Interview With GM Kiril Georgiev

Kiril speaks about the record-breaking simul

kiril georgiev

GM Kiril Georgiev

Q: Good day Kiril, congratulations on setting a new world record. Tell me first – how did you actually get the idea to break the record?

A: Thank you very much. Well, some two months ago I spoke with Nikolay Todorov, the Chairman of the chess club “Levski” Sofia, and he came up with the idea of breaking the world record. I was hesitating for a while, but then I realised that I have a good chance to achieve this and so I finally said “yes” and begun with preparation.

Q: You knew how exhausting it can be? Seance would be taking many hours?

A: Of course, I was aware that this would be very difficult to complete. I am a chess professional and until now my personal record was 45 simultaneous games. This project was very demanding, in both physical and psychological aspect. An ordinary chess game can last up to 6 or 7 hours, but with this simul nobody could have guessed how long it will take. We were expecting 10 hours maybe, but it lasted a bit over 14.

Q: You were playing very sharp, all games opened with 1. e4. Was this part of your plan, to quickly eliminate as many opponents as possible?

A: Exactly, 1. e4 is the fastest way to reach the opponent’s King. I wanted to make many quick wins in order to ease the walk and shorten the circle. I believe this was the right decision, I played sharp, with many gambits, pawn sacrifices, to keep the enemy King in the middle of the table and make a quick assault.

Q: Are you planning to take a shot at other records?

A: No (laughing), I won’t even think about it.

Q: So you will probably focus on your regular chess career. Where will you be playing next?

A: Yes, I am coming back to tournament play. My next will be European Individual Championship in Budva and then a number of team competitions – Austria, Croatia, Romania…

Q: A month ago you were playing the Fischer Memorial in Pancevo, how was this tournament for you?

A: It was an excellent opportunity for me to extend the preparation for the record attempt. That was rapid event and I used it to train the fast play because I also wanted to play fast in the simul – not more than 3 seconds per move.

Kiril also explained that the Guinness rules were very strict. For example, he was not allowed to make “Spassky move” and invite all players to open 1. e4, thus sparing him a circle. It was also forbidden to play more than one move on the same board until the full circle was made.

Nalchik will host a chess Grand Prix event

interview with Arsen Kanokov

The FIDE President Kirsan Ilymzhinov announced at the opening ceremony of the Topalov – Kamsky match that Kabardino Balkaria will host a stage of the Grand Prix. The information has been confirmed by Arsen Kanokov in an interview for Rosiiskaia Gazeta.

“Nalchik is a lucky city, it is where the chess crown returned to Russia,” said for Rusiiskaia Gazeta Arsen Kanokov. “When we negotiated with FIDE about the Women World Chess Championship we agreed that Kabardino Balkaria will be considered for the Grand Prixas well. Now we are not going to turn away from our promisses. And the reasons are not only moral, the advantage of organizing such an event is out of question. First of all for the young generation and second, this is an important step of promoting North Caucasus. The financial crisis is not a problem, on the contrary, such actions are needed as people in the region will feel stronger and more confident and potential investors will realize everything is in order.”

Arsen Kanokov also confirmed the exact tournament dates of the Nalchik Grand Prix – 14-30 April, 2009.

WWCC Closing 3

Alexandra Kosteniuk and Arsen Kanokov, President of Kabardino-Balkaria

Interview with Antoaneta Stefanova

about the challengers match and her future plans

Antoaneta Stefanova Eti

Q: Hello Antoaneta, you had probably observed the games of your compatriot Veselin Topalov and Gata Kamsky, what are your impressions about this match?

A: Of course I followed the match, each game was very interesting, and okay, as we hoped, Veselin won and proved that he is currently in better shape. I was surprised to see Kamsky spending that much time in certain positions, and in the end, as the games were very complicated, it was difficult to find the best moves during the time trouble. All this tells me that Topalov was better prepared for the match.

Q: What do you think about the first two games where Topalov had White and Kamsky managed to hold with the Gruenfeld Indian defence, opening against which Topalov has a crushing score?

A: Well, of course, Kamsky is also very strong player, he was successful in defending those slightly weaker positions. He did well in Gruenfeld, but he lost on the other side.

Q: Let’s talk about your own plans. What will be your next tournaments?

