Kommersant: new cheating accusations against Topalov

2/11/2007 – It just won't go away. On Friday the Russian newspaper Kommersant published a lead story on what it claims is new evidence for assistance given to the world's top-rated player Veselin Topalov during his games. A three-minute video by a Dutch fan is presented as evidence. The ACP and FIDE have vowed to investigate. Report and video footage.

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World’s Best Chess Player Suspected of Immoral Ties

This was the headline under which the Russian daily newspaper published its lead story on Friday. "FIDE is ready to investigate claims that FIDE number one and former world champion Veselin Topalov has been regularly receiving prompts from the audience in his matches..."

The article is accompanied by a video just under three minutes in length, submitted by a Dutch amateur, showing Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov moving around the playing hall during the 2006 Wijk aan Zee tournament. The links are given at the end.

Excerpts from the Kommersant story

  • Kommersant has learned that the Association of Chess Professionals is about to begin an investigation of suspicions that Veselin Topalov regularly received advice from the auditorium during his matches. ACP President Pavel Tregubov said that the the problem has become pressing and that FIDA should take up the problem, possible jointly with the ACP.

  • FIDE has said that, if contacted officially, the organization may organize an investigation of the accusations against the Bulgarian chess player. A special commission has already been established in FIDE headed by vice president Geoff Borg to address the problem of cheating.

  • Kommersant has obtained a video recording from a Dutch fan, who asked to remain unnamed. It was recorded during the Wijk aan Zee tournament in January 2006. In the recording one can see Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov standing near the stage and looking at Topalov, while making unusual movements.

  • In the video Danailov also quickly leaves the auditorium, while pulled out his cell phone. The Dutch chess fan told Kommersant that Danailov was continually coming and going from the auditorium and using his cellular phone outside. Then he would return to a corner where he could see Topalov, cough and do other things that looked like signs for Topalov. I noticed that no one else was concerned by it, although the signs were obvious.”

  • The Dutch fan says he showed his footage to a friend who told him it is dangerous for him from the legal point of view, because it is not weighty enough evidence. "Then I read an article in a German newspaper describing the very things I saw with my own eyes.”

  • Russian GM Evgeny Bareev said that the opinions expressed above are still shared by many experts. He said that Topalov has rapidly progressed, winning one tournament after another in recent years. Bareev is very outspoken in the Kommersant report.

  • Topalov’s manager Silvio Danailov has stated that a suit has already been filed against the German journalist whose publication whipped up the scandal, and that similar action will be taken against anyone who tries to besmirch Topalov’s reputation. When asked if he thought he made unnatural gestures during games, Danailov replied that “I don’t remember what gestures I make. You understand, it is all revenge for Elista. People simply can’t accept that Veselin is winning everything, that he is No. 1 in the world.” Anatoly Karpov supported Danailov, saying the accusations against Topalov are “beneath criticism.”

  • Full Kommersant article in English
  • Kommersant article in Russian
    The link to the video is at the end of the articles.


    If you have trouble loading it you can also use this YouTube link.

  • Other articles

  • 09.02.2007 Focus News, Bulgaria:
    The Kommersant: Veselin Topalov’s manager accused of cheating in Wijk aan Zee
  • 09.02.07 Sofia News Agency: Russian Media: Bulgaria's Topalov Under Investigation
  • 09.02.07 Sofia Echo: Bulgaria's Topalov suspected of unfair play
  • 10.02.2007 Focus News, Bulgaria: Russian attack against Topalov

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