SILVIO DANAILOV: “45 minutes for each of you per game, once or twice a toilet break. The end!”

Interview of with Silvio Danailov


SILVIO DANAILOV: “45 minutes for each of you per game, once or twice a toilet break. The end!”

Е.SUROV 17.02 Moscow time, Chess – news alive, thank you everyone for being connected! Invite your friends and acquaintances; we have planned an exciting hour, because we have Marakova Maria and her guest on the direct line. Maria, good evening!

М.MANAKOVA: Hello everybody! It`s been a really special day today, and tomorrow it is going to be even more special, two final rounds. There are a lot of people here, it is just overcrowded, no special places, and again no place to sit. Crowded playing hall, crowded corridors, a lot of  people came, a lot of famous chess players, that`s the atmosphere here! Of course, everything is warming up, you can simply feel the energy of the fight. So it is really interesting in Telegraph.

And here with me is the man I am sure you all know pretty well, and he… Well, no need for introducing him, it is Silvio Danailov, Topalov`s official manager and president of Bulgarian chess federation. And I have a lot of questions for my guest. Can I start torturing him already?

Е.SUROV: Oh, Maria, please do, and we are going to listen to that torture.

М.MANAKOVA: OK, Silvio, I have a lot of questions for you, both related to chess and not. First of all, let`s talk about Veselin. For him, of course, the tournament was not successful, but at some point he suddenly started to look good. He was cheerful, he started to appear in public – that is, at some point he felt „relaxed“. What do you think, when was that and why?

S.DANAILOV: Basically, on this tournament, you have only one task – to win. If you don`t win, there is very little difference between the second and the last position. So, when he realized that there was no chance he could win the tournament and play the game, he felt relaxed, of course. It is normal.

M.MANAKOVA: So, what do you think went wrong for him on this tournament?

S.DANAILOV: (silently).Of course, starting with the defeat isn`t really comfortable. You see, it is really difficult to win the game here because the level is so high. After that, he played very nervously against Aronian with white pieces, he wanted to win immediately, but that was unsuccessful too. And after such a start, when you score „-2“, it is very difficult to change anything.

M.MANAKOVA: You mean that he plays worse than the others? Or maybe if the tournament started again today, he would play better, and the score would be different?
S.DANAILOV: It is difficult to say. Each tournament is specific. Basically, as my first chess coach used to say, everyone has as many points in the table as he earned. So I think that current situation is the way it is. And what will happen is difficult to predict.

M.MANAKOVA: Tell me, what do you think he missed, why did everything happen the way it did? He hasn`t prepared, or he hasn`t approached correctly at the very beginning? What was the problem?

S.DANAILOV: Details are almost the most important. For example, he won the tournament in Norway last year , starting by winning against Carlsen, although in a worse position by time. Magnus gave in and after that Veselin started to play well, and won the tournament. So, sometimes the tiny details are crucial. And sometimes psychology is very important. When it doesn`t work at the beginning, then it is very hard. The first game is the most important, and then he lost very unfortunate game with white to Aronian, and after that it was really difficult. So, very often it is all about tiny details, understandable only to players.

M.MANAKOVA: But you are going to draw some conclusions after that? Or will you say: “ So what, no big deal, we will continue to work, without drawing any conclusions.“ Or maybe you will say: “Well, Veselin „Eprst!“ What will you say’

S.DANAILOV: In such situations, self-confidence is very important. It can help a lot. When you don`t feel confident, when you start to lose, it`s difficult to move forward. The conclusion… What may be the conclusions? I will repeat one more time: in this tournament, only one place is important – the first. And if you are not the first, it makes no difference whether you are the second or the eighth. And the winner is the one who plays very well and who is prepared very well. This is not an ordinary tournament. All ordinary super tournaments like Norway Chess, Saint Louis, London, Wijk aan Zee, Linares – all of them are important ,but this one is really special. This one is very important. It is the most important tournament in the last two years. So, you need to win it. If you don`t win it, no use of talking.

M.MANAKOVA: Tell me one more thing I really want to know. He could have gone to the tournament with his wife, with his children, with his seconds, but he went with you. Do you have such a positive influence on him or what? Why you?

