Below is a fiery interview with Veselin Topalov on Saturday
Trud Daily (largest Bulgarian daily newspaper)
Saturday, October 7, 2006

Q: Is the match changing now after the 4:4 draw?

Veselin Topalov: Yes. For me it was important to achieve a draw. The victory with the black pieces was of special significance because Kramnik rarely loses when he plays with the white pieces. There is nothing to do but feel sorry about my omissions in the first, second and fourth games.

Q: So far there have been numerous battles outside the chess board. What will be the main thing from now on?

VT: I believe that my manager Silvio Danailov did an extraordinary job and won all the legal battles outside the board quite convincingly, and in the enemy field, too. Now it is my turn to do the same on the chess board.

Q: What is your psychological disposition at the moment?

VT: I have not been worried or anything like that because Silvio kept all the problems away from me but after yesterday’s (Thursday) victory my self-confidence is naturally increasing.

Q: When was the hardest part of all?

VT: During the third game when I had to defend a very difficult position at 0:2. I remembered my omissions from the previous two games and I felt like crying.

Q: Do you think that your games are spectacular for the chess fans?

VT: The match follows the “Sofia rules” although this makes many people unhappy. However, that is the future. Every game continues until all chances are exhausted and the millions of fans of the chess game are finally happy.

Q: Don’t you think that your agreement to play on Russian territory, be it in Kalmykia, was a mistake?

VT: No. I enjoy challenges and I am not afraid of anything. Defeating the opponent on his own territory is the sweetest victory, provided the fair play is guaranteed, of course.

Q: Apparently, Kramnik feels very much at home…

VT: He also has his negatives because the pressure and responsibility are very tough on him.

Q: Do you think that players of his type are a good advertisement of chess?

VT: One thing I can say: the place of the sportsman is in the field or on the stage in front of the audience, and not in rest rooms or toilets.

Q: Do you think that this game will remain in history as uniting?

VT: It is early to say. Let’s wait until the end.

Q: But don’t you think that by threatening to sue FIDE Kramnik leaves an open door to proceed with the battle beyond the sport?

VT: That is his decision but in my opinion he couldn’t seriously believe that his chances will be high in court.

Q: After all, Kramnik was one of the “break aways” and stayed away from the FIDE tournaments.

VT: True. He has never adhered to any principles and has always been led by his current personal interests. Kramnik tried several times to play in the FIDE championships and when it did not work, Kasparov offered a match to him as a gift, together with a virtual title of world champion.

Q: Kramnik said in one of the press conferences that he was more anxious about the football Champions League. Have you ever heard anything more insulting than that?

VT: This is not an insult to me but to the organizers, the audience, the media and the millions of fans all over the world.

Q: What do you think of the name “The Toilet Match”?

VT: It’s humorous.

Q: Could you count your friends in the chess sport by their responses to the events in Elista?

VT: I think very few people actually know what is going on here. The majority draws information from the ChessBase site, which is apparently on Kramnik’s side. I would like to make it clear that this site is a shame for a developed European state like Germany.

Q: Did you like the book on Buddhism?

VT: Very much. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov gave me two books that I read with great pleasure. This philosophy definitely appeals to me.

Q: Would you ever go back to Kalmykia?

VT: I will answer with the lyrics of our technical expert:
Elista is a nice town
Kalmykia is the land of wonder
And from here I don’t want to depart.

I understand that Topalov made this interview for the Bulgarian fans and he may want to please them. I also understand that some of the translations may be off. However, the timing is rotten and the context does not help his image either. That’s a double whammy! I would certainly ask these questions: “Why?” and “What does he have to gain by attacking Kramnik or ChessBase?”
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