Playboy: Vesko, which is the best and which is the worst
thing about being a world chess champion?
Topalov: The most beautiful thing is when you see the happiness in the people’s eyes. And the worst is that you haven’t any free time.
Playboy: Which is the most absurd rumour you have heard about yourself?
Topalov: That I am married to a Spanish woman, and that my sponsor will be Hristo Stoichkov.
Playboy: Why is superstition is so wide-spread in your work. Tell me something about that.
Topalov: Maybe in this way it is easier for people to excuse their failures. It also boosts their self-confidence. I am not a fatalist, but at the World Championship in Argentina Nigel Short, the English chess player, brought to me luck when he had meals at our table.
Playboy: Which are your favorite openings for white and why?
Topalov: I will answer only this: the most unpleasant ones for the opponent.
Playboy: What about your favorite defence with black?
Topalov: The Sicilian Defence, because it gives chances to win with black.
Playboy: Which is your favorite piece on the board and why?
Topalov: All of them. They are just like my children, and I take care of them. I haven’t got a favorite piece.
Playboy: Karpov or Kasparov?
Topalov: Kasparov – my playing style is similar to his.
Playboy: Who is the strongest chess player you had played against?
Topalov: Him. Kasparov.
Playboy: And who is the strongest chess player you hadn’t played against?
Topalov: Bobby Fischer. I am hoping to play against him, even though we are different generation in chess.
Playboy: Which is your most shameful failure until now?
Topalov: There isn’t any.
Playboy: Do you play some of the others kinds of chess –“Scandinavian” and “Reverse chess”?
Topalov: Yes, I have played the two options in my childhood. Now I do not play them any more.
Playboy: How did you explain the Bulgarian phenomenon in the world chess? Maybe, because the chess is one of the cheapest and accessible sports for the mass?
Topalov in Bulgaria after winning the World Championship
Topalov: We have unbelievable individuals and schools with chess tradition.
Playboy: What is your vision? Are there any possibilities for changes and additions in the chess rules to make the game more attractive for the mass media?
Topalov: These anti-draw rules which were implemented at the M-tel Masters by Silvio Danialov made the games more interesting and attractive for the public.
Playboy: Who is the most beautiful town where you played?
Topalov: Las Vegas – undoubtedly.
Playboy: What would be your job, if you were not chess player?
Topalov: I don’t know… Maybe I’d be pilot in civil aviation (with smile).
Playboy: Which other sport do you watch closely? Do you have favorite sportsmen?
Topalov: Soccer, tennis. But I don’t have any concrete favorites in these sports.
Playboy: Tell me more about your life in Spain – how you lives there, what is your preference in entertainment?
Topalov: I live normal. I prefer if people don’t recognise me on the streets. For that reason I chose the little students' town of Salamanca. There I feel good and have a chance to prepare in peace and quiet. I like to meet with friends and go to the disco…
Playboy: We know – you are very sober. Are they times when you want to get drunk and think about nothing?
Topalov: I have hardly ever been drunk, and this is problem. There were cases when I am really exhausted and I wanted to drink.
Playboy: Who is the biggest playboy amongst the grandmasters in the world today?
Topalov: Argentinean Miguel Quinteros, but he is not so successful as a chess player.
Playboy: When you in Spain and feel nostalgia for Bulgaria, about what you remember – some favorite places here?
Topalov: Maybe Sofia, the garden in front of the National Theatre. That’s where chess lovers gather.
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Also see: Topalov Takes the Crown - 2005