
In the end Topalov's nerves weren't that strong. He played at home and this isn't football. Playing chess at home is always horrible. The pressure is immense. I know from my own experience, in Taschkent I play like Elo 2400. There I cannot play better, I don't know why. ... A chess player of his class opening that diagonal and going to h4 with his king, that cannot be described or understood, that simply cannot be.

Q; Did Anand win because he is simply the better player?
Sure, he is the better player. Personally I don't have any doubts and many of my colleagues believe the same. Now one could ask why Topalov dominated the chess scene in the last years when Anand is the better player? He doesn't want it all the time, that's the reason. When Anand plays a less important tournament he doesn't give 100%. He gives 100% when it is really important. Players like Carlsen, Aronian etc. won many tournaments, but Anand dominated the last three world championships.

Q The last six or seven months you played hardly any game of chess.
A few games in France and Spain, but practically nothing. First there is practically no time to play, second one has no energy and motivation. All thoughts concentrate on the match and the preparation. ... But now I can slowly start playing again.

Q How should one imagine things. You are a top player, former FIDE world champion, and the last six months you work only for your boss Anand. Six months without break, is that correct?
That sounds exagerrated. Fact is, I never considered Vishy my boss. We work together as friends and colleagues. Vishy is not the type of person saying 'do this' or 'do that'. I never had the feeling that I am subordinate to him. I do my job, I get respect and I appreciate it. Actually it's very rewarding. And for my chess it is extremely important that I can collaborate with such a player."

[I encourage those who can read German to check the (even) longer original version]

The Slav endgame that previously occurred in game 6 of the Elista match, when Kramnik introduced 14.-Rg8 preparing to slowly develop and gradually equalize. Back then, Topalov tried only once to convert his (optical) advantage, and then switched to other Slav lines including an early e2-e3.

Thanks for the translation Thomas. Very interesting to hear from Kasim. Always wondered how such a brilliant player and former fide world champion collaborates as a second - probably can only be a second with Anand because of his personality...

Danke Thomas...ich kann ein bisschen Übersetzung aber mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut...

(I will try to translate where Thomas left off).

Some ignorant crap from the Bulgarian PM:

“India has 1 billion people, and Bulgaria has only 8 million so it is not shameful to lose by just one point,” declared Borisov referring to the final score – 6.5:5.5 for Anand.

I feel bad for the Bulgarian chess fans...I realize politicians are by definition clowns....but still...

There is no shame in losing, whether by one point or more, so long as you've played it fair. Obviously, it'll hurt, but it's certainly not a matter of shame.

Now that the match is over, it really is great to hear from multiple sources that at least occasionally, decent behavior is appreciated and rewarded, while douchebaggery is disliked and opposed/punished.


Carlsen does not understand match preparation strategy as much as Kasparov does...

I am totally shocked by the hypocrisy and the total failure of people for once, at least once, to be fair here.

We were all here when all those Anand fans (you know who you are, you pathetic hypocrites) were speculating that Anand was a lone wolf against overwhelming odds, playing in Bulgaria, against a better team and so on, where he was the superhero fighting evil incarnate.

We were all here when Anand was portrayed as a lonesome underdog fighting against the might of Rybka 4 and managing to win out of sheer brilliance, OTB.

We were all here when Anand's failings and his losses in this match were dismissed as poor preparation, unprovoked careless blunders which had nothing to do with the pressure Topalov was applying, and even then they were at most the logical outcome of a lone fighter against Rybka 4, a younger relentless challenger who had no concept of fair sportsmanship (!) and a hostile environment!

And now the bombshell has exploded:

Anand was NOT the lonely underdog fighting against overwhelming odds.

Anand was not the brilliant player who managed to refute Rybka 4 OTB in a heroic struggle.

It turns out, Anand had the help of Carlsen as a sparring partner, Kasparov as coach and Kramnik as adviser in the Catalan and the Slav Elista ending against Topalov!

For anyone still daring to look at this objectively, this is a SCANDAL of OVERWHELMING proportions, with nothing comparable until one goes back to the days when the whole Soviet Chess Establishment was gagging up on Fischer!!!

You pathetic hypocrites pretend that

a) well, it was no big deal,

b) even if it was a big deal, it's all Topalov's fault,

c) even if it wasn't Topalov's fault, it was certainly Danailiov's fault,

d) even if this is outrageous, it's all good "since we all love Anand".

Everybody pretends that Kramnik's strange toilet visits in Elista, when he was sick and underperforming for years (check his Elo progression if in doubt), would have never been any cause of concern for any professional working for the challenger team! Yeah, right! What would YOU have done back then if on team Topalov? Pretend it's all fine???

Everybody pretends that even if indeed Kramnik was NOT cheating, which YOU could never possibly know, then even 4 years later this should haunt team Topalov as if they were evil incarnate and everybody else impersonating the Virgin Mary against the Devil!

And fine, let's say, Kramnik was NOT cheating and Team Toplaov was indeed paranoid. Is there ANY reason to NOT treat this as another match, under entirely different circumstances?????

I have to say, I haven't witnessed anything more pathetic in the Chess world since the whole Soviet Chess Establishment ganged up on Korchnoi when he faced Karpov (I was too young to remember Fischer in the Candidates Tourmaments of Curaçao 1962 or Sousse 1967) .

This is thread will live infamously for years to come, as a proof of what the chess world has become.

I have only three words for you all:


This is too pathetic to even continue commenting. I'll just save this thread for chess history. It is indeed one of those circumstances when one witnesses chess history with most of the participants not realizing it.

Keep it up.

Pretend this is not UNPRECEDENTED.

Pretend this is ALL TOTALLY NORMAL.

Pretend Anand was the poor underdog, and that even if he wasn't, well, Topalov deserved it for what happened 4 years ago in Russian territory against a sick, under-performing Champion.

P.S. This is an indirect hint that the Chess World deserves Illumzhinov, or even Karpov. How else could an alien-abducted lunatic become head of a professional sport's association for 15 years?

You deserve this. I hope you are all happy that you have turned this wonderful sport into something reminiscent of American Wrestling. To all your intellectual pretenses notwithstanding, you are no better than that. And this thread proves it.

Enough said.

total lack of balance and objectivity while pretending to have one.

@curious...Dude, put down the crack pipe and clear your head.

Look at the facts.

1)Anand had a bad start due to the intransigence of the organizers. Hell, any other champion would have simply called the match off! Let the games begin...

2)Who the hell said he was playing against a better team? Anand is better. Period. Fullstop. The End.

3)Anand did not ask anybody for help. Help was offered voluntarily to him. Why should he refuse? If this is not a stricture against Team Toilet, I don't know what is???

4)What do they say about a bad penny...? The moment the Elista crap went down, Team Toilet's reputation went down in flames. Given the rather childish tone of the BCF refusal for postponement letter...which basically said STFU or GTFO...everybody in the chess world did a collective rolleyes...here we go again...

5)Don't smoke dope. Addles the brain.

You mentioned you play a lot of poker online...Do you win? you a professional pkr player?

Interesting to know that 98% of your online poker players know the chess player from their own country. I guess that may be its because the people you are polling are 1) well educated/ well read and 2)like games...and its quite likely that a person who likes chess likes poker too....example you!


And one final comment, on Chessbase:

Chessbase was sitting on this bombshell for days, but what did they do?

They pretended that the Rybka 4 "112 core computer cluster running at mind boggling speed" was the newsworthy item!

Check their homepage to see how this was presented. Nothing on Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen on the homepage presentation of the bombshell interview. Instead, we read of a "human cluster".


Anand in Playchess – the helpers in Sofia
19.05.2010 – The team of World Championship challenger Veselin Topalov reportedly spent a large sum of money to secure a 112 core computer cluster running at mind boggling speed. "How did the reigning champion counter this awesome hardware advantage," we asked. Anand answered this question in a candid and very detailed interview broadcast on Monday Playchess. He used a human cluster!



And I ask you:

Would anyone here pretend that a Rybka 4 "112 core computer cluster running at mind boggling speed" is a worthy challenger to Anand, Kasparov, Kramnik AND Carlsen combined????

Wouldn't the news that: 3 World Champions and a most probable future World Champion collaborated to beat a Challenger be the first page news item?



Yet that's how Chessbase presented it. Topalov had the unfair advantage, and how did poor Anand counter this? With the help of a "human cluster" (Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen combined!!!!!).

Draw your own conclusions.

P.S. How about someone putting a million dollars on such a match:

Rybka4 112 core computer cluster running at mind boggling speed vs. Anand, Kasparov, Kramnik, Carlsen combined.

Who would pretend the favorite and the newsworthy item is Rybka 4?


@curious: hey, you got something to latch on and yell. good try. but really, try not to make a mockery of yourself.

muurray and Octavian:

I thank you for your comments.

"total lack of balance and objectivity while pretending to have one."

Yes. Three World Champions and a future Champion, the current number 1 work together to beat Topalov.

But since "[h]elp was offered voluntarily to him", it's no big deal.

Of course, this is UNPRECEDENTED. Or at least we haven't seen something like this for 30 years!

But it's no big deal.

And funny how after we now know this, and Anand only managed to win this match in the very last game, you still insist "Anand is better. Period. Fullstop. The End."

Who is smoking the crack pipe???

Thank you.

Keep it up.

Harish, I'm sorry but I have the advantage of being someone who liked both players equally. My posts here on a variety of subjects prove that I can look at players and situations as objectively as possible since I don't have a dog in this fight. Towards the end I rooted for Topalov solely because of my dismay at the mindless cheerleading of Anand here. And still, I love Anand.

Unlike you, who are as objective as the Bulgarian Prime minister!

Care to address the issues instead?

Of course not!

What could you possibly say when it turns out that Kasparov, Kramnik AND Carlsen were helping your little underdog hero?

And still only managed to win the match in the very last game?

He does have a point here.


