|Photograph copyright © 2005 World Chess Championship Press|
Vesеlin Topalov was born on 15 March 1975 in Rousse, Bulgaria. He learned to play chess from his grandfather at the age of 5. Since chess had been quite a popular sport in Bulgaria at the time, Veselin had good environment to learn, train and improve his chess talent as a kid. His first coach was Dimitar Sinabov with whom he trained until he was 10. From the age of 11 until the age of 16 his coach was IM Petko Atanasov and when he was 16, he started to work with IM Silvio Danailov.
He became a Grandmaster in 1992. He has been leading the Bulgarian national team from 1994. Since 1996 he has been in the top 10 of the rating list almost without interruption, being number 1 as highest a total of 27 months.
His major accomplishment was becoming World Champion in 2005 after winning the World Championship 2005 in Potrero de los Funes, San Luis, Argentina.
In the same year he was awarded the 2005 Chess Oscar and was elected Sportsperson and person of the year 2005 in Bulgaria.
Veselin Topalov has been an active personal donator for campaigns that helped children and has promoted the game of chess for free in exhibitions in many different countries of Europe.
He has collaborated with the Bulgarian Red Cross campaigns and is a freewill Ambassador of the Medical University in Sofia.
Veselin Topalov regards chess as a game which aids a person to develop at many levels. His spirit of a winner is best reflected in his attacking and aggressive style of playing. By embracing innovative ideas not only regarding playing, but also the changes and additions in the chess rules, he contributes to the chess upgrading.