Carlsen, Giri, Kasparov and Kramnik all helped Anand

20 May 2010, 11.56 CET | By Peter Doggers  | Filed under: Reports | Tags:

Carlsen, Giri, Kasparov and Kramnik all helped AnandBesides his team of seconds in Sofia, Viswanathan Anand was helped by some big names before or during his World Championship match against Veselin Topalov. Magnus Carlsen, Anish Giri, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik all contributed to Anand’s victory in Sofia. The World Champion Monday revealed this in an interview on Playchess.

Right after the end of the World Championship match, Viswanathan Anand revealed his team of seconds. As it turned out, the same names as two years ago in Bonn worked for the Indian: GMs Surya Ganguly, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Peter Heine Nielsen and Radoslaw Wojtaszek. However, this week Anand revealed another, quite interesting list of helpers: Magnus Carlsen, Anish Giri, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik.

In a remarkable interview with Frederic Friedel and GM Jan Gustafsson, held last Monday on Playchess, Anand first tells about his cooperation with world’s number one Magnus Carlsen, who worked with Anand before.

Basically I had him as a sparring partner. We did check some openings together, but the basic idea was that I would get to play a lot with him. Very few people can simulate a real tournament situation like Magnus can. We played a lot of blitz, and I felt good, because I was able to test a lot of areas I was unfamiliar with before. With Magnus you can test almost any position, because he can play almost any position, and play it reasonably well. In that sense his practical skills are very helpful.

Carlsen worked with the retired, 13th World Champion Garry Kasparov last year and in fact Kasparov also offered his help to Anand himself. The Indian said about him:

Garry got in touch and said he wanted to help a little bit. I sent him some details about what we were planning to play… (…) I sent him some questions and he said he would check them against his own notes and let me know if it was okay.

Frederic Friedel, one of the founders of Chessbase and the editor of the English news page, then reveals that he put Anand in touch with Vladimir Kramnik, his opponent in the previous World Championship match. Anand about Kramnik’s assistance:

He actually started participating actively. He was also very understanding – he knew I would go to sleep once in a while, so he was happily speaking to the other team members as well, especially Rustam. They started getting in touch with each other and he gave us quite a few heavy-duty ideas, so that was nice. Actually he got in touch consistently over the next few days, and I cannot think of anyone who was more relieved than him when I stopped playing the Elista ending. He said “it’s an awful ending, why do you keep defending it every day?”

The fourth name on Anand’s ‘remote seconds list’ is the Dutch super-talent GM Anish Giri:

Anish also did a couple of days of training with me. It was very similar to what I was doing with Magnus – I got to test a lot of things. There were a lot of areas I had no practical experience with, like the Catalan which I was playing almost the first time, the Elista ending and so on. Anish also sat and went through that.

We recommend reading one of the most remarkable and revealing interviews we’ve ever seen on Chessbase. Part 1 is here, and part 2 here. In the interview several times “Topalov’s computer cluster” is mentioned, and in fact today we received a brief interview with Topalov, from the World Championship organizers, in which this is explained:

1. Grandmaster Topalov, regardless of the outcome, during the match between you and Viswanathan Anand we watched your dominance in the openings when you played with the white pieces. What caused this fact?

- During my preparation for the match, me and my manager Silvio Danailov, we decided to approach something non-standard and to seek additional resources to increase the advantage over my opponent.It turned out that there is such a possibility, we found that in Bulgaria is installed and running one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world – Blue Gene / P of IBM. And because the computers and the chess software are a necessary component of the preparation of the modern grandmasters, we decided to use the vast computational power of this machine. The IBM’s Blue Gene/P has 8192 processors and you can imagine for how huge possibilities we are talking about.

Blue Gene

IBM Blue Gene P supercomputer | Photo Argonne National Laboratory, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

The problem was the fact that in the world currently there is not any chess software whose source code is written to work with such a multiprocessor platform. However, me and Silvio, we did not gave up and he managed to gather an international team of leading experts who have created a project for a chess program that can use the computing power of this extraordinary supercomputer. And now is the time to express my great thanks to the General Manager of IBM Bulgaria Mr. Alexander Rakov and the IT architect of the company Mr. Yovko Lambrev for the access to the resources of Blue Gene / P they provided to us and that they have made enormous efforts that our idea become a reality. I want to thank to the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Mr. Boyko Borisov too, who allowed us the access to the supercomputer, which as you know is state owned.

