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I just recently started looking at chess somewhat seriously so I'm not fully updated on the chess world, in fact Anand-Topalov is the first thing I really even heard about, yet. So as for the two, I know very little about their history in the chess world. But it seems like Topalov is getting a lot of negative attention. I saw something about the 'Toiletgate' incident and through all his negative reception I couldn't help but feel negative towards Topalov.
But the more I read into it and see other people's comments, I feel like people seem to be exaggerating a lot.
1) I don't know everything about the 'Toiletgate' incident but doesn't Topalov have the right to be suspicious of Kramnik's behavior by going to the toilet a lot? Maybe I don't know the exact details but how did this exactly play out? Did he not drop his accusations or did he accuse him during the game?
2) Anand could not make it to Sophia in time and asked for a 3 day delay. Some people seem to accuse Topalov and his team for using cheap tactics for an easy win by having Anand tired while playing. But it doesn't even seem like Topalov had a say in this.
3) The no talking policy. For this it is hard to justify Topalov. But maybe Topalov just did not want to be disturbed and wanted to focus on chess completely. He might find it annoying, unnecessary, or inefficient for the players to personally ask for draws to one another. But maybe he just wanted to show to himself and maybe the world that he was taking things seriously.
4) As soon as people heard that there was no handshake at the end of game 3 people started accusing Topalov for not providing it. They both forgot and either way when there was no handshake it means that both players didn't give one, not just Topalov.
Anyways, I really like Topalov's style of play but I don't want to support someone who can potentially be a complete asshole. Was there any other incidents with Topalov that make people look at him that way? Was there something else in the 'Toiletgate' incident?
Topalov's chess is amazing -- his personality is crap. Other than toilet gate other top players don't seem to like him either but of course that's 3rd hand info. Comments I do know he's made involve saying things like "Kramnik's chess is blow my level, I'm in another class" (then he loses a closely fought match). I believe he said something similar about Anand -- that Anand's chess is also inferior to his own blah blah blah. So like I said he's basically just a jerk.
Of course you already mentioned the Sofia rules thing. When FIDE laid out the rules to be used Topa's response is "well I'm going by my rules anyway." So we have de facto Sofia rules anyway (the un-practical results of which can be seen from game 3).
People jumped on the handshake issue of game 3 because currently Kramnik and Topa both refuse to shake hands out of hate for each other. If Vishy and Topa started a similar thing it would be a big deal, so because of the history people were interested.
A lot of people also accused topolov of cheating, prior to the toiletgate incident, due to some strange behavior at a tournament by his manager...I think some people may develop a picture of what occured at toiletgate as a subterfuge strategy which increases their speculation of his own cheating.
Anyway it does seem that he and his manager are perfectly capable of stooping to crass behavior, whatever they can do to win mroe games, and it jsut doesnt seem like good sportsmanship.
The thing with the handshake also may have been related to a strange incident where topolovs common second, cheparinov refused to shake ngiel shorts hand (nigel short is outspokenly critical of topolov) and was forfieted from the game becuase of it. (there is a fide rule that if a player refuses to shake hands he is forfieted from the game)
Also kasparov anncounced his retirement after a loss against topolov. And topolov has an annoying sounding voice.
I have been out of the 'chess scene' for a long time and like yourself see a lot of negativity towards Topalov though it seems (looking in chat rooms etc) that his manager is responsible for most of the bad press he receives.
heres an article that touches on the subject of topolov's possible cheating which really started the bad taste many had for topolov and danialov
Of course nothing is proven, But since people got suspicious topolov's performance is nothing close to it was in those tournaments...and what really seems important is that nobody really would say that topolov would never do that sort of thing, its not his character...
Wow I didn't know Short had come out with this (hmm, 3 years old news heh). Wasn't Short Topalov's 2nd in some match? Now that I'm "saying that out load" it sounds crazy -- I wonder where I heard that?
Nigel Short's judgement is something I would not trust, given his past behavior. Here are two examples taken out of a wiki article on him:
"Following the death of Tony Miles in 2001, Short wrote an obituary in the in the Sunday Telegraph which he claimed that during the 27th Chess Olympiad in Dubai he had slept with Miles' then-girlfriend."