S.DANAILOV: It`s a difficult question…Actually, in such tournaments we have tried different systems. We used to come with a numerous team – four to five people, or even seven or eight. But usually large groups take a lot of energy. Too many talks, too many conversations…In general, you never really what is good and what is not,all depend of the result. Furthermore, he was not seen as a favourite here. After Anand, he is the oldest player here, so… It was just interesting for him to play. A player won`t give up such a tournament easily, even if there is only 1% chance for winning it.

M.MANAKOVA: Tell me, please, it`s a bit delicate question. When the commentator Shipov was asked if there were any prearranged games in the tournament, he said. “ Well, imagine this. Let`s take Topalov as an example, just provisionally. And just before the game against Karjakin, some men come to his room and ask: “ Are you ready to lose the game and earn some money? “ So my question is: Did some people come to you before the game against Karjakin? And if they came, what would you say?

S.DANAILOV: Of course, no one came. I have been in the world-class chess for twenty-five years, and I have never seen or heard anything like that. That is, on such a level. On some lower levels, I don`t know, something similar might have happened, but on the high levels, I have never heard for something like that. Maybe some prearranged draw – yes. But just like that – no. I can`t even imagine someone would come, and I can`t answer to your question, because it is basically impossible!

M.MANAKOVA: And why is it impossible? Is there a certain amount of money you would agree to sell a game for?

S.DANAILOV: Theoretically speaking, anything is possible. But probability of that is close to zero. I believe that this conversation has no importance, because all the people in the very top of the chess, to put it mildly, are not poor. It is very difficult to go to them and to say: „I want to buy a game from you.“ Because all those people earn a lot of money, playing the world-class chess for the last twenty years. So all of this… Let`s say, if that is a crazy amount…from five to ten million… But it can`t be, because there is no such a match, the one that would be paid. The reward fund for a match is one million, so it is ridiculous!

M.MANAKOVA: That is, you allow such a possibility? As they say, he smiled. Tell us about the conditions on the tournament. Are you satisfied with the accommodation, food?

S.DANAILOV: Yes, I am very satisfied. We were pleasantly surprised, although we have expected only the best from the organization. Everything is wonderful! Except for the restaurant. We were there only once. The food is good, but the service is not, you have to wait for a long time. And of course it is boring to look at the players ten times a day. But, thank God, there are thousands of places in Moscow where you can eat well. I think that in the future, organizers should just give money to the players and forget about that, instead of organizing the meal in their own restaurant, because it is not convenient. But, it`s a minor issue. All in all, the organization is great, I like it all. I didn`t expect this and I would like to congratulate Ilya Merenzon and his team on an excellent organization. Everything is great.I have no objections at all.

M.MANAKOVA: Then I have another question: when you eat there all the players see each other?

S.DANAILOV: Yes, we eat in the same room, and that is not convenient: you see everybody during breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then you play chess with them – it`s a nightmare! None of the players wants to see others, and that is normal.

M.MANAKOVA: Enlight us a little bit: I am wondering whether the players get any luxurious rooms?

S.DANAILOV: I think yes, the players have luxurious rooms, but the usual ones, nothing extraordinary. It is called delux room. Very nice room, and yet it is not over the top.

M.MANAKOVA: And the playing hall is yet another advantage according to you? I have of course, one more question about the live broadcast. Are you satisfied, and do you think that the organizers made the right move by taking over the rights for the live broadcast?

S.DANAILOV: I haven`t been in the playing hall, because the members of the team are not allowed to enter there. Yes, yes, there are some new rules now – all the coaches and members of the team are not allowed to be there. Veselin told me that the playing hall is very small, it is almost impossible to move around. But it is a minor problem, like he said, everything is ok, everything is normal. The other question – about the live broadcast. Of course, I fought for those rights long time ago. So, the rights being taken over, and all that Merenzon does, I support him completely. I fought for that back in 2010, when I organized a world championship match in Sofia, Anand versus Topalov. I fought back then, but unfortunately I lost in the court to ChessBase in Germany. I sued them because they didn`t want to pay, they just stole the product I had
created. But Merenzon now told me that the legal situation has changed, and that if you sue them now, on the similar basis, you will win. So now no one wants to try that any more, and I think that is right. You pay to the organizer, and you have the rights. If you want to take something from me – you should pay. Otherwise, you simply steal. You take my moves, my product for free and sell it to your clients – undoubtedly it`s a theft! There used to be yet another problem earlier: everybody thought that the internet was free. But now that has changed too and has become more strict.