I play low stakes poker for fun. It is true that the people I polled may not, and probably don't, represent the average inhabitant of that country. In addition to the possibilities you mention, one criteria they must fulfill is having internet access. Another is having an account at the site(s) on which I play. There are so many subsets that it would be a waste of time to try to list them. A poor farmer who doesn't have modern information technologies at hand (and they exist everywhere, do they not?) may have a higher probability of being ignorant to said identity, or not.

I did NOT say that 98% of them knew who that particular chessplayer was. I said that only one in several hundred did NOT know. I said that 98% of the ones who did know of him had an extremely favorable impression. I was observing that this basically random sampling (within the parameters discussed) adhered to a patriotic favoritism, a belief that "our man" is the best.

So now I need to go the other way ...


It seems to me that there is always a mix of "love of winning" and "love of the game".
Federer, Anand etc know that "love of the game" means that you need your opponent to help bring out the best; that you and your opponent are members of a small, lonely segment of humanity that believes that your sport/game is the best and beautiful and worthy.
All players have this to some extent, that is why we have post match interviews and analyses, and opponents shaking hands before and after the match.
In Anand's case, the decision to stay away from "chess" politics, combined with certain natural elements of his character, made it easy and possible for the other top players (Kramnik, Kasparov, Carles, Kasimdhzanov, ...) to contribute for the love of the game.
I do not say that they had no other reasons, but that this is a strong one, and that this reason makes it more likely that they would help someone like Anand, rather than ,say, Topalov.
(where the love of the game may be more likely to be polluted with other factors)
This allows the message to become "us together" rather than "we against them"
What are the elements of character that help bring this situation about? Honesty & respect (giving credit where due) and a willingness to pick up/speak of some of the good points of others, and not necessarily the bad (give benefit of the doubt) and perhaps some confidence.
For example, I mostly think that Danilov & Topalov were being honest in their reactions in Elista or in their pre-Sofia reactions to the volcano situation, but they definitely did not give benefit of the doubt to Kramnik/Team Anand.
Given lack of vitriol in Team Anand's reactions ("Sofia rules"), they too could show off their hospitality and professionalism and complete the match to the credit of all.
My hope is that this spirit of fellowship amongst the peers continues to spread to other sports and to other human endeavours, because it enriches us all.
As a digression, I liked Anand (who has himself been called universal player) characterizing Carlsen as a universal player, when speaking of their sparring sessions.

And here is the second part of the interview at Chessbase. Do we see any mention of Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen helping Anand to beat Topalov?

Hell no!

Again it is implied that Topalov had a huge advantage!

"Veselin Topalov had access to an IBM super-computer with 8792 processors!"


Anand's helpers in Sofia – Part Two
20.05.2010 – In the second part of his interview on Playchess.com the old and new World Champion Vishy Anand talks about hardware – we now know that his opponent Veselin Topalov had access to an IBM super-computer with 8792 processors! – and how best to use computers for your preparation. He also compares them to human assistants, of whom Vishy had the very best.


If this is the big deal, the "IBM super-computer with 8792 processors!" but not the first ever collaboration of Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen (!!), I would love to see Chessbase sponsor a match of such a computer against this "human cluster" team, if they indeed believe that this "awesome hardware advantage" is more newsworthy and stronger than Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen combined.

Let them put their money where their mouth is.



I understand your emotions, it looks like the whole chess elite did not want Topalov as Champion..but do you realize why? Topalov forgot his 'place' in the chess world, and took the liberty to behave as he liked against Anand, Kramnik etc. I admire Topalov's play and he also seems to be a nice person, but if you allow jerks to influence you and your reputation ( read Danailov ), you should be prepared to pay the price for it.

It is not that Anand survived because of help from Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen.. Are you trying to say that Anand had not done anything himself?? Most of the preparation had already done, and the others were 'helping' him for a few days only!! ..Just a few days of work cannot change Anand's preparation. Anand won the match solely on his effort and there was no doubt Anand proved to be better player. Even with Rybka4 + Supercomputer and all the support Topalov got, he could not beat Anand because Anand is better even at age 40. Period.

Dude, we are talking Kasparov, Kramnik AND Carlsen here. They were proof-reading Anand's preparation and giving him their own insights on the chosen openings, including insights on Topalov as a player.

When Carlsen started working with Kasparov, guys like Kramnik gave panicked interviews about Kasparov's openings preparation value and how it would help Carlsen! Check this blog out, even Mig talked about it!

Yet when this immense knowledge and experience, including Kramnik's specific wisdom on the Catalan and the Slav Elista ending is put at Anand's disposal, it's no big deal and "[j]ust a few days of work"!!!

Nice try to put "Rybka4 + Supercomputer and all the support Topalov got" on the same level though.

Chessbase tried the same trick as I showed and history will not be kind to them, mark my words. This is just too ridiculous.

I mean, COME ON!

Chessbase overstating the value of computers in chess? Gosh, it's almost like they have some ulterior motive or something.

Hey curious, guess what? Topalov lost. Does that bother you? He lost. Get over it. Really.

Is it fundamentally unfair that some GMs have trainers and can go to tournaments accompanied with seconds and others don't and can't? Even among GMs who can afford seconds, is it fundamentally unfair that the top GMs may have seconds with twice the talent and experience as the seconds for other GMs? To level the playing field, is any chess competition in any context anywhere in the world handicapped based of the inequality of the players' seconds? No. I bet you never once had an ax to grind about a game where a GM with a trainer and second beat a GM without a trainer and second -- you've never given this common event a second thought notwithstanding the fact that the relative support system differential in these common situations is literally infinite. So why blow this issue so spectacularly out of proportion now? What's your real agenda? What reality are you refusing to accept?

Seconds and training partners are primarily about opening preparation, and opening preparation, per se, has (for better or worse) become quite divorced from talent or personal chessic creativity. At the top match level, it is not very likely that either player will be blown away by the other's prep, but it surely takes significant effort to ensure rough equality. At that point, moves are played over the board.

Given some generic roughly equal middle game position, most top GMs agree that Anand will outplay Topalov, and no element of preparation is more meaningful than that. From an equal early middlegame in game 12 of the match, was it the relative inadequacy of Topalov's seconds and trainers who were responsible for his avoidance of a repetition and dangerous decentralization to the queenside? Did Kasparov, Carlsen or Kramnik contribute one bit to Anand's perfectly executed attack? Of course not.

By the way, did I mention that Topalov lost? That he choked in the end? That he was humbled, outdistanced, taken to cleaners, succumbed to the competition, suffered defeat, took a beating? That Anand rules Sophia, having flushed TeamTopalov....? Just wondering - I'm sure you don't mind me asking.

Embrace reality, dude.

What do you guys who consider this to not be such a big deal say we arrange a rematch with Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen helping Topalov for "a few days" while Anand gets the "112 core computer cluster running at mind boggling speed"?

At what odds would you bet on Anand?

See what I mean?

I mean, COME ON!

Irrelevant comment. We are talking about 3 World Champions and Carlsen here. We are talking World Championship. We are talking of something that hasn't happened in 30 years!

Nice try though. Keep it coming!

And let me repost above comment:

What do you guys who consider this to not be such a big deal say we arrange a rematch with Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen helping Topalov for "a few days" while Anand gets the "112 core computer cluster running at mind boggling speed"?

At what odds would you bet on Anand?

Of course Anand will win hands down. A few days with Kasparov, Kramnik or Carlsen cannot take Topalov's understanding of the game to the level of Anand's.

"Chessbase overstating the value of computers in chess? Gosh, it's almost like they have some ulterior motive or something."

Yeah, the same crap over and over as intelligent arguments and retorts.

This is not simply "overstating the value of computers."

This is Anand, Kasparov, Kramnik AND Carlsen working together in a World Championship match with no mention of it on the front page of Chessbase. Unless one clicked to read the interview, he would have thought the "human cluster" were probably some GMs of Nielsen's and Kasimzhanov's stature against a super computer.

One would have thought that something like this which has never happened in at least 30 years would deserve mentioning on the first page.

Nice try though. As if Chessbase were overstating the value of a Fritz12 super computer! And if Chessbase were to overstate the value of a Fritz12 super computer of course it wouldn't have ever mentioned such a godly team working against it!

I'm really enjoying this. One would think chess players would not insist on trying to defend hopelessly (by force) losing positions , but I'm dealing with the Kasimzhanov generation here.

Keep it up!

I'm pretty sure if Topalov had Kramnik giving him advice I'd bet on Anand at any odds.

Truthfully, the reason no one is shocked, outraged and begging us to think of the children is pretty much what has been said before: throw both players in a room with no prep whatsoever you probably would have gotten the same result.

First Topalov team accuses Kramnik of having unfair advantage using Computers ?! and now they are all set to accuse Anand of having unfair advantage using Humans !!...LOL

1) Lifetime score before this match:

12-11 Topalov, over 15 years.

2) Lifetime score after this match:


3) Rating: Topalov.

4) Tournament wins in the last 5 years: Topalov.

Even with this kind of help, which is unprecedented, Anand only managed to win this in the very last game.

Maybe you are overstating your case.

You pinpointed it pretty well: "even if it wasn't Topalov's fault, it was certainly Danailiov's fault."

My thoughts exactly. Danailov turned Topalov into a sick paranoid who believes the only way to beat his opponents---who are secretly using computers to deceit him---is to use a bigger artillery. Trust no human, they will cheat on you. Hence Rybka 4 and the super computer. Topalov is an isolated paranoid. Blame it on Danailov. Not on us or on Anand.

Anand's quality as a chess player reaches far beyond the chess board obviously, and that proved essential for him to retain the title. Kudos to him.

I bet Kramnik would not have volunteered to help Anand without the Volcano-gate. Danailov got what he deserved. As we say in French, "Qui sème le vent récolte la tempête."

I don't know what you're whining about curious. Toiletov himself said he dominated the match and lost it rather than Anand winning. So apparently Kasparov, Carlsen AND Kramnik didn't hurt Toiletov one bit.

I mean, COME ON!

I think I made my points and I think they are valid and at least worthy of consideration.

To those who will insist on pretending this is not a big deal, fine. That's what I mean with my comparison to Wrestling.

To all others, I salute you!

I am now leaving Planet Anand because the Emperor's zealots are boring me to death.

