Chessboxing in London’s East End
Report by Rajko Vujatovic and Tim Woolgar
Any chessplayers coming to spectate knew they were in for something different
when they entered the door of Bethnal Green Working Men’s club to be warmly
greeted by a colourfully robed transvestite cloakroom attendant. From then
on, they went upstairs to a dark atmospheric hall with ring centre-stage and
a cinema screen behind, which partially obscured the giant glittered heart at
the back of the stage, an indicator of the other types of events popular at
this hippest of London venues.
Jack the Ripper was never caught. Here we think we might’ve tracked
him down, causing mischief with a spray can in an East End alley close to where
he committed many gruesome murders.
The last few tickets available on the night were quickly snapped up to complete
the 150 strong capacity crowd, leaving the doormen having to turn away the disappointed
and the curious. There will be another opportunity soon – the next fights will
be at the same venue on Thursday 30 October 2008.
Backstage Crew in consultation at the pre-match rehearsal. The teenager
on the left is the UK’s best (only?) junior chessboxer, and is our big
hope for chessboxing gold at the 2016 Olympics.
The Master of Ceremonies is in fine form to whip up the crowd
Attention then focuses on the beautiful wooden board
Happy punters! Awaiting the action on the right is Phil Crocker, author
of the classic Kingpin article “How
to Write a Chess Book and Make Loads of Dosh”.
Rajko Vujatovic – chessboxing chess arbiter for the night
In the first bout the experienced chessboxer Sascha Wandkowsky bravely held
his own in the ring against the much taller rookie Hubert van Melick, and checkmated
the Dutchman with a king hunt in round seven.
Eyes glued on the board, Sascha Wandkowsky, left, and Hubert van Melick,
After the chess round comes the boxing
Lidl Richard, “straight from the German supermarket”, provided
energertic entertainment between bouts; he was also DJ at the post-fight disco
and is the other half of Hot Breath. Note the display board where van Melick’s
Kg5 was mated by Wandkowsky’s h6 pawn.
Then came the sensational heavyweight card…
||Stewart Telford, age 38, height 6 ft, weight 95 kg, reach 76 inches. Amateur
record: 5 wins 5 losses. Unrated at chess.
||Tim Woolgar, age 35, height 6 ft 2 inches, weight 92 kg, reach 77 inches.
Amateur record 1/1 (at middleweight). Unrated at chess.
Woolgar: We sat down to the chess and he played a very solid opening with the white
pieces. Straightaway I knew… it was not going to be a quick win on the
White: Stewart Telford
Black: Tim Woolgar
Time Control: 12 minutes per player for all moves
Notes by Rajko Vujatovic
1. e4 e5. “COME ON HARRY POTTER!!” shouts an entire row of fans. With
the beer in full flow, one can see how muggles can mistake the teenage wizard
for anyone with spectacles and a smart haircut. 2. Nf3 d6. The Philidor
Defence is a good choice for chessboxing. Black's opening is a little passive
but he will not be quickly checkmated!! 3. Nc3 Nf6 4.d3. White
also plays safe, not wanting to commit himself by advancing the pawn 2 squares. With
neither contestant having a chess rating or games in Chessbase, it’s impossible
to know what you’re up against! 4...Be6 5.Bg5 g6. “TAKE
HIS QUEEN!!” screamed a lady in the audience.
Round 1 is chess – Telford on the right prefers to play one-handed
6.Be2 Bg7. “TAKE HIS ROOK!!” barked a heavily tattooed 20 stone man
with whom I wouldn’t want to argue the legality of such a suggestion. 7.0-0
0-0. “CHECKMATE HIM HARRY!!” shouted a pin-striped stockbroker. As chess
arbiter I was relieved that if the headphones weren’t fully effective in blocking
the crowd’s heckles, they would fortunately be of limited assistance to the
heroic pugilists hunched over the 64 squares in the ring’s centre. 8.Qd2
Nbd7. So far all solid moves by both competitors – they have clearly
been working hard on chess opening principles. The pieces are out and the kings
are safely castled away. Nobody has blundered a piece! HOORAAAH! The opening
is about to transition to the middlegame, where each player will need to find
a plan of attack. We still don’t know how good they really are…have they been
spending five hours daily on the Playchess
Internet server to sharpen up for the night?! Have they ploughed through ‘Tal’s
Winning Chess Combinations’ to enhance their pattern recognition? Have they
diligently studied John Watson’s ‘Chess Strategy in Action’? Have they? HAVE
THEY?! Maybe they’re like Moneymaker, the poker player, who only ever played
on the Internet before winning the World Series?! We shall have to wait and
see… 9.Qe3. END OF ROUND 1. With military precision the backstage crew
remove the chess equipment in preparation for the hard part…at least from a
chessplayer’s perspective. Woolgar removes his spectacles.