A: The Women’s Grand Prix is finally starting. I am happy that this series has launched, even though the prize fund is not even remotely close to the men’s Grand Prix. But okay, this is a start and I’m hoping for better in the following years. It is very important for women’s chess to have more strong tournaments.

We will play the first Grand Prix in Istanbul, but I don’t like the fact that it is overlapping with the European Individual Championship that is being played in Sankt Petersburg. I hope the calendar will be composed with more consideration in the future. There are not many women’s tournaments in general and now suddenly we have two scheduled to take place at the same time. I can’t understand that.

Q: And after the Grand Prix?

A: After that I am playing in the Russian League, for Spartak Vidnoe. I won the championship twice with my former team of AVS, now I hope to bring some of this luck to Spartak.

Q: Do you prepare individually or you have a coach?

A: I do some work on my own and I also prepare with GM Vladimir Georgiev, who is my coach for many years already. We will see the results in Istanbul (laughing).

Interview with Hall Bond

Mr. Bond was the supervisor of the match Kamsky – Topalov

Mr.Hall Bond from the Canadian Chess Federation is the match supervisor, whose nomination was accepted by both Kamsky and Topalov for the match in Sofia. Mr. Bond agreed to an interview for during game 7 of the match.

Q: Mr.Bond, thank you for accepting the interview. What are your impressions about the match thus far? (note – 7th game was still in progress)

A: It’s been a very exciting match, every game has been played with serious intent, there’s been no quick draws and I am very pleased with the level of play, you know, the intensity, the battle – it’s great.

Q: As a match supervisor, appointed by FIDE, did you have any remarks or objections regarding the organization or conditions?

A: Both sides are very professional. The organizers have staged the match at a very high level, both players have enthusiastic managers, so this makes it interesting, but in fact they are both okay to work with. When we have some issues, we discuss them, we resolve them and the match continues.

Q: You probably talked with Mr.Sutovsky, has he had any objections?

A: There were a few small things at the beginning of the match, they were resolved within the first day and after that it’s been very smooth.

Interview With Teimour Radjabov

Interview conducted by T.Tushiev for

Q: The first supertournament of the year is behind us. What are your impressions, and how do you evaluate your result?

A: Supertournament in Wijk aan Zee is traditionally one of the strongest tournaments of the year, which this time gathered a very strong composition. I think that I didn’t play bad, but on the course of the tournament I was totally unlucky.

Q: Despite a fairly high overall standing, there is this feeling that you dropped some points?

A: According to the positions in my games, I was obliged to score a full point, well at least half a point higher than the result obtained. The result of this unbearable waste of points was that my score in the end was insufficient for the place.

Q: The only defeat in this tournament you have suffered at the hands of Loek van Wely, the principal opponent in the Kings Indian Defence. What has been the case. One has the impression that Loek was able to find an antidote against the opening with which you induce fear in all players?

A: Dutch grandmaster Loek van Wely is one of the biggest specialists for the White side of the Bayonet attack in Kings Indian Defence. We have an ongoing principled theoretical discussion in this structure. I also won a several interesting games against Loek in this opening. So the battle continues!

Radjabov concentrating square

Teimour Radjabov

Q: Is it possible to argue that this setback deprived you from sharing first place, along with Karjakin, just like that sole undeserved defeat against Inarkiev in Elista prevented you from taking clear first place? That is already a second tournament in the row, that one single misfire deprives you of apparent victories?

A: I wouldn’t say that defeat against van Wely cost me the first place. But I didn’t score against Smeets in a completely winning position. The arbiters have ruled a draw.

Q: Now that you mentioned Smeets, what actually happened in that game, where you had a clear advantage in the key moment?

A: The situation was like this. In a huge mutual zeitnot, Smeets sets his piece badly (the Bishop was standing between e8 and e7), I am making a move with my Rook, accidentally touching upon his Bishop and the piece fells. According to the rules, Smeets had to stop the clock and call an arbiter to clarify the situation. Smeets reacted immediately and demanded that I should correct the piece on the expense of my time. But the rules are prohibiting to talk to the opponent during the play. Unfortunately, FIDE rules are not very clear on this issue. I run out of time (after Smeets pressed my clock back and talked) in a totally winning position. The judges decided to proclaim a draw in a controversial situation. I can understand Smeets, this was an extreme emotional reaction in a very nervous situation. But in the end I did not get the crucial point for the victory.

