Reports | February 09, 2007 21:06

[lang_nl]'Valsspelen Topalov vastgelegd'[/lang_nl][lang_en]'Cheating Topalov recorded'[/lang_en]

[lang_nl]Er is al geruime tijd ophef in de schaakwereld over vermeend valsspelen door 's wereld hoogste ratinghouder Veselin Topalov uit Bulgarije. Geruchten die begonnen na zijn daverende succes bij het WK in San Luis (Argentini?ɬ´), eind 2005, werden versterkt door het artikel van Martin Breutigam in de S?ɬºddeutsche Zeitung. De Russische krant Kommersant beweert nu een filmpje in het bezit te hebben van een Nederlandse schaakfan die vorig jaar, tijdens Corus 2006, verdachte gebaren van Topalovs manager Silvio Danailov zou hebben vastgeleged. Even voor de duidelijkheid: wij van Chessvibes waren het niet![/lang_nl][lang_en]For quite a while now, in the chess world there is a big fuzz about alleged cheating by the world's highest rated player Veselin Topalov from Bulgaria. Rumours that started after his huge success at the Wch in San Luis (Argentina), at the end of 2005, that were intensified by the article by Martin Breutigam in the S?ɬºddeutsche Zeitung. The Russian newspaper Kommersant now claims to have in their possession a video made by a Dutch chess fan, who claims to have put on tape suspicious gestures of Topalov's manager, Silvio Danailov. Just for the record: it wasn't Chessvibes![/lang_nl]

[lang_nl]Kommersant zegt een video in bezit te hebben die een Nederlandse schaakfan opstuurde, die onbekend wil blijven. Het filmpje is opgenomen tijdens een van Topalovs partijen bij Corus 2006. De opname kan hier bekeken worden maar de video lijkt het helaas niet te doen.

Tot dusver heeft Chessvibes zo min mogelijk gerapporteerd over het onderwerp valsspelen. Zowel Vladimir Kramnik als Veselin Topalov is van valsspelen beschuldigd, maar nooit zagen we een spoor van echt bewijs. Tot dusver besloten we te focussen op grootse spelers en grootse partijen.

Het kan echter niet genegeerd worden dat de geruchten over valsspelen blijven groeien. Bovendien zijn er de laatste jaren enkele serieuze incidenten geweest op amateurniveau. In deze moderne tijden met mobiele telefoons als complete mini-pc's is het gewoon te eenvoudig om hulp te krijgen vanuit buiten de speelzaal. Daarom is het volkomen terecht dat zowel de FIDE als de Association of Chess Professionals het onderwerp valsspelen inmiddels erg serieus nemen.

Berik Balgabaev, adviseur van FIDE-president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, zei tegen Kommersant dat, als ze officieel worden benaderd, de organisatie wellicht een onderzoek start naar de Bulgaarse schaker. "Maar we mogen niks beginnen zonder dat we benaderd zijn", voegde Balgabaev toe. "Een speciale commissie is al aangesteld binnen de FIDE, geleid door Geoff Borg, om het onderwerp valsspelen aan te pakken. De commissie krijgt advies over het onderwerp in het algemeen, en zal voorstellen doen om het op te lossen. Geloof me, we zien het als een serieus probleem."

Pavel Tregubov, president van de Association of Chess Professionals, zei tegen Kommersant dat zijn organisatie klaar is om een onderzoek te starten naar de geruchten dat Topalov advies zou ontvangen van Danailov, die computeranalyses zou gebruiken. "Ik weet nog niet welke maatregelen genomen zouden kunnen worden, maar het probleem wordt steeds nadrukkelijker", zei Tregubov tegen Kommersant. "Voor de computers had het voor een vooraanstaande grootmeester geen zin om advies aan te nenem. De persoon die het advies gaf, was niet beter dan de speler achter het bord. Dergelijke incidenten kwamen voor bij kinder- of amateurcompetities. Maar nu is het mogelijk dat het probleem het eliteniveau heeft bereikt. En ik denk dat de FIDE het probleem moet oppakken, eventueel samen met de ACP. Als er genoeg zwaarwegend bewijs is, zullen we contact opnemen met de bond."