M.MANAKOVA: You say „my moves“. But the players are actually obliged to sign the contracts. And my question is if there was any bidding for the tournament? Maybe if the conditions were better, then some player would say: “I want something else, these conditions do not suit me“ Whether they had any choice at all or not? My question is about the bidding.

S.DANAILOV: You should ask this question to FIDE, they conduct the competitions. I think there was some kind of bidding, but there were no candidates for the organization of the tournament. Hence, there was a sponsor from Armenia who wanted Aronian to play. And there was the bidding, it`s just that no one wanted to take part in it.

M.MANAKOVA: You mean, only one person took part in the bidding. Great! Tell me, what are the benefits for the Armenian sponsors? And are there any benefits for the sponsors from investing money in the chess?

S.DANAILOV: Yes, there are, if we are talking about the professional level. But it is a huge fight – because you have all the rights, all the publicity. When no one steals, everything is possible. But only as long as there is the battle in the courtrooms, because everybody believes that everything should be free for everyone. And now the situation has changed. I don`t know, I need to know the numbers. Because, provisionally speaking, if you have one million views live, and no one has the right to copy that. Then you can sell your advertisement, your product and you have the audience and profit. But if everybody steals from you, can there be any benefits? Of course not.

M.MANAKOVA: Topalov communicates with the reporters and with the audience, which you cannot say for some other players. Tell me whose side do you take? Should we understand the grandmasters who do not want to communicate after the game? Or do you think that it is necessary to talk to the reporters in order to promote the chess as much as possible?

S.DANILOV: Of course, it is important to communicate and to have strict rules. Take tennis for example. A player has just finished his match, he is sweaty, but he answers the questions, and that is obligatory, otherwise he will be punished with serious fine. And in chess…What does that mean – they don`t want to? It is necessary to establish clear rules. But it is something FIDE should do. If FIDE or some organizer does nothing, then of course, the players won`t do it. But if you make them and say:“ Hey, guy!“…For example in the case of Nakamura. He didn`t show on the press conference – punishment with fine. Thus they will understand that, and the next time they will show up smiling.

M.MANAKOVA: I have recently interviewed Artiom Tasarov, and he said that it is possible to have a TV format interesting for TV viewers. Do you agree with him that such a format can be created? Or is the chess completely hopeless as far as the television is concerned?

S.DANAILOV: Of course it is possible. But then it would have to be a Rapid Chess as well as some good commentators, and betting should also be organized – that`s the next step. And without the betting, it won`t work. There are some „moralists“ in FIDE, who say that we do not need the betting, that it will ruin our reputation. But it`s a nonsense! You cannot have the reputation without the money! It is necessary to develop the betting system, as well as in football, and in other sports. For example, you can bet after every move, or on the result of the game, or the result of the tournament and so on. Then there will be some interest, and then you can make money and try to sell it to the television. Otherwise, it will be
the same as the culture.

M.MANAKOVA: Very interesting idea. And again, I remembered the interview with Tarasov, he mentioned that there have been some rumours that Ilyumzhinov offered Kasparov to make an allience with him, that is, he suggested some kind of a deal. That shocked me! I had no idea that Kasparov is such an influential person that he has even been offered alliances! And in connection to that I have a question: Is it true? Furthermore, maybe there is something?…Maybe there is someone supporting him? Maybe America? And this is Russia. So, that`s a conflict between America and Russia, or am I wrong?

S.DANAILOV: I don`t think so. I haven`t heard about that rumour. I don`t think it is possible. Maybe they have tried to achieve some kind of arrangement, but without success. But I think that isn`t important. If you are in charge, and you have all the rights, the you can do whatever you want to. And if you do nothing, nothing will happen.

M.MANAKOVA: I see. It means then that there aren`t any „bold emotions“ on political level?

S.DANAILOV: Maybe there are. But I think that even if there was something, it is exaggerated. I don`t think that everything that Tarasov says is the truth. Of course, Tarasov is an interesting person, but we do not know all the details in this story: whether something happened or not, and if anything happened at all. It was a long time ago.