But still, Long Live the Emperor Anand!

Anyway, it was fun :)


"I think I made my points and I think they are valid"

Sure you have all right to think they are valid. I am glad you found some solace after Topalov lost the match to find something to linger on. Nice attitude.

Curious - I see where you're coming from, so let me try to be fair here.

1) Did KKC help Anand? Of course - he said so himself.

2) Did they help work out the details of openings to the same depth that the supercomputer helped Topalov? Probably not for several reasons: (a) they only spent a few days with him and Kramnik only after game 4, and (b) Topalov and Anand both agree that Topalov had the better of the openings. If you agree that they have the same capacity to absorb inputs from others - then the advantage goes to the silicon beast here.

3) Did Anand play better OTB? Yes - even Topalov effectively concedes this when he says that he could not convert his opening advantages (which were more), while Anand did...that is the best statement of relative OTB strength

4) Did either KKC or the supercomputer play over the board? No

Hence I submit that yes KKC did help Anand, but that it was no less or more 'unfair' than using the resources of the state to access many times more processing power than a team that was working out of a hotel could have. Note that I am not saying that either is unfair...just that both are unprecedented...and looking at the openings (which is the main area where prep helps) it looks like the computer was the 'better' helper, but that Anand played better OTB.

Of course, the psychological support from KKC must have helped - but OTB you are alone and Anand is the better player over there.

Guys its no use trying to argue logic with someone who will constantly parrot one point and shut his eyes to reality. He is probably some acne ridden teenager bored from watching too much WWF on TV. One other point is.. preparation can only help you upto a certain point. Once you are out of preparation then OTB play matters only. Example Qa3 by Anand. Positionally horrible move,but effective in taking Topailov out of preparation and making him play OTB. We know what happened afterwards. As for downplaying the power of the hardware at Topailovs command, imagine Gary in his prime with access to that hardware. He would be devastating. That is what the hardware could have given Topailov, only problem was that once out of prep he is not as good as Gary or Anand or Kramnik..etc.

As Don Corleone puts it in Godfather II, "keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."

Anand is so good at this basic strategy that his enemies are actually his friends. It's the opposite with Topalov: his friends are his enemies (read Danailov).

I guess we were not going to get a answer to this: "I bet you never once had an ax to grind about a game where a GM with a trainer and second beat a GM without a trainer and second -- you've never given this common event a second thought notwithstanding the fact that the relative support system differential in these common situations is literally infinite."

i was playing im a us open in the final rounds against stuart "whatever his name was" and Joel kept coming arounbd and talking to Stuart , who was a better player than me later, but at that time I was devoted to chess and Joel helped to cheat me, so him getting squashed by Finegold and then again today made me very nhappy, suck on that Joel "the cheater" Benjamin.

i was playing im a us open in the final rounds against stuart "whatever his name was" and Joel kept coming arounbd and talking to Stuart , who was a better player than me later, but at that time I was devoted to chess and Joel helped to cheat me, so him getting squashed by Finegold and then again today made me very nhappy, suck on that Joel "the cheater" Benjamin. Joel has one more year to come clean, after that it will be retribution on a major scale.

curious, you're saying that Chessbase is trying to hide the story about KK&C helping Anand. If they wanted to do that, why did they run the story at all? We only know about this because Friedel interviewed Anand and made him reveal these secrets (which Friedel, of course, knew about in advance). If they wanted to give the impression that Topalov received huge amounts of help and Anand didn't, why not simply keep the secret?

I doesn't seem as if any of the other prominent chess media had a hunch, they're all quoting Chessbase. And as far as I know, none of the players involved have so far commented on the story, it's likely that they would be just as happy if this had never come out in the open.

Chessbase ran two big stories, one about the unprecedented help that Anand received from his colleagues and one about Topalov getting help from the biggest computer cluster in chess history. Do you really, honestly, beleive that if they were fair and balanced, they should only have focused on one of these? To paraphrase, I mean, COME ON...

I already mentioned in a post why Kaspaprov, Kramnik and Carlsen are so interested in Anand winning the match. They want to become WC in the future and Kasparov is alreaddy thinking of his return in the future:


What's this all about? Some private persons were helping Anand - the fact that they happen to be quite good chess players primarily matters in terms of Anand accepting their offers and listening to their advice. We don't really know whether it played a decisive role in the match: maybe Anand would have abandoned the Grunfeld and the Slav endgame without hints from Kasparov and Kramnik, respectively?

On the other hand, some companies (Rybka, IBM) and the Bulgarian government were helping Topalov - and this was planned well before the match, while at least Kramnik's help was spontaneous when the match was already underway. Of course a government can help its citizens ... but is it an issue that the government and IBM were also match organizers and/or sponsors who should IMO be neutral? What exactly are Topalov fans complaining about?

Slightly funny is Frederic Friedel's role: Kramnik had called him after midnight, hence out of office hours and probably to his home or cell phone - but while he has a private life, he is still a Chessbase representative 7/7 and 24/24? What does this mean for future relationships between Bulgarian organizers and Chessbase? Well, they can't really get worse anyway - all "the Bulgarians" can do is increase the font size of messages "Chessbase is violating this or that" ,:)

"How about someone putting a million dollars on such a match:
Rybka4 112 core computer cluster running at mind boggling speed vs. Anand, Kasparov, Kramnik, Carlsen combined.
Who would pretend the favorite and the newsworthy item is Rybka 4?"

If I had that money, I would :)
No need for Cluster Rybka running on 112 cores, Rybka 3 on my laptop would wipe the floor with any of them or all of them combined. (Of course assuming no OTB computer assistance for the humans.)

Chessbase said that Topalov Team had access to IBM super computer Blue Gene that had 8792 processors (!) running latest program Rybka 4.


Question 1 :
How many processors can Rybka 4 handle ?
Question 2 :
Rybka working under Microsoft Windows OS, How many processors the latest Windows can, really and efficienly, handle?

Get the answers and you will see that Chessbase is big bluff!


yep. can hardly handle a dual quad properly.


You should launch a poll to check what the readers of this blog choose. The poll statement, in my opinion should be something like:

If you can have only one of the below mentioned options, which option will you choose for your preparation of the most important chess match of your career against a formidable opponent that worries you?

- Help of the most powerful computer and the latest Chess s/w exactly like Topalov got or
- Help from ex-world champions and world number one for the exact type of help and the duration and the timing that Anand got

It will be interesting to know what the chess fans value more. It will be even more interesting to know what the accomplished GMs value more. Maybe, Mig, you can do an informal poll for that too with the GMs you know.

I expect a particular outcome but I will wait to see if Mig indeed launches the poll and if there is any outcome from it.



you absolutely correct. i knew there were more than a few sane voices out here.

Dear Mig,
It's well known who are you , poor slave of Kasparov and Friedel. ¿Are you happy now ? You should be ,the team Danailov&Topalov lost. Anyway,don't cry so much , Danailov and Topalov are millioners ,doing fantastic job for the world of chess,this is the reality. Meanwhile,enjoy the moment. Carpe Diem,my friend !

i thought i was the only one being blind here, but then your comments suddenly turned the lights on
anand is a liar. he revealed his story about the help he got the way he did only because he wants to hide something much more. carlsen in fact signed a contract not to run for the next wch, but exclusively work for his "friend" (i dunno what that means) by playing 365 days of blitz. kasparov sent his laptop over and assured anand to stop his political career any time he wanted more. as for kramnik, well, he not only did share all his files on the catalan and slav, but also included some berlin and petroff prep, just in case anand would pick those up, too. they deliberately teamed up to bring topa down, why then crapping these friendship fairy tales?!?
i found some link to back me (us?) up. here: http://www.sigmaxi.org/resources/merchandise/images/leibniz_boole_img.gif
i seriously feel sorry for topa. i mean, he has such a nice manager, giving these nice, polite interviews and all, even allowing anand to postpone the whole match by one day. i don't get why all these people are negatively biased since elista, he clearly wrote down everything in his book afterwards, all the cables in the ceiling and the rybka percentages. and now this 8192 core thing. i mean it means nothing to prepare lines till mate in two (topa deserves that) if you have 4 champions sitting across the board. i mean come on. borisov said correctly: he lost only by 1 point even though india outnumbers bulgaria by two orders of magnitude. clear as crytal
shait, i have to go now. the nurse said i cannot get the chess set for the afternoon if I keep using the asylum's comp

Topalov has said that he had software engineers modify the program suitably. Plus Rybka forum suggests that 2048 cores can be handled...so i suspect they solved the problem ...

And the medications..kororiev.....dont forget to take your medications!! Look what happened to Curious when he stopped his medications. :))

Looks like Anand's win has unhinged the more volatile of Topa's fans.
They need to check into Topaholics Anonymous pronto! :)

"Slightly funny is Frederic Friedel's role [...] all 'the Bulgarians' can do is increase the font size of messages "Chessbase is violating this or that"

Ha ha, you're right, Thomas. Looks like they got every penny of their money back for this message that served no real purpose, except vindicating even more people against them. It is really hilarious how Danailov managed to get nearlt everybody on the chess scene have a good reason to see Topalov lose this match. The real surprise in this context is that Nigel short was in fact NOT helping Anand!