Q: What can be done to avoid similar problematic situations in zeitnot?

A: Let me think about it (smiles – Author).

Radjabov thinking 1

Q: Had this game caused psychological effects? We had an impression that this event left you angry, and you defeated Wang Yue.

A: Yes, to put it mildly, I was not in the mood after this game. But the weekend was coming, and I concentrated on preparation for the Chinese Grandmaster Wang Yue. It is very difficult to play him with Black. He does not allow his opponents to develop counterplay and he exerts “strangulation” style very effectively. But nevertheless, I managed to outplay him.

Q: Karjakin’s victory was unexpected for you?

A: Before the start I did not consider him to be one of the main candidates to win the tournament in Wijk aan Zee. But during the tournament, Karjakin got himself involved in many high-risk positions, when all three possible results (win or defeat or a draw) were at the table, and in the end he had succeeded. So it is normal that Sergey won this supertournament.

Radjabov coffee1

Q: Your next competition will be Linares. Do you have the final list of participants? As far as I know, the world champion Vishy Anand, Vassily Ivanchuk, Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian are set to play. What are the expectations for this tournament?

A: In addition to the players that you mentioned, we will have Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Lenier Dominguez (Cuba) and Wang Yue (China). This is traditionally the strongest tournament of the year. What are the expectations? So far, none. Well, in Linares I will try, as in all other tournaments, to play for the best possible result.

Interview conducted by T.Tushiev for

Topalov and his team under pressure before the match with Kamsky

interview with Silvio Danailov for Standartnews

bilbao danailov topalov

Veselin Topalov’s team for the Chess Challengers match has already arrived in Sofia. The one of Gata Kamsky is expected to land on the 12th of February. The event starts on the 16th and Bulgarian media already produce massive information about the match. will present you daily the most interesting information, interviews, and news. This one was pointed out by Kaleid, an interview with Silvio Danailov published in Standart newspaper.

Want to know more details about Kamsky – Topalov? Join the forum today and ask the Chessdom editors yourself!

Mr. Danailov, the Challengers match starts in a few days. You had lots of obstacles on the way, was there a possibility that the match didn’t take place?

Yes, it wouldn’t take place if Kramnik had won against Anand. The Russian influence is very strong. It is clear that Topalov is number 1 and Kramnik avoids playing with him. He even refused playing in Sofia for 1 million dollars.

The other obstacle was coming from Kamsky’s team, who thought that this a million dollar match and did not want in any case the event to take place in Bulgaria. We gave them 8 months to look for money. We told them we would play anywhere in the world. For me the match in Bulgaria is not the best option because a lot of national funds get spent. The pressure for Veselin and for me is big. A loss will be a real national tragedy. Everyone expects victory, while this will be a very difficult match. I preferred that it were played abroad. In the end they could not find the money and it was either our offer or no match. I am happy that they were reasonable and this match will take place.

Cheparinov and Danailov

The team of Topalov

Did Veselin Topalov compromise during the negotiations?

He did, Topalov did not want to play in Bulgaria. Outside it would have been much calmer. Even if he lost, it would not be a drama. Here the whole Bulgaria will be watching him, he is a national hero.

The other thing we had to give up was the Linares 2009 chess tournament. We had a signed contract and thanks to the fact that the mayor of Linares is my friend, the contract was annulled. Either Vesko had to give up Linares, or Kamsky Wijk Aan Zee. Gata did not step aside. From this situation we do not only lose money. We have been working with this people for 15 years and we are very close. I want to thank them for making this gesture. We are professionals and we have never broken a contract. This is the first time in our career. It is not good, but it is a force major situation.


With Paolo Coehlo during
the first Mtel Masters

What are you worried about before the match?

Bulgaria will make a fantastic preparation. We have big experience with the 4 Mtel Masters tournaments. We will become a reference for this type of events in the future. I want to thank the government, the sponsors, the National agency for youth and sport, all of them enthusiastically helped us with the preparation. My only worries are not to disappoint them. This loads us and obliges us too much. However, this match gives a great opportunity to popularize chess among young people in the country.