So ultimately, even though I lost the match, I managed to achieve a dominance over Anand in the openings in all games, in which I played with the white pieces. This advantage was demonstrated very clear especially in the first game, when I won fast and with decisive priority.

What’s next for gm Veselin Topalov from now on?

- Short break and chess again. In my closest plans, however, it’s included an initiative to increase young people’s interest in relation of the high technologies and the artificial intelligence, which will be held under my patronage in cooperation with IBM Bulgaria.

I will do it because of my direct experience I know how important are and will be the computers and high technologies for our future and the career development of the young people.

In a few days we will announce an essay contest among high school students from Sofia concerning a topic in the field of high technologies. First five best students will form a representative team which will play a mini chess tournament / three games / against the IBM’s supercomputer Blue Gene / P.
After each of the games I’m going to comment the game and will give my advices to the young players. IBM Bulgaria will arrange for the finalists meetings with its leading experts to get them acquainted with the vast world of high technologies.

If all goes as we imagined it, the initiative will become annual.

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57 Responses to “Carlsen, Giri, Kasparov and Kramnik all helped Anand”

  1. h on May 20th, 2010 12:12

    my, my, my. now we really know why anand won the wcch match against topalov. he would not have succeeded without the help of….

  2. VladimirOo on May 20th, 2010 12:17

    No wonder where came all this grunfeld, catalan or rock-slav.

    But i fear Topalov, due to his computer searches, will be a monster in the forthcoming tournaments…

  3. Eiae on May 20th, 2010 12:24

    This is ridiculous. Chess960 is now a necessity.

  4. Bert de Bruut on May 20th, 2010 12:26

    So we may conclude Kasparov+Kramnik+Carlsen+Giri >> ClusterRybka4…

  5. c2_n on May 20th, 2010 13:59

    Interesting article and a championship match. Truly computers have become an integral part of every strong chess player’s arsenal. No doubt about that. Even Anand surely used computers. However, what Topa used was a monster machine and it was pitted against the best of mankind in a way. Topa highlighted his dominating victory with White esp in the 1st game but it is ironic that he lost with White also in the 12th and final game.;-) Congrats to the victory of mankind’s greatest! :-) In the end, when your there on the stage, there won’t be any machine to help you and this is where true champs shine. Congrats to our world champ, Anand! And may Caissa continue to fascinate humankind (and machines alike). ;-)

  6. Willem on May 20th, 2010 14:35

    I joked a time ago that Anand would be hiring Carlsen and get Kasparov for free.

    Might be dangerous by Anand to reveal your plans to a future opponent.

  7. Suresh on May 20th, 2010 14:46

    WOOW!!! Unbelievable! This world chess championship match was basically Topalov + Blue gene versus Anand+ human cluster. The battle was indeed one of the most hard fought seen in recent championship matches. It was a treat to the chess fans all across the world. I really enjoyed reading the candid interview of Anand letting out info about his secret helpers during and before the match. Seems all the chess elite were rooting for anand to win. But Toplalov will defintely come out more strongly I am sure as he is a fighter, no doubt about that. Will be interesting to see all the helpers and Topalov battling to be the next challenger.

  8. Suresh on May 20th, 2010 14:59

    @Willem: Well it might be dangerous to reveal plans to future opponents, but I think this championship shows that however well prepared were the players (using Rybka 4 blue gene, elite players tips etc), all mattered was OTB play during the match and controlling ones nerves. Topalov’s was sceptical and not confident about the tiebreakers and that played out in his mind during 12th game, he eventually gave in….on the other hand Anand blundered in his 1st and 8th game…one with less blunders in the match won! I should not undermine the quality of the was indeed high and very tough for the players resulting in few errors which at this level of play can cost championship titles!

  9. Zeblakob on May 20th, 2010 15:19

    so far I do not believe in random chess; but after reading the article on the super-computer based preparation, I agree with you.