M.MANAKOVA: A long time ago – so it means everything is forgotten. I still want to ask you about the cheating problem. If you had the power and authority, what would you do to prevent cheating completely? And is it actually possible to do anything about that in chess?

S.DANAILOV: Of course it is possible. But it must be done on the professional level and with the investments, and no one wants to give the money – it is an expensive project. But this conversation also… I think I can do something, but in this interview we can`t observe the problem as a whole. You need to prepare a special interview on cheating. The only important thing is to invest – then everything will be possible.

M.MANAKOVA: Invest in what?

S.DANAILOV: There is no cheating on the highest level, and it has never been. There has been cheating on the small tournaments – with Swiss system, yes, I understand that. But on the highest level I have never heard or seen something like that.

M.MANAKOVA:Well, on the low levels? Do you have any hint? Or are you already above us and you just don`t care about us, the little ones? I would like to hear some advice from you.

S.DANAILOV: Advice? It is difficult to fight with that on the tournaments with the Swiss system, because you can`t close the entire playing hall and check everything. But, generally, it is pretty easy to remove all the mobile phones and to close the toilets. And then the 99% of the problem would be solved.

M.MANAKOVA: That was the answer I got from Silvio Danailov. Evgeny, can you hear us?

E.SUROV: Yes, I am glad you remembered me.

M.MANAKOVA: I have already thought your phone is off. Are there any questions?

E.SUROV: Of course. But I would like Silvio to hear me too.

M.MANAKOVA: Then I leave you with Silvio, though I believe that I drained him completely. In the meantime, as I connect you with Evgeny, tell me Silvio, what is the reaction in Bulgaria, what do people say? Have you contacted them? What do they say about the tournament, do they watch it, do they follow it? What is the atmosphere there?

S.DANAILOV: Of course, they watch it. But now, when they realized that Veselin can`t win the tournament, they are not so eager about it. Generally speaking, everybody follows the tournament, the daily news and so on. But they have expected him to play better. When you present the low quality play, then the interest drops, of course.

E.SUROV: Silvio, good evening!

S.DANAILOV: Good evening!

E.SUROV: I am so glad to hear you. You are probably already in some kind of a mood for travel. Packing your suitcase?

S.DANAILOV: No, not yet. Why should I be packing? I was at the Bolshoi theatre, I watched a great opera „Don Carlos “. The weather is great, actually everything is great in Moscow, I enjoy staying here. We are staying in a hotel in such an exciting area that I don`t think about suitcases , I am not in a hurry at all!

E.SUROV: Wow! I wanted to ask you if you enjoy spending time in Moscow? It is cosy here, isn`t it?

S.DANAILOV: Yes, I like it a lot. I haven`t been in Moscow for a long time. The last time I was here was when Ponomariov played against Ivanchuk in 2002. We stayed at the same hotel, but it was called „Moscow“ back then, and now it is called „The Four seasons“. I also had a great time then. And now, it is absolutely wonderful! Everything has changed a lot, and I am having great time.

E.SUROV: Moscow has changed since then?

S.DANAILOV: The downtown – yes. I can`t walk around the entire city. And in the downtown, everything is clean, there are so many nice places. We like it.

E.SUROV: Apart from the theatre, have you visited anything else?

S.DANAILOV: Unfortunately not. We have been at the restaurant where we eat every day, and in the shopping centre „Okhotny Ryad“. Unfortunately, we don`t have time, we have other obligations.

E.SUROV: And what about the mausoleum where grandpa Lenin lies?

S.DANAILOV: We didn`t have time to visit the Mausoleum. I think that we will visit it on 29 March, when we have the day off. I don`t know if there will be a tie break.

E.SUROV: I got it. Now about what you have said. You mentioned that the cheating problem on the tournaments with Swiss system may be solved if we close the toilets. But what will the players do then?…Well…Where?…

S.DANAILOV: What do you mean „the chess players“? I mentioned this many times, I will say it again. It was the Roland Garros finals, Nadal and Federer were playing a tie break. It was supposed to determine the winner. Nadal asked the referee to go to the toilet. The referee said „no“, and Nadal continued to play. So, what does that mean „how“? You can go to the toilet once or twice, and that`s it. The rest of the time is your problem. And all mobile phones should be taken away. You take everything, you close the toilets. Of course, you can go once during the play, and that`s it, no problem.

