Bulgarian Chess Federation to FIDE: Let Topalov play!

by ChessBase
5/30/2007 – Before the world championship match between Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik in Elista both players signed an agreement that said the loser of that match would not play in the 2007 World Championship in Mexico. That was Topalov, whose federation is now pleading for him to be allowed to participate – as the ninth player in the event. Press release.

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Position of the Bulgarian Chess Federation

The forthcoming tournament for world championship in Mexico starting on 11th September 2007 represents the end of one cycle that extends over the period after the tournament in San Luis (Argentina). As it is well known, Veselin Topalov became World Champion there. Considering the great interest in the world he accepted to play a match with Vladimir Kramnik in Elista even though he was not obliged to do so. Moreover, Veselin Topalov agreed that the loser of that match would not be allowed to play in Mexico because, according to FIDE regulations, adopted on 10th January 2006, every former World Champion or a chess-player with a coefficient over 2700 could, under certain conditions, challenge the World Champion to a match.

On the basis of this position, the Bulgarian party asked for a new match for the world title and provided the required amount of two million US dollars for the purpose. The arguments FIDE submitted against playing a match for the world title, for which all requirements were met, were not convincing. Arguments of the kind that the bank guarantees were from a bank FIDE doesn’t recognize and later on that the time was short for organizing and performing such a match demonstrated that FIDE would compromise its own decisions lead by interests that may differ from those of chess. In order to substantiate its position, in the meantime FIDE approved a new system for electing the World Champion, which goes contrary to the rules, because the regulations may not be modified within one cycle. In this way, Veselin Topalov was definitely deprived of the possibility to take part in the competitions for the world title.

A new system for organizing the world championships should be adopted only after a thorough discussion with the participation of a maximum number of national federations; this new system has to be voted on a FIDE congress and to come into effect during the following cycle. Any other action and decision is a breach of democracy, it is intended to favor certain interests and doesn’t contribute to the development of the chess game.

The Bulgarian Chess Federation believes that with its last actions FIDE shows a bias attitude toward Veselin Topalov – one of the strongest chess players in the world. Depriving him of the possibility to participate in the competitions for world championship substantiates this belief.

Since Veselin Topalov was not allowed to play with V. Kramnik in 2007, it is most evident that he should be permitted to take part in the World Championship tournament in Mexico. In this way an injustice will be remedied – at least in part – and FIDE will prove that the world chess interests are its priority and that the World Champion should be elected in a competition between the best chess players in the world. Any argumentation for the non-admission of V. Topalov is deprived of any logic. The second, the third and the forth players from St. Louis will play there but the first one will not! The second in the world ranking list, the chess player who won seven super-tournaments during the last two years will not be allowed to play there! Why? Only because FIDE has changed its system in the meantime?!

We suggest a FIDE resolution is passed for nine participants to play in the tournament in Mexico. The organizers have no objections and they will be happy because Veselin Topalov is very popular not only in Mexico but in the whole of Latin America as well.

29 May 2007, Sofia
Stefan Sergiev, PhD.

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