Veselin Topalov

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Veselin Topalov
Veselin Topalov 2013.jpg
Veselin Topalov, Warsaw 2013
Full nameVeselin Aleksandrov Topalov
Country Bulgaria
Born (1975-03-15) 15 March 1975 (age 44)
Ruse, Bulgaria
Title Grandmaster (1992)
World Champion 2005–06 (FIDE)
FIDE rating 2736 (August 2019)
Peak rating 2816 (July 2015)
Ranking No. 15 (October 2017)
Peak rankingNo. 1 (April 2006)

Veselin Aleksandrov Topalov (pronounced [vɛsɛˈlin toˈpɑlof] ; Bulgarian : Весели́н Александров Топа́лов; born 15 March 1975) is a Bulgarian chess grandmaster and former FIDE World Chess Champion.

Bulgarian language South Slavic language

Bulgarian, is a South Slavic language spoken in Southeastern Europe, primarily in Bulgaria. It is the language of Bulgarians.

Chess Strategy board game

Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid. The game is played by millions of people worldwide. Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga sometime before the 7th century. Chaturanga is also the likely ancestor of the Eastern strategy games xiangqi, janggi, and shogi. Chess reached Europe by the 9th century, due to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The pieces assumed their current powers in Spain in the late 15th century; the modern rules were standardized in the 19th century.

FIDE international organization that connects the various national chess federations around the world

The Fédération Internationale des Échecs or International Chess Federation is an international organization that connects the various national chess federations around the world and acts as the governing body of international chess competition. It is usually referred to as FIDE, its French acronym.

Contents

Topalov became FIDE World Chess Champion by winning the FIDE World Chess Championship 2005. He lost his title in the World Chess Championship 2006 against Vladimir Kramnik. He challenged Viswanathan Anand at the World Chess Championship 2010, losing 6½–5½. He won the 2005 Chess Oscar. [1]

The FIDE World Chess Championship 2005 took place in Potrero de los Funes, San Luis Province in Argentina from September 27 to October 16, 2005. It was won by Veselin Topalov.

World Chess Championship 2006

The World Chess Championship 2006 was a match between Classical World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik, and FIDE World Chess Champion Veselin Topalov. The title of World Chess Champion had been split for 13 years. This match, played between September 23 and October 13, 2006, in Elista, Kalmykia, Russia, was to reunite the two World Chess Champion titles and produce an undisputed World Champion.

Vladimir Kramnik Russian chess grandmaster

Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik is a Russian chess grandmaster. He was the Classical World Chess Champion from 2000 to 2006, and the undisputed World Chess Champion from 2006 to 2007. He has won three team gold medals and three individual medals at Chess Olympiads.

He was ranked world number one from April 2006 to January 2007. He regained the top ranking in October 2008 until January 2010. His peak rating was 2816 in July 2015, placing him joint-tenth on the list of highest FIDE-rated players of all time.

Topalov has competed at nine Chess Olympiads (1994-2000, 2008-2016), winning board one gold in 2014 and scoring best overall performance in 1994. He also won in Linares, Corus, Dortmund, Stavanger and Pearl Spring tournaments.

Linares International Chess Tournament

The Linares International Chess Tournament was an annual chess tournament, usually played around the end of February, which takes its name from the city of Linares in the Jaén province of Andalusia, Spain, in which it is held. It is sometimes described as the Wimbledon of chess, being one of the strongest annual tournaments held on the de facto chess tour, along with the "Tata Steel", Tal Memorial and Dortmund events.

Tata Steel Chess Tournament Chess tournament

The Tata Steel Chess Tournament is an annual chess tournament held in January in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands. It was called the Hoogovens tournament from its creation in 1938 until the sponsor Koninklijke Hoogovens merged with British Steel to form the Corus Group in 1999, after which the tournament was called the Corus chess tournament. Corus Group became Tata Steel Europe in 2007. Despite the name changes, the series is numbered sequentially from its Hoogovens beginnings; for example, the 2011 event was referred to as the 73rd Tata Steel Chess Tournament.

Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting

The Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting is an elite chess tournament held every summer in Dortmund, Germany. Dortmund is an invite-only event, with the exception that one slot at Dortmund is awarded to the winner of the annual Aeroflot Open in Moscow.

Topalov is married and has two daughters [2] .

