Veselin Topalov: We are strong in composition...

The Bulgarian team will hardly fight for medals, but its leader, the second number FIDE rating Veselin Topalov can compete for the first place on the first board. However, Veselin doubts is not confident.

– Of course I want to show a good individual result. After the World Championship Match I had a long break and it is important for me to find myself again in a familiar atmosphere. Moreover I will play in a very difficult tournament in Nanjing, China, soon where I will play against strong opponents. But I hardly have a chance to win on the first board for one simple reason: now the performance is evaluated not only by the result, but also for "performance" – the average rating in this tournament. I have never had an opponent with 2700 Rating.

– What would you say about your team’s performance?

– The third Olympiad in row I’m trying to figure out what is the reason of poor performances of our team. We are strong in composition, but still cannot join the fight for medals. Perhaps the problem is that from the very start of the tournament we had to fight against the strongest teams such as Croatia, India, etc...

– What have you learned from the match against Anand?

– The match was rather tough, but we had 3 endgames, where I could run for victory and I managed to win only one. In such games where the opponents are equal everything is decided by details. I had no luck in May. It’s okay: I will be lucky for the next time.

– What do you believe in first of all: in luck or in yourself?

– I'm not very superstitious, in general and I think that luck is on the second place, much more depends on training.

– Is it a matter of principle for you – to remind the chess world that you are one of the best players in the world?

– No, it is not. A chess component, is not as important as the upcoming FIDE Congress elections, that are very decisive. You probably know that Bulgarian Albena bids for the Olympiad 2014. Also my manager, Silvio Danailov, is nominated for the presidency in the European Chess Union. This summer I was in Albena and I can say that this is a fantastic place. I’m absolutely sure that 2014 Olympiad will be one of the best if Bulgaria wins the bid, because the venue is on the seaside, where you can swim even in September. I don’t doubt that the organization in Tromso will be on the same high level as well, but personally I support Albena. At least the weather will definitely be more favorable than in Norway. I will not particularly promote Silvio; he is already known by the whole chess world. I will just say that if he wins the European elections, the Chess players in Europe and the ECU members will have high salaries.

– It is your first time in Khanty-Mansiysk?

– Yes, it is. By the way, I expected it to be much colder.

– What are your impressions on the city?

– I didn’t have time to see a lot, but I can say that the city looks very decent. I’m going to visit the Victory Park and Archeological Park on the rest day.