Deze tijden zouden weleens kritiek kunnen blijken voor het schaakspel. Iedereen moet zijn best doen om te voorkomen dat de naam van ons prachtige spel bezoedeld wordt. De laatste sponsoren die nog over zijn, zullen collectief wegrennen als schaken gedegradeerd is tot een sport die je niet meer serieus kunt nemen. Laten we allemaal proberen dit te voorkomen.

Update 10 februari: Om zeker te zijn, moet ik even ?ɬ©?ɬ©n ding duidelijk maken. Het hele Chessvibes-team is van mening dat de video niets bewijst. Daarom was de kop van het artikel tussen aanhalingstekens gezet, aangezien het beschrijft wat Kommersant beweerde. We besloten vooral dit artikel te schrijven om duidelijk te maken dat het filmpje niet van ons was en om eindelijk onze mening over dit onderwerp eens over het voetlicht te brengen, iets waar veel van onze bezoekers om gevraagd hebben.[/lang_nl][lang_en]Kommersant say they have obtained a video recording sent by a Dutch fan, who asked to remain unnamed and was recorded at one of Topalov's matches at Corus 2006. The recording can be viewed here but unfortunately the video doesn't seem to work.

So far, Chessvibes has refrained from reporting much on the subject of cheating. Both Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov have been accused of cheating, but never was there any hard evidence. So far, we decided to focus on great players and great games.

It cannot be ignored however, that the suspicions about cheating keep on growing. Furthermore, in recent years there have been some serious incidents on amateur level. In these modern times with mobile phones turning into complete mini pc's, it's simply too easy to use help from outside a playing hall. Therefore, it's fully justified that both FIDE and the Association of Chess Professionals are taking the subject of cheating very seriously.

Berik Balgabaev, advisor to FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, told Kommersant that, if contacted officially, the organization may organize an investigation of the accusations against the Bulgarian chess player. ?¢‚Ǩ?ìBut we have no right to undertake anything before being contacted,?جø¬?? Balgabaev added. ?¢‚Ǩ?ìA special commission has already been established in FIDE headed by vice president Geoff Borg to address the problem of cheating, that is receiving advice, as a whole, and will make proposals to solve it. Believe me, we consider it a serious problem.?جø¬??

Pavel Tregubov, president of the Association of Chess Professionals, told Kommersant that his organization is ready to investigate suspicions that Topalov would be receiving advice from Danailov, who would use computer analysis. "I don't know yet what measures could be taken, but the problem has become pressing," Tregubov told Kommersant. "Before computers, there was no sense in a leading grandmaster taking advice. The person giving the advice would not be a better player than the one at the board. Such incidents occurred at children's or amateur competitions. But now it is possible that the problem has reached the elite level. And I think FIDE should take up the problem, possible jointly with the ACP. If there is weighty enough evidence, we will contact the federation."

Times like these might turn out to be critical for the game of chess. Everybody must do their best to prevent our beautiful game from being besmirched. The last sponsors that are left, will run away collectively when chess has been degraded to a sport that cannot be taken seriously anymore. Let us all try to prevent this.

Update February 10th: To be sure, I have to make one thing clear. The whole Chessvibes team is of the opinion that the video doesn't prove anything. Therefore the header of the article has been put between quotation marks, since it describes what Kommersant was implying. We decided to write this article mainly to express that Chessvibes didn't make the video and to finally express our opinion about the whole matter, something a lot of viewers have asked for.[/lang_en]

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, 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.

Chess.com

Comments

arne's picture

The movie can also be viewed here:

http://www.kommersant.ru/Video/Clips/Chess-320.avi

It's indeed a curious video. Especially the end. Of course it doesn't prove anything, but it's still funny.

forest's picture

Mr Danailov is just being nervous. And funny to see is that one of the viewers next to him also makes the same gesture ; just a common chess-watch gesture apparently

Marin's picture

Hmmm... really not convincing. I know some people who have nervous hands.

The only "suspect" thing is that Danailov is always on the same place - most people move around when watching games, and I think he is an IM so he should be at least a little interested in other games.

But really nothing too suspicious.

Nas's picture

it's all very discreet. no hard evidence from what i can see....

Dimitur Kirov's picture

Compared to 50 visits of WC per match this desease is harmless. I'm currious to know how did the operator decided to point his camera at Danailov.