The doctor in the background is on hand in case of a chessboard accident –
indeed Telford’s ear was nearly sliced off with a tangled cord when the
author of these lines attempted to ‘help’ him attach his headphones.
Woolgar: As the bell rings and we touch gloves it seems
all hell breaks loose outside the ring – the crowd are really up for this. I
was anticipating that my opponent, solidly built with a broad back and long
arms, to rush me, looking for a quick win. Instead he played a canny game, waltzing
around the outside and lining me up where the spotlights were blinding then
coming in with lightning fast hooks to the temple. He caught me a couple of
times and rocked me but I managed to respond with a perfect right uppercut which
landed on his jaw and made him think. Crowd has gone wild. Spurred on by the
noise we indulge in a bit of unscientific battering during which we both scored
heavily and suffered in equal proportion. The close-packed crowd, just inches
from the ring, may have been expecting something similar to a boxing “exhibition”
from two chess players. Instead they were getting pure Raging Bull aggression
live and in full-colour and they were loving it.
From the viewpoint of a novice boxer learning the basics, Telford’s game-plan
looked completely bonkers. His left hand was by his face – as I’ve been taught,
but his right hand was hanging down by his waist! Hey...shouldn’t he have BOTH
hands protecting his head?!! Isn’t he leaving himself open to be punched hard
in the face? Despite this funny defence, Telford was awesomely effective. Whenever
the taller Woolgar tried to hit him, the stocky Telford powerfully thrust his
body forward whilst swinging his right-hand with the coordination and reaction
speed of a Formula 1 driver. It was amazing to watch. All I can say is this
seems analogous to one of those hypermodern defences in chess, where you break
the classical rules but you can only get away with it if you are very precise
in how you counterattack. It’s what boxers call a counterpunching style. If
a classical style boxer fights a counterpuncher, you have an exciting fight
on your hands. However if two counterpunchers meet you might never get anything
happening – just imagine if two Ulf Andersson’s met over the chessboard.
The cunning Woolgar likes to face the giant board when boxing, and analyse between
Woolgar: Next round of chess I played deliberately and
carefully, not wanting to take any risks. I think we were both taking stock
of the situation and catching our breath.
9...Re8. Improving the position of the rook. Woolgar
has learnt to adopt grandmaster Jonathan Rowson's tip of "talking to his
pieces" to ask them where they want to be. In training, the Londoner has
demonstrated an ability to pick up abstract positional concepts; unusually his
positional grasp is way ahead of his tactical play, although with practice that
will undoubtedly catch up. So future opponents should watch out! 10.Qd2.
This is the third consecutive move with the queen straddling the two chess rounds.
A difference between the players is emerging – White is wasting time whilst
Black constructively improves his position. Both chessboxers were profusely
dripping sweat over the board rolling from their temples and the tips of their
noses; possibly this was the cause of the temperamental sensory display, which
was successfully tested earlier that evening but without sweat! 10...c6
11.Rfe1 d5. Woolgar takes control of the centre. 12.a3. White
has difficulty formulating a plan and instead makes a waiting move. 12...d4.
A critical point of the game, fixing the pawn structure in the centre with a
queenside space advantage. 13.Na4? Telford understandably doesn't want
to retreat the knight back to base camp, but makes a tactical misclaculation
13...Qc7? Woolgar fails to see it! 13...b5! traps the knight which has
no good squares to move to. For the next few turns both players remain blissfully
unaware of this possibility as their attention is focused on the other side
of the board. Over any of the next few moves White should give the knight a
retreat square with b4, whilst Black could win the knight with ...b5!
14.Bh4 Bg4 15.h3 Bxf3. The 150-strong crowd ROOOOOAAAAAARRS at
the first capture!! The evening is the largest paying audience for a chess game
in the UK since 2000, when Vladimir Kramnik defeated Gary Kasparov for the World
Chess Championship in West London. Such roars would not have been allowed there
– the grandmasters did not wear headphones. One cannot disagree that chessboxing
is a great way of popularising chess; likewise it also brings boxing to a new
audience, to appreciate it’s primarily about technique rather than brute strength.