  10. KingTal on May 20th, 2010 15:58

    I`m happy that the human won against the It shows that no matter what computer will say chess is still a game to master with human understanding.
    Also a human being can´t memorize every opening possibilities a computer gives, there are just too much, so there will be always a way to avoid the preparation of someone and i wouldn´t say that Cyborg Topalov had such huge advantage in his openings.
    The match confirms that Anand is a better player than him because he has more (human) understanding of chess. :)

  11. Zee on May 20th, 2010 16:07

    This is just fantastic background. Now I have to go back and replay all the games and mentally “see” the ghosts of KKC&G at the table, and the shadow of a big set of wires stretching back from Topalov to the Supercomputer. The chess world is turning into a huge love fest. Someone needs to write a tell-all book about this match.

    By the way, I liked Topalov’s views as well. The Bulgarians will be happy to know that he single handedly held till the end against three world champions, or five depending on how you count. And with his preparation, how will he be held back in the qualifiers from competing again for the crown in two years time?

  12. jussu on May 20th, 2010 16:48

    This may well mean that all the world champions #13-17 were collaborating for what they considered good for chess. Topalov seems to be quite lonely these days, he can only go and cry on the shoulder of Danailov, Cheparinov and that prime minister. Even his preparation will do him little good in the future, because it was targeted against Anand’s repertoire. Poor wretch.

  13. Harish Srinivasan on May 20th, 2010 16:59

    Diaz: I am hoping for a cartoon Anand + human cluster vs Topalov and blue gene. That will be great.

  14. Suneet on May 20th, 2010 17:03

    It can’t get more obvious that he is liked by everyone. Peoples’ Champion indeed.

  15. Lone-Tiger on May 20th, 2010 17:19

    Wow…Wow…Wow… this is Shocking news???!!!!!????
    And I must admit even more shocking than Bobby Fischer’s death.

    One really wonders what a World Championship match should be?…..
    Between two humans or a team of humans (World Champs) +Powerful comps…..

    While quality of chess has improved incredibly, as far as I’m concerned, true creative chess beauty between 2 players is lost forever!

  16. Jeroen on May 20th, 2010 17:28

    Haha.. Great story… loved it. Human counterplay and ideas still get on top of the numbers and figures of computer analysis. Specially liked to read Giri was involved. Nice expierence for the talent he got. Always usefull and good to know people whom he can use when he is in battle for the championship in the future.

  17. test on May 20th, 2010 17:58

    The Topalov interview does not mention Rybka but we know they have (or are working on) a cloud computing version for Rybka where everybody can hire time on the cloud.

    That Blue Gene P supercomputer looks impressive. With 8192 processors what would be the strenght of Rybka?

  18. Call me Ishmael on May 20th, 2010 19:52

    I’ve just lost a lot of respect for Anand. Can you imagine Kasparov or Karpov sending their opening repertoire to a future opponent? or asking a former world champion for their blessing before playing an opening? Did Anand play any original idea at all? No previous world champion behaved in this manner, like a scared child running to it’s mother.

    I can just imagine an interviewer asking each of Anand’s helpers why they did it:

    Kramnik: I hate people who play exciting chess.

    Kasparov: I want someone who I destroyed in 1995 to be champion so people can still think I’m the best.

    Carlsen: I’m relatively new to this, so rather than try to make as many friends as possible, I prefer to make all of Kasparov’s enemies my enemies and make his twisted agenda my twisted agenda.

    Giri: I’m not a racist, I support Anand because he’s a Hindu.

  19. Tony on May 20th, 2010 20:57

    @ Ishmael
    You misintrepret what preperation is at this level.
    Anand picked the openings he wanted to play and the ideas. Kasparov & Kramnik supported him with verification of his ideas only. [Kasparov even said he will check his notes in those variations, he was not giving away all his secrets]

    Carlsen and Giri were training partners which is normal for players at this level.
    Topalov even had a few training partners as well. Just funny that the #1 player helped out. A sign of things to come perhaps

    What I do find interesting in this interview is that it shows how well Anand is so well respected and liked in the chess community that his past and future opponents are willing to help him.
    Takes a lot of class as well to bring in his future competition to play with him, {ie Carlsen}

    This also should be a wakeup call to Topalov. The simple fact that a state supported player could not win a match shows things are very different than decades past. The man guides the computer not the computer guiding the man.
    Topalov had every advantage and still lost the match for a second time.
    How will he fair in the next 2 -3 years with Carlsen coming up and Kramnik still in the hunt.
    With one more match loss Topalov will just be remembered as a bright flash in chess history. Anand has secured his place with two match wins that shows he was not just a lucky guy.
    I wonder when Danilov will dump him for another more promising star ,…. if anyone will hire him.

