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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Topalov Interviewed after his WCC debacle

The interview with former World Champion Veselin Topalov was provided by the head of the Anand-Topalov World Championship match press office, Mr. Boyko Hristov.

- Grandmaster Topalov, regardless of the outcome, during the match between you and Viswanathan Anand we watched your dominance in the openings when you played with the white pieces. What caused this fact?

- During my preparation for the match, my manager, Silvio Danailov, and I decided to approach something non-standard and to seek additional resources to increase the advantage over my opponent. It turned out that there is such a possibility. We found that in Bulgaria is installed and running one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world - Blue Gene/P of IBM. And because the computers and the chess software are necessary components in the preparation of the modern grandmasters, we decided to use the vast computational power of this machine.

The IBM's Blue Gene/P has 8192 processors and you can imagine how huge the possibilities we are talking about. The problem was the fact that in the world currently there is no chess software whose source code is written to work with such a multiprocessor platform. However, Silvio and I, did not give up and he managed to gather an international team of leading experts who have created a project for a chess program that can use the computing power of this extraordinary supercomputer. And now is the time to express my great thanks to the General Manager of IBM Bulgaria Mr. Alexander Rakov and the IT architect of the company Mr. Yovko Lambrev for the access to the resources of Blue Gene/P they provided to us. They have made enormous efforts that our idea become a reality.

I want to thank the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Mr. Boyko Borisov too, who allowed us the access to the supercomputer, which as you know is state owned. So ultimately, even though I lost the match, I managed to achieve a dominance over Anand in the openings in all games, in which I played with the white pieces. This advantage was demonstrated very clear especially in the first game, when I won fast and with decisive priority.

- What's next for GM Veselin Topalov from now on?

- Short break and chess again. In my closest plans, however, it's included an initiative to increase young people's interest in relation of the high technologies and the artificial intelligence, which will be held under my patronage in cooperation with IBM Bulgaria. I will do it because of my direct experience I know how important computers and high technologies are and will be for our future and the career development of the young people.

In a few days we will announce an essay contest among high school students from Sofia concerning a topic in the field of high technologies. The First five best students will form a representative team which will play a mini chess tournament/three games/against the IBM's supercomputer Blue Gene/P.

After each of the games I'm going to comment on the game and will give my advice to the young players. IBM Bulgaria will arrange for the finalists meetings with its leading experts to get them acquainted with the vast world of high technologies. If all goes as we imagine, the initiative will become annual.

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