Reports | June 06, 2007 6:51

[lang_nl]Topalov toch naar Mexico?[/lang_nl][lang_en]Topalov to Mexico?[/lang_en]

[lang_nl]Aangezien ikzelf druk aan het schaken ben in Boedapest (een First Saturday IM-toernooi), kan ik nog altijd weinig schaaknieuws brengen alhier. Toch even een korte melding van waar Chessdom vandaag mee kwam (als tegenprestatie voor het feit dat ze mij ook noemden!): de 'zaak Topalov' is door de FIDE 'op de agenda gezet'. Er werd onder het Rybka-artikel al een beetje over gediscussieerd dus hierbij gooien we de discussie definitief open, met dit artikel en met een nieuwe poll. Mag Topalov meedoen in Mexico of moet hij niet zaniken? Hoort deze topspeler erbij of getekend is getekend, thuis uithuilen?[/lang_nl][lang_en]Since I'm playing myself in Budapest (a First Saturday IM tournament) I'm still not able to write much about the chess news. But okay, I can mention the news that was brought by Chessdom today (since they mentioned me as well!): the "case Topalov" is "put in the agenda" by FIDE. There are already some comments on this subject under the Rybka article so hereby we'll definitely open the discussion, with this article and with a new poll. Should Topalov still be allowed to play in Mexico or should he stop dawdling? Does this top player belong in the tournament or signed is signed, go home and cry there?[/lang_en]

[lang_nl]Eerst even wat uitleg. Van Bulgaarse kant zijn brieven gestuurd naar de FIDE waarin gevraagd wordt om heroverweging van Topalovs deelname. Toen hij tekende voor de WK-match stemde hij ermee in dat de verliezer niet zou spelen in Mexico maar, zo redeneren de Bulgaren, Topalov tekende dit omdat hij toch, als 2700-speler, op elk moment Kramnik weer zou kunnen uitdagen. Maar aangezien deze rematch niet op tijd georganiseerd kom worden, is het toch wel sneu dat de nummer 2 van de wereld niet mee kan doen in Mexico. Tja, ik ben geneigd te denken: jammer joh, had je eerder moeten bedenken. En dat je werkelijk dacht dat je die rematch nog voor Mexico in de agenda kon proppen was wat na?ɬØef. Maar... als schaakfan zie ik Topalov erg graag meedoen in Mexico, dat zou een fantastisch toernooi zijn...[/lang_nl][lang_en]First some explanation. The Bulgarian Chess Federation and Mr Danailov have sent letters to FIDE in which they ask for reconsidering Topalov's participation in Mexico. When he signed for the Wch match, he agreed that the loser would not play in Mexico but, the Bulgarians are argumenting, Topalov signed because as a 2700 player he could challenge Kramnik anyway, at any moment. But because this rematch could not be arranged in time, it's sad that the world's no. 2 can't play in Mexico. Well, I'm inclined to think: too bad. He should have thought of that earlier. And thinking that you could stuff this rematch somewhere in the agenda before Mexico, was a bit naive. But... as a chess fan I would love to have Topalov added to the field in Mexico, that would really be a fantastic tournament...[/lang_en]


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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.


Oscar's picture

If he wins the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk at the end of this year, Topalov can play for the world title in 2009 (see link).

Radjabov, Ivanchuk, Mamedyarov and others also have to wait until the next cycle to get a shot at the world title. If Anand or somebody else does not win in Mexico, he also has to wait until the next cycle. Topalov is not treated differently than the others. He lost in Elista, so he has to wait a while for a next chance. Fair enough.

haenschen's picture

I wish Topalov would play. Because of his great skills.

But he should sign a contract, that he and his impertinent 2nd (Danailov should be banned out of chess community) would never again act again "gens una sumus", what is the most disgusting thing to do in (chess-) community!

They did so much evil, that there should be harsh consequences (.. and 2nd chance also).

But as we know FIDE. 2nd chance (and good politics) is not possible at all.

martien's picture

En zo kun je het alle kanten uitleggen. Deze formule werkt niet. Toppie hoort mee te spelen. Misschien moet het nieuwe Chess Grand Slam een belangrijke rol gaan spelen.