Whoa, things sure have turned in this board….
First of all, curious please read other posts – nobody denies that KKC helping Anand wasn’t a big deal.. Was it big enough to tilt the favor to Anand’s advantage? That’s what I asked in the first place, and despite being Anand fan (heck I live in the same town) I got pinned as a Topa fan. For the record, no I’m not.. and the only reason I’m here reading posts of Chess players and their opinions/views/comments is because of Vishy - I’m not a chess player.
After reading your post, a question to you… do you mean to say that Rybka4 is not good enough to match Anand and his ‘seconds’? From what I heard and understand seconds (& supercomputers) take them only so far into the game, they don’t help in playing each and every move… atleast not yet.
I think where anand’s tactics probably differed from Topa's was having the experience of GMs playing with him on the variations that he liked to experiment, which the supercomputer would probably be not that effective, since some of these variations may not have been ‘explored’ before or get limited because of the computer (“…but if working with the computer means you stop taking risks it’s of course going to kill you,”).. That’s what I understand from Anand’s comments.
From the Rybka factor it seems to me that Topa was focusing his strategy in getting himself in an advantage through opening variations, whereas Anand focused more on his middle game, and probably got inputs from ‘human cluster’ to
a) neutralize/minimize that advantage (he did mention that when he heard that team Topa had Rybka, they were ‘worried’ & focused on ‘find(ing) the right strategy to blunt Topalov's sharp edges’),
b) rely on middle game to regain advantage or create opportunities,
and more importantly
c) back his nerves, even if it means sometimes playing seemingly safe moves allowing Topa to make the mistakes.
That’s how I see it.. Why? Comments from the champion after the match “It all boiled down to the nerves and who cracked first. I held my nerve while Topalov succumbed to the pressure in the 12th and final game of the match.”

I don’t know if there is anything illegal about having ‘human clusters’. Topa had his strategy of creating opening advantage with the help of supercomputers and seconds, and Anand had his strategy chalked, and used his ‘human clusters’ including seconds to work on his strategy. Both followed different preparations for the match.
It was Topa who made the mistake in the last game, not his supercomputer, or manager, or seconds, and it was Anand who capitalized on it and won. Not his ‘human clusters’, or manager, or seconds.
I know, I know.. I should just stick to reading posts rather than commenting...

Thank god that pompous (possibly racist) loser Nigel Short wasnt helping Anand - I do not think they are in the same league (very big gap rating wise and other wise) and have not been in the same league for a very long time... certainly not in the league of Kram/Carlsen/Kasparov by a VERY long distance...

I think it is quite clear now why Garry Kasparov spontaneously offered his help to Anand.

It is no secret that following his loss against Deep Blue in 1997, he was deprived of the chance to get a rematch, and was very disappointed by IBM's attitude in general, if not suspicious about the fairness of the match.

He must have learned somehow that Topalov was getting help from Deep Blue's little brother and thought it was an excellent opportunity to get a piece of his money back! La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid.

Well done, Garry Kimovich :-)

Yes, those grapes were bitter anyway, sharkman. Go buy yourself another beer and rejoice that at least you are not a slave.

dev anand,

I think you mean 2048 CPU's not cores and if yes how many CPU's per core, but on Rybka website I search and found nothing, forum is not official voice of Rybka, anybody can suggest anything.

But, the real question is then how many CPU's can Microsoft Windows handle efficiently today, otherwise whatever the number of CPU's your application can handle, it will be limited by the number of CPU's that Windows can handle. Parallel processing, load balancing, has been always a problem for Microsoft, and I remember when they announce it for only 4 CPU's few years ago, the result was disappointing in terms of efficiency (loosing something like 20% per CPU). Being retired, I keep off up-to-date of these problems.

So, I doubt that software engineers, how good as they can be, solved the problem, since they should have all the source code of Windows and that Microsoft never releases it.
(But, If those engineers solved the problems, they should set up immediatly their own company and get rich.)

Too many "if".

Anybody has serious information?

This is my all time favorite thing I ever read on The Daily Dirt! Just the image of the clenched teeth, the furious fingers, the spittle-covered monitor, the damaged shift-key... priceless.

hi a very nice post and well done.

My favourite is the assumption that "I mean, COME ON!" is going to shift opinion.

I mean, COME ON!

I was reviewing Chessgames post match comments and one comment of Nigel Short was striking..

'Go Anand Tear the guy down' or something like that...

Although it may have a humor element to it i kinda thought that deep inside the quote had an element of personal hate for the guy.

Again i could be wrong but if i am right Nigel was 'for' Anand at least for this match.

Just found this out. Non-exclusive Rybka can only run 12 cores. So says the cluster owner. "You can, but you can only use 12 cores." (Kullberg) http://rybkaforum.net/cgi-bin/rybkaforum/topic_show.pl?tid=16820

The Zappa team can beat them at really large-scale I still guess. Maybe Cozzie was on Topalov's team? Wouldn't that be spectacular. Other guys like Pascutto have been talking about clusters too.

funny post; although if others do not see the link you posted they may not appreciate the irony/sarcasm in your post


Why on earth do you assume they would use Windows? That would be like buying a Ferrari and replacing the steering system. I bet the Rybka developers were excited to gear up their program to use all that computing power. Probably they profited more from the experience than Topalov did.


You think you can use any program with any OS ?

Are you kidding?

Rybka is even not working under Linux!

The comparison with a Ferrari is totally irrelevant, but if you have sensible information, post again, but no dreams please.

Windows Server 2008 supports up to 512 Cores according to Microsoft reps.

Why, years ago, did Topalov make the jump from a "mere" top-6-to-top-10 player to clear #1? I think his work with Ponomariov had a lot to do with this....

What VT needs is a sparring partner who understands things he doesn't.

I find it amazing that so many players can be so close in strength while retaining their idiosyncratic approaches to the game....

From Susan Polgar's site:

The interview with former World Champion Veselin Topalov was provided by the head of the Anand-Topalov World Championship match press office, Mr. Boyko Hristov.

- Grandmaster Topalov, regardless of the outcome, during the match between you and Viswanathan Anand we watched your dominance in the openings when you played with the white pieces. What caused this fact?

- During my preparation for the match, my manager, Silvio Danailov, and I decided to approach something non-standard and to seek additional resources to increase the advantage over my opponent. It turned out that there is such a possibility. We found that in Bulgaria is installed and running one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world - Blue Gene/P of IBM. And because the computers and the chess software are necessary components in the preparation of the modern grandmasters, we decided to use the vast computational power of this machine.

The IBM's Blue Gene/P has 8192 processors and you can imagine how huge the possibilities we are talking about. The problem was the fact that in the world currently there is no chess software whose source code is written to work with such a multiprocessor platform. However, Silvio and I, did not give up and he managed to gather an international team of leading experts who have created a project for a chess program that can use the computing power of this extraordinary supercomputer. And now is the time to express my great thanks to the General Manager of IBM Bulgaria Mr. Alexander Rakov and the IT architect of the company Mr. Yovko Lambrev for the access to the resources of Blue Gene/P they provided to us. They have made enormous efforts that our idea become a reality.

I want to thank the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Mr. Boyko Borisov too, who allowed us the access to the supercomputer, which as you know is state owned. So ultimately, even though I lost the match, I managed to achieve a dominance over Anand in the openings in all games, in which I played with the white pieces. This advantage was demonstrated very clear especially in the first game, when I won fast and with decisive priority.


That's not Chessbase speaking, it is Topalov. How is Chessbase making a "big bluff" by just repeating Topalov's words? Or is it Topalov who is bluffing? Please explain your conspiracy theory.

"Rybka is even not working under Linux!"

Know the facts before you post-- applies to you as well. Rybka can very much work with linux.


Oh and another thing Rybka was written in C. So its easily domain portable. The one that comes commercially is installed for windows -- it does not mean when a person from Rybka's team is in Top's team -- they cannot use their core C codes to work with any OS. Its a piece of cake (having been in that industry for several years).

oh and btw. Rybka's elo is more than 3000.

Topalov's degree of disconnection from reality is really quite alarming. Does he really believe he achieved clear dominance over Anand in the opening of game 12, I wonder? Or, more likely, has he simply forgotten that this game existed?

Hey Topalov whiners: isn't this news outrageous? This should be protested! One player in the match admits that he had the resources of an entire nation on his side . . . he even had the Prime Minister helping him!

People insist on playing this unprecedented event down. They even insist that the supercomputer's help is more valuable than having the help of Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen.

With Carlsen as a sparring partner in openings in which Anand had no experience, with Kasparov proof-reading Anand's overall preparation and with Kramnik helping him with the Catalan and the Slav. Not to mention insights on match strategy and Topalov's weaknesses.

Obviously, they put forth all sorts of strawman arguments because their bias doesn't let them think straight. Luckily, Anand explains it all best. So I will use Anand's very interview to show that most of you don't know what you are talking about. You can ridicule me, no problem, but here is the Emperor himself explaining the difference:


"One question I want to ask you, because you can judge it better than anyone: I have the feeling that if you do too much preparation and your hardware is too powerful, they keep coming to you and saying “Oh, this has been refuted,” and “here we have something new”… I don’t know if that is good for the player himself. What do you think?"

Anand: "It must be good for the player to have good hardware. The problem is that it often doesn’t tell you what you want. You want it to find an improvement for White, and it may choose to find it for Black instead. If you have good hardware the chances are your work will be good and you can be more confident about the work you have. If you are taking risks then you can feel you are going to have a head start. In that sense it is good. But the computer will only tell you what the position justifies. It is also insidious – it can stop you playing your favourite lines because of some obscure problems somewhere. I would say computers are very useful – especially very powerful hardware – but if working with the computer means you stop taking risks it’s of course going to kill you. But on the other hand if it encourages you to take the right kind of risks then so much the better. Managing it is I think very tricky. It is very powerful but it may not tell you what you want."

And compared to analysing with humans like Kasparov and Kramnik…?

Anand: "With humans it is fantastic, because some of the things they tell you you can almost relate to. You can almost see how it is something you can apply at the board. In the last few days some of the suggestions came from Vlady – very intelligent suggestions, with his explanation of why you should do this or that. Or sometimes Garry will tell you a story about the player, and it is some insight which at a critical moment it may help you to choose between two moves and that can be decisive. So it is a very, very different kind of help. Of course these are some of the greatest players in chess, so you can’t really ask for more."



Funny how Anand himself is more objective than his zealots here!


Thank You for real facts and lights.
It's amazing that bulgarian engineer succeded in this project if they used Rybka 4 Windows based -I know they have excellent scientific people but still, it's quite an achievement - unfortunately Topalov didn't say if they use Rybka 4.

Anyway, I am bluffed!

So, to recap, I would consider the difference between a supercomputer giving you brute force (and not necessarily what you want and need) and the greatest players on earth giving you qualitative advice pretty important. And so does Anand.

