No Regrets, Says Defeated Chess King Topalov Back in Bulgaria

Sports | October 14, 2006, Saturday // 00:00
Bulgaria: No Regrets, Says Defeated Chess King Topalov Back in Bulgaria Bulgaria's overthrown chess king Vesselin Topalov (R) and his manager Silvio Danailov wished they could bring better news to the dozens of journalists waiting at Sofia airport. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia Photo Agency)

Bulgaria's chess king Vesselin Topalov, who lost the title of world's best chess grandmaster with a narrow defeat against Russia's Vladimir Kramnik, returned to Sofia Saturday afternoon.

"I have no regrets. I have nothing to be ashamed of," Topalov told journalists at the airport. "I am happy it's all over. The suspense I had to endure was too big to take."

"I had the upper hand during most of the time, but I missed many opportunities," Topalov admitted. He resolutely denied circulating rumours that he succumbed to the defeat for money.

Asked about the so-called loo scandal, Topalov just said the story is not over.

The scandal at the unique contest, which pursued the unification of the world chess title, was triggered after the manager for Bulgaria's Topalov, Silvio Danailov, accused Russia's Kramnik of taking too many bathroom breaks.

Kramnik won the title of world's best chess grandmaster defeating Vesselin Topalov on the fourth game of a tiebreak. The title was settled Friday by "rapid-play" and then "blitz" chess - shorter games relying on instinct as much as calculation, which ended 2.5:1.5.

For the past three weeks, chess fans have been gripped by the most dramatic world championship match for the last twenty years. The match was held in Elista, the capital of the Russian republic of Kalmykia.

Topalov and Kramnik inspired reminiscences of Kasparov and Karpov, who first started the schism in the chess world back in 1993.

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