Steve Giddins's picture

Allowing Topalov into the Mexico event would be a disgrace, but FIDE may well do it anyway. That in turn will result in Kramnik withdrawing, and we will be back to rival world championship claimants - exactly what Danailov and his cronies want.

justin's picture

De Wereldkampioen moet de beste zijn!!!

Volgens mij is Topalov daar ook een van.......die stomme regels dat als je dit doet dat je dan dat niet mag doen daar schijt ik op!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peter succes in Boedapest!!!

Bert de Bruut's picture

Topalov has forfeited his rights, but true to style now pursues other methods to achieve his goal, first demanding a rematch and now entry into the cycle. It is certain he would never have condoned entry of Kramnik into the WC-cyle, had Vlad lost in Elista, so there is absolutely no reason to allow these opportunistic practices to yield Topalov any results.

In the mean time, keep up the good form Peter, still "only" 5 out of 7 to make for an IM-result!

Brian Karen's picture

The bigger concern is the creditability of the World Championship cycle rather than being fair to Topalov. Topalov is arguably the most successful player of the last 2 or 3 years. He was up until recently the #1 ranked player. He only lost to Kramnik in a very close tied match (lets not start arguing the free point). FIDE should be happy he wants to play.

~~~~'s picture

I think Topalov has every right to enter, because they asked for a re-match, but didnt get it, because Kramnik denied.

A rematch with what, 3 weeks time to prepare? That was not a sane demand, just a publicity stunt.

jasper's picture

He should just accept he lost against Kramnik. It was clearly stated in the contract that the loser of that match couldn't play there. But I wouldn't be surprised if FIDE allows him to play in Mexico anyway.

PS: Gratz with the IM title, Peter ;)

acirce's picture

I think it's currently in FIDE's interests to avoid that kind of chaos that would unavoidably ensue if Topalov was let in. Once I thought they were indeed going to find a way to include Topalov. Now I rather doubt it. But never rule it out.

jussu's picture

No. Topalov is undeniably a very strong chessplayer but there are many others who won't play in Mexico. He shut himself out before Elista. It turned out rather stupid but let it stay as it is.

A well-known dirty-player as a promotion for chess? Come on.

centercounter's picture

We do not, in spite of Kramnik's interview on Chessbase, know for sure how he would have responded in honoring the contract. We do see that Danailov and Topalov are unwilling to honor the contrzct.

It is clear that if Topalov is added to Mexico, based on the contract, all of the other participants would well have standing to officially conplain. I believe the correct behavior by Danailov would have been to "play by the rules" and wait to play the winner of Mexico.

I do also agree that the current arrangement does favor Kramnik, sort of. But it is less, historically, than most of the previous "old school" FIDE champions received - i.e. they didn't even have to compete in a tournament, they played the winner of the Candidates Matches with draw odds (except for the marathon Karpov-Korchnoi matches and the first Karpov-Kasparov match) and received an automatic rematch if they lost. We will never know if Botvinnik could have held the title as long as he did if he had to earn his way to the final match.

After this, clearly, the automatic rematch option should be abolished, and ties should be broken by "first win" in a classical time control with the color of the first tiebreak determined by lot.

Although, I do not have any problem with Topalov being invited to Mexico (as a commentator/analyst).

pete's picture

I think Topalov should be allowed to play, I mean c'mon the guy is just the best player in the world for the last 2-3 years. He won the last two Corus tournaments, and the last three MTel Masters tournaments beating all the worlds strongest players. Look at his rating for god sake, he is the second highest rated player in the history of chess after Kasparov. Yes, he made a terrible mistake with all these accusations during the match with Kramnik and now I would say most of the chess community really hates him. I will not comment if he had some point ;), but the fact is that he made chess popular. He is very attractive player and it is a shame that he will not be allowed to play in Mexico, make no mistake FIDE will not let him play.

Now for the guys who say he signed the contract, yes he did, BUT, in the contract and in FIDE's rules it is said he was allowed a rematch. Damn, I agree that making a rematch in that short of period is insane, but yet again he had nothing to lose cause he would not be playing in the WC in Mexico and even thought the time was scarce according to the rules he should have been allowed to play it. Kramnik broke the rules by refusing to play and FIDE denied him that right too, although the rules said another thing.

