Silvio Danailov Speaks

No handshake between Kramnik and Topalov expected

Early this morning Silvio Danailov, manager of Veselin Topalov, landed in Sofia, where he will be for the next few days. He gave an extensive interview for An interview, that will surely put a red alert on several chess issues. We present you an unedited version of the interview. The interview jumps from issue to issue, talking about the Mtel Masters, the match Kamsky Topalov, the Corus 2008 chess tournament, Ivan Cheparinov, Gata Kamsky, Rustam Kamsky, FIDE, Elista……

Expect the summary of the events around the Kamsky – Topalov match tomorrow on

Hello Silvio, why are you here and not in Wijk Aan Zee?

I was there the first three rounds, but had an important meeting with Vesela Lecheva about the semi final match Kamsky – Topalov. The idea is the match to take place in Veliko Turnovo. It is not a big deal that I will miss several games in Holland, the tournament is long and we will catch up. I will be there for the game with Anand on Sunday (editors note: live comments on with GM Dimitrov).


Are there news after the meeting with Lecheva?

I informed Lecheva that there is big pressure from Kamsky’s side and his people. That is why FIDE will give them a chance to look for sponsors and the match to take place in the USA. It can happen in New York or Seattle. Even though FIDE had taken the decision the match to take place in Bulgaria, they decided to give chance to the USA to beat our offer by March 31st. It is 180 000 USD. FIDE wanted 150 000 USD for the players plus 20% for the central, and we agreed. Now Kamsky has to find a better offer as the minimum is 250 000 USD.

In case the USA finds the money, we will have two months to equalize the bid. If we do it, the game will be in Bulgaria.

In case there is a better offer from the USA by March 31st, will Topalov agree to play there?

He will, if we cannot equalize the bid. We will not have any other choice. In any case I think there will be a lot of interest in the match in Bulgaria. Let’s wait and see if there is an offer from the USA, as sponsors are not easy to find and time is running.

There is more audience for chess in Russia than in the USA. Is this the reason Kamsky to want Russian citizenship?

I suppose the offer from Elista has something to do with it. Kamsky is disappointed there are no sponsors in the USA and maybe believes he will find more support from Russia. I think the citizenship is a light form of “blackmail” for the US sponsors. Better said, he is trying to press them.

Why will it take two months to finalize the agreement?

The Americans have to give a bank guarantee for the money and that is not easy at all. That is not like going to the store and buying cheese. If they cannot find money the match will be in Bulgaria. But if they find 1 million, it will be very hard to beat them. Our position is to wait for the moment.

How do you find the offer of Kalmikya to organize the match?

That is just PR for them. Everyone knows after what happened there, we will never go back to Elista. A free advertisment of Elista, that is all.

Is there a possibility the game to take place in other place in Russia?

You have to know that FIDE does not consider four countries neutral – USA, Bulgaria, Russia, and Spain.

Is an offer from another country possible?

It is difficult, but not impossible. Let’s wait and see.

What type of person is Kamsky?

We gave him a chance in 2006 at Mtel Masters, until then he was not receiving tournament invitations. He played very well at the Chess World Cup and deserved the first place. He left his home country when he was 15 because he did not have chance to develop there. A big tallent, but Russia is full of great players like him. He needed a chance to play at big tournaments. His father realizes he does not have a chance and they go to New York. After unsuccessful attempts to beat Karpov and Kasparov, he left the attempts to conquer the World Chess Championship. He had a devastating loss from Karpov in Elista.

Does his father have such a big influence over him?

His father is an ex boxer. He is like the father of Mozart, pressing him all day long to work. The opinions on if he had positive effect on Kamsky are divided.

Can we expect a manager clash between you and Rustam Kamsky?

All the correspondence of Kamsky is done by his wife, she is an advocate. His father only talks in newspapers. I have not heard Kamsky saying his father is his manager. I had the impression they do not work together anymore.

How will you comment Kamsky’s words that he will not play in Bulgaria?

That is exaggerated. He said he preffers the match to take place in a neutral country, but if FIDE decides he will play in Sofia (Chessdom editors note: probably Turnovo). Gata and Vesko are good friends. In any case, if FIDE decides he does not have a choice and if he does not come he loses.

Why is Vesko not doing well in Corus?

He usually has difficulties at the start. He is not at top form at the beginning, but I preffer to talk after the end of the competition.

On Tuesday is Topalov Kramnik. FIDE said the players will have to pay a fine of they do not shake hands.

I think there will be no shake of hands because nobody will give his hand first.

Danailov and the President Parvanov

Mtel Masters patron: Georgi Parvanov, President of Bulgaria

And the preparations for the Mtel Masters 2008, how are they going?

