Wednesday, May 12, 2010
THE UPS AND DOWNS OF TOPALOV'S "TEAM"
Bad behavior antics make people resolved or give up... I don't see any half-way point.
I felt sorry, somewhat, about Topalov's loss primarily because he was such a fighter (and we saw that Anand is no sissy either when someone hits the Tiger's paw.) Did he get bad advice?
1) Because of the "ash in the air" thing the Bulgarian's gave Anand only a one day reprieve knowing full well that driving a 40 hour road trip would make Anand and his team very tired. Aruna, Anand's wife, stepped in and handled her managerial duties like a champ herself! Women do that for the man they love. So if Danailov had anything to do with that he just hurt himself. It was a calculated risk and it backfired. Rather than disarm Anand with "niceness" they just made him more determined and he struck back in Game 2 (they were wrong on that score too. Read about how Kasparov "schmoozed" Seirawan in The Chess Reports #105 when it comes out this Friday and when Yasser was ready to punch Garry into another "time-zone.")
2) The Sofia Rules, it turns out, weren't that bad. Maybe some games looked dreadfully boring in the beginning but they certainly weren't toward the end (of each game). And I can imagine you can ask the players if at any point they felt the games were boring and they will tell you "No." Too much tension. The few spectators that were there, if they paid, got their money's worth.
3) When it was over Topalov shook Anand's hand twice. If he meets Anand again that will be a great gesture.
4) The Bulgarians did an absolutely lousy job of promoting this event. They had it online and were upset that ChessBase was allowing the moves on their PlayChess Server, which they were prohibited from doing without previous arrangements. I side with the Bulgars on this one. I never saw anything on CNN or Google News unless one searched for it. There were guys I knew who had no idea this match was going on until I told them!
5) Topalov, true to form, was not afraid of mixing it up, even near the end. To read Giri's report that Topalov "panicked," I would ask Topalov if he really did, or if he made a miscalculation. I particularly find it annoying when someone else professes to be able to read someone else's mind without confirmation.
I am looking forward to a book on this extremely short match (thumbs down on 12 games), but I hope it will be written by both players rather than Ray Keene or someone who has never been there!
You guys (Anand and Topalov) were great! (I read a post on the ChessBase web site this morning where some "dips" from Bulgaria and Germany were complaining about ChessBase's bias toward Anand. I didn't read that, and I didn't really see that in GM Anish Giri's comments, or IM Pein's comments either. Often the "loser's fans" behave with extremely unsportsmanlike conduct. This is way too often true in Europe in things like soccer. Is their "life" so bereft of entertainment they have to make comments like that? (To be fair, we have pundits and opinionistas over here on politics, computers, etc. by those who bear no responsibility when it comes to truth or accuracy in their lambasting of someone.)) Fortunately the world does not live or die by these idiots.