  20. Labelled on May 20th, 2010 21:06


    Seems to me this only shows how unpopular Topalov is amongst the top players……

  21. Arvin on May 20th, 2010 21:21

    Anand’s interview at Chessbase and Topalov’s interview here revealed one interesting fact: both had used computers in their preparation; with Topalov using a much more powerful machine (Blue Gene P). Even with enourmous computing power, I still think that computers are still limited in their knowledge of the game. As Anand has said, they are not always reliable, and I believe that. Computers are good at calculation(that’s what they do best: calculate), and that’s why they are good in tactics. But in chess positions that are not tactical in nature, they sometimes miss the mark. I’m talking about positions that are strategic in nature. This is human’s advantage over computers, that we can make a plan and execute moves according to plan.

    By the way, has anyone heard Anand say if the move Nxh6 (knight sacrifice) in game 4 was a result of preparation? I thought that it was pure genius on his part, not preparation.

  22. Bno on May 20th, 2010 21:36

    Unfortunately “Elista ending” isn’t part of my chess vocabulary. Can someone please explain?

  23. Emil on May 20th, 2010 22:04

    Ok, I am from Bulgaria and, naturally, was rooting for Topalov. His loss in the last round really saddened me, even more because it obviously was due to the enormous pressure. But Anand truly got my respect, as a player and as a person. His interviews make his class shine through clearly. The fact that Carlsen, Kasparov(!) and Kramnik(!Respect for his help, despite his conflict with Topalov!) supported him is also telling and pretty amazing actually! Topalov in contrast seems quite lonely. Of course that doesn’t simply means Topalov is the evil one :) I think he is very open and sincere, and a clean fighter, I would never believe in any accusations against him for cheating or any other dirty tricks. But he seems to me, especially in contrast with Anand, immature. I think this also affects the quality of his play. I hope he will learn his lesson, I hope that there would be people to help him and that his best years are still ahead. Big congratulations to Anand and his team, he is a worthy champion! And it is obviously hard to dislike him :) ) I am also impressed and pleasantly surprised by Kasparov,Kramnik and Carlsen!

  24. Thomas on May 20th, 2010 22:50

    @Bno: the Slav ending that previously occurred in game 6 of Topalov-Kramnik in Elista, and then three times (games 3, 5 and 8) of the Sofia match.

    @Arvin: According to Kasimdzhanov, Anand had to find 23.Nh6: over the board. “It was prepared until he had a rather pleasant position. Many players want to polish things until mate. I am that type of person. But Vishy doesn’t need this.”

    Interview (in German) at – I just translated other parts of the long interview in the “Anand was First in Seconds” thread at Dailydirt.

  25. noyb on May 20th, 2010 23:03

    Rather than thinking that the use of computers is signalling the “end” of chess, I think it’s just finally the exciting beginning! Now we can actually begin to UNDERSTAND some aspects of chess, rather than rely on human intuition (albeit however experienced). It’s facinating that even with all of the enourmous computing power at our disposal, we still haven’t solved chess. We only know most endings now involving 6-7 pieces and a few unique positions with a few more pieces. Seems like chess will have to be “deconstructed” from the endgame backwards perhaps? And the possibilities with “Advanced” Chess are endless. Looking forward to the future!

  26. Call me Ishmael on May 20th, 2010 23:38

    @Tony, @ Labelled

    I have yet to hear one rational reason to dislike Topalov. It seems he is unpopular due to jealousy and not due to some fault of his own. As I see it the Kramnik-Anand match was one of the most boring in chess history (as are all of Kramnik’s matches). The Anand-Topalov match by contrast was one of the most exciting in chess history. What was the difference? Topalov and the Sofia rules!

    Which leads one to ask why then is Topalov disliked? Because he had the audacity to question Kramnik’s suspicious behavior in Elista? Lets look at this more closely:

    Kramnik himself said before the Sofia match that he would never play a match in the opponent’s home country, but he had no problem with Topalov playing the 2006 match in Russia (Kramnik’s home country! ) Kramnik reportedly made 30 trips to the bathroom per game (this is on film) and made his moves on the board instantly. This is suspicious enough, but being in Kramnik’s home country makes this even more suspicious. Any rational human being would be suspicious and ask for an investigation, I know I would.

