Danailov: it was like war in Elista

by ChessBase
11/2/2006 – Police, military, army, secret service, ostensibly there for protection, but actually for one obvious reason: to return the chess crown to Russia at any price. And Kramnik? He was using Fritz 10, which has a 3200 rating, 80% of the time, which brought the combined strength to 2900-3000. The largest Ukraine newspaper Fakty has this astonishing interview by Silvio Danailov.

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The interview with the manager of former FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov appeared in the newspaper FAKTY ("Facts") on October 27, 2006. Fakty is the largest newspaper in Ukraine, with a readership of three quarters of a million.The interview was conducted by Dimitri Komarov, International Grandmaster and “FAKTY” chess observer. Dimitri sent us a translation of the interview for publication on our news page.

Since the Danailov interview contains a new series of wide-ranging and fairly specific accusations we asked Vladimir Kramnik's manager Carsten Hensel if he would like to respond. He did, by saying that the whole matter had now descended into regions which were distasteful to occupy. In the future the Kramnik side would not be replying to each outburst by Danailov, but reserved the right to take punitive action aganist slanderous remarks that damaged the reputation of the world champion.

Silvio Danailov: The conditions of the match were like a war

The team of the Bulgarian chess player is sure that Vladimir Kramnik will refuse a rematch for the world crown.

By Dimitri Komarov

The first published in newspaper “FAKTY” (“FACTS”), Ukraine, 27 October 2006

Dimitri Komarov: What could Kramnik do in the toilet?

Silvio Danailov: Everything, everything to receive any information. There was neither video, nor audio control. It is abnormal to spend two hours during each game in the rest room and toilet. Kramnik has said that he drinks a lot of water during the game, but he is lying. On the video recording it could be seen that in five hours Kramnik only drunk half a glass of water. Then he said that he likes to walk and used the toilet space for that purpose. But then why did he close the door every time? If you are walking up and down, it is logical to open the door, not close it.

Silvio Danailov, with his client Veselin Topalov

But the most disturbing was, that, after leaving the toilet, Kramnik immediately made very strong computer moves. He always made his mistakes whilst sitting at the board. This occured when Veselin replied immediately and Kramnik could not escape to the toilet. Therefore in the second game he overlooked checkmate in two moves: this problem he had to solve alone at the board.

How did your team obtain the video recordings of the challenger?

The video recording of the rest rooms was made according to the contract with the organizers. When we saw the strange behavior of Kramnik, we officially, in writing, requested the organizing committee to supply the video film and we received it in an official way.

The appeal committee decided to respond to the protest of the Bulgarian delegation by closing the individual toilets of the participants and to providing one general toilet. Why did such decision not satisy you?

Because the rest rooms were not closed as well, and the video records were not given to journalists. However even such a decision, with the wisdom of Solomon, was not good enough for Kramnik. The next day the President of FIDE dismissed two members of the appeal committee Makropoulos and Azmaiparashvili (according the official version they submitted their resignations). So we got the impression that without his toilet Kramnik can not play.

Why did Topalov lose?

Because it is impossible to win against someone who is making, in each game, 80 percent computer moves. Nowadays the average rating of Fritz 10 is about 3200. Playing 80 percent of his moves in conformity with those of this program, Kramnik played at a strength of about 2900-3000, much better than Kasparov and Fischer. Importantly, Topalov with 2813 points, has been for more than a year the leader of the world rating list, so, the result 6-6 in the main games, and 2.5 -1.5 in the time-break is, in my opinion, very successful for Veselin, taking into account against whom he played.

Is a new match possible?

Very soon we will make an official proposal for a rematch in Sofia, in March-April of the next year. According to the rules of FIDE, every chess player with a rating higher than 2700, can challenge the World Champion to a match for a title. For this purpose the challenger should pay to the Champion one million dollars (net), 20 percent of this amount to FIDE and to provide organizational costs. In this case, the World Champion cannot refuse, otherwise he will lose his crown. But I am not a big optimist, and I am sure that Kramnik will refuse. He is hardly likely to play in the near future outside of Russia and Germany, where he has a strong support. And FIDE cannot force him. Nowadays, this organization is very weak and dominated by the Russian chess federation, with its President, Vice-Premier of Russia Alexander Zhukov, who is the main Patron of Kramnik.

Sylvio Danailov, right, with his client Veselin Topalov
(and FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos, left)

I know that chess fans in Kalmykia received you very warmly. What were the conditions like at the match?

Like a war. A huge amount of police, military, army, FSB (ex KGB). Ostensibly protection, but actually it was obvious that there is one aim: to return to Russia the chess crown at any cost. In the words of the famous Russian song: " We will not spare any price!”

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