This year Mtel Masters 2008 we will be in the Military Club (Chessdom editors note: one minute away from Grand Hotel Sofia) where we will put an “aquarium” for the chess players. At the moment we are looking for a company to make the soundproof aquarium. In the Chess Champions League in Vitoria it has been under construction for six months before the tournament. It is easier for us because we have the plans. It will be a big show!

How much does the aquarium cost?

Until now we have an offer for 60 000 eur, which is expensive.

Can we expect other surprises from Sofia?

This year Mtel Masters is a part of the Grand Slam together with Corus, Morelia Linares, and Mexico City. The winners will play a final in Bilbao, together with two more players invited by the organizers. One of them is Anand. Besides Spassky, we want to invite Karpov to this year’s edition of the Mtel Masters, but his program is very busy.

Who will be the second of Topalov, since Cheparinov participates
as well?

I suppose we will take the Spaniard Francisco Paco Vallejo, who was in Elista as well. Cheparinov also needs a second. This will be the Dutch GM Erwin l’Ami.

Cheparinov Danailov

Ivan Cheparinov and Silvio Danailov

Is it possible Cheparinov to win the Mtel Masters?

He is still young, 21 years old. But he can win Wijk Aan Zee Corus B, I told him now is his chance. He needs 3-4 more years of serious work to become a top class player.

What will be the team with the match with Kamsky?

I will take Dr. Kandilarov, who helped us a lot in the World Cup. For sure there will be Vallejo and Cheparinov, and many of the people from the team in Elista.

How much time will you prepare for the match with Kamsky?

If the match is in December, than it will take several months. In the end of September we stop with the tournaments.

If the match is in Turnovo, where exactly will it take place?

We are thinking of the beautiful houses of Arbanasi for the players (Chessdom editors note: expect photos from the region on For playing hall there are many options

Interview with GM Christian Bauer

about Vandoeuvre open and the game with Anna Rudolf

Vandoeuvre open – report with photos

The story of Anna Rudolf – as told by Marie Boyarchenko

Interview with Anna Rudolf – emotional interview with Anna after Vandoeuvre open

What rules apply here – a letter from FIDE Executive Director David Jarrett

chessdom logo

Hello Mr Bauer! You played a game with Anna in round 2 that she is particularly
happy about. Did you have the feeling that she might be getting
external help ?

I didn’t think so during the game and right after. It only occurred to me that there was a chance she did, when she had scored 4/4 and some other players were complaining, but I considered the probability to be very small. I then looked at her games with some friends of mine from the organization, they were checking with some program if Anna’s moves were matching the (or most of the) suggestions of the engine. It was fairly clear that she was playing her own moves, so my little doubts were even reduced.

Have you analyzed the game with an engine afterwards?

Not too much, I only checked briefly with the above-mentioned friends. I remember that the engine was suggesting something very different than the game continuation right at the start. Then there were many options, but I don’t think Anna’s moves were matching the computer’s ones “too often”.

Do you have the pgn file from the Vandoeuvre open?

No, I don’t. To summarize, the game was balanced for the first 25-30 moves, then I lost a pawn in an ending that my opponent duly converted. We were in time-trouble for the last 20 moves or so, and couldn’t leave the table. Although the position wasn’t too difficult at that point, Anna played it faultlessly and earned a deserved point.

What do you think about the behavior of the Latvian players?

This is a difficult question, because there are obviously two cases. Either they wanted to disturb a young girl, and this is not nice, to say the least, or they really believed Anna was cheating. I don’t know Krivonosov and Starostits very well, but I met the former at Geneva open this year. At some point I found a nice move and won the game. After resigning he complimented me. I know Lazarev a bit more. The fact that he offered a draw so quickly when he met Anna tends to prove that he really believed she got external help. I shall add that some other titled players believed Anna was cheating, and they found it strange that she was “so often” – they said – outside the playing hall. Another argument was that she had dropped some 40 rating points between the July list and the October one (nothing extraordinary when you are young, in my view).

All in all I understand their behaviour, even if I don’t share their doubts etc., and think they really believed Anna was cheating.

What is more dangerous today, cheating or cheating paranoya?

Still cheating, I think, very few players are paranoid about that.

Did you witness the situation where Anna was refused shaking of
hands in the last round? The shaking hands problem has been described
in . Has it ever happened at other events that you remember?

I did it myself to some players (it happened twice or three times, I don’t have so many enemys !) with whom I had had serious problems. In my opinion it is rather extreme, but once again, if you firmly believe someone is cheating, will you shake and with him/her ?
There is a famous story between Shirov and Azmaiparashvili, who met in a closed tournament after Azmai had won many points in a very suspicious way. Shirov is reported to have only shaken hands after Azmai had threatened him.