E.SUROV: You know, I wouldn`t like to tackle medical issues, but every person has its own specific physiological needs. Every organ can react differently during the play.

S.DANAILOV: First of all, I think that the time control is very long, that`s why it is so difficult. The time control needs to be shortened. I think that the proper time would be forty-five minutes for each player, with no additional time. Additional time – it`s a complete nonsense. Because it takes away the unique sport element – the zeitnot! There is no normal zeitnot any more. Thirty seconds – that`s a very long addition of time. If you are a real master, in thirty seconds you can play twenty good moves. This addition should be removed. Why did they bring it? Because Fisher said so! And when he said that, he had already gone crazy. But Fisher said it, and everybody was like: “A_A_A_“ – as if he were God. That is
stupid! It is important to give each player forty-five minutes. An hour and a half per a game – and that`s it! An hour and a half at the cinema, an hour and a half for a football match, an hour and a half for a hockey match, and five hours for a chess game! Who will watch that? It is ridiculous! Forty – five minutes for you, forty – five minutes for me. And that`s it, sit down and play. How long can you walk around? You can`t walk around, you can`t go to the toilet twenty times. You can go once in an hour and a half – and that`s it, right? And then it will become much more interesting, more dynamic and more „fair-play“. And now we have, what – you sit down, drink coffee, walk around, watch I don`t know what… It is ridiculous! Like in a museum.

Е.SUROV: Tell me, does Veselin share your opinion? For example, about the time control, about the cheating? Or do your opinions differ in some point?

S.DANAILOV: We usually talk about everything, and usually our opinions match. Although sometimes… For example, I had an idea. I said that Berlin variation shouldn`t be played at all, or at least should be played once in the tournament. He thought it was wrong. So we disagree on that. Of course, it is all irrelevant, it is a joke. Yet, let`s say that Berlin variation is ruined the 1.e4 move, right? Or, for example, offering a draw. I believe that that offer is an utter nonsense!

Е.SUROV: I couldn`t agree more with you on that.

S.DANAILOV: The players shouldn`t communicate between themselves! In no other sport do the players communicate among themselves! And they don`t make offers to each other:“ Hey, let`s finish our game or a match“. That`s ridiculous, it is the thing of the past, and should be banned! Thirty moves, forty moves, it is all nonsense. The players are not to communicate with each other. Yesterday we have got for example, the game between Topalov and Caruana. Caruana then offers a draw in a very interesting position! The forty-first move is an exciting position, rich, a thousand things may happen! Yet, he has the right to offer a draw. Veselin, being very tired, accepts the offer. And we have missed a great endgame which could have happened. And during that endgame, one of them would probably make a mistake and lose. Why should that be allowed? It is easy, I have done that thousands of times in Bulgaria. No offers! When the draw is already on the board, the arbiter approaches and fixes the game. The end! I don`t know, it is so simple! Why is everyone in agony in those thirty, forty moves… It`s rubbish!

Е.SUROV: What is your opinion, how should one deal with the conservatism in chess? Because there is a group of chess players – including grandmasters – who object to any type of change. Whatever you say, no matter if those suggestions are meant to improve the game of chess in any sense, they just say: “It is a very old tradition! How can that be! That is the very essence of chess! A hundred years ago people offered a draw, two hundred, even three hundred years ago – and how can we change that now?! How can we change the people`s awareness?

S.DANAILOV: No, no, no changes! No one`s attitude or awareness could be changed, it is all just a vain talk. A strong professional organization, or the strong FIDE must exist, which would set the strict rules. But FIDE is now a political organization. And being a political organization, it, of course, means that people in FIDE have some other interests – that is, to sit in their positions for the next hundred years. They don`t care about the chess development, they only care about how to remain on power . And all the time everything is about some petty politics. On the other hand, if you set some clear, basic rules like: “Guys, forty-five minutes! Guys, a tie is obligatory, a suit is obligatory, you are obliged to talk to the press, you are obliged to do this and that!“ – what can the players do? Will they refuse to obey the rules? Of course, they will agree, and as a result everything will be wonderful. Yet, when there are no clear rules, without influential organizers and without strong FIDE – they will of course, go on moralizing: “There is a tradition, and stuff like that.“ Ridiculous.