Topalov was in top notch form in the end of last year, when his match was expected to be. What is his condition now?

It is difficult to say with precision. Vesko is growing stronger, he won last year’s two biggest events, in Nanjing and Bilbao. Let’s hope the climax will be the match with Kamsky.

And if he qualifies with the match with Anand?

I do not want to think about that, first “A” then “B”.

What is the difference with the match with Kramnik?

Topalov has much more experience. Our team is also more experienced. We learned a lot from the match in Elista.

Kamsky’s career also went through Elista?

Kamsky has won against Anand, Short… he lost from Karpov in Elista, but there were not any scandals until after the match…

What were Kamsky’s requests and conditions for the match in Sofia?

He wanted to increase the prize fund, which was done. Before it was 150 000 dollars, now it is 250 000 dollars.He achieved everything that he wanted. He wants to bring a specialist to check the playing hall. I heard he’s been working for MOSSAD. Let him come. We do not have anything to hide.

Why is this fear from electronic devices in chess?

There is some kind of hysteria. Chess media talk too much about that. It is something interesting, something that sells. It is gossip, yellow news, intrigue…

danailov funny square

Danailov in Wijk Aan Zee 2008
(exclusive photo by Carla Amse

You were in Wijk Aan Zee, which has just finished. How do you evaluate Kamsky’s performance?

He was alone. He was hiding. He did not have any team. It was obvious he did not care and plays just to fulfill his contract. His thoughts are directed to the match with Vesko. His team is hidden and working. Nobody knows who is it and where it stays.

In such matches there is a silent game between the managers as well. Tell us something about Emil Sutovsky?

He is not his manager, he is his speaker. At first the negotiations were with the wife of his father who is an advocate. Later on with Chernenko, with his father, and in the end appeared Sutovsky. To be a manager you have to have at least one contract in your life, and to have found at least one sponsor. Actually, Kamsky does not have a manager, he decides alone. He temporarily uses some people to help him.

Is it an irony that you brought back Kamsky to chess?

Yes, and I am not sorry. All my intentions have been noble. I knew it was good to give Gata a chance. He is a very interesting player. We have known him for a lot of time. Topalov was his second for the match with Kasparov in New York in 1994. Topalov lived in Kamsky’s house. Now I brought him back to chess, he receives a lot of invitations, and he will play against us. But that’s the way life is.

Veselin Topalov said Gata Kamsky is very strong psychologically?

Kamsky really had iron nerves. But the ten years out of chess affect this. Topalov was making mistakes due to his ambitious play. Now he play stable chess, he is mature and very confident.

( Read the interview with Topalov here)

The Grand Slam proves to be stronger than the Grand Prix. How does the chess community evaluate your efforts?

The Grand Slam is a professional association, while Grand Prix is done by FIDE. They did not have any experience. They thought it is very easy and they can work as we do. Three tournaments, in Qatar, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland got canceled.Ilymzhinov again had to save them with a tournament in Elista. But in any case, it is going towards a failure.

More and more funds enter chess because of the Grand Slam. Now we have a tournament in China, we are waiting for South America and the USA. In total, the Grand Slam is moving some 2 million euros in prize funds every year, which before was impossible. If they evaluate my efforts or not, this does not concern me.

Danailov and president Parvanov

President Georgi Parvanov is always
supporting Topalov and Danailov

How do you find money in the financial crisis?

Let’s not forget that chess is not an expensive sport. It has a nice image. We talk about culture, education. Sponsors during the crisis do not have money for soccer, but for chess the crisis is even good because we offer sponsorship packages that are at affordable prices.

In many countries chess is a subject in the schools. It can happen in Bulgaria, talks have been going on with President Georgi Parvanov.

Will the FIDE President Kirsan Ilymzhinov come for the match?

He should come.

In Moscow Ilymzhinov has said he would be glad to try Bulgarian wine. What would you recommend him?

The best wine at the moment is “Katarzhina”, and the other one that I like is “Enira 2003″, but I am not sure if it is still available at the market. Ilymzhinov will visit also the grave of Vanga. In any case he will be pleased.

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Interview by Maria Dimitrova for Translation by Georgi Nikodimov for, usage of information and excerpts only with proper credit and written permission.