Career

Early career

Topalov was born in Ruse, Bulgaria. His father taught him to play chess at the age of eight. Topalov quickly established himself as a chess prodigy. At age 12, Topalov began working with Silvio Danailov, a relationship that continues today.

Ruse, Bulgaria City in Bulgaria

Ruse (also transliterated as Rousse, Russe; Bulgarian: Русе, pronounced [ˈrusɛ], is the fifth largest city in Bulgaria. Ruse is in the northeastern part of the country, on the right bank of the Danube, opposite the Romanian city of Giurgiu, approximately 75 km south of Bucharest, Romania's capital, 200 km from the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and 300 km from the capital Sofia. It is the most significant Bulgarian river port, serving an important part of the international trade of the country.

Chess prodigy

A chess prodigy is a child who can beat experienced adult players, and even Masters, at chess. Expectations can be high for chess prodigies. While some become World Champions, others show little or no progress in adulthood.

Silvio Danailov

Silvio Danailov is a former Bulgarian chess player and International Master. He was a manager and coach of the Bulgarian men's national chess team (1993-2000) and manager and coach of two former FIDE world chess champions, GM Veselin Topalov (BUL) and GM Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR).

In 1989 he won the World Under-14 Championship in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, and in 1990 won the silver medal at the World Under-16 Championship in Singapore. He became a Grandmaster in 1992 and won in Terrassa. He shared first at the Budapest Zonal group B in 1993 but struggled at the Biel Interzonal, scoring 5.5/13. [3] [4] He made his Olympiad debut in Moscow 1994, leading Bulgaria to a fourth-place, defeating Garry Kasparov on board one. [5]

World Youth Chess Championship Wikimedia list article

The World Youth Chess Championship is a chess competition for girls and boys under the age of 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18. Twelve world champions are crowned every year.

Puerto Rico Unincorporated territory of the United States

Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and briefly called Porto Rico, is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Miami, Florida.

Singapore Republic in Southeast Asia

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%. The nation is known for its transition from a developing to a developed country in a single generation under the leadership of its founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Over the next ten years Topalov ascended the world chess rankings. He played in Linares 1994 (6½/13), Linares 1995 (8/13), Amsterdam 1995. In a strong run of tournament performances in 1996 he placed third at Wijk aan Zee, tied for first at Amsterdam, Vienna and Madrid, [6] won outright at Novgorod and shared first in Dos Hermanas. [7] As early as 1996, he was being invited to events for the world's elite such as Las Palmas (5/10), the first category 21 tournament, played in December 1996, with Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik and Karpov participating. The next year he won at Antwerp and Madrid.

Against Baadur Jobava Topalov Veselin (30651645392).jpg
Against Baadur Jobava

Topalov's loss to reigning Classical World Champion Garry Kasparov at the 1999 Corus chess tournament is generally hailed as one of the greatest games ever played. Kasparov later said, "He looked up. Perhaps there was a sign from above that Topalov would play a great game today. It takes two, you know, to do that." [8]

In 2001, he shared the overall title at Amber Melody and won at Dortmund.

In the knockout tournaments for the FIDE World Chess Championship, he reached the last 16 in 1999, the quarter-finals in 2000, the final 16 in 2001, and the semifinals in the 2004 tournament. In 2002, he lost the final of the Dortmund Candidates Tournament (for the right to challenge for the rival Classical World Chess Championship) to Peter Leko.

Topalov tied for first at the 2002 NAO Chess Masters in Cannes and won at Benidorm in 2003. [9]

Topalov scored his first major success at Linares 2005, tying for first place with Garry Kasparov (though losing on tiebreak rules), and defeating Kasparov in the last round, in what was to be Kasparov's last tournament game before his retirement. [10] He followed this up with a one-point victory at Mtel Masters. In 2006 he tied for first at Corus with Anand.

2005–2006: FIDE world chess champion

Based on his rating Topalov was invited to the eight-player, double round-robin FIDE World Chess Championship in San Luis, Argentina, in September–October 2005. Scoring 6½/7 in the first cycle, Topalov had virtually clinched the tournament at the halfway mark, before drawing every game in the second cycle to win by 1½ points to become FIDE World Chess Champion. The average rating of the field in the championship was 2739, and Topalov's performance rating was 2890. [11]

On 16 April 2006, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov announced that a match between Classical and FIDE World Champions Kramnik and Topalov would be held in September–October 2006 to re-unify the Championships after thirteen years of separation. Kramnik defeated Topalov to become the first undisputed champion in thirteen years.

