Topalov threatens to abandon the World Championship Match

by ChessBase
9/28/2006 – Breaking news: Veselin Topalov, through his manager Silvio Danialov, has cast suspicion on the behaviour of Vladimir Kramnik, who is leading 3-1 in their world championship match. The Bulgarian team has examined the video recordings from the rest rooms and notes that Kramnik is visiting the bathroom, which has no video surveillance, unreasonably often. Press release.

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Press Release

To the Organizing Committee
of the match Topalov vs Kramnik

To the Appeals Committee
Mr. Makropoulos
Mr. Azmaiparashvili
Mr. Vega

To all mass media

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The careful study of the video recordings from the rest rooms done by the technical experts of the Bulgarian team revealed the following facts which we would herewith like to bring to your attention:

1. After each move Mr. Kramnik immediately heads to the rest room and from it directly to the bathroom. During every game he visited the relaxation room 25 times at the average and the bathroom more than 50 times – the bathroom is the only place without video surveillance.

2. Unlike Mr. Kramnik, the World Champion Veselin Topalov spends his time mainly at the playing table. The average number of times he visited the rest room and the bathroom is 8 and 4 respectively.

A short statistical sample derived from the camera recordings in the rest room during the third game shows:

15.54 – Kramnik plays move 15
15.55 – Goes into the bathroom
15.56 – Goes out of the bathroom
15.57 – Goes into the bathroom
15.59 – Goes out of the bathroom
16.03 – Goes into the bathroom
16.04 – Goes out the bathroom
16.07 – Comes out for move 16

The behavior of Mr. Kramnik is very similar to the above during all games played so far.

The logical question arises: How many times during a game does a player need to go to the bathroom and with what regularity? The logical answer is: between 5 -10 times at the most, but not 50 as the statistics from the games played so far shows.

We would like to once again remind you that the bathroom is the only place without video or audio surveillance.

In our opinion these facts are quite strange, if not suspicious.

In relation to the above, and to ensure the best conditions for fair play and rule out all suspicions we demand:

  1. To stop the use of the rest rooms and the adjacent bathrooms for both players.

  2. If a player needs to go to the bathroom, he can use the public bathroom, but only with permission from the Arbiter and accompanied by an assistant arbiter.

  3. The Organizing Committee should present the video tapes from the rest rooms to all journalists accredited in the press-center so that they can verify for themselves the facts described by us.

Should this extremely serious problem remain unsolved by 10.00 o’clock tomorrow (September 29th, 2006), we would seriously reconsider the participation of the World Champion Veselin Topalov in this match.

Silvio Danailov
Manager of the Bulgarian team

The activities of the Topalov team did not start today. Already on September 24, after game two, the head of the delegation Silvio Danialov wrote the following letter to FIDE. Our copy is unfortunately not in very good condition, but we bring you a translation as well.


Mr V Bovaev
Representative of the Organisation Committee
for the match for the world chess championship between
Topalov and Kramnik

Dear Mr Bovaev

The team of V Topalov wishes to make the following comments, regarding the organisation of the match:

  1. We are not satisfied with the checks carried out on the players’ rest rooms. Members of our team were not invited to attend these checks. We are surprised by the fact that the window of Topalov’s rest room was open during play.

  2. Outside people have been in and out of the players’ rest rooms during the match.

  3. No appropriate security checks have been carried out on spectators, to ensure they are not carrying electronic devices, such as mobile phones and/or cameras with flash.

In order to put a stop to these infractions, we call for the following measures:

  1. Checks on players’ rest rooms should be carried out in the presence of representatives of both teams. The details of such checks should be agreed by both teams.

  2. Rules should be established to provide each team with the right of access to footage from video cameras in the rest rooms.

  3. Strengthened controls over the main entrance to the playing hall, and the presence of electronic devices therein.

The Head of the Bulgarian Delegation,
Manager of the World Champion:

Silvio Danailov (signed)


Translation by Steve Giddins

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