Reports | February 19, 2009 4:47

Topalov wins second game with Black

Topalov-Kamsky Game 2Veselin Topalov won the second game today in his Challenger's Match with Gata Kamsky. With Black he answered 1.e4 with 1...e5 and came under pressure after grabbing a dangerous pawn, but Kamsky used too much time in the opening phase and couldn't make use of his activity.

The Kamsky-Topalov World Championship Semi-Final Match takes place February 16th to 28th in the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Challenger’s Match consists of eight games and possible tie-breaks and has a prize find of US $250,000 which will be shared equally by the players. The winner qualifies for a World Championship Match against Viswanathan Anand.

Game 2
Like yesterday, we start with something that appeared on the official website. This time it was a note on the home page which said IMPORTANT, so we decided to read on:

In order to put an end to any attepts at speculation by match participants, their teams, and the public at large, the Organising Committee with the consent of FIDE publishes the full text of the signed agreement between Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov, as well as the agreement between FIDE and the Bulgarian Chess Federation on the organisation of the Challengers' Match.

Wow, that's not bad, not bad at all! Remember this column of January 7th? We praised Henrik Carlsen for stressing the importance of transparancy, predictablility and fairness. Well, at least we have some transparancy here!

Some quotes from the agreement between FIDE and the Bulgarian Chess Federation (full texts downloadable here):

The Organizer will host and finance all necessary costs of the Challengers' Match 2008, according to the official regulations of the event.

This includes:
a. The amount of 250.000 USD as prize fund (net and free of all local taxes).
b. The amount of 50.000 USD as contribution to FIDE.
c. The amount of 25.000 USD as stipend to the Principals of the Challengers' Match 2008.
d. The amount of 10.000 USD towards the preparatory budget of FIDE's Worid Championship Committee.
e. The amount of 1,500 USD for renting the high power jammer system from FIDE.

TOTAL of 2a + 2b + 2c + 2d +2e = 336.500 USD

As always, FIDE make quite a lot of money themselves, and it would be interesting to hear from them on what it will be spent, exactly. And we needed Google to learn that the "high power jammer system" is destroying the possibility of using a cell phone within the playing hall.

The Organizer is given all the commercial rights connected to the Tournament, and is entitled to exploit all the rights, including but not limited to; sponsorship rights, ticketing rights, Internet rights, televisions rights, graphic, media, SMS rights, all kind of transmission through cellular phones, all sort of electronics broadcast rights aheady existing or to exist , souvenir rights, merchandising rights, advertising and promotion rights, as well as all the source of income through this agreements. The Organizer will print and distribute tickets, VIP passes and working passes needed to enter the Venue.

As was also noted by me (no, not yours truly, but someone who couldn't think of a better name), this paragraph is probably related to yesterday's post about the odd legal note referring to Playchess. It's still being discussed under yesterday's report, but the one question that needs to be answered is: can you copyright a chess move? This has been debated heavily over the years, and to our knowledge, the answer thus far has always been no.

Now, let's move on to the game! Since Kamsky's handling of the clock played such an important role in this game, we decided to include the amount of time he spent at several moments.

Name Nat. Rtg
















Kamsky USA 2725
0 ¬?
Topalov BUL 2796
1 1¬?

Topalov and Danailov

Veselin Topalov and his manager Silvio Danailov before game 2

Snacks and drinks

The players are checked with a metal detector before they can enter the stage - here it's Kamsky's turn

Snacks and drinks

Snacks and drinks available for the players during the game

Topalov adjusting his pieces

Topalov before the second match game, adjusting his pieces

Starting the clock

Arbiter Ashot Vardapetian starts the clock for game 2

Photos © Ivan Stoimenov - courtesy of the official website



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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Castro's picture

:-) I thought so. Poor kid...

me's picture

Lasker always demanded (and received) exclusive rights to publish his World Championship games.

guitarspider's picture

Yeah and no one else did. The Bulgarians just try to annoy what they think is Kramnikbase.

The time Gata used for the opening is ridiculous, he had a good position, but with 40 minutes for 30 moves against almost 2 hours Topalov had he didn't stand a chance. If he gets his time problems under control he will still be a very dangerous opponent, if not he will be crushed.

Castro's picture

I got the idea, sure. But without having the legal competences to evaluate completelly, I still got the feeling that it is not so simple, and legal dispute may have place, for instance the definition of "public event" and how far can someone go in defining exactly the hows and in which ways his event and certain pieces of it's information are public and who can publicate them a tempo... Not for me to defend certain point here, as I told before, because I feel I lack something...

Castro's picture

Am I wrong or if, by technological means, an organizer prevents all broadcasting (not just the moves) DURING the game (as it seems to be the case in Sofia), but keeps reeling the moves and/or images on the net, the only way other sites can reel the moves is by getting them from the oficial site?

Castro's picture

This question seems to me to keep the problem alive, because it is not even an issue on copyrighting moves, but merely in keeping rights on every information about the event (during the event).

Macauley's picture


It doesn't matter how the moves are obtained. They become factual events in the world, that aren't protected by copyright. It's true that you could not screen capture the official site and stream it as a video, because the site itself IS protected, but the moves are not.

To use the baseball box score analogy, if someone is watching the World Series -- even on television -- and the home team hits a home run to win the game in the bottom of the ninth, he or she is free to tell it to the world, "hey! The Yankees just won with a home run in the bottom of the ninth!" whenever, and however he/she pleases. It's a non-copyrightable event. Ditto for chess moves.

Castro's picture

Arguable it could be (I'm not the one entitled here, and the pratical aspects are obvious, your right), ok, the answer to my question seems to be "yes".

Castro's picture

Ah, but just another idea: As you give the baseball score box example, what about a conference where the organizers keep rights but transmit on the net the writen speech of someone? Could you copy that and transmit on your own site, "live"?

Macauley's picture

Not the exact words of the speech as written (copyrightable), but the events of what occurred, yes. Keep in mind this is a public event with spectators (maybe 40 thousand in the case of a baseball game). The events are public by definition.


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