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Interview SATURDAY, 7 October 2006

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Topalov: I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown during the third game

Vesselin Topalov won a brilliant victory in the eight game from the match for the chess crown. He and his rival Valdimir Kramnik came out even: 4:4. For a successive time the Bulgarian proved his high class and demonstrated how a real world champion plays. Topalov devoted some of his time to his Bulgarian fans.
- With this result - 4:4 - the match looks different?
- Yes. It was important to me to reach a draw. The victory with the black pieces is especially valuable, because Kramnik is hardly beaten when playing with the white ones. I can only regret that I made mistakes in the first, second and fourth games.
- How do you feel at the moment?
- As a matter of fact I was never particularly worried because Silvio kept me away from all the problems, but naturally after yesterday's victory (on Thursday) one feels much more sure of oneself.
- When was your hardest moment?
- Well, it was during the third game when the result was 0:2 and I had to defend a really difficult position. I remembered my mistakes in the first two games and felt on the very verge of a nervous breakdown.
- Don't you think that your consent to play in Russia is a mistake?
- I don't think so. I like challenges and I'm not afraid of anything. There's no sweetest victory than the one won on your rival's territory, on condition, of course that the fair play is guaranteed.
- It seems that Kramnik feels at home here...
- This fact has its negative aspects, because the tension and responsibility grow higher.
- Do you think that players like him are good promoters of the chess game?
- I can only say that the sportsman's place is in the hall, on the stage before the audience and not in resting rooms and WCs.
- At one of the news conferences, Kramnik said that he thought of the Football Champions League rather than of the game he played. Have you ever been more rudely offended?
- This is an insult not only for me but for the organizers, the audience in the hall, the media and the millions of fans all over the world.
- What do you think of the description: Match for the WC?
- I employ my sense of humour.
- Can you tell your friends from their reactions during the current events in Elista?
- According to me, the people are not well informed of what's happening here. Most of them follow the match on the Chessbase site, which is biased in favour of Kramnik. I would like to stress that this site is a shame on a leading European country like Germany.

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