    So is this why Topalov is disliked? What if the roles were reversed and the 2006 match was in Sofia and Topalov made 30 trips to the bathroom per game? Would Kramnik be hated for being suspicious? or would the same people who hate Topalov have one more reason to hate him? This therefore cannot be a rational reason to dislike Topalov.

    Is it because he was awarded a game on forfeit? Spassky was awarded a game on forfeit in 1972 but remains one of the most beloved World Champions ever. This then cannot be the reason Topalov is disliked either.

    Is it because he accused Kramnik of cheating? Karpov and Korchnoi accused each other of cheating MANY, MANY times during the course of the 1978 match. Spassky accused Fischer of cheating in 1972 and had Fischer’s chair examined and all the light fixtures taken apart. But again, nobody seems to hold any animosity towards Karpov, Korchnoi, or Spassky for any of this. Therefore this too cannot be the reason people dislike Topalov.

    Is it because he has a manager that actually does his job and promotes the interests of his client? If that were the case then every major sports figure in the world should also be hated, but they’re not.

    This leaves jealousy. Topalov is a 2800+ player, only the second person in history to achieve this distinction, a consistent tournament winner, and a former World Champion. Yes, he was a legitimate WC unlike the illegitimate “knockout champions” or the bogus PCA champions. In 2005 when Topalov won the title even Kasparov considered him the legitimate World Champion and said “the schism is now over”.

    I personally think that Topalov’s style and the Sofia rules are a breath of fresh air and I am gratful to Topalov and the organizers in Bulgaria for giving us one of the most exciting and memorable World Championship Matches ever.

  27. Arne Moll on May 20th, 2010 23:55


    I would love to see a video of Kramnik visiting the bathroom 30 times per game, but as long as you haven’t provided it, I’m sceptical as to its existence. Also, as far as I know, it was Topalov, not Kramnik, who stated on record (in his 2007 book on the match) that playing a match in someone else’s home country (Kramnik’s, in this case) was a mistake – yet he had no problems playing a similar match in his own home country (against Anand).

    Perhaps you should read some books on this match first – I suggest staring with Topalov’s own book (On the Edge of Elista, Ginchev and Topalov, 2007) and From London to Elista (Bareev and Levitov, 2007).

  28. Orange on May 20th, 2010 23:58

    By stating that Anand-Kramnik 2008 match was boring you are starting to lose the grip and interest/respect of the other audience members here.

    When it comes to any world-championships, its never boring.
    Keep in mind chess by its nature is prone to lots of draws. And these are not club players/games where you go gung-ho on the games.
    (eg. Topalov’s last game where he thought he was playing aggresive and his position collapsed rather soon).

    As far as Sofia draw rules go, I have nothing against it. But in reality if any GM want to continue the game they can do so by declining the draw-offer. I’ll remain neutral on this one.

    As far as Topalov-Kramnik 2006 match goes, it going to be always be remembered for the toilet-gate affair.
    If Topalov’s camp had credible information about so called ‘cheating’ then they should have (and still can) bring it to the light. And even otherwise if they were so convinced I’m not sure why Topalov did not simply pull out.

    In the end he ended up just rattling his opponent will such outrageous accusation and which seemed have worked as he pulled in even in the match.

  29. Octavian on May 21st, 2010 00:04

    @Call me Ishmael:

    Quit smoking dope dude…Elista made many top players lose respect for Team Toilet and not without reason. Anybody making such unfounded accusations should be punished severely. But FIDE (despite being led by a Russian huh?) did squat. Likewise with the other punk biznatch Mamadyerov…nothing was done…

    Topalov is an exciting player. Unfortunately the people around him are punks (BCF president, Danilov etc) who give the excellent Bulgarian chess fans a bad name.

    I don’t know if you even read the Chessbase interview, but it clearly said that Kasparov and Kramnik called Anand and not vice-versa. Help was offered, not solicited.

    So, if Kasparov calls and offers to help you, are you gonna tell him to STFU and GTFO? Give up the dope dude…

  30. test on May 21st, 2010 00:51

    >> I have yet to hear one rational reason to dislike Topalov.

    If already in the first sentence you don’t make any sense, I’m not going to bother to read the rest.

