The New Champ weighs unification

After his commanding victory in San Luis over a week ago, FIDE World Champion Veselin Topalov has made some interesting remarks pertaining to a possible reunification match with Vladimir Kramnik. After his manager, Silvio Danailov stated that a match with Kramnik was a possibility, Topalov was quoted in an interview as saying Kramnik's recent decline in strength and rating difference would make such a match meaningless.

"There's a big difference in our ratings," Topalov stressed. "In chess 60 Elo points means a different class altogether. If Vladimir was offered to play against someone 60 Elo points below himself he'd simply burst out laughing. If there is going to be a Topalov-Kramnik match, it will be on purely commercial basis. I do not believe we can play for the title because I've already won it here in San Luis. A Topalov-Kramnik match for the title is out of question, because FIDE has organised a two-year cycle for the world championship, analogous to the one we had in San Luis, where eight qualifiers will fight for the title. Thus the tournament shall determine the new holder of the Crown. That is the plan."

Veselin Topalov triumphantly hoisting his championship trophy in great splendor for all to see. Photo by

Veselin Topalov triumphantly hoisting his championship trophy in great splendor for all to see. Photo by ChessBase.

It is certainly surprising for Topalov to imply that Kramnik is not a worthy opponent. Kramnik responded saying that he is the rightful owner of the title stating that his title was won by beating the 13th World Champion Garry Kasparov.  However, one could argue that Kasparov interrupted the line of succession when he broke from FIDE and forfeited his title. Certainly that would be the case in any sport. Chess legend Bobby Fischer also forfeited his title after negotiations failed to produce a match with Anatoly Karpov.

Kramnik stated that he has every intention of adhering to the Prague Agreement of 2002 which was essentially abandoned when
Ruslan Ponomariov was stripped of his right to play Kasparov and secondly when Kasparov retired waiting for a match with the then FIDE champ Rustam Kasimjanov. Kramnik ended his interview in a taunting manner by stating, "Should anyone, like Topalov, believe that he is stronger, let him beat me in a match."  Sound like a challenge to a fight. Let us see what happens… until then we still have two claiming to be world champions.

Topalov interview with "64" magazine (
Kramnik interview with "64" magazine (

Mig's Daily Dirt (discussion on Topalov's comments, Kramnik's reponse)

Posted by The Chess Drum: 22 October 2005