Topalov's interview on San Luis

8/21/2005 - There is an interesting interview of Topalov on Chessbase.  The 2nd best player in the world, Veselin Topalov answered the questions like Football coach Bill Parcels would have answer them. He didnít expose much of himself. Topalov said anyone could win this tournament. This is a smart statement. He is not ceding anything to anyone in particular. He did not make the same mistake that Leko did. In fact Topalov said he didn't have a clue as to who will win. Well this reporter does have a clue and Topalov has to be the favorite.   Topalov also said heís been preparing a long time.

   In a recent New in Chess interview, Topalov said: " he was not afraid to lose." I say a champion can't be afraid to play for a win. However Topalov might be over extending when he plays Anand.  Hopefully Topalov has prepared specifically for Anand and Morozevich. Both of those players have given Topalov difficulty in recent years.  Topalov has had a hard time against Anand in 2005.  Anand has taken 3 out of 4 points from Topalov.  Since 2004, Alexander  Morozevich has taken three games from Topalov.  I am sure Topalov knows that his road thru San Luis goes thru Anand, Morozevich and Leko.
      Topalov is correct to  say the winner of this tournament will be a fair champion. But I would like to add that this fair champion will not be a true champion until he or she defeats Kramnik in a match.  Though I  agree with Topalov when he says the double round robin is the best and most balanced way. This is true for a tournament, but the tournament format is not the most balanced or best way to decide a true world champion.

    The two main weaknesses of a tournament champion system are that the winner doesnít have to win against the other top players. The winner could be decided by who wins the most against the bottom half of the tournament. The other major weakness is that players could join forces and influence the outcome of the tournament. This occurred in 1962 Curacao. Three top players of that tournament, namely Petrosian, Keres and Geller agreed to quick draws against each other. They saved their strength for Bobby Fischer and Victor Kortchnoi. Petrosian won that tournament and the right to face Botvinnik in the 1963 world championship. Petrosian would defeat Botvinnik and became the 9th World Champion.  Keres and Geller finished in 2nd and 3rd  places at Curacao. This strategy certainly worked quite well in keeping both Fischer and Kortchnoi from seriously challenging. They finished 4th and 5th respectively. 

 Topalov is having an outstanding year. He started 2005 with a third place finish at Corus. He also tied for first with Garry Kasparov at Linares.  Topalov would take sole possession of first at Mtel and a 2nd place finish at Dortmund. There is no question, Topalov is playing the best classical chess in 2005. Topalov should be considered the favorite to win at San Luis.


ChessBase Report -

San Luis - Chess Reporter
Veselin Topalov - Chess Reporter
2005 Major tournament results

Topalov vs. Kasparov final game Linares 2005 -

1962 Curacao - Candidate Tournament -$cix.html

1963 - Botvinnik vs. Petrosian -$wix.html