  31. Patrick on May 21st, 2010 01:19

    I appreciate Topalov above all for his boundless creativity and fighting spirit, as chess should be played. I rooted for him during both Topa/Kramnik and Topa/Anand. He is very modest and polite in all video interviews/press conferences i have seen. He credits much of his success to his seconds and his supporters in Bulgaria. I think Ishmael makes good points. Also i think it’s noteworthy that Bulgaria is a tiny country of 7M and was occupied by the Soviet Union for much of the previous century, and traditionally was not considered a chess contender. So i can sympathize if Topa perceived Russia/Fide/Illyumzhinov/Kramnik as sort of an “Evil Empire” and/or developed a paranoid streak. It wouldn’t be the first instance of paranoia in a WC match. And things are different in the days of Rybka, etc. Danailov also deserves credit for the Sofia rules which are simply necessary, unless you prefer another match like Kramnik vs. Leko 2004 which featured no less than SIX draws of 23 moves or less? Bleh.

  32. Suneet on May 21st, 2010 02:47

    @Call me Ishmael

    You sound so much like Danialov! never ending… you know what.

    If someone calls and says “I WILL LIKE TO HELP”. Its a great gesture from that someone and its a great return gesture to respect that gesture with trust (of disclosing preparation etc). This is how gentlemen’ world works.

    your logic for Giri, is most distasteful.
    for Giri-It was great of Anand to let him have a taste of things at top level. and I am sure, if you or anyone else asks him in a humble manner, you won’t hear no.

  33. Guillaume on May 21st, 2010 02:56

    @Ishmael: just read Topalov’s interview following the match. As Chessbase puts it, “Read and be amazed.”

  34. redwhitechess on May 21st, 2010 03:07

    not very good imprssion, this is like computer vs computer with anand and topalov as the operator.

  35. Fireblade on May 21st, 2010 03:44

    For all the chess lovers….just end the endless debate about who is better and so on.

    The fact of the matter is we need chess players who play chess aggressively and make it more exciting, obviously to promote it.
    In that sense i think Topalov is unparalleled and he needs to be lauded for his efforts.The man is brave and takes risk, no risk no profit. But in this case it backfired which is a different story. At the end of the day i loved the tension in this WC match, more so than the Kramnik-Anand match.

    All i wish is Topalov to be a little more ‘polished and sophisticated’ in his presentation and he will be ‘complete’. And believe me he will be the most popular chess player of his generation. He still has about 5-6 yrs time and i think he can do it if he realizes that.

    As far as Anand goes what can i say, he is at the pinnacle of his life and this victory is truly deserving both as a chess player and as a human being. I dont think we will come across a better ambassador for chess very soon.

    Thank you Anand and Topalov for the making this one of the most entertaining WC matches.

    Topalov i am rooting for you for the next cycle.

    I am an Anand fan.

  36. quibbler on May 21st, 2010 04:04

    Is Topalov the only person who hasn’t read that Anand lost quickly in game 1 because he forgot his preparation, not because his preparation was so much worse? t doesn’t take a supercomputer to figure out …Kf7 was a lemon.

  37. Guillaume on May 21st, 2010 05:28

    I’ll be rooting for Topalov the day he repudiates Danailov. Until that happens, no matter how well and how aggressive his chess is, I’ll be rooting for his opponents.

  38. Hortensius on May 21st, 2010 09:56

    Wow, some of the greatest players + the young Giri. Apparently he is considered as the talent of the future by these great players

  39. jussu on May 21st, 2010 10:04

    “And believe me [Topalov] will be the most popular chess player of his generation. He still has about 5-6 yrs time and i think he can do it if he realizes that”

    If. He has spent the last four years on quite the opposite. If he fails to do anything with this image he has aquired, he will probably be remebered as “that jerk who was also a very strong chessplayer in the beginning of the 21st century”.

  40. Ravi on May 21st, 2010 12:08

    wow….i new about 2nds helping the player in his prep’s before the macth. I didnt knew that both players can actually take on other’s who would help them either it be players/computers into their support system. I still believe Wch matches should be one-on-one with just seconds supporting in their prep. However its so warming to know the past and present players were supporting Vishy in his prep’s. This really shows how much Vishy actually gained respect and love within the chess fraternity. Good Luck to Carlsen and Giri for their future challenges. I wonder how it would turn up between Vishy vs Carlsen. Would love to see which end Kasparov and Kramnik would take stance and support in the respective players preparations.