On 28 September 2006, Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov published a press release, casting suspicion on Kramnik's behaviour during the games. The Bulgarian team made a public statement that Kramnik visited his private bathroom (the only place without any audio or video surveillance) unreasonably often, about fifty times per game (a number that FIDE officials later claimed to be exaggerated [12] ) and made the most significant decisions in the game in the bathroom.

They also demanded that the organizers of the tournament allow journalists access to the surveillance video from Kramnik's room for games 1 through 4. The organizers made parts of the video available, explaining that other parts of it were missing due to technical issues. Danailov demanded to stop the use of private restrooms and bathrooms, and threatened to reconsider Topalov's participation in the match. [13] The Appeals Committee that governed the match agreed, and ruled that the players' private restrooms should be closed and replaced with a shared one.

Kramnik refused to play game 5 and was forfeited. On 1 October, the restroom issue was resolved in Kramnik's favour and the Appeals Committee resigned and were replaced. The FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov decided that the current score of 3–2 should be preserved. He also indicated that this was not a compromise decision but his own. [14] The match resumed on 2 October 2006.

On 1 October, the Association of Chess Professionals released a statement denouncing Danailov for publicly accusing his opponent without evidence, and calling for him to be investigated by the FIDE Ethics Committee.

On 3 October, Topalov said in a press conference, "I believe that his (Kramnik's) play is fair, and my decision to continue the match proves it". [15] However the next day the crisis escalated, with Topalov's manager strongly implying that Kramnik was receiving computer assistance. [16]

On 14 December 2006, Topalov directly accused Kramnik of using computer assistance in their World Championship match. [17] On 14 February 2007, Topalov's manager released pictures, purporting to show cables in the ceiling of a toilet used by Kramnik during the World Championship match in Elista. They were supposedly reported to the authorities, who Danailov claims suppressed the information. The Topalov team claims they were pressured by officials to keep their allegations quiet. [18] On 29 July 2007, following a complaint by Kramnik's manager Carsten Hensel, the FIDE Ethics Commission sanctioned Topalov with "a severe reprimand" because of the accusations made in the interview of 14 December. According to the Ethics Commission, "these statements were clearly defamatory and damaged the honour of Mr. Vladimir Kramnik, harming his personal and professional reputation". [19]

2006–2010

Soon after losing the match, Topalov finished third of four players in Essent with only 2½/6, losing both games against Judit Polgár and one against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. [20]

In May 2006 Topalov defended his M-Tel Masters title, coming first with 6½/10, a half point ahead of Gata Kamsky.

In January 2007 Topalov finished in joint first place at Corus along with Levon Aronian and Teimour Radjabov. [21]

In May 2007 Topalov won the M-Tel Masters tournament for a third consecutive time with 5½/10, defeating then- leader Sasikiran in the final round. [22]

In November 2007 Topalov won the Vitoria Gasteiz charity event. [23]

Topalov won the 14th Ciudad Dos Hermanas rapid, 17–21 April 2008, defeating GM Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain) 2½–1½ in the final match by winning the first game and drawing the rest. [24]

In September 2008 Topalov won the Bilbao 2008 tournament. He advanced to first in the world in the official October 2008 ratings list. He also won the Pearl Spring event held in Nanjing as well as Villarobledo Chess Festival. [25]

Topalov lost his chance to compete in the 2007 world championship tournament when he lost the 2006 reunification match. Danailov expressed a desire for a rematch between Topalov and Kramnik, proposing a match in March 2007, [26] though no such match took place. The issue was settled in June 2007 when Topalov and Kramnik were granted special privileges in the 2008–09 championship cycle. [27] Topalov was given direct entry to a "Challenger Match" against the winner of the Chess World Cup 2007.

