Topalov beats Karpov in Cannes

3/2/2002 – At the NAO Chess Masters the game of the day was Veselin Topalov's 75-move victory over tournament leader Anatoly Karpov. Topalov and Gelfand are now at the top of the tables with 4.5 points each, with two rounds to go. Alexander Morozevich, the world's number 5, is last with an incredible 1.5 out of 7. Games, results and links are at our Cannes report page, a partial explanation for Morozevich's performance can be found in his CBM interview here

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Interview with Alexander Morozevich

from ChessBase Magazine 84 – multimedia report

Alexander Morozevich, 24, 2745, Russian, is a player on the verge of being considered enigmatic. He is defensive in his conversation, but once he gets going he cannot suppress a natural frankness. He starts with a description of what happened in this tournament, also to his colleagues who had not done as well as he did. In a memorable statement he explains that his own favourite format is clearly knock-outs and matches. Don't miss the excellent reasons he gives for his preference. Here are some short excerpts:

My favourite format is the knockout, nothing can be compared with it. It is the only really normal system. Round robins are not normal systems, it is matches or knockouts. I am unable to understand this kind of round robin. The whole system is not good, with the appearance fees. That is very strange. At some tournaments the player who takes the first place can earn much less than the player who takes the last place. From a sporting point of view it is more interesting to have knockouts. If you are in good shape you will succeed, and if you are in bad shape you will be eliminated. You will not suffer, like I did in Astana. When you lose four games in a row normally you should be able to go home. It is clear that for some reason you are unable to play - maybe something is wrong with your health or with your mind. Why the player must suffer? You just have to go home. If it had been a knockout, with the form I had I would have been out in round one or two in Astansa. But this way it was crazy. After losing four games I had to play five more, with black against Kramnik and Kasparov. It was a nightmare. Here, too, it was not pleasant to see Vishy suffer. He's a great player, but obviously he was just suffering, especially after he lost a game to me. He was just waiting for this tournament to end.


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