Whereas the computer "is very powerful but it may not tell you what you want", Kasparov answered 31 specific questions about specific variations while Vlade gave Anand all his Catalan and Slav wisdom. And Anand did win two games with the Catalan, in an opening where he himself admitted he had no experience until he sat down with Carlsen playing it!

Afterall, nobody prepares only with computers for a match, and in a World Championship match every contender tries to assemble the best human team possible. They don't recruit amateurs or IMs. They recruit the best they can get. Always. And Anand had the very best we have seen in the modern era.

It's not an unfair advantage, I never said that. But it is a HUGE advantage and it changes completely the narrative of this match, whether Anand zealots like it or not.

@koroviev: Dude, you smokin dope or what? WTF does relative populations of countries have to do with the game? Population is the most bogus metric ever to relate to...

@curious...dude come on man...chill or at least post your address here so that we can direct the medics to your house if you collapse on your keyboard...:)

After all your rants, let me ask you this:-
What do you want?

@Metis-Paris : i stand corrected - 2048 CPUs for Rybka

Deep Fritz can work on upto 16 cores - so why use Rybka?

Maybe because Rybka 4 it wasnt commercially available?

Quit whining, curious. One of your many asinine premises seems to be that Topalov had no access to human expertise. Please identify how, at the initial stages of match preparation planning, one player had any advantage over the other in the capacity to access human expertise. If anything, Topalov appears to have had a huge financial advantage to pay people.

Was Topalov handicapped because top GMs think him and his team thoroughly unpleasant? Should the failures of unlikeable people in this world be discounted to compensate for them being dicks? Perhaps we are getting to the roots of your deep seeded problems.

Separately, let's look at what Topalov himself says. He claims that he had (computer assisted) dominance out of the openings in all or at least most games. If he can't win starting with large advantage coming out of the opening, he plainly is the inferior player.

Hm. Did you read Harish Srinivasan's comment?

@curious... you've just stated the facts... your intepretations though are a little titled towards Topa.
Why is it a 'scandal' if certain champs help proof read a chess player's playbook? It isn't!
Why they didn't offer Topa to do the same? Simple, he burnt too many bridges, plus he backed himself to trust the supercomputer to deliver the championship.
Anand couldn't match his tech advantage (yes it is an advantage, please don't try to play it down as a non-factor), so he shifted his game tactics to a defensive position to blunt Topa's advantage.
It wasn't Vishy's fault that Topa didn't take the draw when he saw it, Vishy didn't even suggest the Sofia rule at the first place. Its only now when Topa and his fans find out how his own 'pressure tactics' blew up in Topa's own face, they cry foul at other issues. Nobody but Topa himself is to blame if he underestimated Anand's preparations. Do you seriously believe that a champion would just sit back and allow himself to be moved (replace it with whatever comes to your mind here) around, without putting up a fight? Hats off to Topa for holding on till the end, it could have swung either ways on the final game, but to me Anand played the better game tactically on and off the board.

Crazy how curious thinks its a big deal. Is it in the regulations that you cannot take help from ex world champions. its silly. Anand won the match fair and square. period. Whats all this talk that he had an advantages and conspiracy? he still played the game over the board as per regulations.
So what stopped Topalov from doing the same.

Anand has said he ows Carlsen a bit. So may if Topalov had to play Carlsen in the candidates or in future, Anand might help Carlsen. So what the hell if wrong with that. Whats all this whining for? Get over it. the match is over. And it is a fact that Topalov will never get a help from these greats in the future -- thats just due to what respect he has earned from them. He has himself to blame if he think it is a reason for his loss now and may be in future.

"Please identify how, at the initial stages of match preparation planning, one player had any advantage over the other in the capacity to access human expertise."

I would consider having Carlsen as a sparring partner to test unfamiliar openings and new ideas and access to Kasparov's openings wisdom pretty advantageous!

"Should the failures of unlikeable people in this world be discounted to compensate for them being dicks? Perhaps we are getting to the roots of your deep seeded problems."

This comment says a lot more about you than me and you don't even realize it! Still, it is irrelevant. You can blame Topalov all you want, something which I addressed earlier, but it doesn't change the fact that this gave Anand a HUGE advantage.

"Separately, let's look at what Topalov himself says. He claims that he had (computer assisted) dominance out of the openings in all or at least most games."

Right. So imagine where Anand would have been WITHOUT the help he got, especially in the Catalan where he got his ONLY two wins before Topalov's suicide. Perhaps we getting at the root of your deep seeded intellectual and reasoning problems.

"If he can't win starting with large advantage coming out of the opening, he plainly is the inferior player."

This only proves that Anand is a fantastic player. Their lifetime score and their rating doesn't in any way suggest there is an inferior player here, except for whiners like you who can't stomach these revelations and how they change the story of this match.

"Crazy how curious thinks its a big deal."

Yeah. It is no big deal. We get it. Are you the Indian Prime Minister?

"It's not an unfair advantage, I never said that."

Curious said it in the very first sentence of his opening tantrum -- the same post which called Dirt posters "pathetic hypocrites" and featured the impossibly hilarious line: "For anyone still daring to look at this objectively, this is a SCANDAL of OVERWHELMING proportions...".

Fairness is further addressed in his preteen hysteria when he speaks of "gagging up", then later "ganging up" (he could have also added "Ganguling up").

I think Curious was a little upset when Top lost. For good reason too, because he's the world's greatest chess fighter. His forebear Fischer played by Sofia rules long before we gave it a name. But Top chose a psycho dirtbag for a manager, who showed just how low he was ready to go when Kramnik was called a cheat while indulging his degenerate smoking habit in the restrooms throughout the Elista match. THAT's a pro wrestling angle. This time, Top was a real-life heel and Anand a real-life face. The face won and the heel will never be world champion. Ever. So you can be as upset as you like and insult us over and over, but it won't make Top the better player.

I mean, COME ON! Shave your head and pledge allegiance to the Straight Edge Society before you post on the Dirt again.

The sentence "[p]erhaps we getting at the root of your deep seeded intellectual and reasoning problems" should read:

Perhaps we are getting at the root of your deep-seated intellectual and reasoning problems.

Damn copy-paste!

@Metis: Perhaps you didn't read the Topalov interview I posted, or the post of Harish Srinivasan after mine.

Topalov said, "However, Silvio and I, did not give up and he managed to gather an international team of leading experts who have created a project for a chess program that can use the computing power of this extraordinary supercomputer."

So what do you mean by "bulgarian engineer"? And why do you again say "Windows based"? Harish explained that the C code can be used with any operating system.

@Harish: In the chessbase interview, Anand said, "Once we found out that he had some super computer, some cluster version of Rybka, something that can scale very well, it was obvious to us why Rybka 4 was being held back."

So maybe you are right that someone from the Rybka team modified the program to create this "cluster version of Rybka"


By the way, it would seem that Topalov's use of this hardware was a serious factor in his win in Game 8. Here is Anand from the chessbase interview:

"I was a little surprised that he kept coming back for the Elista ending. We thought that will all his hardware and stuff he would go to sharper lines. Normally he moves around a lot, but I think maybe he decided that because he had such a big hardware advantage that he might just want to stay around and just overpower us everywhere."

So Topalov's use of the supercomputer was part of the reason he kept going for the Elista ending, "overpowering" it in the end.

In contrast, can anyone point to any of Anand's wins that we know were due to Kasparov's or Kramnik's or Carlsen's help? (Bait for 'curious', I know. Couldn't resist. :))

my friend, we had a regular task at the literature/grammar class in 2nd elementary called something like "text understanding". i'm not sure you too had to do this, don't blame yourself, but please, before you would shout at me next time, could you familiarize with the concept "irony" first?
btw, the statement you picked out of the context and quoted is related to the bulgarian prime minister...

"'Please identify how, at the initial stages of match preparation planning, one player had any advantage over the other in the capacity to access human expertise.'"

"I would consider having Carlsen as a sparring partner to test unfamiliar openings and new ideas and access to Kasparov's openings wisdom pretty advantageous!"

Try rereading - this time for comprehension, if you think you can manage that. Focus on the words "capacity to access human expertise" "at the initial stages of match preparation planning."

"For anyone still daring to look at this objectively, this is a SCANDAL of OVERWHELMING proportions..."

Yes. Indeed. Now how is that stating that it was an unfair advantage? Please enlighten me!

"But Top chose a psycho dirtbag for a manager"

Now that's classy! Thank you for lecturing me on manners.

"This time, Top was a real-life heel and Anand a real-life face"

Nice to see I'm vindicated by your professional wrestling terminology. Is that your favorite sports to watch while studying savoir-vivre?

"Shave your head and pledge allegiance to the Straight Edge Society before you post on the Dirt again."

I will post whenever I want. This a blog's comments' section. I hate to spoil your sense of self-importance but it not your place to suggest what anyone should do in order to post here! Perhaps you should ask Mig to be the moderator, you might even meet Kasparov some day!

My sympathies.

PS: Kramnik called AFTER game 4 (i.e. after both the Catalan wins)...but never let the facts get in the way of your interpretation :)

I'm just curious about the "we" here. Is it the royal "we"? The editorial "we"? The all-the-voices-in-my-head "we"? Because otherwise you seem to be pretty much alone in your crusade here.


I am curious why you do not want to give Anand credit for his play? The two wins you mention came BEFORE Kramnik gave his Catalan wisdom to Anand, so there goes your argument Kaput...Good luck with hallucinations. I think Garry and Kramnik wanted to help Anand because they felt he was a worthy Champion, Garry could have called up Topalov as well, if he called Anand instead, its not Anand's fault. Why will anyone refuse Garry's help? btw for the record, Anand would have probably had a better score against Topalov if they played to their real strength. A World Championship need not always be their best performance due to the high stakes involved..