Personally I vote for Topalov to play, although this is just a voice in the desert, as I am sure he will not play.

One more thing, I do not hate Kramnik, but come on, the guys gets so many benefits from fide, I think that is not fair.

Jan KlenBrinke's picture

Natuurlijk kan
topalev gewoon mespelen. Het gaat er toch om om de besten met de besten te laten spelen.
Doen! Laat de regels in deze coulant zijn.
Peter succes verder.

Co Buysman's picture

It's strange that FIDE cannot organize a clear system for worldchampionships like in other sports. Make it simple: once in every four years there will be a final for the worldtitle. Of course after a lot of qualificationtournaments and -matches, because every chessplayer (professional and amateur) has the right of having a chance to play for the worldtitle.
The final is the last part of the four-years-cycle. After that there is the start of a new cycle with the participation of everyone who wants to play. So Veselin Topalov must have the right to play for a new worldchampionship after his lost final against Vladimir Kramnik.

Thomas T.'s picture

I think Topalov has every right to enter, because they asked for a re-match, but didnt get it, because Kramnik denied. It was a smart move of Kramnik to avoid a rematch, so he can exclude Topalov as a future challenger.

alabala's picture

Topalov is wise enough to do the folowing: let the Kramnik he is the best and in next cicle - ruin his WC-crown. (WC means not WorldChempion)

Leo's picture

It is quite understandable that Topalov wants to play. He would have a good chance of winning the tournament. But he does not have the right to be in the tournament. That is with all sports. In tennis, if Federer lost (e.g. because of a cold, but that really does not matter) you cannot say later "Hey, he's the best, so he should be in." That is rediculous. So let Topalov be an adult and wait for a year. That's all.

pete's picture

well known dirty player? r u kidding me, besides the kramnik match I see no other reasons to call him that.

and there is no such thing as a bad publicity, example Fischer - Spassky match

centercounter's picture

This will be an important tournament for Kramnik, as he still has the image of the "accidental champion" from 2000, and even though he retained his title, he has never successfully completed a qualifying cycle. If Vladimir Borosevich wins, it will add that missing bit of universal credibility, although he is the undisputed champion already.

acirce's picture

The Bulgarian federation and Topalov fanatics all over.. well, not the world but at least Bulgaria... got used to FIDE bending the rules in Topalov's favour in Elista. Now I guess it seems unfair to that kind of people if FIDE stops doing that and starts treating everyone the same according to the rule of law.

jon_malkov's picture

The rules were bent in Kramnik's favor and obviously he fired the whole appeals committee !!! Acirce, you are very confused, and should redifine some concepts in your head. It is very very obvious that chess is loosing from Topa not being in Mexico. It is not fair and besides he will make such a promotion for chess. He must play, and FIDE are very wrong not to let him

jon_malkov's picture

Acrice? Will you allow to see the farce we saw for 50 years with FIDE pushing Russian players to win the title??

Topalov is a needle for them, the one who broke the "Russian" standard. You also want Russians to win? Well, let it be in a fair fight.

Remco Gerlich's picture

As far as I know, the clause that the loser would not play in Mexico was Topalov's own idea. If he is let in, others will probably boycott the event, not entirely without justification.

So, sucks for the chess, but I believe FIDE can't let him in.

acirce's picture

Jon Malkov, just wild speculation from my part here, but are you Bulgarian? No offense to Bulgarians, but national bias is one of very few explanations that can be given for anyone so blatantly misrepresenting the simplest of facts and refusing to acknowledge the simplest of logics.

acirce's picture

Remco, as far as I know it was simply a consequent implementation of the already existing rules -- those saying the 8 Mexico participants would be the reigning champion, the players who finished 2-4 in San Luis, and the four players who qualified from the Candidates Matches. Since after Elista the loser was neither, he wouldn't be in.

Pearse O'Brien's picture

He signed the dotted line, end of story. Your not playing in Mexico Topalov, deal with it and stop your crying!

jon_malkov's picture

Topalov's participation is for the good of chess.... According to rules he should have been let participate in the qualification cycle. Well, according to the new FIDE rules he will not be able to do that until 2010. Is this normal??

