Veselin Topalpv: Player’s Profile of the FIDE Grand Prix 2012 / 2013 winner

The winner of the 2012 / 2013 edition of the FIDE Grand Prix was not among the top-favorites for the tournament victory. But still, the 15th FIDE World Champion prevailed over all other participants and therefore secured a ticket to the Candidates’ Tournament in 2014. The series of our players’ profiles will be extended with the Bulgarian grandmaster today.

Veselin Topalov with longest winning streak in 1996

Veselin Topalov

In the Bulgarian city Russe on March 15th 1975, Wesselin Topalow was born the son of an economist and a doctor. At the age of seven, the boy learned playing the game of chess and made quick progress. During his teenage years, he was able to obtain the U14 World Championship 1989 in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. An important year in Topalov’s career war the year 1992, when he played numerous tournaments in Spain, accompanied by his manager Silvio Danailow, and traveled a distance of more than 25,000 kilometers. This very year, Veselin Topalov was also rewarded with the FIDE grandmaster title. Another great year for the Bulgarian was 1996, in which he had the longest winning streak of his career. Partially interrupted, he won tournaments in Madrid, Amsterdam, León, Novgorod, Vienna, and Dos Hermanas.


Veselin Topalov becomes 15th FIDE World Champion in 2005

The year 2005 is another meaningful year in the history of the professional chess player: In January, he ranked 3rd at one of the most prominent tournaments in Wijk aan Zee, after he was able to checkmate the current World Champion Vladimir Kramnik playing Black in only twenty moves! In February, the victory of the chess tournament in Linares followed, before Topalov won the M-Tel Masters in Sofia at which, again, he defeated Kramnik playing Black. On top of that, in 2005 in San Luis

(Argentina), Veselin Topalov became the 15th FIDE World Champion in the history of chess. At this tournament, he was able to secure the victory one round before finals. One year later, a compromise duel against the Classic Chess World Champion Vladimir Kramnik was arranged. Kramnik won in a 1.5:2.5 tie-break in rapid chess, after the duel’s score in 2006 in Elista was even at 6:6.


Narrow defeat at world championship duel against Anand in 2010

Throughout the following years, Veselin Topalov won another series of tournaments such as in Wijk aan Zee (2006 & 2007), the M-Tel Masters in Sofia (2006 & 2007), or the Finals Chess Masters in Bilbao (2008). In 2009 finally, Topalov was allowed to compete at the Candidates’ Tournament due to his World Championship title of 2005. He was able to beat Gata Kamsky at 4.5:2.5 in Sofia, but in April 2010 – also in Sofia – he lost the duel against the current Chess World Champion Visvanathan Anand at 6.5:5.5 points. At 2011’s Candidates’ Tournament for the 2012 World Championship, the Bulgarian dropped out after quarter-finals in which he lost 1.5:2.5 to Gata Kamsy.


Picture: Andreas Kontokanis


written by Michael, translated by Birthe