  41. Mark De Smedt on May 21st, 2010 13:06

    These post-match interviews are quite revealing and hopeful for chess lovers:

    - there has never been this much appreciation and trust among the world’s greatest champions
    - IBM hasn’t lost interest in chess
    - in spite of computer clusters & programs that are many times stronger than before, most of the games were decided over the board rather than by home prepared analysis
    - even in the area of opening preparation, human intelligence nearly leveled the field for Anand, who had to fight Topalov’s superior IT tools

  42. Mark De Smedt on May 21st, 2010 13:07

    I used to dislike short matches and artificial rules against early draws, but Topalov’s fighting spirit has indeed contributed to the success of this match (together with his common sense of accepting draw offers in obvious endgame positions where it would look stupid to turn to the arbiter or to wait for a repetition of moves).

    Also, Anand, Kramnik and Topalov have all said that a 12-game match is enough, probably because computer-assisted preparation has become so intense that they get exhausted.

    Still a few changes in the world championship rules could benefit the quality of these eagerly awaited matches. I wonder if the top players (and FIDE) would agree with the following changes ?

    - no draw offers allowed during the first 40 moves (after that, positions often arise where it would be embarrassing to make champions look for some absurd repetition of moves)

    - if a match is tied at 6-6, instead of rapid/blitz/Armageddon tie-breaks, continue the regular games until the first non-draw (colors are not reversed after game 6 and game 14); in case of 4 added draws (8-8), proclaim the highest rated player world champion; rapid, blitz and blind are fantastic disciplines, but they deserve separate world championships, don’t they ?

    - since more endgames will be played out, allow a little more time in that phase of the game in order to avoid the worst cases of time trouble; for example: 1h20′+1′ increment till move 40; 30′+1′ increment till move 60; 10′+1′ increment till move 80; 45” increment till move 100; 30” increment starting at move 101; with such time controls, games won’t last longer than they do now, but the rhythm of play will increase gradually, instead of suddenly upon reaching move 60

  43. christos (greece) on May 21st, 2010 14:07

    The fact that Anand has so many people who want to help him tells quite a bit about his character. Of course, most people already knew that Anand is very kind and that nobody has ever said something bad about him.

    If Topalov would like to improve relations with fellow chess players, perhaps he could start with applauding the World Champion (who has already applauded him) at the prize award ceremony.

  44. ebutaljib on May 21st, 2010 15:18

    never say never ;)

    Here is what Shirov had to say about Anand in July 1999:


    A few words about Anand’s legitimacy. Everybody knows that last year Anand refused to play the candidate’s match vs. Kramnik, let me call it ’semifinal’. And now when I replaced him in the semifinal and qualified for the final, he goes to take my place apparently without any conscience problems! As if believing that it’s not his problem that I don’t have sponsors for the match and the people who want to make Kasparov-Anand match don’t recognize my legitimacy.


    My last and real chance to play against Kasparov would have been Anand’s negative responce to Mr. Grimaux’s offer. But this was too much a hope as in our world a lot of people strive for money and more money, so Anand proved to be no exception by taking what doesn’t belong to him. I consider both Anand and Kasparov guilty for depriving me of the World Championship match and that this century will end with their inlegitimate ‘World Championship’.”


    But yeah, I agree. Anand is probably the nicest person ever to held a World championship title.

  45. bernd on May 21st, 2010 15:51

    hey, a BlueGene/P with 8192 cores is just a toy. Try this for something real:

  46. Octavian on May 21st, 2010 18:34

    @ebutaljib: Do you have a link for that?

  47. Call me Ishmael on May 21st, 2010 19:59

    @Octavian “Anybody making such unfounded accusations should be punished severely.”

    Then I guess you must hate Spassky, Karpov, and Korchnoi just as much as you hate Topalov. Something tells me that you don’t though. A hypocrite can be spotted a mile away!

    The Elista affair was nothing compared to 1972 and 1978 when it comes to unfounded accusations of cheating. Either be consistent or don’t waste everyone’s time with your anti-Topalov agenda.

  48. Call me Ishmael on May 21st, 2010 20:16

    @Orange “By stating that Anand-Kramnik 2008 match was boring you are starting to lose the grip and interest/respect of the other audience members here.”

    Really? Let’s take a poll and see how many people found that match exciting. Considering the score was 3-0 at the halfway mark and the games were dull as dirt I’m pretty sure which way the vote is going to go.

