:: Topalov's interview - "I hope Kirsan will win again!"

Veselin TOPALOV: “I hope Kirsan will win again»
The World Chess Champion declared his support to Kirsan right after the victory in Bucharest. Bulgarian Veselin Topalov has won the four-game match against the European Champion, Romanian Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu with the score3:1. Immediately after the match the “The Sport-Express Daily” Chess observer Yuriy Vasiliev had a phone interview with Topalov.

About the Bucharest Match

- Veselin, let me congratulate you on the victory!
- Thank you!

- Does the score 3:1 reflect the balance of forces between you and the European Champion?
- When the same question was asked during the press conference, Nisipeanu's answer was affirmative. I can say that I am satisfied with my performance and with the result of the match. I managed to play consistently, without blunders. Some positions could have been played in a better way, but I believe that in general I have demonstrated a good level of play.

- In the first game there was a “Berlin variant" of the Spanish game; the Romanian GM nearly disappointed you with it, didn’t he…
- I’d like to point out that I play the “Berlin” pretty often and I was preparing it for the World Championship. However this complicated endspiel has many little details, so every half move rather than move is of great importance. There was some little inaccuracy on my part and the competitor could have thrown me into serious problems. However he missed his chance and I found the forced draw.

- In the second game you caught him with a variant, right?
- On the contrary, I did not catch him. It turned out that he had foreseen it during the preparation, the new move, which I made. But in the further keen struggle I managed to outplay him and win the game.

- During the third game I had a feeling that you missed the win. Is that so?
- No, it was a deceptive feeling. I had a comfortable position but he always came up with some counter play to balance.

- What happened in the final game when the black pieces somewhat rapidly lost a pawn?
- That’s when I really caught the rival with a variant and won the pawn without any adequate compensation. I used some old analysis, which I didn’t even hope to ever use in a game of such high level. Thus the victory in the last game was unexpectedly bloodless.

About the Chess popularity

- Did the match in Bucharest draw much interest?
- The match was dedicated to the admission of Bulgaria and Romania to European Union in 2007, and the first move in the match was made by the President of Romania. The audience was huge during every game. Local newspapers reported that this match was the most remarkable chess event in the history of the country. Never before had a World Chess Champion played with a European Chess Champion representing Romania.

- The last time we met was after the Tournament in Linares, which you managed to rescue after the failure start in Morelia. What is your opinion about the shaped trend to explore new territories for chess: Mexico, Argentina, North of Russia, Ural?...
- I think it’s a positive and very important trend! For long time haven’t I seen such incredible interest to chess and chess players as I saw in Mexico. And I have never received so much attention. It can probably be compared to the popularity of a rock star… It was strange, unusual, but damn pleasant! It means that chess stirs ordinary people even in the most distant regions of the world and we must take advantage of this interest.

About FIDE Elections

- The elections of President of FIDE will take place in the upcoming Olympiad in Turin. Whose candidacy do you support?
- I deeply respect the present head of the World Chess Federation, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. I think that his contribution to chess is enormous, and I hope that this time he will win again.

About the Elista Match with Kramnik

- During our conversation in Linares you said you believed that the match between you and Vladimir Kramnik, which Ilyumzhinov intended to arrange in Elista, the capital of the governed by him republic of Kalmykia, would indeed take place. Do you still hold on to your belief and your intention to play with Kramnik?
- Yes and my intention and belief have even grown stronger. The match will be played and the world public will soon be officially notified of it.

- Have the controversial points, which were pronounced in Linares by your manager and the trainer Silvio Danailov, been settled?
- I only know that the negotiations are carried on successfully. But what is more important is that Kramnik and I want to play this match, and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov wants to arrange it. It means that the match will be held.

- What do you think about your prospective rival?
- Vladimir Kramnik is particularly good in match battles. He has proved it by winning the match against the greatest chess player of the 20th century, Garry Kasparov. I think that our match will be extremely interesting, in the first place because it will be played by competitors, totally different in style of their play. Kramnik is very good at positioning and maneuvering, whereas I prefer sharp and tactical play. I’m sure that the audience will not be bored.

About Anand

- You are officially FIDE World Top Chess Player. However the Indian Anand Viswanathan is only one point behind. Do you think he will be able to draw ahead of you in the Sofia tournament which will be opened in the beginning of May?
- I really enjoy the healthy competition between me and Anand Viswanathan. I think the tournament in Sofia will make many things clear in our relationship...

- What is the current score between you and Anand?
- If I’m not mistaken 8:8 in the resulting games, but there have been a great number of draws. By the way I have extended the gap between me and Anand in the top list by about four points due to the 3:1 win in the match against Nisipeanu.

- Do you think Anand Viswanathan will be your major competitor in the tournament in Sofia?
- He is certainly the most troublesome rival, as usually. However I am not inclined to underestimate Peter Svidler, Ruslan Ponomariov, Gata Kamsky and Etienne Bacrot. There will be no poor players in Sofia.

Last update by Webmaster12/04/2006 >>>