Is he a fan, lover, girfriend or something ?

Martien's picture

Filmpje doet het niet.
Ik geloof er geen barst van. Heb Danailov ook wel heen en weer zien lopen, maar als je verdacht wordt gemaakt lijkt elke handeling wel verdacht. Wordt er een beetje moe van zo onderhand.

peter's picture

Hey chessvibes...... you chose the worst moment to report a media campaign on your website. You discredited your site in front of many. Please, comment on it at least. It is the worst story, porly made, and in two newspapers close to Hensel.

Poor Hensel, he went so low..........

Ed Gein's picture

als je de video moet geloven stikt het in elke club van de cheaters...

Cobra's picture

I didn't find the video convincing but it doesn't take much finger movement to convey one chess move. In my opinion Topalov did not cheat but the matter should be investigated and measures taken to prevent communication between players and spectators during games. That way everyone can get back to chess. That said, Topalov brought a lot of srcutiny on himself when his team accused Kramnik of cheating. He who lives by slander ...

Jerrel's picture

What the hell is this movie proving? Nothing at all!!!

thegreatbakker's picture

Het bewijst niets, maar hij ging wel als Ben Johnson naar buiten met mobieletje in zijn hand. Echt bewijs zal ook wel niet komen.

Edje's picture

Ik cheat me ook de pleuris, coke does one helluva job......Topalov is a rookie, Danailov is his pimp.

?Ǭ¨Anonymous's picture

How paranoid will Danailov be now after seeing that footage? lol. Also I don't find it particularly convincing. The moment at the beginning when he touches his tie, before he turns, is just as suspicious as the moment Mr. Anon chose to use. It still doesn't prove that there was cheating going on. It's a bit stupid all these accusations but as someone said earlier he brought it on himself. Let's just hope it all calms down in the next few months.

dorothea's picture

From what I usually remember, Veselin is usually looking at the board with both hands around his head/face.
As some people have already pointed out, this accusations absolutely foundless (and what about the 'toilet moves' of Kramnik ... )
Kommersant, as a Russian newspaper, is free to publish whatever they want, but should everybody pay attention ...
On top of that, we know who usually has the last say in Russian media! So far for the freedom of speech (and truthful presentation of facts) in Good Old Russia ...

Jeans's picture

Hoi Chessvibers,

Ik vind de kop van het artikel "Valsspelen Topalov vastgelegd" erg ongelukkig gekozen!

Zo lijkt het net of jullie nu meedoen met de stemmingmakerij, terwijl de inhoud van het artikel erop wijst dat jullie slechts aandacht aan het probleem schenken.

Ik neem aan dat jullie in dat filmpje van Danailov ook niets zien wat op onregelmatigheden duidt.

Verder is het een prachtige site :-)

forest's picture

Jeans: Het staat ook tussen quotes. Het is een citaat.

Foreman's picture

Correspondentieschaak is al jaren geleden om zeep gebracht door de komputer, al zijn er velen ,die dit niet wensen in te zien.Ik vrees, dat het met de gewone schaakpartijen in welke vorm dan ook, eveneens gaat gebeuren.

disheartened's picture

I'm a big fan of Topalov's attacking style and excellent work ethics, but Danailov's movements at 2:12 - where he is leaning his neck back and to the side, while placing his index finger on it, holding briefly - looks really, really suspect to me.

Enough to get a man hanged? Probably not, but that movement just looks so horribly deliberate. Not good. Not good at all.

malek morocco's picture

kramnik didn't cheat at the wcc because he didn't win, it was topalav who lost the title,computers still can't beat humans,i think topalov can beat fritz10,i can't believe that kramnik didn't see mate in one,so,i'm bigging you to stop this stupid and ridiculous attack against topalov,you are making yourselves so stupid

Surprised's picture

It is incredible that people even think Topalov cheated because of this video... I mean, you can say he cheated, but not based on this video... COME ON!! Impossible...