Thank you Mr. Bauer. Would you like to add annything?

At the end it was failry evident that Anna Rudolf didn’t cheat, a general opinion that was expressed at the prize-giving by Gerard Simon, the president of Vandoeuvre chess club. She deserved her norms and result after playing such a good tournament.

Interview with Anna Rudolf

lip balm supercomputer

vandoeuvre anna rudolf

Anna Rudolf during her game with GM Bauer

Immediately after we heard the story from Vandoeuvre Open, we got in touch with Anna Rudolf. Obviously still very affected by the events, she agreed on a short interview for

Hello Anna! Congratulations on achieving WGM and IM norms at the
Vandoeuvre Open! How does it feel winning against so many strong

Hi Anton! Thank you very much, it’s an amazing feeling. I’m glad to have achieved the norms and to have played nice games, especially the one against GM Christian Bauer.

Another participant in the Vandoeuvre Open, Marie Boyarchenko,
hinted us that some players were uncomfortable with your strong games?

Yes, there was a “trio” who just simply couldn’t believe I played by myself and accused me of cheating. The trio by names: IM Oleg Krivonosov, GM Vladimir Lazarev and IM Ilmars Starostits. They don’t really know how I cheat, but they are “sure” that I cheat. Krivonosov was telling stories about nowadays’ high-technology, and so I heard my lip balm became the most suspicious…

Lips balm secret technology? That sounds ridiculous…. Will any
small kid believe such a thing?

Yes, ridiculous indeed. I usually went away from the board when it wasn’t my turn to move: I like to go out to the fresh air and also to wash my face. Moreover, I played most of my games on the stage, broadcasted, so I didn’t have to sit at the board to see my position. And yes, the lip balm was always with me. Kids, beware, Rybka is in it!

So they were just talking ot they took other actions as well?

Right before the start of Round 9, I was informed by the arbiter that there were some players stating I use some kind of “outer help”. I had to give my bag to him and leave it at the arbiter’s desk for the entire game. I could only keep with myself the things which were taken “under control”. My tiny little box of lip balm was particularly asked to be checked. Things became even more ridiculous when my opponent arrived. I held out my hand to him but he didn’t bother to take it. It was for greeting, so I thought he just didn’t find it necessary to shake hands with women. When the arbiter said to start the clocks, I held out my hand again, but he refused to shake hands with me. I asked him why and he replied: “you don’t play fair”. “I don’t play fair?” — I said, surprised. “Yes, you don’t” — he answered. It created a very “friendly” atmosphere for the game… The game itself was ridiculous, too. He played an “anti-engine” system: e6-d6-b6-g6. Also, whenever he saw I wanted to get up from the board, he tried to make his move immediately, not to let me to. I tried to forget about their accusation during the game, but I hardly managed and couldn’t really concentrate. Finally, I blundered in an equal position. Surprisingly he took my hand when I resigned. Perhaps just because my loss proved that I wasn’t cheating for that — only that — game. I ended up in tears and not because of the result itself, but the way they did it…

Marie told us that they will repeat their actions in the next tournament.

Yes, I heard about this madness. They know I’m going to play on the Cappelle-la-Grande Open, so Krivonosov promised to accuse me there as well. The tournament hasn’t even started and I’m already cheating! I would like to help Mr Krivonosov’s work and let everybody know that I’m a very evil-minded and dangerous girl, using the strongest engines in the shape of a lip balm!

chessdom logo

A very strange situation indeed. Were cheating accusations simple cheating paranoia that is slowly but steadily entering the chess world or they were a direct attempt to play with a young girl’s psychology? This is not a case for Chessdom, but for the FIDE ethics commision. However, one thing is sure. Not shaking hands may lead to a full point in the last game for Anna Rudolf according to

Any player who does not shake hands with the opponent (or greets the opponent in a normal social manner in accordance with the conventional rules of their society) before the game starts in a FIDE tournament or during a FIDE match (and does not do it after being asked to do so by the arbiter) or deliberately insults his/her opponent or the officials of the event, will immediately and finally lose the relevant game.

That would be itself a strange situation, as Anna Rudolf has the highest Bucholtz and will win the tournament. However, she has not filed an official complaint because she was not aware of the rule. Can she file one after the tournament is finished? Were there any additional details around the non shaking hands situation? We will get in touch with the arbiter of the competition. Stay tuned for updates!

More on Anna Rudolf in Vandoeuvre open

Vandoeuvre open – report with photos

The story of Anna Rudolf – as told by Marie Boyarchenko