Krmanik contacted Anand "after" he had won game 2..."after" is the key piece of information...
kasparov only confirmed that Catalan might be a good idea against Topalov..he did not think about it..and also, Anand kept doing things that Kramnik did not like, with Black,...so it is not like he executed the plans of Kasparov and Kramnik on the board...

am not sure I understand your sense of outrage..Topalov and his manager created a very unpleasant and maybe-even-unfair environment (not moving the start date, Sofia rules knowing Anand was older and mroe prone to making mistakes, the super computer with an unreleased version of Rybka, etc.)...and, all of this was PLANNED..whereas Anand getting help from the 2Ks and Carlsen was more serendipitous..he had not banked on having that help..It just came about because he happens to be good friends with them, and the chess base guy hooked them up...Also, remember, they came to him..he did not go to them...

and, finally, this is not like the Soviet bloc against Fishcer at all..Soviet players colluded on the board by drawing matches between them...and focussed on Fischer..whereas Anand's getting help for former and future WCs was off the board, and ahs been permitted for ages...

I hope you are able to recognize the difference..

"I would consider having Carlsen as a sparring partner to test unfamiliar openings and new ideas and access to Kasparov's openings wisdom pretty advantageous!"

Indeed. So what? All there is to say is kudos to Anand for getting them and Kramnik on his side. No other GM could have achieved that. Certainly not Topalov.

Oh, and next time Danailov plans to use a new version of IBM's Deep Blue, he'd better make sure Kasparov doesn't hear about it. Learn 2 play, noob!

Anand won the match fair and square, in no small part because he coped better emotionnally. The issue about the help granted by three elite players is not fairness, but the credibility of the professionnal chess scene. To that extent, I do agree with Curious that it is a big deal, and that it changes the narrative of the match. I mean, Soviet chess system, draw odds, Kaspy outpreparing almost all GMs were big deal imho. And I don't discount the bulgarians' supercomputer. It's not about ethics; it's rather about the meaning of competitive chess. The question is: what do we want the chess competitions to look like... Maybe the problem lies in those big world championship matchs.

BTW. I was NOT rooting for any of the two players.

Look, the point isn't who had better hardware or who had better seconds. It's pretty clear where the advantages lay. But the story of this match wasn't preparation (I don't think there was a single game decided in the opening - except perhaps drawn games) anyway. Sure, Anand benefited from playing and speaking with strong players, and Topalov no doubt came up with his variation on the Ivanchuk exchange sacrifice with computer assistance.

But that isn't the point.

Neither player demonstrated superior preparation in the match; it came down to what was happening over the board, when Anand did not have Kramnik's assistance in defending the Elista endning and Topalov did not have the computer's tactical prowess on his side.

Hell, each of them mixed up their preparation at least once (Game 1 for Anand, and Topalov's Bd2 rather than Rd1 in Game... 5? I think?).

So who cares. Certainly each team did their best to prepare, but the wonderful thing about this match was that the games were hard fought and decided over the board.

Boo-hoo... my Toppy boy lost. In spite of having the biggest and baddest software/hardware combination, and not to mention the biggest dick as the manager, he got his ass kicked royally. Boo-hoo.

Talking about reading comprehension!

Please read carefully:

At the initial stages of match preparation planning Anand had the capacity to secure to his advantage the best possible access to human expertise, namely Carlsen (who had helped him before) as a sparring partner and Kasparov's help with specific variations.

If you are contesting Kasparov's commitment at the early stages, fine. I won't ask you to prove it. But can you contest Carlsen's commitment? No. That is sufficient.

P.S. Again, nice try. Let's concentrate on semantics and "intial stages" and avoid discussing what happened at the late stages and during the match! But you couldn't pull even that one off.

Keep it coming!

"For anyone still daring to look at this objectively, this is a SCANDAL of OVERWHELMING proportions..."

Yes. Indeed. Now how is that stating that it was an unfair advantage? Please enlighten me!

- - -

Now this is basic semantics, but let's try. Curious, for most people a 'SCANDAL of OVERWHELMING proportions' is a bad thing. A 'SCANDAL of OVERWHELMING proportions', most people would say, is something that ideally shouldn't happen. In fact, again according to most people, if a 'SCANDAL of OVERWHELMING proportions' takes place, it would not be fair to the victim of the SCANDAL.

Feel enlightened now?

I demonstrated that you called Anand's help an unfair advantage, then lied about saying it. Like Amari's and others' posts, you had no understanding of what I wrote.

But it's not your fault. Unlike WC Anand, you're just unable to defend inferior positions.

Interesting -- how'd you know it was pro wrestling terminology? Because you're the one who brought it up (twice) and you're the one who's better off sticking to it. You're just a tin duck in a shooting gallery here.

It seems Topalov has been robbed of the title again. Last time it was Rybka, this time it were the humans.

On the topic of titles, the title of this post is superb.

Copy that. Perhaps I missed the irony. Blame it on Curious. :)


Dude, what do you want? What is your objective?

Finally, some sensible comments (sgtpepper, Khroustaliov, Schroedinger).

It seems my crusade has at long last achieved something! A little balance at last.

Btw, I do give Anand credit. I congratulated him here among others the very first day he won it. I said he won it fair and square.

My beef is with the mindless cheerleading and refusal to accept the importance of the help he received. The fact that the hypocricy on this blog's comments section is something I've never seen before.

All those attempts to discredit the argument itself by attacking me, scrutinizing every sentence I wrote, resorting to semantics, a spelling mistake or confusing the issue with what happened at the "early stages of match preparation planning" versus the match itself was real fun, especially with those putting their pompous New-England-English-Professor intellectual mask, something we see in chess circles all too often!

But it was entertaining. Better than speculating on which GM is a racist, which curiously didn't attract a tenth of the objections and vitriol of my post!

No. Your fault.

No one has mentioned the real scandal so far. It looks like Chessbase will not post a transcript of the final part of the Anand interview, where Anand talks about each of the games individually. At the end of Part 2 of the interview, it says:

"This is where GM Jan Gustafsson takes over and runs through all the games with Anand. You can watch it in the Premium Training room on the Playchess server, in the section "Live".

The interview is available for members of Playchess in the Premium Videos section. It is free for all Premium members – regular members need to have 50 ducats on their account in order to watch the 70-minute interview, which also contains extensive discussions between GM Jan Gustafsson and Vishy Anand on the course of the match."

Who here is going to bootleg the interview and share it with us non-members? Or at least transcribe for us the juicier bits?

no harm done ;) and yeah, the guy is truly hilarious :D

"I demonstrated that you called Anand's help an unfair advantage, then lied about saying it."

No, you didn't. Feel free to try again. Take a deep breath, it might help.

"Interesting -- how'd you know it was pro wrestling terminology? "

I had to look it up. That was a truly great contibution of yours. My idea of wrestling is images of freaks and mindless fans shouting at each other. Hence my comparison. But I was glad to be proven that we do have wrestling fans here. It shows!


"You're just a tin duck in a shooting gallery here."

What's next, Fiend's jokes about moms?


Curious is funny... trala-lala-la-la!

Slowly - one more time Try rereading yet again for comprehension, if you think you can manage that. Focus on the words "CAPACITY to access human expertise" "at the initial stages of match preparation planning."

aah i see you mellowed down quite a lot since your original post after the thrashing you received eh?

Here is what you said originally "this is a SCANDAL of OVERWHELMING proportions.. blah blah"

And now you say "My beef is with the mindless cheerleading and refusal to accept the importance of the help he received." -- gotten down to merely claiming that the help Anand received was important. rofllll...... No body would say the help he received was useless.

Go on for a few more days and you will mellow down even more.

Many of you probably will not know what I'm talking about here - I am reminded of the ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata. Before the war that is the centrepiece of the epic, Krishna, who wished both sides well, allowed them to choose between either having himself (as an individual) on their side, or having his entire army fight for them. The Pandavas chose Krishna, while the Kauravas chose his huge army. As you have probably guessed, the insight of one wise individual proved to be infinitely more valuable than the weight of an entire army. So, I can believe that the assistance of KKC (even for a hort duration) was more valuable than the most powerful supercomputer. After all, for all his political machinations, how much does Danailov know about chess? Or Cheparinov and co?

Exactly. But he's been defeated many different ways, so least he'll depart soon with another lengthy farewell gloat, another fish out of the tank. Common as Dirt around here, unfortunately.

The Pandavas surely got themselves an unfair advantage. I demand a re-war!

I mis-express my english.
I meant no "commercial Rybka version under Linux",
and Rybka says even in proposing Wine "we can't guarantee you that Rybka will run on your Linux system, since it's not officially supported." crashes use to happen.
They have practically to write the whole stuff.

Easily domain portable? partly. Now being given that BlueGene uses PowerPC Chip architecture, and Rybka is Windows (X86 architecture)It will be a lot of work rewriting at the level of the DLL.
It's feasable sure, but not such a piece of cake.

Hey Harish, were you bullied a lot while in high school? Is that why you feel the need to justify yourself on the strength of numbers?

And yeah, you have great company. Professional wrestling fans, guys who don't understand the use of the word "ironic" and several zealots who can't construct an argument to save their life.

So let me restate and summarize: It is a scandal of huge proportions and it is self-evident since we haven't seen anything like this in 30 years, if ever! It doesn't mean it's an unfair advantage. But it IS a HUGE advantage. It is also a bombshell which changes the narrative of this match completely. When the books about this match come about and we get even more details, I guarantee you that you will be embarrassed. And my beef is with the hypocrisy of so many posters here, which I made clear on my first post on this issue.

I mellowed a bit because I don't see any refutation and I kinda feel sorry for the kids here. People tried to overstate the importance of the supercomputer but posting Anand's opinion on computers versus human expertise took care of that.

Haven't seen anything else so far other than playground bullying and/or pompous banalities posing as intellectual argumentation, with the poseurs oblivious to the fact that attempts to argue from authority is a debating fallacy.

Feel free to try to construct an argument when you manage to pull yourself from the playground mentality!

I won't be holding my breath!

Yeah, now that I took you to school it is time to give up and agree with your friends that I've been supposedly defeated in many ways!

Let me refresh your memory:


Curious... which mental asylum did you escape out of?! Your ravings are hilarious but dont shout so much.

@curious: How long are you going to argue that the assistance Anand received from Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen was very/extremely helpful when Anand himself said so?