And about what the other guy said, about the fingers on the neck and stuff, that?Ǭ¥s easy to see when the video is SLOWED DOWN, STU***!!

peter's picture

[lang_nl]Voor de zekerheid heb ik even een update gemaakt.[/lang_nl][lang_en]To be sure, I have written an update.[/lang_en]

Pakka Pakka's picture

From a duo which don't have the word ethics in their dictionary you can expect everything. Mr. D. looks very much a father who is eager to help his kid.

lawrence's picture

It would be impossible to prove cheating, getting sucked into this debate is not going to help. The constructive course is for the event organisers and FIDE to put measures into place to stop any possiblity of communication between players and stooges in the audience. It would be interesting to see if Topalov's rating would decrease as a result. But anyone who has seen Topalov's games over the last two years must conclude that his opening preparation is the best in world. How many exchange sacrifices have we seen that have to be home prep? I would rather give him the benefit of the doubt and accept his performance is the result of hard work.

Rybka's picture

Kramnik and Russia strike back with this fake proof for cheating. They cannot find anything better and that's why they show topalov nervous manager. Sadly, even with this bad "proof" they can ruin Topalov career, because he is not russian and they cannot aford non-russian to be the best, because russian dictate what will happend in world chess. I expect soon Topalov not to be allowed to participate in some championships because FIDE is investigating him or for some other stupid reason inveted of FIDE owned by russians. They will investigate him long enough to ruin his career and that's how they will deal it the best chess player so Kramnik can live forever with his cheated champion title.

goran's picture

Topalov is the king.....after all he wass the one that destroyed kasparov in his very last game.....so shut up everyone....!!!!!!!!

goran's picture

i think we should forbide kramnik to go to toilet and danilov to be present ....result would be 10 0 for topalov

Goran Urosevic's picture

Just for the record, I'm not the "goran" posting above ;)

Georgie's picture

Obviously staged on some film set in Russia. The actor does carry a strong likeness of Danailov though...

Nikola's picture

Martin Breutigam claimed, that Danailov was sending signals to Topalov when putting his glasses on. On this video there are no glasses. Also on the video Topalov is not looking on Danailov. The Russians claims are ridiculous.

Bruno Jelic's picture

Hier heb jij een smerige dome Servi?ɬ´r
welke vervuild sait men schrijf 5 keer.
Peter kan jij die man blokiren austublieft.

Ricardo's picture

LOL, LOL, LOL
And this video proves... ?
Come on!

Alesh Benko's picture

This video proves only that Danailov was holding his haid with a hand, strached few times, all the things a normal human would do, watching his protoge play, and that he took the cell phone in his hand (or maybe recevied a phone call), and the speed he was going out it happened to me on a lot of occasions. For example when i am in the doctors office and i receive a phone call, i run out of the waiting room very fast so i would not disturb other patients. I bet Danailov did the same.
This video proves only that. Besides what would that signs mean? Some new Morse like code? Maybe rh4? Or pawn to f5? Or whatever? How could that shracthing or supporting his haid with hand, be translated into moves?
Ah, yes, Maybe Danailov and Topalov are brain connected. (cinically)
I think Danailov should sue all of them. I think all the others are just jellous of Great Topalovs play and the GM analisators support that he has at home at his headquarters.
Sorry for the grammar mistakes. Peace.

Khondakar Nazre Mowla's picture

I don't like to believe that Topalov or Kramnik were cheating ever. I hope FIDE will be taken more attention about cheating in future at top and all level chess tournament. Sorry for my poor english. Thanks to all.

Pakka Pakka's picture

forest
2007-02-09 2.35 pm wrote "... the viewers next to him also makes the same gesture ; just a common chess-watch gesture apparently"

Maybe Mr. Danailov noticed that bullhorns draw too much attention?

goran's picture

Toiletnik will be destroyed by the worlds number 1 ever

goran's picture

Forbid toilets!!

Bert de Bruut's picture

The ridiculous toilet-accusations have completely backfired by now! Justice is beautiful...

jussu's picture

Watched this video and failed to notice anything suspicious. Every gesture of Danailov suggested that he was simply thinking about (Topalov's) position. After all, remember that Danailov is not too bad a chessplayer himself and he probably takes his pupil's position quite personally.

