Veselin Topalov: “I want the match to continue”

Oct 1, 11:46 AM

Earlier today Veselin Topalov expressed his desire the match to continue in the Russian news paper Sport Report.

“There will be no game today, but I hope the match goes on soon,” he said. “The negotiations are lead by my manager, Mr. Silvio Danailov. I am trying to concentrate for my next game, which hopefully will be soon. I personally do not want to put any obstacles on the continuation of the match.”

Note: translation from Russian (as shown on Topalov’s fan website)

Additional information from Topalov’s fan website:

After the toiletgate scandal began, Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was obliged to leave the meeting with president Putin in Sochi and head to Elista. He came in the middle of open fire between the two teams and called the two player for a negotiation meeting.

Last night and this morning another round of negotiations has taken place on which the following decisions have been taken. Bathrooms will be opened during the whole match. Each player will have his own permanently assigned and the teams will be provided with a possibility of thorough inspection of the opponent’s one.

The appeals committee has resigned and will not take part of the process until the end of the match. A new committee is about to be formed. Until the the FIDE president will perform their functions.

Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has called the construction chief minister of Kalmikya with the suggestion that bathrooms are completely reconstructed, but the Bulgarian delegation has turned down the suggestion, saying that it is enough if experts check them two hours before the event. Until now the bathroom check option was not available by contract and has not been performed in the first games.

Silvio Danailov commented later on the events. “We decided to make a compromise and agreed the bathrooms in the relaxation rooms to be used. We even let Mr. Kramnik use the bigger of the two rooms because of his need for more space.”

Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is sure that the match is set to continue. He has in his official press release that only minor problems are to be resolved. However one of the biggest problems still stands. It is the score. Will the game start from 3:1 or 3:2? A decision made by the organizing committee is difficult to be reversed and both sides have to agree.

Another article from Topalov’s fan website on September 29, 2006:

How a small complaint can revolve the world around? The “toiletgate” we witness at the WCC 2006 is a perfect example.

How far will it go?

It all began a day before the championship’s first game. Shower cabins have been removed from the bathrooms on request by Topalov. Nothing serious, no complaints from Kramniks side. The cabins have been desinstalled without any problem. No matter how long a game is, taking shower in the middle of it is pure lack of respect to the opponent.

On the 24th after the second game a more serious complaint came from Silvio Danailov. During game two strangers have had access to Veselin Topalov’s room. Reaction by FIDE and the organizing commettee was immediate and restricted accsess to relaxaion rooms.

Again adequate request and adequate reaction by FIDE. However, a small question raised by the Bulgarian delegation the same day provoked doubts. Video records from rooms were supposedly missing. With open access to the rooms and no official records anything could have happened in the rooms.

This sequence of events increased the attention of the Bulgarian delegation. An analysis made by the team showed that Mr. Kramnik goes to the bathroom more than 50 times per match, especially in critical moments of the game. Since there is no audio or video vigilance at the place it seems kind of strange that the Russian chess player has spent more time in the toilet than on the playing board. Topalov expressed clearly that for him “taking the most important decisions in the bathroom” is a lack of respect.

This also seems like a logical complaint. Chess is a noble game. Kramnik’s missing from the board most of the time is not normal.

A sharp reaction was released by Silvio Danailov on the issue. FIDE acted almost immediatelly and rectified the situation. Some video records have been provided to the Bulgarian team and toilet rules have been changed. But not to the full extenct of the request. Tapes were not provided to mass media and no assistant arbiter has been allowed in the bathroom area.

Despite the chain of negative Veselin Topalov came for the fifth game on time. He sat down in the playing hall waiting for Kramnik. But the Russian player was not present. He entered the hall late and went straight to his room for relaxation. The clocks were started, but Vladimir Kramnik refused to come and play. According to the rules Topalov won by forfeit on time.

Kramnik stated that he is deeply disturbed by the accusations of Veselin Topalov and Silvio Danailov. However, no accusations were made. The declarations simply expressed concern for Mr. Kramnik’s behavior as sportsman and minor concerns for facilities.

The incidents from the 22nd, 24th, and 28th were normal requests accompaning any major sports event. The refusal of Vladimir Kramnik to sit and play a game is a clear breaking of rules and a direct offense to Veselin Topalov. Facilities discussion, playing conditions, etc is the job of the managers. Players’ job is to play, a thing that Mr. Kramnik refused to do.

Later on Kramnik retreated to his villa to rest. Will he continue to play or abandon the match? Is this just a psycological game? How will this affect future chess events? Stay on for updates on the ongoing conflict.
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