"Also in 2001, Short was in the news as the story broke that he had been secretly playing the reclusive former chess champion Bobby Fisher online in speed chess matches. Short later retracted the claim after Fischer himself had denied it."
It is difficult to sympathize with a person who would smear his dead rival in an obituary, of all things.
I met Tony Miles several times and he was a thorough gentleman, with a very dry sense of humour - I've never met Short and if what you say is actually true I'm in no hurry to rectify that situation
At the 2009 Tal Memorial in Moscow, a Russian reporter asked Morozevich if he missed Topalov, as the only one of the top ten not playing. Morozevich replied, "Topalov is never missed."
He is the guy who can't seem to get along with anybody else. Sure, Danilov seems the source of a lot of it, but who hired and pays him? It all comes back to Topalov.
It's one thing for top rivals to have some animosity, that's a chess tradition - Capablanca and Alekhine, Petrosian and Spassky, Karpov and Korchnoi, Kasparov and Karpov, etc. But there are few figures in chess history who were universally disliked.
So you're saying that a laptop from 3 years ago could outthink a top-level GM during a trip to the bathroom? Must've been some serious horsepower under the hood, if true.
Not defending Topalov, just saying . . .
Anyway, in answer to the theme question: Because the guy's a jerk with no sense of sportsmanship.
Yes. Already three years ago. And you should keep in mind that the top players, should they be inclined to cheat, wouldn't need to know the 'correct move', but rather a single nod or a wink from an accomplice at a time where there's a tactical opportunity to be looked for, would be enough to produce a signifigant advantage.
when you accuse someone for cheating in public with no evidence you end up as a guy people dont like. topalov is a good player but this is how he will be remembered. this is how he differed from the rest
Didnt both sides make accusations in toiletgate ? I know much was made about Kramniks frequent bathroom trips and then moving instantly when returning to the board. However, there are lots of questions: how many trips did he make and was this happening in more than one game? If I had an opponent that was going to the toilet too frequently , I would probably be suspicious too. This would especially be true if he was going with his clock running and then playing instantly on his return to the board..... I mean come on..... how can this NOT be suspicious ?
I'm with you Reb; my mate (deceased unfortunately) was an IM an' he knew Kramnik an' his father - hated them passionately an' always reckoned Kramnik to be a cheat - this from many years before toiletgate
Well yeah it could be suspicious, and people probably wouldnt have reacted to his accusation quite the way they did if there wasnt the latent suspicion of topolov himself cheating before. Besides, kramnik did have reasonable excuse in the fact that he was having health issues at that time.
The topolov conspiracy that kramnik had the bathroom secretly wired was just bizarre, and topolov was humored enough that people checked for secret wires in the bathroom and didnt find any.
But hey it wouldnt suprise me at all, if kramnik felt that topolov cheated, then kramnik may decide to even things up by cheating some himself, and not consider it unethical. But this of course snowballs into a downward spiral that just destroys chess in general.
suspicious yes. you should be more than that before you go out in public with your opinions accusing your opponent of cheating. and people on kramnik and topalovs level are good enough to leave the board without losing control over the game:) they remember the position
I wouldnt accuse my opponent of cheating if he was going too frequently but I might just go with him and see what he's doing...... is there any rules against that ?
Has anyone seen a number used concerning the frequent toilet breaks ? I mean, did he go 2 or 3 times, 20 times , more ? Was this happening in only one game, or several, or all ?
Well GMs can think while away, so it's not completely suspicious, but it is a little bit. But then we see Topalov greatly exaggerating the number of trips -- also in the games at times Kramnik came back and blundered and in at least one game Topa missed a few opportunities. So if Kramnik was cheating just analysing the games will show he was a piss poor cheater.
So they open up the ceiling and find a cable... no not a computer, not even a computer cable, just a cable. Also they switched bathrooms each day so if there were an apparatus Topa got use of it half the days.
Anyway if I were so inclined, and if I were Anand, as a psychological game after deciding my move I'd just go to the bathroom then come back and play it, just to screw with Topa's head. Of course you might get a lot of bad press for yourself and chess, but he left himself wide open lol.
...just make sure he wash his hands when he is finish.
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