Just to make things clear: I'm a great fan of Kramnik and I find Danailov (much more than Topalov) to be an honourless intrigant. This does not mean that Topalov cheats - he obviously does not.

chinghis khan's picture

Well, let me explain how Danailov and Topalov cheat. Danailov puts two fingers on chin. This mean: Go with Queen on B3. Topalov points with one finger on his top: (means) Are you nut? There is no queens on board. Danailov scratches mouth: (means) Moron, this was for Kramnik. Your move is (Danailov scratches himself somewhere behind belly, around two balls) Rf1. Topalov starring at him: (means) I must play Kb2 (Balls is usualy 2), or you just scratched your balls? Danailov get off from the hall: This means that he only scratches the balls... e.t.c. More explanations - ask me and we will see.

T's picture

TRICHEUR de TOPALOV.

pako's picture

Rybka,

congratulations, you seem to have got the entire farce right!
How sad for chess...

Babson's picture

This video is from round 11, 2006.

Result of the round Ivanchuk - Topalov 1/2 1/2.

Risking your reputation for a draw? I don't buy it.

Also, the so called "fingers on the neck", looks like someone straightening their tie to me.

I remain extremely sceptical.

sizo's picture

The strongest point to accuse Topalov and Danailov for cheating is according to me not the video in itself, but the fact that many eyewitnesses said that Danailov was performing this strange behaviour for many moves and many games(including the hastily running away with cellphone each time the opponent made a move). The Wijk aan Zee Games against Van Wely and Karjakin were the finest examples as i remember from an article on the chessbase site.

Frank van Tellingen's picture

When will all this nonsense come to an end?
It is not so strange to act nervously when your protegee is playing. And to act nervously again in a consistent way, only shows that someone has that kind of character.

GAMJr's picture

The video doesn't prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt, or by any other standard for that matter, but I find his demeanor fake, or forced. It's hard to describe, but to me Danilov looks like he is "trying" to look natural, while sticking out like a sore thumb. Again, this still doesn't prove anything, but FIDE is going to have to begin policing these big tournaments better. I also find Topalov's rise to the top at his age suspicious. If you go back and check the ratings, he and Morozevich have been nearly equal the past few years, until late 2005 early 2006 when Topalov all the sudden was ahead of Anand, which is a position he was never even close to being. Suspicious?? Yes, IMO. Great Website.... Thanks!

GAMJr.
:-)

chinghis khan's picture

It seems that all of you are not chess players. What is the point to comment this video? First of all Danailov is NOT playing, so he can go whatever he wants, act normaly or not, call the phone and even scratch his balls, if he wants to. Simple decision for "mistery" with calls - yes, he calls to some one with PC, who can tell him how computer rates position. Now, tell me how he CAN give a hint to Topalov, for example, for playing move Ng4? Some one to describe me gestures, telling "Topalov, Ng4".
Last: All this agains Topalov is because Bulgaria is small country. If the world champion is from Russia there is a 250 000 000 POTENTIAL buyers of something, that chess can sell. If the name of world chempion is Topalov, than you have only 8 000 000. See the difference? Lets stop talks and play chess. The name of present WC is Kramnik.

Cannabis's picture

Rybka,
Congratulations too! You can catch the essential ambitions of Toaletnics. Everybody must know the below "interest news":
http://www.kommersant.com/p741182/FIDE_investigat
e_claims_Topalov/
- and you can build up the own "RWC picture" too.
This is terrible for chess ...........

dorothea's picture

Well, well, the chess community seems to be bitterly polarized by now.
Some like Topalov, some like Kramnik. (Big business is happy too!)

I agree with most things said above, but I can't understand one thing ... why Kramnik should be given a chance to re-claim his title after Mexico, if need arises, and somebody else could not do it before that.
Let's not forget that Topalov lost his title in the 4th game of the tie-break, and the Championship was in Ilumzhinov's land (and Russia), and not somewhere internationally, i.e. in Mexico or St.Luis (Arg). I think that a bit of fairness should be done to Topalov of trying his best to defend his title - and propose something interesting and pallatable in terms of chess openings and 'tempestuous' tactical games to the chess afecionados!

funny's picture

it funny but in the sentence
"The name of present WC is Kramnik."
i read the word "WC" like "water closet" not like World Champion.

niceforkinmove's picture

It is not proof but it is nearly impossible to prove cheating in this way. The only way to prevent cheating in this way is to not allow the players to see the crowd. Otherwise every tournament remains suspect in my opinion.

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