acirce's picture

Until 2010? Why can't he can play in the World Cup this year like anybody else?

Sanne's picture

Peter Doggers is currently leading with a score of 3.5 out of in the IM tournament in Hungary.
Go Peter!

Sanne's picture

3.5 out of 4 that is

BRUZ_LEE's picture

The problem we face is bigger than just the question, if Topalov should play in Mexico.
The Problem is, that the whole World Chess Championship cycle is completely messed up since Kasparow and Short chose to play outside FIDE in 1993. I highly recommend for FIDE to GO BACK TO THE OLD TRADITIONAL AND FORMER WORLD-WIDE ACCEPTED MODE OF A MATCH BETWEEN THE CHAMPION AND A LEGITIMATE CHALLENGER. The mode of choosing the challenger can maybe reconsidered, but no more. And I want a 24 game match, and not some 6,8,10,12 or 16 game "show"-match.
But to turn back to the present situation: yes, that is really f....ed up.

Matt Helfst's picture

Of cours Topalov should not get to play in Mexico. I am sure there are MANY other players who can state a reason why they should be there also.

FIDE should stay consistent and not change their ruling on this case.

thomas T.'s picture

Well, I just hope that Kramnik will lose his title.

mayadi's picture

Not Topalov, but Radjabov should be the one to get a ticket to Mexico! He challenged Topalov, but Topalov never gave him the chance to play him. Topalov sees his own grief, but not others'. That way he can never be a worthy champion! better to rule him out.

Mihail Pavlovich Fedotov's picture

If Topalov is not allowed to play in Mexico, I do not see when in the next 2-3 years he will be able to run for the WC title again.
Fide is changing the rules constantly favouring Russions grandmasters.

Kramnik is already secured a remacht with the Mexico winner. Then, who will be allowed to challenge the champion? I do not believe Kramink will win Mexico or the next WC series he will participate. Then wha ... as it goes, FIDE will think of some crazy rule that will allow Kramnik to challenge the world champion.

As a former World Champion, Topalov must be granted the chance to regain his title. If not Mexico, I do not see in the near future a option where Topalov can for the WC rang.

So, let Topalov play in Mexico. He is in so bad shape so he has no chances at all. Kramnik knows that that is why he has never objected the Topalov's participation in Mexico.

Mr X's picture

From the optimal viewpoint: let Topalov play and let Kramnik wait for a challenger to emerge from Mexico. This solution would restore the order in the world of chess. Of course the Mexico organizers will oppose to this and of course the practical considerations of players's (specially Kramnik's) schedules (an event would disappear long with the $$ from it) also contradict this decision.

So from practical point of view: TopaILOV shut up and participate in the next cycle.

Christos (Greece)'s picture

Topalov should start behaving like an adult and wait one year for his chance to win the title again.
Anand has been near the top for years without getting many chances to win the World Championship. But he was always patient and nice and he didn't keep shouting that others are trying to exclude him. Topalov should follow this example.

centercounter's picture

Topalov and Danailov are not wise - they are acting unprofessionally.

Swapping out Kramnik for Topalov in Mexico and having Kramnik play the winner restores the previous large advantage of World Champions - the advantage of only waiting while the challenger has to fight through the gauntlet of tournaments and matches.

The FIDE rules did not directly guarantee him a rematch. Simply they, under normal conditions, allowed a 2700+ player who could raise $1M to challenge the champion (Radjabov, for example). And most agree this is ridiculous, it returns us back to the beginning of the 20th century.

Amit's picture

Topalov should first answer, why he agreed to the clause "Elista loser will not play in Mexico"?

WC (Mexico) tournament is already quite long for this level of Chess (14 rounds with 8 players). Adding one more player would make it 16 rounds which can be over-bearing on players health considering the tension that a WC tournament builds up.

Imagine that if Topa is allowed and any one of the other 8 players goes to court then it would again put the whole WC cycle into a mess at a stage when it has barely managed to get up on its knees.

Let's understand that Chess WC is more important than Topalov who can always come back in the next cycle.

Why should the whole World of Chess (players, fans and organizers) risk WC cycle for the sake of one player whose own over-confidence made him accept these conditions!


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