"dont shout so much."

meshrath, do you hear screaming voices coming out of your monitor?

Did you share that with your counselor?

Correction: that's four (4) farewell gloats, or 3.5 allowing for hysterical mistakes.

> Rybka is Windows

Why do you keep saying that?

I don't know myself, but Harish Srinivasan said, and I don't have reason to doubt it, the core program is written in C. C is not Windows. You can compile C on any platform. For example on a Blue Gene supercomputer, as the Wikipedia article on Blue Gene points out.

Curious...your stupidity knows no bounds. Did you not know that using caps when posting is akin to shouting. And you are using far too many caps in your posts. "do you hear screaming voices coming out of your monitor"...hilarious!

Good question, but maybe you should rephrase and direct it at the people posting the first 100 comments or so on this thread who were trying to argue the opposite!

Glad to see you joining the ranks of the righteous and virtuous brigade!


I somehow keep feeling that Topalov had a great advantage and he did not use it well. Here is why.

First the facts/hypothesis as I see them to build my logic:

1. The cooperation from KKC could have been expected by Topalov. Reasons are obvious. One is Anand's friend, the other is Anand's friend's friend and the last is a sworn enemy.

2. Toplov did a great job of controlling the openings. He did not hit and run (and thus Anand was miffed and underprepared). So Topalov exactly knew which openings were going to come up.

3. He could have easily known the compueting power and program available to Anand

4. Anand, in his comments about computers, says that they don't do what you want. Sometimes they reject a line because of some obscure problems down the line.

Thus the strategy that could have been used by Topalov:

1. Given that Topalov had aceess to the best computer (and program) and he could have predicted the computer access available to Anand, he could researched those lines that look good on a less capable and generally available computer (and program) but get exposed as weak when you have the best computer (and program) to look at those lines to find those obscure problems.

2. No human could have seen those problems because no-one could have seen at those depths (even the ex-world champions combined)

3. This way, Topalov could have led Anand down
a path that Anand believed checked out well (with his champion seconds or computer programs) but Topalov would have known to be problematic down the line.

This could have been a winning strategy or Topalov. Does this seem logical? Did he blow his unique advantage?



"And you are using far too many caps in your posts"

Right. You see, italics are not an option on this blog. But do me a favour, count the words in caps in my posts and juxtapose that to the words not in caps. Is it more than something like one in a hundred?

If you still think you have a point, provide the proof and do the math! Otherwise, don't waste my time with silly little crap.

Guys, ignore Curious...forum troll.

What are your thoughts on the next challenger?

The field is:
Two other players-TBD (including organizer's nominee)

I feel Kramnik and Carlsen have the best chances, although Gelfand is very strong as well.

Logical..and we all saw that Topailov did indeed control the openings. But once out of preparation the better player OTB would have the advantage and that is what happened. The supercomputer can analyse very deeply but it would take superhuman memory to be able to remember all the sidelines arising out 20-30 moves ahead. So Topailov most probably remembered only the "with best moves for both sides" lines. Once Anand chose the second or third best moves, or even something evidently bad like Qa3 for example, then Topailov would be out of preparation. And then he would have to depend on his OTB playing abilities. That is where Anand scored over him.

What rewriting DLL are you talking about? Do you work in this field? I am just talking about plain C source code. Compile and run (no interface nothing..., just input moves and get evaluation and recommended move.. simple).

The only issue the team would have had is get the code to exploit the supercomputer's power (it will still run anyway). Rybka is already capable on running on multiple cores, and to be precise, they would have had to re-define certain max thresholds to make it run on a 112 core machine. When I can visualize what needs to be done, for the guys who created Rybka, it is a piece of cake.

I was a firm supporter of Topalov before Elista. Once that scandal played out the way it did, I find it difficult to support him. Hope he fires his slimball manager soon so that I can root for him again.

Aronian is not bad either. I actually want him to win. That way Vishy will get another chance to show what he is made of given their past record and all. Vishy had a really poor record against Gelfand upto a certain point in his career, but later he "corrected" it successfully.

Everyone needs to stop being trolled by curious.

My hypothesis is that he's probably a bored World of Warcraft player and college student who follows chess and, I'd wager, 4chan.

His real intent was achieved - namely inciting and maintaining a firestorm of partisan commentary using ridiculous rhetoric and "supporting" it with schoolyard playground-level logical fallacies.

Yeah, I beg you guys, ignore curious and let's change the subject!

Fine. I see Topalov (motivated) and Carlsen - if he is indeed ready for such high-stakes encounters. With Kramnik as a wildcard, depending on his form.

Gelfand had his trusted Petroff beaten twice by Topalov in their last two classical encounters, once in 28 moves! Without the Petroff, he isn't going anywhere. You read it here first.

All very true and plausible until Top sat at the board. Many GMs have commented on the dangers of attachment to computer programs to the addictive degree that they can experience bad nerves OTB that were not a problem before computers became inseparable from analysis and prep. Armed with more firepower than was ever before available to a single player, it's possible that Top suffered from even a mild form of separation anxiety during the middlegames, so that moves like Qa3 rattled him. Just a theory -- yours seems more likely, actually, but perhaps his very possession of the technology was a partial cause of his OTB defeat.

@curious/Don Quijote: The story is in the headlines of all chess websites. Everybody is baffled by the news. Here, the first 100 comments or so were full of "wow!", "amazing", and what not, but no, you had to take a rant on the occasional 2-3 people minimizing the importance of KKC's help like if it was the common view and a big conspiracy to hide the truth. So, please count me out of your insane "crusade". My name is not Sancho Panza.

Aronian has a great record against Anand, but I'm not sure he can make it through everybody else. Is there any website that readily lists records of players i.e in an A vs B format?

"My name is not Sancho Panza."

Damn. I could have sworn...

Yes. It is difficult to remember all the moves but perhaps for these guys it should not be difficult especially if the number of openings are limited. They know literally thousands of lines.

I think the other point you made actually makes more sense to me. Maybe Anand purposely (or inadvertently) chose second best or third best lines that took Topalov out of his preparation and then it was fair game over the board. I think one of the commentators during the match (was it Shipov?) or one of the GMs had actually said that Anand plays many times not the best (but good enough) and not the most predictable lines.

Anyway, i am wondering how the future of chess will be when the preparation might trump the OTB game.



Still what do you want? Do you know the meaning of scandal? "A scandal is a widely publicized allegation or set of allegations that damages the reputation"

What is the non-sense about huge advantage? How do you define huge advantage, when everything was fair. It is same as saying, Anand will have a huge advantage if he plays a game of chess against me. Why ... due to the enormous amount of knowledge he has about the game. The knowledge could have come from any sources -- teachers when he was kid, books, other players, experience, computers etc. etc. Ofcourse you are entitled to use everything fair under when you play. So what in the hell is your problem when you accept the match was all fair -- whats this point of advantage? Its rubbish.

btw, at the end of your first post you concluded "enough said".

My thoughts exactly :)

> it should not be difficult especially if the
> number of openings are limited. They know
> literally thousands of lines.

Memorizing first and second choice up to move 20 would be a cool million lines, up to move 30 a billion.

Until we enhance ourselves with memory extensions, memorizing computer-found lines can only be a limited part of the art of opening preparation.

It could be termed a scandal IF AND ONLY IF the match was played as under:-

1. Topalov + Rybka 4 + IBM + state support
Anand + Eyjaffjallajokull (minus pts).


2. Topalov + Danilov (minus pts)
Anand + Kasparov + Kramnik + Carlsen

Either scenario would have been an unfair advantage.

The way it played out is that we started with Scenario 1 and somewhere in between the match, Scenario 2 also happens. Call it the world's greatest players chipping in to balance an unbalanced situation or whatever...isn't that just like a fabulous blockbuster where the odds eventually evened out and we all were on the edge of a precipice when the movie suddenly ended! Lady luck played its role to the hilt too - the volcano which was a minus and the voluntary assistance which was a plus for Anand, likewise for Topalov I think the pressure of playing at home was a minus.

The "so called" scandal (whichever way) takes nothing away from either Topalov or Anand. Both are fabulous players who mustered the max resources they could (who wouldn't?) and then played out this great saga OTB. Neither player deserves to be blamed for the resources they could muster for this do or die match.

The end result has been a blockbuster World Championship match which will be remembered in history for the way it unfolded.

Let's just forget the arguments and salute the two wonderful players for all the determination, technology, passion and human element they have brought to this great game and its followers. Its the game and the two players who have gained in stature and let's not try and undermine either.

A better way to see who has more chess skills:
48 games of Fischer Random as follows:

In one day - 4 games are played. Each c960 position chosen at random and repeated with colors switched for the next game. Lunch recess and two more games.

The time control could be closer to rapid chess -- classical chess time control is outdated.

In the same amount of days - 48 games complete - no computer/other Gm assistance and the better player has won.

12 games of classical chess at this time control with GM seconds and computer assisted opening preparation is silly...

I would rather see Anand vs Top with this format than what we saw.


About a "curious" statement that has already been discussed a lot:
"It is a scandal of huge proportions and it is self-evident since we haven't seen anything like this in 30 years, if ever!"
One thing is whether "this" is a scandal, another thing is whether there was really nothing like it in 30 years. I remember the following "scandals":
- Karpov received massive assistance from other Soviet GMs, which (unlike the current situation) wasn't even their free will: I cannot back it up with sources, but didn't refusal to share analyses with Karpov play a role in Korchnoi's defection?
- Kasparov was seconded by Kramnik, then a young talent and future WCh candidate (not substantially different from Carlsen's current status?!)
- In different matches, Kramnik's seconds were Bareev and Leko (both top 10 players at their career peaks)

And seconds work for their bosses for weeks or months, KCK were supporting Anand for some hours or days. Does it make a difference that Vishy had three secret helpers? Maybe, but actually it could be a mixed blessing: what if they came up with divergent or even contradictory advices?

