'Topalov can be disqualified for three years'

by ChessBase
12/23/2006 – Recently we published the translation of an interview given by Veselin Topalov to the Spanish newspaper ABC. In it the former FIDE world champion made serious accusations that Vladimir Kramnik may have cheated in their recent title match. Now Kramnik's manager has complained to the FIDE Ethics Committee. If upheld the protest could result in a three-year ban for Topalov.

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In a recent interview with the Spanish newspaper ABC former FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov raised some very serious charges against Vladimir Kramnik, who had beaten him in the World Championship match in Elista in October this year. Topalov said there were "clear indications of cheating" in Kramnik's behaviour, that "there were threats" to him and his team in Elista, who worried about how they could get out of the country. Topalv said he would not go back to Kalmykia again. The original interview was conducted for ABC by Federico Marin Bellon in Bilbao, after the end of the blindfold match Topalov-Judit Polgar.

Today the Russian news service Gazeta.ru published an interview with Kramnik's manager Carsten Hensel, a rough translation of which appeared on the unofficial Veselin Topalov web site.

“Topalov can be disqualified for three years”

Under this title the report says Carsten Hensel has submitted a complaint to the FIDE, specifying that with the ABC interview Veselin Topalov had broken the ethical code of FIDE. For this offence the Ethics Committee could disqualify Topalov for three years. "We have already submitted our protest," said Hensel. "If it's correctness is recognised Topalov can be banned from tournament play. I think it is impossible to forgive such behaviour – Topalov needs to be punished." Berik Balgabaev, the personal advisor to the FIDE President, did not rule out the possibility of such a ban. “We will talk with Carsten Hensel about the current situation," Balgabaev said. "If he upholds his protest we will take a decision on it. The consequences could be disqualification for three years.”

Carsten Hensel with Vladimir Kramnik

Balgabaev said that he was almost sure that "personally Topalov did not give such an interview.” He said that the words could only have come from Silvio Danailov, "who can heat up situations. Topalov is a different man. At the end of October he even mentioned his desire to spend New Year’s Eve in Elista. I would prefer in Kramnik and Topalov’s managers reach a compromise.”

The veselintopalov.net site claims that the ABC interview with Topalov was not authentic and that the words just paraphrase something Mr. Danailov had said. "Veselin himself never said directly a word against Mr. Hensel or Mr. Kramnik in Bilbao. He made many comments on the match, he mentioned that there were strange things in Elista, but nothing more. The only sharp sentence that Topalov used was that he is not friends with Kramnik. Veselin Topalov was in Bilbao to play chess and Judith Polgar and thousands of chess fans may confirm this, since he was with them all the time."

Hensel said that he had been told that the interview in ABC was not in the print version of the newspaper, just in the online edition. Moreover it was possible that the journalists did not clear the text with Topalov, which would "certainly changes things.” Hensel said that he used to respect Topalov. "But now I am disappointed. If we met on the street today we would not greet each other at all.”

Silvio Danialov with his client Veselin Topalov

Meanwhile Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov replied to Hensel’s statements just hours after they had been published. “It is obvious that this is an attempt to decline Veselin’s challenge in April,” he said. "I want to ask FIDE why the photos from the cables in Kramnik’s bathroom were never published, as well as the document for them signed by Valerii Bovaev. Moreover, I want to ask why the resignation of the second Appeals committee, whose members wanted to leave Elista after the cables were found, was hidden?”

The saga continues...

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