The sport is in its infancy, but its increasing profile will undoubtedly lead
to a steadily increasing standard in both the chess and boxing. If we do some
rough and ready maths, including inactive players there are 20,000 players with
an Elo above 2200, 40,000 with an Elo above 2100. It’s fair to assume 20% are
of fighting age. Quite a few must’ve learnt boxing skills, maybe during military
service. When you consider the pool of chessplayers it’s inevitable the standard
will rise as the sport catches the public imagination. Likewise, if the profile
increases then top boxers will be motivated to try it out and work on their
chess. 16.gxf3. End of round three.
Telford vs Woolgar: Hmmm….now where do I put my queen?
Woolgar: As we prepared to go out for the next round
my cornerman, Bevis Allen, urged me to stay out of reach: “Make him miss, don't
worry about hitting him, just make him miss!” So that's what I did, with
some ease – just stayed lightly out of reach and watched various fists
whizzing past my jaw but not connecting. Technically it was probably the best
round of the fight, but from an action point of view it was a fairly quiet round
and a few shouts of “throw more punches!” and the like could be heard. Just
at the end I landed with a flurry of blows which probably did little real damage
but ensured that I carried the round. More chess followed in which he started to stall around a bit and I managed
to consolidate my position and open up a significant space advantage. It ended
with me winning a piece – to loud cheers.
16...Re6. Woolgar plays good positional moves, improving his pieces
to more aggressive squares, but he unfortunately continues to miss the tactical
point with ...b5! 17.Bg3 Nh5 18.Qb4 Bf8 19.Qd2 b5! AT LAST!!!!!! White's
futile queen sortie has focused Woolgar's attention to queenside possibilities.
20.Nc3 dxc3. End of round five. Black enters the boxing knowing
he is a piece up in the chess.
Woolgar: Bevis says “Great, you won the last (boxing)
round, you've got him worried, now go out there and make him miss again. This
time though, make him pay. Follow up and make him pay.” OK a simple plan and I'm feeling pretty good. A piece ahead and comfortable
in the ring. In fact, too comfortable. Inexperience or a failure to switch off from the chess? I don't know.
My concentration went. Suddenly I'm hearing the individual shouts from the audience,
demanding blood in ways that can’t be repeated on a family website like Chessbase.com.
I was distracted. Absurdly I was thinking, “That's not the sort of thing
I want to hear at my fight!” Although exactly what I was expecting, I have no
idea. Some sort of sporting sound-track from an old Basil Rathbone movie perhaps:
“Jolly good show! Oh I say what a corker!” and so on.
So while I'm thinking about all this and wondering what it means I find
myself once again in the spotlight and kerblammy! A straight right catches me
flush in the face. My head snaps back and there's a cloud of sweat droplets
framed for an instant like an explosive halo around me head. I fall back, crack,
a left hook lands on my temple and I'm up against the ropes and clinging on
like I've fallen in love. The ref calls on us to break it up and coming out
of the clinch I whop him one on the jaw and get told off for it. Bad Timmy. Telford
doesn't complain too much though but comes straight back at me and tries to
finish me off – I have a massive swelling under my left eye and he goes
for it with the intent of opening up a cut which would end proceedings right
there. Another right hook which I duck and follow up with a one-two to the ribs
and he backs off to his corner and covers up. I step back, pick my spot and
land a right hook to his liver before backing off. Both licking our wounds we
fight to the end of the round via a series of sudden lunging assaults and desperate
In the break the ref and the doctor are concerned about the swelling but
as Bevis points out, it's under the eye and we convince them to let the fight
The announcements for each round were not an unpopular feature of the evening.
This delightful young lady also sings and dances, and is one half of spandex-clad
pop duo Hot Breath. The GBCBO social calendar includes an eagerly awaited trip
to see Hot Breath perform.
Another popular choice of costume, this time with a rainbow theme. Chess
organisers all over the world should consider emulating this service –
perhaps to announce the end of individual time controls?!
Woolgar: Make no bones about it, I was hurt me and knew
he'd come close to putting me on the canvas at least a couple of times. What
followed was by far the toughest round for me and at times the board looked
a completely alien concept. I had to force myself to make moves, sometimes almost
without a conscious purpose simply to keep my opponent's clock ticking.
