Topalov Suspects FIDE Stalling World Title Replay

Sports | January 12, 2007, Friday // 00:00

The International Chess Federation FIDE has refused to acknowledge a bank guarantee filed by Bulgarian Chess Grandmaster Topalov, required to claim a revanche for the world crown.

Topalov has invited World Champion Vladimir Kramnik to replay their autumn game for the reigning world chempion.

"They want to escape replay," Topalov's manager Silvio Danailov commented the unacknowledged bank guarantee.

The FIDE has requested a bank guarantee of USD 2 M in response to Vesselin Topalov's proposal to hold the match in March 2007. According to FIDE requirements a former world champion or a holder of ELO over 2700 can challenge the world leader in a match for the world cup.

Despite the defeat by Vladimir Kramnik, Bulgaria's Vesseling Topalov is still the chess master of the world, the latest FIDE rankings showed. The chess federation published its ratings for January of 2007, and Topalov still holds the highest number of points (2783), although his loss cost him 30 points.

The Organizational Committee preparing the replay of the Bulgarian chess player attracted a number of high-ranking officials including Interior Minister Rumen Petkov, presidential advisors Anatoli Pazijski and Ertan Kara, Sports Agency chief Vessela Lecheva as well as the country's business elite.

In the end of 2006 D-Commerce Bank sent a letter to FIDE central office informing them a bank document can be issued as soon as possible. The response from the international federation stated only the sample guarantee text.

On January 11, however, FIDE refused to acknowledge the issued guarantee, arguing that it recognizes only four banks in Bulgaria. D Commerce Bank was not among them.

"We are puzzled and surprised by this response. Changing the guarantee bank would take more time," Silvio Danailov said.

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