The 2007 Chess World Cup was won by Gata Kamsky. The Challenger Match between Topalov and Kamsky took place in February 2009 in Sofia. Topalov won the match 4½–2½ . The World Chess Championship 2010 match was held in Sofia, Bulgaria, which Topalov lost by 6½–5½ margin. [28]

Topalov won the 2010 Linares chess tournament held in February, defeating Boris Gelfand in the last round. [29]

2010 World Championship

Before the World Chess Championship 2010 match with Veselin Topalov, Vishwanathan Anand, who had booked on the flight Frankfurt–Sofia on 16 April, was stranded due to the cancellation of all flights following the volcano ash cloud from Eyjafjallajökull. Anand asked for a three-day postponement, which the Bulgarian organisers refused on 19 April. Anand eventually reached Sofia on 20 April, after a 40-hour road journey. [30]

Consequently, the first game was delayed by one day. [31]

The match consisted of 12 games. In Game 1, Topalov quickly defeated Anand in 30 moves, utilizing a very sharp line of attack that broke through Anand's Grunfeld Defence. It was revealed afterwards that Topalov had found the line during his opening preparation, with the help of a powerful supercomputer loaned to him by Bulgaria's Defense Department. [32] Anand quickly responded with a win in Game 2, employing a novelty out of the Catalan Opening that was not easily recognized by computers at the time (15. Qa3!?, followed by 16. bxa3!). Anand would win again with the Catalan in Game 4, only to drop Game 8 and leave the score level once again. [33] After 11 games the score was tied at 5½–5½. Anand won game 12 on the Black side of a Queen's Gambit Declined to win the game and the match. Topalov chose to accept a pawn sacrifice by Anand, hoping to force a result and avoid a rapid chess tiebreak round. But after Topalov's dubious 31st and 32nd moves, Anand used the sacrifice to obtain a strong attack against Topalov's relatively exposed king. Topalov subsequently resigned, allowing Anand to retain the World Championship.

World Chess Championship Match 2010
Rating123456789101112Total
Flag of India.svg Viswanathan Anand (India)278701½1½½½0½½½1
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria)280510½0½½½1½½½0

As runner-up in the World Chess Championship 2010, Topalov automatically qualified for the Candidates Matches for the World Chess Championship 2012, where he was the top seed. However, he lost to newly crowned U.S. champion Gata Kamsky in the quarterfinals. Later that year he won the King's Tournament in Romania.

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

In April 2018, he participated in the fifth edition of Shamkir Chess, finishing eighth with a score of 4/9 (+2–3=4). [37]

Team results

Topalov has competed on first board at nine Chess Olympiads (1994-2000, 2008-2016), winning individual gold in 2014 and scoring best overall performance in 1994.

OlympiadBoardIndividual resultTeam result
Moscow 1994 First8.5/12Fifth
Yerevan 1996 First5.5/1040th
Elista 1998 First8/1117th
Istanbul 2000 First8/1114th
Dresden 2008 First6.5/814th
Khanty-Mansiysk 2010 First5/931st
Istanbul 2012 First7/1020th
Tromso 2014 First6.5/923rd
Baku 2016 First3/566th

Notable games

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After 17 moves, Topalov initiates a series of strong tactical blows with the sacrifice of a knight and a rook.

On the way to winning M-Tel Masters in 2005, Topalov defeated former FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov with the white pieces in a Queen's Indian Defense.

Topalov vs. Ponomariov, Sofia 2005
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Nc3 0-0 8.Rc1 c6 9.e4 d5 10.e5 ( N ) Ne4 11.Bd3 Nxc3 12.Rxc3 c5 13.dxc5 bxc5 14.h4 h6 15.Bb1 f5? 16.exf6 Bxf6 17.Qc2! d4 (diagram) 18.Ng5!! hxg5 19.hxg5 dxc3 20.Bf4 Kf7 21.Qg6+ Ke7 22.gxf6+ Rxf6 23.Qxg7+ Rf7 24.Bg5+ Kd6 25.Qxf7 Qxg5 26.Rh7 Qe5+ 27.Kf1 Kc6 28.Qe8+ Kb6 29.Qd8+ Kc6 30.Be4+! 1–0 [38]

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References

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  17. "Topalov: the Kremlin will not admit that Kramnik cheated."
  18. "Article + photos".
  19. Case N.4/06: JUDGEMENT rendered by the FIDE Ethics Commission (PDF)
  20. "Essent 2006 Mamedyarov, Judit Polgar are the winners". ChessBase.com. 2006-10-29. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
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  34. Archived July 19, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
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Awards
Preceded by
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
FIDE World Chess Champion
2005–2006
Succeeded by
Vladimir Kramnik
World Chess Champion
Achievements
Preceded by
Garry Kasparov
Viswanathan Anand
World No. 1
April 1, 2006 – March 31, 2007
October 1, 2008 – December 31, 2009
Succeeded by
Viswanathan Anand
Magnus Carlsen