Both of us slowing down.
21.bxc3 a5 22.Qd1 Bh6 23.c4. End of round seven. And that's
Woolgar: It's the eighth round now, and we are going out for our fourth session
of boxing. As he forces my hands into the gloves Bevis tells me urgently: “Those
hooks have got to be going over your head, GOT TO alright?” Alright. But easier
said than done. By this point I'm thinking: if I can't dodge them –
which I couldn't – I am just going to have to stop him throwing any more.
As the bell rang everything else was blotted out, the chess, the crowd
the noise. It was just me and a raw desire to survive and attack. For the first
time I managed to pin my opponent against the ropes with my back to the stage
lights. I seized the moment to launch a blizzard of punches and had the satisfaction
of feeling most of them strike something hard. He caught me again on the eye
but I ignored it, backed up, steadied then launched into him again – fighting
purely on instinct and giving it everything. He fought back but by now his punches
began to lack bite and as much as I would have liked to avoid them, at least
they weren't landing with the same force. I thought about all the miles I'd
run to prepare myself for this and knew that I wasn't going to slow down. Not
now. It was a good round for me and by the end he was looking like he had plenty
to think about. I'd taken the best he had and I was still there punching at
the bell. Crowd going mental at this stage. Still the swelling under my eye was looking bad, like a golf ball, and
my corner was aware that there was every chance of the last round being called
Bevis, taking my gloves off, very purposeful: “Right you've got
him checkmate haven't you”
Me: “Er, what?”
Bevis: “You've got him haven't you?”
“Well... I might have.”
“You HAVE got him, so checkmate him. DO IT!”
And with these words ringing in my ears (along with a few church bells
and tweety birds) I sat down and concentrated hard.
23…Qb6. Setting a fiendish trap. 24.Rb1? Telford doesn't see
it! 24...Nxg3! High drama at this point. Telford wanted to
recapture with 25.fxg3 but the arbiter swoops in to stop the clock and demonstrate
that this is an illegal move! UK Chessboxing rules have been deeply thought
out and differ from FIDE blitz laws in several respects. One is that an illegal
move doesn't forfeit the game, since there is an expectation that the paying
public is entertained. On the flipside, the arbiter will not permit an illegal
move to go unnoticed. A time penalty will be incurred on the second illegal
move, whilst a third one will forfeit the game. Another UK ChessBoxing rule
is that draw offers are not allowed unless the position is a dead draw –
the game needs to be played out to its logical conclusion. You can't offer a
draw half way through a boxing bout, so why should you do so in the chess game?!!
And before I get thousands of emails that was a rhetorical question…as a
avid visitor to this website I know how much excitement is generated by the
topic of draw offers!
25.Kg2 Nxe2 26.Rxe2. Black is now a comfortable two
pieces up, and has the chess game in the bag. But does he need to survive another
three minutes of boxing? 26...Rf6 27.Kf1? White is still shell-shocked
by Woolgar's killer blow on move 24, like a body shot followed by a right hook
to the head. 27...Rxf3 28.Re1?? Still shellshocked, this is now looking
more like suicide chess. Telford might've just been able to hang on for another
boxing round, but... 28...Qxf2!! mate.
For the second time in five moves White was oblivious to the long range diagonal
threat of the black queen. White’s downhill cascade in fortune is somewhat a
surprise compared to the rest of the game, but I think the answer lies in Jonathan
Rowson's superb chess psychology book "The Seven Chess Deadly Sins".
I suggest that because the emotions in chessboxing are hugely more powerful
than those in chess, so the chance of a “neural hijacking” is far more likely!!
And after a thrilling contest the winner by checkmate in the ninth is…WOOLGARRRRRR!!!!
A neural hijacking occurs when you 'lose the plot', you 'don't know what came
over you'. It was researched by Dr Jospeh Le Doux in his book The
Emotional Brain (1998). We can lose our rational faculties if we are swamped
by emotion. From what I observed I think Stewart Telford might have experienced
one of these after 24...Nxg3! His face and entire body expressed a state of
shock and despair, he was emotionally ‘tipped over the edge’.