Е.SUROV: And you don`t like the Berlin variation probably because Kramnik introduced it to the high professional level of chess?

S.DANAILOV: No, no, no… I think that he geniously played it and thus defeated Kasparov. It was a genious idea! Thanks to that variation, he won the match. It`s simply the fact that such variation actually annuls the 1.e4 move. Veselin also plays Berlin often. Yes, everyone has started to play that variation a lot, because computers are very powerful nowadays, and the variation is pretty good and solid. Anyway, it has already been widely used …You see, in almost every round you can see two or three „Berlins“. That is why we have so many draws all the time. I have jokingly said that it is necessary to allow it to be played ones at the tournament, and then to play something else. But, of course, we can`t bring our suggestions to realization, it is all science fiction.

Е. SUROV: Silvio, now tell me. From time to time some information appear that there is some case against you in Bulgaria. Your enemies have been writing something about this on Twitter. And I would like to know what is really going on. Can you tell me what is your current status and position?

S.DANAILOV: The situation is very simple. I used to be the president of the European Chess Union for four years – the Union was an independent organization back then. I have done a lot of things. I have worked with the European parliament, with the UNESCO. I was against these officials in FIDE, I voted against them, I was opposing them all the time. Now they go against me. They have simply connected that process with some little Bulgarian guys, fighting for the power in our Federation.. There is no case back there, and there is not going to be one. They are just imagining things. Well, let them dream about that, if that`s what makes them happy.

Е.SUROV: You mean it is just an orchestrated and arranged case?

S.DANAILOV: Yes, it is arranged and orchestrated by “Makro and his friends“, they are the ones who attack me. Markopoulos and his servants – Zurab (Azmaiparashvili) and all the other guys there. They attack me through the European Chess Union, through FIDE, they just show up with some imaginary nonsense. There is a very small opposition in Bulgaria, consisting of only two-three guys, who cannot do anything except noise. However, nothing is going to happen. And it is ridiculous.

Е.SUROV: And what`s the purpose of that „dive“on you (pardon me for using the slang), why? What danger do you represent for them?

S. DANILOV: First of all, they are vindictive people. When you do not support them, when they cannot intimidate you, nor buy you, and I am a person with my own opinion and I always say what I mean, then it is something they are not used to. They are used to people who are afraid of them, who serve them. They are that type of people. During these four years, while I was the president of the European Chess Union, I have lead the independent politics. And of course, when I announced that I am going to be a candidate for the president of FIDE on the next elections, they decided to destroy me politically. But that`s their problem.

Е.SUROV: I know that you didn`t believe that the next World Championship match will be held in the USA. Were you surprised when that was officially announced?

S.DANAILOV: I have heard all kinds of the official announcements so many times so far. I want to see that. I won`t believe it until I see it. The president of FIDE under the sanctions in the United States of America, and the match is going to be held there? I don`t think so. But it may be, anything is possible. And all that „I have announced!“ really means nothing. I can announce that I have one hundred million in Bulgaria – and then what?

Е.SUROV: What do you think about the current situation in FIDE? Furthermore, are there going to be preterm presidential elections? If yes, then when? And who can actually replace Ilyumzhinov?

S.DANAILOV: I have no idea. Frankly, I am not interested in those things, because those guys are so after me, that I feel uncomfortable even to look at their faces. What are they going to do is no problem of mine. Of course, they will try hard to avoid the elections. But if there are elections after all, I think that, logically, the candidate will be from Russia – like, for example Filatov, or someone else, someone they come up with. But they won`t leave the federation without the fight. The president will be from Russia. Or at least this is my filing.

Е.SUROV: When you say that you feel uncomfortable just by looking at them, then I suppose that talking about them is also uncomfortable for you.

S.DANAILOV: Very uncomfortable! I stopped discussing that a long time ago. They behave so badly and hideously, that I try not to pay attention to them, I don`t look at them and I don`t want to have anything to do with them!

Е.SUROV: I am sorry if I ruined your mood! What can I recommend to you? Maria Manakova is sitting next to you, you can look at her, and maybe that will change your mood for better.