"Is there any website that readily lists records of players i.e in an A vs B format?"
1) chessgames.com - which includes rapid, blitz and blindfold games and doesn't readily distinguish between various formats or
2) the FIDE rating pages - which has a statistics section on recent (last 2.5 years?) rated games between players, i.e. classical time controls only.

In the candidates event, Aronian should first face Gelfand, then Topalov (who probably wins against Kamsky), then most likely the winner of Kramnik-Carlsen.

BTW after today's round of the Astrakhan GP, we can "tentatively" fill in the two missing names of your earlier list: Gashimov (2nd GP spot) and Radjabov (Azeri wildcard). There is actually a question mark behind Aronian: he doesn't want to play in Baku, and FIDE seems to have trouble finding a co-organizer for the candidates event ... .

@I would rather see Anand vs Top with this format than what we saw.

me too, better than seeing Slav endgames analyzed with supercomputers or mixed up sharp Grunfeld variations leading to losses in 1 move

What I particularly appreciate is Curious's idea that Anand's big sin was not in getting outside help (clearly Topalov also sought to maximize his advantage through the clandestine use of unprecedented computer power) -- but that Anand did it "better" than Topalov. Curious indeed.

I think Scott | May 21, 2010 1:48 PM nailed it pretty well.

Good point about using the huge computing advantage to find mis-evaluations of slower computers.

One example, although not in the opening, is 40.... Kg7 in the last game, where people with slow computers were screaming "Anand blundered!" online, because it takes a while for some computers to assess one position (king and pawns ending) properly.

Maybe this will mean that we will see Topalov killing many people in the opening in the near future :)

Yes. I think Toplaov realizes that. That is why, I think, he says that Anand did not win but that he lost it. His game 12 was his frustration of having lost an opportunity and reaction to the fact that his preparation was useless at fast time controls when neither side is even going to play third best moves. That is what resulted in the reckless pawn grabs and the rest as they say is history and maybe some will pay in future.


Winning a WCC will soon become something like winning the America's Cup in yachting. Strong well funded teams building high end specialized machines which will do a bulk of the work. But the ultimate result will be in hands of the helmsman who actually steers the ship on D-Day. It will come down to not just OTB skill (whose role will steadily diminish) but money and organization. Toplov/Danailov are pioneers when it came to the amount of computing power they brought to bear. A little ahead of their times. If I am any of Topalov's upcoming opponents, I would seriously consider investing in some infrastructure or enter into time share agreements or alliances with engine development teams and harware vendors to win this arms race.

I also think the engines and teams involved should be prominently showcased in WCC matches like in formula-1 racing where the machine makers and the pit crew get their due during the race.

"What do you guys who consider this to not be such a big deal say we arrange a rematch with Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen helping Topalov for "a few days" while Anand gets the "112 core computer cluster running at mind boggling speed"? At what odds would you bet on Anand?"

I have highest regards for Toppy, but this "help" can do without. I mean, do you seriously think he'll get away from the KKC and still be in a shape to play........sorry dude, it would be a walkover in favor of Anand.

Shut the ^&#$ up. The world's elite ganged up against Topalov. So what? The moves on the board still had to be played by one guy who had to think for himself without letting 'elite' voices shout him down.


@curious: "Towards the end I rooted for Topalov solely because of my dismay at the mindless cheerleading of Anand here. And still, I love Anand."

Another Russianbear is born. Or is it reborn...? Or is it a long-lost twin of Russianbear, separated at birth perhaps, a la Bollywood. DNA testing, anyone...?

1) Lifetime score before this match:

12-11 Topalov, over 15 years.

2) Lifetime score after this match:


3) Rating: Topalov.

4) Tournament wins in the last 5 years: Topalov.


How about wins over 2800+ players in the last month?

Anand: Three
Topalov: Zero

@bartleby: "The Pandavas surely got themselves an unfair advantage. I demand a re-war!"

I read the Kaurava general's interview afterwards. He said the Kauravas lost the war, the Pandavas didn't win it. He even claimed that the Kauravas started better in more battles, thanks to the superior army-power. They just failed to convert.

At least the Kaurava aren't accusing the Pandava general of hiding reinforcements in the outhouse.

"posting Anand's opinion on computers versus human expertise took care of that"
Just to keep things in perspective, it is Anand's opinion, and it is based on his win.If he had lost, he might have thought otherwise. I would agree with you that it is the most reliable opinion , but it is hard to definitively KNOW either way.We can only guess.

Maybe Anand was also teasing Topalov a bit? After all, he was one of those who [quote from "curious"] "tried to overstate the importance of the supercomputer" .... . And he and his team weren't all that friendly to Anand during Sofia rules controversy ("Anand is an old person who likes short draws"), Volcanogate ("Anand is hiding away from the match") and after the WCh match ("Vishy didn't win the match, I lost it").

We will never know what Anand would have said if "his helpers hadn't been helpful enough" - probably he wouldn't have disclosed the secret cooperation at all. Imagine he had lost game 12, methinks he wouldn't have said "I followed Kramnik's advice about opening preparation, and Vlad got it all wrong!".

"I mellowed a bit because I don't see any refutation and I kinda feel sorry for the kids here. People tried to overstate the importance of the supercomputer but posting Anand's opinion on computers versus human expertise took care of that."

Here is the refutation:
1) Anand: "Harvey had access to a very powerful computer, and he let me have it for the whole match. That helped – at least we could check some of the more critical areas with a really powerful machine for a couple of hours"

2) Anand: "Still, we had this idea that maybe we should go off the more critical areas and stop going for positions which can be analysed out of the computer. Which is kind of why we decided to stay away from the Grunfeld for quite a while."

3) Anand: "Normally he moves around a lot, but I think maybe he decided that because he had such a big hardware advantage that he might just want to stay around and just overpower us everywhere."
- so it's Anand who had to move around.

4) Anand: "After game eight we were sort of in trouble with black, and we had some difficulty to pose problems with white."

5) Anand: "And then the idea came to start playing one-game systems."

I.e. Topalov had a huge opening advantage because of his use of the computer. Himself admitted it. Even from the psychological point of view because it dictated Anand's opening strategy for the entire match.

Of course, you argue that white is black: it's easy: don't point any move, game, nor any material sample of the incredible "scandal".
For instance, I'm sure one game from Anand must have been won from a winning novelty from Carlsen, Kramnik and Kasparov ? Which one it is?
Of course, you will continue to argue without any concrete element, and thus will continue to appear as a fool.

The truth is that insights of Carlsen, Kramnik and Kasparov have helped levelling the field, avoiding opening disasters (like some occured in Anand-Kramnik and Kramnik-Kasparov).

When it comes to people, normally they say things in such way that it exaggerate themselves and put down others, if not obviously but subtley because of their own "reputation".

When it comes to Anand, he doesn't mind putting himself down or taken advantage by others if that is going to avoid some controversy. He goes on to exaggerate others in that process.

When it comes to Topalov, generally he wants to put things as it is or how he feels about it. I like that actually!!

He accepted his limitation in that he gave credit to Anand about his natural talent right before the match. (No one would ever do that. Look at Carlsen and Aronian, they already started complaining about the quality of the championship games as if they don't have anything nice to say about the championship, which in turn effectively downplays or questions the quality of the champion!) Topalov is very open about his computer advantage, because if you are going to admit it, it may even put you further down that you can't play chess against Anand even with opening advantage odds from either color. etc. etc. You might argue he was in a compulsion to admit to such things like he has admitted to, but one could always find spin that still deny other credits and puts you up rather, like many do. In that sense, Topalov comes across as a much better, more openly speaking personality to me!

I wonder if the business with the delays had to do with the supercomputer schedule. Danailov's reaction seemed overblown at the time, but when you assume Anand knew of the supercomputer, he would know that they can't just readily change their time slots. Demanding delays would be fun.

Danailov says "Cheparinov is much better and much more creative than Kasparov, Carlsen, etc. "


Please do not visit the link to Polgar's blog. She stole the content entirely from chessdom.com's interview with Danailov. It is lawful to quote a sentence or two and publish a link and/or to comment on the contents of the interview. To actually republish it in its entirety on her own blog, though, diverts readership away from chessdom.com to her own blog, where she can pick up extra advertising dollars for your click. While I cannot comment on Polgar's motivation, she's been blogging for a long time and *should* know better.

Anyway, I encourage everyone who's interested in the Danailov interview to navigate to the right source, chessdom.com:


@Curious and @Ovidiu are dupicate posting IDs.

@Curious will have an upset stomach at the rate he is begging from folks out here, literally grovelling and begging, to somehow acknowledge that two days of sparring with Carlsen by Anand and a few pep talk phonecalls by Kasparov and a few suggestions from Kramnik after the match started helped Anand win otherwise he would be lost.

Help @Curious digest his extreme disappoitment at Topalov's loss otherwise he will get acidity.

Help @Curious tackle his neuroticism and help him sleep.

Folks acknowledge that 2 days of sparring with Carlsen and a pep talk or two and a few suggestions from Kramnik helped Anand win.

Please admit it for the sake of @Curious's sanity.

Well there goes Curious`s entire argument. Topailov had the help of the supercomputer along with the help of the great Cheparinov ( who`s more creative than Kasparov, Kramnik and Carlsen combined !! )and stll he lost. And now my belly aches from laughing too much.

Anand's interview:


...."Chess is a game decided by mistakes and you are supposed to provoke your opponent into committing mistakes. I was lucky that something in Topalov gave way faster than it gave way in me. And that proved decisive in the 12th game,”

Polish Chess Federation's webpage has a very interesting interview (in Polish) with Radoslaw Wojtaszek about being Anand's second. http://www.pzszach.org.pl/index.php?idm2=173&idn=819 . I have no time this week to translate. I will try next week. Unless mishanp does it first :)

If you are an ardent chess game fan you will like this article. The article has a link to the interesting interview with Vishy Anand at Chessbase. The interview offers many information on where he talks about getting preparation from some experts who know about world championship matches.

Don't have money to buy a house? You should not worry, just because it is achievable to take the loan to work out such kind of problems. Thence get a sba loan to buy all you need.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 20, 2010 2:43 AM.

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