    “When it comes to any world-championships, its never boring.
    Keep in mind chess by its nature is prone to lots of draws.”

    Really? Is it in the nature of chess to have 16,17,and 18 move draws with practically all the pieces left on the board as in the Kramnik-Leko “world championship” match? You find that exciting? I guess that says a lot about you.

  49. test on May 22nd, 2010 00:30

    On the Rybka forum here and here they do not think it’s possible to use Rybka on this Blue Gene Supercomputer.

    In the interview with Topalov he says they used “an international team of leading experts who have created a project for a chess program that can use the computing power of this extraordinary supercomputer.”

    So I wonder which computer chess software exactly they have adapted. Or did they create new software from scratch? (Totally unlikely imo, but who am I?)

  50. inoki on May 22nd, 2010 02:39

    this kind of chess will die

  51. Aingle Pack on May 22nd, 2010 07:00

    Com’on guys read carefully. You start a discussion on your assumptions and impressions when the fact (as stated in Topa’s interview is something else). Nowhere did Topa say that he used Rybka 4 on Deep Blue. He said that “an international team of leading experts who have created a project for a chess program that can use the computing power of this extraordinary supercomputer”. So it’s more like Rybka is using virtual CPUs for it’s calculation and the “project for a chess program” was in turn using the processing power of Deep Blue to perform the calculations faster. Rybka 4 is just using it’s algorithms (as any engine does) to choose the best lines and then calculate deeper.

    Somebody said “wolf” and you all started running!

  52. ebutaljib on May 22nd, 2010 10:19

    Well there are two well known press releases from Shirov, made in 1999 when Kasparov refused to play him for the title eventhough he qualified. Direct link is hard to find, but look here:

    What you are looking for is the 2nd press release from June 14th, 1999 (about on 3/4 of the page)

    Is it trustworthy enough for you?

  53. ebutaljib on May 22nd, 2010 10:27

    By the way on the same page you can read Kramnik’s views on who the legitimate World Champion in beginning of 1999 was. His answer was not what you would expect ;) Year and a half later, his views on this changed dramatically :)

  54. bruce b on May 22nd, 2010 17:59

    Carleson, Kramnik, and Kasparov were helping Anand? What’s left out of the article is that Bobby Fischer was also helping. Yes, he’s THAT good!

  55. bruce b on May 22nd, 2010 18:08

    I really think, regardless of what you think of Toiletgate, it’s time to put that aside and give Topalov his due. He’s a really exciting player and a credit to chess. He always sounds polite and modest to me. Certainly if we accepted Fischer (and to a lesser extent) Kasparov’s boorish behavior, we can give Topa a little break here.

    I really find distasteful that if someone makes one public mistake, he’s tarnished for life, like if someone makes an inappropriate ethnic joke for instance. The world points the finger, and the person is publicly executed. It’s ridiculous.

    Fact is, there’s too many boring chess styles out there, and Topa is sorely needed. He’s probably the most exciting player at the top level.

  56. Thomas on May 22nd, 2010 19:12

    @bruce b: Also before, during and after the match against Anand, IMO Topalov wasn’t “always polite and modest” – this certainly doesn’t apply to others speaking and acting on his behalf. Sofia rules controversies, handling of Volcanogate, post-match interviews, …. . I didn’t count the number of “mistakes” they made in 2010.

    While Kramnik was always rooting for Anand (for understandable reasons), it seems that only non-chessic things I referred to pushed him towards directly helping him against Topalov.

    I also wouldn’t want Topalov to be banned from chess, neither officially by FIDE nor de facto because noone invites him any more. Let him play and win tournaments, but a world champion should also be an ambassador of the game – not necessarily modest, but polite off the board.

    Maybe boorish behavior by Fischer and Kasparov was acceptable (but still not praiseworthy) as they were clearly dominating chess, Topalov is at best primus inter pares – intermittently #1 on the rating list by some 10 or 20 points.

  57. Arvin on May 22nd, 2010 20:33

    Man, I can’t wait to see and buy a book on this match. It’s one of the greatest chess matches, I think. Two modern chess supergrandmasters playing toe to toe the whole match with unexpected twists and turns and the match effectively decided the last game, this was surely a match to remember. That book will surely be interesting to read.

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