Veselin Topalov is a Bulgarian Chess Grandmaster with a FIDE rating of over 2700 in classical, making him one of the few players on the list of Chess Super Grandmasters. For more information on FIDE ratings, see the step-by-step guide on how to get a FIDE rating.
Last Updated: May 16th, 2022
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Name: Veselin Topalov
Place of birth: Rousse
Date of birth: 15th March 1975
Current Title: Grandmaster
Veselin Topalov is currently #20 in the world, making him one of the best Chess players in the world. He is only the third player in the world to reach the landmark of over 2800 ELO rating after former world champions Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik. Topalov won the FIDE World Chess championship in 2005 to be the world champion. However, he was not able to retain it in 2006 after losing it to Vladimir Kramnik.
In 1989, Topalov came into prominence at the age of 14 when he clinched the World Under-14 chess championship held in Puerto Ricochet went on to finish runner up at World Under-16 chess championship held in Singapore. In 1992, Topalov won Terrassa tournament and made his mark at senior level.
He reached the Grandmaster level in 1992. In 1993, he won the Budapest Zt-B tournament. He became an integral part of Bulgarian national team from 1994.He was the driving force behind the Bulgaria’s fourth place finish at Moscow Chess Olympiad, in 1994.
Topalov started featuring in top tournaments like Linares, Amsterdam etc, after steadily climbing the rankings. In 1995, he won Polonica Zdroj and Elenite tournaments. The year 1996 turned out to be a breakthrough year for Topalov at top level, as he drew level with Kasparov and Kramnik to clinch Amsterdam and Dos Hermanas tournaments.
He also won the tournaments such as Novgorod, Vienna, Madrid, Leon in that year. Afterwards he started getting invitations for super grandmaster tournaments. In 1997, he won Antwerp and Madrid tournaments.
Topalov’s game against Garry Kasparov, the then Classical World Champion at Corus Chess tournament is one of the all time best games. Topalov lost the game.
In 2001, he won Monaco and finished joint first at Dortmund tournaments. He missed out a chance to feature in Classical World Chess Championship after losing to Peter Leko at Dortmund Candidates tournament. He finished joint first at Cannes Nao Chess Masters and won Benidorm in 2002 and 2003 respectively. He finished joint first with Gary Kasparov at Linares, and won M-Tel Masters tournaments in 2005.
Topalov finished Joint first with Anand at Corus and won M-Tel Masters tournament in 2006. He was joint first at Corus and won M-Tel masters as well as Champions League Vitoria Gasteiz tournaments, in 2007.
He won Dos Hermanas and Villarrobledo Rapid chess tournaments in 2008. He also won tournaments held at Bilbao and Pearl Spring in that year.
In 1998, Topalov in his first FIDE World Chess Championship lost out in the second round. Topalov made it to the fourth round, quarterfinals, fourth round, semi-finals of FIDE WCC Knockout tournaments in 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2004 respectively.
In 2005, FIDE World Chess Championship he overcame a strong pool of seven players in the double round-robin format, to clinch the title with a good 1.5 points lead. Topalov lost the unification title match between FIDE World Chess champion and the Classical Chess world champion to Kramnik, in 2006. However, there was a controversy in that match. Topalov and his manager accused Kramnik of using computer assistance in bathroom, during games. Topalov forfeited one match. FIDE refuted the allegations, and the result stood.
Topalov defeated Kamsky in FIDE WWC Candidates match held at Sofia in 2009, to qualify for World Championship match against current champion Viswanathan Anand in 2010.
Did you enjoy reading about Veselin Topalov? If you did, you might be interesting in reading other player profiles such as Bobby Fischer, Daniil Dubov, and Hans Niemann.