Anand wants chess title match postponed

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland could affect the biggest chess event of the year — this week's world championship match between Viswanathan Anand of India and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

The match was scheduled to begin April 23 in Sofia. But defending champion Anand, stranded in Frankfurt since Saturday, says he's asked the World Chess Federation to postpone the match at least three days.

Anand said in an e-mail to the Associated Press that it would take 28 hours to reach Sofia by train and he wouldn't be "in a mental state to play immediately after traveling such a distance."

But the President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation Stefan Sergiev said Monday it was impossible to postpone the opening ceremony due to commercial contracts.