Topalov at Risk to be Abandoned in Elista

Sports | October 12, 2006, Thursday // 00:00

Russian authorities refused to grant permission to the Bulgarian governmental aircraft Falkon to land in Elista in order to transport world chess champion Vesselin Topalov's team back home.
Vladimir Kramnik will not have any problems departing, Topalov's press attachГ© announced.

The 9-seat Falkon was to be sent to the Kalmik Republic to fetch Bulgaria's chess master, as Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov announced Wednesday.

"This outruns all scandals, nobody cares to explain why the permission for landing was refused", Vesselin Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov said.

"Apparently, the pressure on the Bulgarian group will continue to the last minute", he added.

The penultimate match between Topalov and Kramnik ended in a draw. The final game of the chess competition is scheduled for Thursday and it has started at 2 p.m. Bulgarian time. If necessary, tiebreaks will be played on Friday, followed by the Closing Ceremony.

Kramnik and Topalov have offered chess fans quite a show in this unique contest, which pursues the unification of the world chess title, with numerous scandals and accusations of cheating.

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