Bulgaria to Ilyumzhinov: we are worried

by ChessBase
9/27/2008 – During the Bilbao Masters tournament Veselin Topalov's manager IM Silvio Danailov told journalists that there were no news regarding the Topalov vs Kamsky match. Now Stefan Sergiev, President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation has appealed to FIDE President: "Mr. Ilyumzhinov, please inform me where and when the match will take place!" Full story, now with official corrections.

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Around the middle of September in Bilbao Silvio Danailov gave an interview to the Russian newspaper Sport Express. The Internet magazine Chess Today translated some fragments, amongst them a statement about the match Topalov-Kamsky: "I think the match will take place," Danialov said, "because Ilyumzhinov personally guaranteed the prize fund and he keeps his word. Alas, Mr. Chernenko, Kamsky's manager, lied to us all for a few months – he had no money, the match couldn't be held in Lvov."

Stefan Sergiev, President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation

Now the President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation has appealed to FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to clarify the situation. Chess Today provided the text of the letter:

Dear Mr. Ilyumzhinov,

The Bulgarian sports community worries about the uncertainty around the semi final match between GM Veselin Topalov and GM Gata Kamsky. The decision taken at the PB meeting in Tallinn in 2007 was welcomed by everyone expecting the end of the schism in the chess family. This decision was confirmed at the November 2007 congress in Antalia. Everyone expected it to become true and the match date to be appointed. Until now this did not happen and that fact practically questions whether the match will take place.

On June 1st, after all the deadlines were over, you personally declared that you guarantee the prize fund and took the responsibility for its organization. Since then more than 3 months have passed. We still do not know any details about where and in what conditions will be the match, and the announced by you date November 26th is approaching.

Mr Ilymzhinov, please inform me where and when the match will take place. We insist the decision for the match to be reflected in the players contracts, and they to be signed before the other semi final match between GM Kramnik and GM Anand. Further delay could be fatal and to ruin all the efforts so far. I think nobody has interest in the failure of the match Topalov - Kamsky. The Bulgarian chess player who is no. 1 in the current rank list cannot be eliminated from the competition for the world championship.

Sincerely yours,
Stefan Sergiev,
President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation

26.09.2008 Sofia, Bulgaria

Some other snippets of the Danialov press conference in Bilbao were interesting:

About 'Toiletgate': "Coming back to that match, I can say that there were no sides which were absolutely right or wrong there. A world championship match is a war. A lot of adrenalin. And we all fell victims of our emotions. I think we should forget the old mistakes and work for the good of chess."
About the glass cube in Bilbao: "I want to install the same cube in the Red Square and see how many people will attend such a great show. The future of chess is the Sofia rule – without draw offers. Chess in the squares and streets of big cities – then corporate sponsors will come to chess."
Source: Chess Today – the Internet-based daily chess newspaper


Since publishing the above we have received a message from Anton from the site Chessdom telling us that there was a major mistake in our report. "First of all," Anton writes, "the original translation [of the letter] was by Chessdom – later on Chess Today probably picked it up, but the author of the translation is Chessdom."

Second, Anton informed us, there is a development in the situation, on which Chessdom reported exclusively. The article is entitled "Topalov-Kamsky lost in translation" and reads as follows:

Bulgarian news agencies mess up a translation
The match Kamsky - Topalov entered in a very dramatic momentum last evening when the Bulgarian news agencies published the text of the letter of Stefan Sergiev (President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation) to the FIDE President Kirsan Ilymzhinov. The text was full of factual mistakes and finished in a strange way for an official letter.
Early Saturday morning there was a quick reaction by the Bulgarian Chess Federation members and Silvio Danailov himself. They said, "The text of the letter in the Bulgarian news agencies is a wrong translation of the original that we have sent them." After a while, the original of the letter of the Kamsky-Topalov match arrived by email to the Chessdom editors.
The wrong text (translation of which you can find here) continues to be spread through the Bgnes news agency. The Bulgarian Chess Federation members specified, "Of course we did not call the match between Kramnik and Anand semi final, as it was published in Bulgarian media. This would be total disrespect to the match itself."

This is the new and official translation of the letter:

Here is a transcription of the text, with the differences highlighted in italics:

The Bulgarian sports public is worried about the complete uncertainty around the semi-final match for the world chess championship between GM Veselin Topalov and GM Gata Kamsky. The decision you made at the meeting of the Board of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) in Tallinn in 2007 was met optimistically by everyone that awaits the end of the disunion of the world chess family. This decision was confirmed at the November 2007 in Antalia at the congress of the federation that is managed by you. We will expect its fulfillment and the match date to be set. Until now this has not happened and in practice its carrying out is questioned. On 1st July this year, after all terms, additionally given by you, have expired, you personally stated that you guarantee the prize fund and undertook its preparation and carrying out. Three months have passed since then. Yet we don't know where and under what conditions this match would be held, and the initial date you announced – 26th November 2008 is close.
Mr Ilymzhinov,
Please inform me when and where the match will be started. We insist on fulfillment of the decision on its carrying out and on signing the contracts with the competitors before the beginning of the other match for the world championship between V. Anand and V. Kramnik. Another delay may turn out to be fatal and ruin all efforts up to now. I think that it is not to anyone's benefit to be ruined the match Topalov-Kamski. The Bulgarian chess player who is No. 1 at the moment in the world rank list can't be eliminated from the fight for the world title.

Actually the timeline of the events were, we are told, as follows:

  1. Sergiev sends letter in English to FIDE and to Bulgarian news agencies
  2. BTA (the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency) makes a bad translation to Bulgarian and spreads it to news agencies
  3. Chessdom translates the translation back to English (they did not have the original)
  4. A BCF member submitted the original which is show above.

Previous ChessBase stories

'Topalov has not signed' – Challenger Match in doubt?
25.07.2008 – Just when we thought everything was settled for a World Championship Challengers' Match between Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov in Lvov, Ukraine – November 26 to December 14 – Topalov's manager Silvio Danialov says his his client has not yet signed anything. Turns out neither has Kamsky, since according to FIDE "the contract has not been finalized with the organisers". Details.

Alexei Shirov replies to Gata Kamsky
02.06.2008 Last week Alexei Shirov published a press release asking FIDE to resolve the crisis surrounding the special Challengers' Match between Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov. Kamsky's representative replied, and then FIDE came up with a decision on the venue in Lvov, Ukraine. "This is exactly what I wanted with my press release five days ago," says Shirov in his new press release.

Ilyumzhinov guarantees Topalov-Kamsky match in Lvov
01.06.2008 – After a great deal of international bickering the matter is now settled: the special Challengers Match between Gata Kamsky and Veselin Topalov will take place between November 26th and December 14th 2008 in Lvov, Ukraine. This has just been announced by FIDE, with President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov guaranteeing the organiser’s offer of US $750,000 with his personal finances. Press release.

Topalov vs Kamsky – and the remarkable Mr Chernenko
15.05.2008 – Russian chess journalist Yuri Vasiliev has now confirmed that the semifinal Candidates Match between Veselin Topalov and Gata Kamsky will take place in Lvov, Ukraine, for a prize fund of US $750,000. On the web site ChessPro Vasiliev tells of a lengthy conversation he had with the initiator, Gata Kamsky's manager (and diamond trader) Alexander Chernenko. Must-read interview.

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