Many people faulted Topalov. Some faulted Kramnik. I said all three sides are to blame (some more than others). I have my reasons to say this and this goes all the way back to after the conclusion of the FIDE World Championship in San Luis, Argentina.
I will not take sides for the sake of doing it and I will not point fingers at anyone if I do not know all sides of the story. I am not there. Most of us are not there. Making judgment based on partial information and political spins will not help this matter.
I do not want to get into silly and obnoxious debates with some anonymous posters here. If they are not able to communicate properly to make their points and have to rely on insults then I feel sorry for them.
My interest is to promote chess in a positive way. My interest is not to take sides or get into political games. As someone who competed in the World Championship and winning 4 different Women’s World Championship crowns, I went through this. I know what it is like to be on both sides. I know what it is like to deal with FIDE. People behave differently when they are faced with extreme pressure. No other tournament in the world can compare to a World Championship match.
If I am Topalov’s manager, I would advise him that no matter how Kramnik or his team behave during game 5, do not take the forfeit win. He will win no respect from the chess world by winning this way. There are still 8 games left and plenty of time to catch up. He needs to prove himself on the board to shut everyone up once in for all.
If I am Kramnik’s manager, I would advise him to stop the nonsense with demanding the apology from Danailov, handshake from Topalov or to continue the match like nothing happened. I certainly do not think that Kramnik cheats but why not allow an attendant to be present in the restroom to avoid any doubt from the fans. It is reasonable for the fans to be suspicious with excessive bathroom use.
If I am in charge of FIDE, I definitely would not point fingers at either player. Nothing can be accomplished by pointing fingers. We need more professionalism, respect and mutual trust, not verbal insults or act like spoiled children. I am confident that I could resolve this matter and have the match continue in one negotiation session.
I would also tell the players, their managers to stop with the insults and unprofessional open letters. These things do not help anyone. They will only make all parties look bad.
The world IS watching! Both World Champions should swallow their ego and pride and play 8 more games of chess. The chess fans deserve this. Our sport deserves this. May the best player win!
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– GM Susan Polgar