Topalov draws Irish Team in clock simul

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0 | Chess Event Coverage

In a clock simul on Monday in Dublin Veselin Topalov scored 2-2 against the four strongest Irish players. Bulgaria's number one player, at 2768 currently ranked 7th in the live ratings, beat IM Mark Quinn, drew with IM Alex Lopez and IM Sam Collins and lost to GM Alex Baburin.

During last year's campaign for the ECU presidency, Silvio Danailov offered to send three GMs to Ireland. True to his word, last November Ivan Cheparinov came and played in the Kilkenny Masters weekender. On Monday, October 3rd it was Veselin Topalov's turn to come to Dublin. Instead of doing the usual talk and simul, the Irish Chess Union thought it would be interesting to have a clock simul against the Irish Men's Team.

The simul took place at the Clarence Hotel on Wellington Quay, Dublin. The time control was 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move. Unfortunately five minutes before the start the organizers discovered that the hotel firewall blocked FTP traffic, so the games couldn't be followed live online. The digital boards did store the moves, so here they are:

[board]/drupal7/sites/default/files/games/topalov_simul.pgn[/board]

During the simul the spectators were able to get right up close and personal with the super-grandmaster. This was great for the fans, but it might have been distracting for Topalov.

Visitor Edward Loane, who provided the photos and videos below, wrote to us:

Topalov played for 4 hours straight, without taking a single break or even a sip of water. I take my hat off to the man.

A lengthy comment below this article by Jonathan O'Connor, chairman of the Irish Chess Union and main organizer of the event, includes this bit:

Topalov told me that he had got up at 5:30 in the morning, drove 200km to Madrid airport and flew to Dublin. As everyone knows, chess players do not like to get up early in the morning. This was clearly a factor in the final hour of play. (...) On a personal note, as chairman of the Irish Chess Union, I found Veselin a very modest man, quiet and thoughtful. It should also be said, that Veselin Topalov played this event for free, and the Irish Chess Union paid neither our guests flights nor their accommodation. Many thanks to Silvio Danailov for being true to his word. He has got a lot of bad press in the last few years, but I found him a decent, reasonable man who has a sensible vision for the future of chess, and the energy and drive to get there.

Mr O'Connor also asked both Danailov and Topalov about why he hadn't played for so long, and both confirmed that after losing to Anand, Veselin needed time to recharge the batteries.

They said it was a tough loss psychologically, as after investing so much time and energy preparing for the match.

On his trip to Ireland Topalov was joined by Silvio Danailov. The ECU President met with Phil Hogan, Irish Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government. As the Irish Chess Union website reports, Minister Hogan promised to support the Irish Chess Union's bid for recognition of chess as a sport. He also promised to help secure the votes of the 13 Irish MEPs in a vote for chess in schools program at the European Parliament.

After this clock simul, Danailov and Topalov will visit the island of Jersey where Topalov will give a simul vs. 25 Jersey players on October 5th. On the next day they will continue their trip to Guernsey, where Topalov will give a clock simul against 16 players from this British island.

 

Irish Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government Philip Hogan making the first move at the board of Alex Baburin and Veselin Topalov. Standing (L-R): Ambassador Emil Yalnazov, President of Kilkenny Chess Club Jack Lowry and ECU President Silvio Danailov

Silvio Danailov, here watching, joins Topalov on a trip to Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey

Spectarors gathered around the last board still playing: Topalov is in trouble...

and here has just resigned to Alex Baburin, who thus levelled the score: 2-2

Photos: Irish Chess Union & Edward Loane

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