This was the headline under which the Russian daily newspaper published its
lead story on Friday. "FIDE is ready to investigate claims that FIDE number
one and former world champion Veselin Topalov has been regularly receiving prompts
from the audience in his matches..."
The article is accompanied by a video just under three minutes in length, submitted
by a Dutch amateur, showing Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov moving around
the playing hall during the 2006 Wijk aan Zee tournament. The links are given
at the end.
Kommersant has learned that the Association of Chess Professionals is about
to begin an investigation of suspicions that Veselin Topalov regularly received
advice from the auditorium during his matches. ACP President Pavel Tregubov
said that the the problem has become pressing and that FIDA should take
up the problem, possible jointly with the ACP.
FIDE has said that, if contacted officially, the organization may organize
an investigation of the accusations against the Bulgarian chess player.
A special commission has already been established in FIDE headed by vice
president Geoff Borg to address the problem of cheating.
Kommersant has obtained a video recording from a Dutch fan, who asked to
remain unnamed. It was recorded during the Wijk aan Zee tournament in January
2006. In the recording one can see Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov standing
near the stage and looking at Topalov, while making unusual movements.
In the video Danailov also quickly leaves the auditorium, while pulled
out his cell phone. The Dutch chess fan told Kommersant that Danailov was
continually coming and going from the auditorium and using his cellular
phone outside. Then he would return to a corner where he could see Topalov,
cough and do other things that looked like signs for Topalov. I noticed
that no one else was concerned by it, although the signs were obvious.”
The Dutch fan says he showed his footage to a friend who told him it is
dangerous for him from the legal point of view, because it is not weighty
enough evidence. "Then I read an article in a German newspaper describing
the very things I saw with my own eyes.”
Russian GM Evgeny Bareev said that the opinions expressed above are still
shared by many experts. He said that Topalov has rapidly progressed, winning
one tournament after another in recent years. Bareev is very outspoken in
the Kommersant report.
Topalov’s manager Silvio Danailov has stated that a suit has already
been filed against the German journalist whose publication whipped up the
scandal, and that similar action will be taken against anyone who tries
to besmirch Topalov’s reputation. When asked if he thought he made
unnatural gestures during games, Danailov replied that “I don’t
remember what gestures I make. You understand, it is all revenge for Elista.
People simply can’t accept that Veselin is winning everything, that
he is No. 1 in the world.” Anatoly Karpov supported Danailov, saying
the accusations against Topalov are “beneath criticism.”
Kommersant article in English
article in Russian
The link to the video is at the end of the articles.
If you have trouble loading it you can also use this
- 09.02.2007 Focus News, Bulgaria:
The Kommersant: Veselin Topalov’s manager accused of cheating in Wijk
- 09.02.07 Sofia News Agency: Russian
Media: Bulgaria's Topalov Under Investigation
- 09.02.07 Sofia Echo: Bulgaria's
Topalov suspected of unfair play
- 10.02.2007 Focus News, Bulgaria: Russian
attack against Topalov