S.DANAILOV (laughter): No, I am in a great mood. Apart from Veselin`s play, everything is great here. So, I feel very good in Moscow. It`s just that when I see those people, I feel uncomfortable. Thank God, I don`t want to have anything to do with them, and I will not have anything to do with them in the near future.

Е.SUROV: Tell me, do you still have dreams about Veselin going to the World Champiosnhip match ? Or do you think that page of his life is already in the past?

S.DANAILOV: It is one thing to dream, reality is quite another. Still, when you need to play the third candidates tournament…Kazan was unsuccessful, then Khanti-Mansiysk, and now this. He is not getting any younger. Younger boys now play very well, they are very well prepared, they are eager, they are ambitious, they have everything. So, we need to be realistic. I think it will be difficult. But if there is a chance to play the candidates tournament, it is your duty to try to use that opportunity and play your best chess. Yet now, as you can see from the game and from the score, it is not realistic to dream about such things.

Е.SUROV: Now, tell me one more thing. „Agon“ works on the policy about the broadcast rights, and you have already said that you support them. Aren`t you jealous? You were practically, the first to suggest that, you tried to conduct that. But the chess elite, as well as most of the players, didn`t listen to you, they didn`t understand what you were talking about. And now we can see that some of them already agree with this, and since this idea comes from „Agon“, there is no aversion towards it, as it was in your case.

S.DANAILOV: Well, as you were saying…

Е.SUROV: When you suggested it, they didn`t understand you.

S.DANAILOV: Every „world“ is basically conservative, not just the chess world. People do not want changes. The same is in chess. In order for some new idea to be accepted, in the beginning, there will always be a resistance. I remember when I was talking about the Sofia rules – it was back in 2005. I said: “Let`s not offer a draw.“ There was such an argument in FIDE, everybody were yelling: “No! How? We are not going to accept a tournament with such rules!?“ I said: “How`s that? A tournament of 21 or 22 category, six best players in the world meet, and you are not going to rate it? This is crazy“. And now, ten years later, everybody believes that Sofia rules are natural thing. So the world is conservative, and new ideas are very difficultly accepted. Innovators always have a hard time. I have recently watched a great movie by Oliver Stone „Alexander“, about the Alexander the Macedonian. At the end of the movie, Anthony Hopkins told Alexander that he had such ideas and thoughts, that he was way ahead of his time. Nobody really understood him, and being tired of his new ideas, people just killed him. It happened
because people wanted to live as they used to. I am so happy and proud of the fact that I was the first one to start it and to try to implement it. I am not jealous of „Agon“, I have congratulated to Merenzon and I wished him success. Legally the situation has changed, everything is different now, and I am glad to see that the game of chess can improve. And the fact that I didn`t make it … For those who are the first and the best it is always difficult to succeed, they always face the most difficult obstacles.

Е.SUROV: Masha, I believe that after everything that Silvio told us, you still have some questions.

М.MANAKOVA: No, I was just sitting and listening to his answers. I was impressed by looking at him. He was completely honest! And I admire you, for being able to make him open up. At the beginning he was pretty reserved.

Е.SUROV: And in the end, I would like to ask him one more question. Silvio, what do you generally think about the Russian chess fans, especially about the Moscow ones? I would like you to tell them something in the end, or to make some wish.

S.DANAILOV: I am in a very good relationship with them. We have a lot of fans here. Although many people won`t believe it, there are a lot of those who love the way Veselin plays, and who appreciate what we do for them. So, I think that it is wrong to think that people don`t like us here. That`s nonsense! Of course, there are some who don`t like us, who believe that we are scandalous and so on. But there are also many people who respect us and who appreciate our contribution to the professional chess. I have respect for the Russian fans, I love them and I wish them success! And I think that the tournament was very good, with very interesting games, Sergey (Karjakin) has the chance to win and play the match. I also want to tell them to love chess, to support it, because we need the support of the fans, we need the auditorium in this beautiful game of chess. Their interests are of a great importance to us. So – I wish them all the best, to enjoy in this beautiful game and I hope that our loving game will have bright future ahead of it.

Е. SUROV: Thank you, it was Silvio Danailov, who will soon leave Moscow without scandals. Although we have been eagerly waiting for that!

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