Veselin Topalov – reception in the Motherland

by ChessBase
1/3/2006 – After winning the world chess championship title, Bulgarian super-grandmaster Veselin Topalov has become a national sporting hero. In his native country he is mobbed by fans on the streets. Recently he was honored at a special reception for extraordinary sporting personalities by the President of the Republic.

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Topalov's Reception in the Motherland

By Radislav Atanasov

For the first time a Bulgarian has become a world chess champion. After almost 15 years of intensive work and ten years presence on top of the ranking lists Veselin Topalov managed to take his deserved place among the chess legends. He became the 18th world champion, and so Bulgaria became the 10th country having the world title, after Germany, Cuba, Russia, Netherlands, Soviet Union, USA, India, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

Veselin Topalov is greeted by crowds wherever he goes

In spite of the Christmas season the Bulgarian social and state institutions were properly prepared for the reception of the new Champion. First was the President Parvanov who awarded him with the Honored Medal of the Republic, second were the Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev and the Minister of Internal Affairs Rumen Petkov who welcomed Veselin with special ceremonies. A very special guest for the celebrations was the FIDE and Kalmykian President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov, Irina Tencheva of Nove Holding, the biggest Bulgarian business formation (and organizer of the event), the President of Republic of Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov, and ex world champion on wrestling Boyan Radev, now the biggest collector of paintings.

Four famous wrestlers from the past, all world and Olympic champions

Sports men and women nominated for awards (Topalov in the middle)

Bulgarian Beauties, mainly artistic gymnasts

Ivet Lalova (left), Bulgarian Olympic sprinter (10.77 for 100m)

Veselin was invited by the Chairman of Bulgarian Parliament Georgi Pirinski to take a speech in the Parliament. All the deputies gave him a standing ovation. Scholastic chess was specially mentioned by Veselin. Meetings, photos, dinners, simuls, ceremonies, museums and of course – children follow Topalov without break, everywhere he appears.

In one of the most famous Bulgarian winter resorts, Bansko, Veselin gave a simultaneous exhibition against 26 sports and business stars. Among them were: the football legend Hristo Stoichkov, the world high jump record holder and now the Minister of Youth and Sports Stefka Kostadinova, etc.

Tennis star Cecil Karatancheva, soccer star Hristo Stoichkov and high jumer Stefka Kostadinova preparing for the simultanious on 26 boards.

Two very impressive gifts were made by Veselin. Firsty, he donated the World Champion’s Cup from San Luis to the National Historical Museum.

Veselin Topalov donates his San Luis trophy to the National Historical Museum

Topalov speaks at the gala event in his honour

and receives thanks from the President of Bulgaria

A Greek diadem of an Olympic Champion 400 years BC.
The world chess championship cup will be located next to this treasure!

A gala show for television

...with many exciting dance numbers

All the prominence on the stage at the end of the TV show

Second, he donated his prize for “Sportsman of the Year 2005”, a Land Rover Freelander (which costs almost €30,000) to the Presidential campaign “Bulgarian Christmas”, aimed at treating and assisting ill children – the biggest individual donation to the initiative.

The Land Rover donated by Topalov to the "Bulgarian Christmas" campaign

The "Freelander" was Topalov's prize as Sportsman of the Year

In his native town Russe he was met by the Mayor of the city and the Regional Governor as well as his first coach and his first teacher. He opened the doors of the Danube chess club – a repaired old Jewish house.

Inside the Ruse Chess Club

Veselin with his first teacher

Back in Sofia, before departing for Salamanca, he became a patron of the first Chess + Go club in Bulgaria. At the opening ceremony Veselin Topalov, together with the Ambassadors of Iran and Japan, were met by children with welcomes in seven languages!

Children at the opening of the first Chess and Go club

A reception with the chess world champion

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