As polymath Rowson explains, “during an emotional avalanche a centre in the
limbic brain proclaims an emergency, recruiting the rest of the brain to its
urgent agenda… This has a survival advantage in evolutionary terms because
we react to danger before being consciously aware of it… our brains detect 'emergencies'
without our consent and we experience a neural shortcut that allows the amyglada
to take control of our response while the neocortex is still coming to a decision”.
So now you know!!
This might also explain why Frank ‘Anti-Terror’ Stoldt shockingly blundered
his queen to lose his light heavyweight world title in Berlin this summer. After
the fight Woolgar himself felt he had a neural hijacking in round 7 after a
difficult boxing round in the 6th. Fortunately for him, he managed to take
things very slowly until he regained composure…so he probably didn’t really
have one since he WAS in control but he did have one of those “Oh my lordy,
what do I do now!” experiences.
Woolgar: And as he plays bad move after bad move I polish
him off less than half-a-dozen moves. Checkmate! And it was over! Wild
applause and cheering! Stewart Telford was a wily and tough opponent and there
were times when it seemed to onlookers that the battle could have gone either
way. In the end I felt the benefit of my training regime, which included a daily
five mile run, two hours in the gym and an hour of chess. This helped me at
the crucial time to recover quicker and maintain the clarity of focus that is
so easily lost in the heat of battle.
What a fantastic buzz, and I as the founder of the GBCBO took the opportunity
to award myself the title of UK Heavyweight ChessBoxing champion on the spot.
Hopefully there will be no shortage of challengers over the coming months!
After the bouts were over the boxing ring turned into a dance floor until two
a.m., where the dancers made creative use of the ropes. Unfortunately there
is no video footage of the avant-garde interpretation of Night Fever that the
dinner-suited author of these lines spontaneously performed with the leotard
So an excellent evening was had by all! The next event on 30 October will
be even better, but it will not be bigger – at least as regards the crowd.
The big budget German chessboxing shows are brilliant and professionally organised,
but I was pleasantly surprised that the London event had something else… a rawness
that only comes with a smaller venue.
Links and References
ChessBase articles on boxing and chess
||The Russians are coming – in chessboxing
09.07.2008 – Having enjoyed recent success
in soccer, basketball and ice hockey, Russia is now also able to boast
a world champion in the little-known sport of chessboxing. Russia's Nikolai
Sazhin, a 19-year-old mathematics student from the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk,
defeated light heavyweight defending champion Frank Stoldt, a 37-year-old
policeman from Germany, to lift the world
chess boxing title.
||Chessboxing World Championship 2008 in Berlin
03.07.2008 – In October there is one between
Anand and Kramnik in Bonn. But that will be peaceful compared
to the World Championship that is scheduled in Berlin this weekend. There
four minutes of chess are interspersed with three minutes of violent pugilistic
activities. We bring you photos and videos – and we also found out what
FIDE President Kirsan
Ilyumzhinov thinks about this sport.
||American fighter takes on German champ in Chessboxing
14.10.2007 – David “Double D” Depto and “Anti
Terror” Frank Stoldt will meet for the World Championship in Chessboxing.
Six rounds of speed chess and five rounds of boxing will take place alternatingly.
In a maximum of eleven rounds, the decision will come either through K.O.
or check mate. The match takes place on November 3rd 2007 in Berlin, Germany.
||Vladimir Kramnik: World Championship Chess (and boxing)
12.07.2007 – After winning the Dortmund Super-GM
Vladimir Kramnik travelled to Hamburg to produce his first DVD in the
ChessBase Media System, recording over six hours of video material that
traces his path to the top of the chess world. After finishing he rushed
to Cologne to support his chess playing friend Vladimir Klitschko, who
was defending his world championship title in boxing. Pictorial
||Chess playing boxer Klitschko retains heavyweight title
12.03.2007 – Vladimir Klitschko is a Ukrainian
IBF heavyweight world boxing champion with a PhD in sports science and
an avid interest in chess. On Saturday he fought American challenger Ray
Austin and dropped him with a flurry of left hooks 87 seconds into the
second round. Next people hope to see a unification fight against WBC
champion Nikolai Valuev. Watch
||The kick boxing women's chess champion
13.12.2006 – The winner of the Ukrainian Women's
Championship 2006 was not one of the very strong top seeds, but WGM Oksana
Vozovic, a law student who is also a kick boxer and karate champion. Oksana,
who won the women's chess title on tiebreak points, is still trying to
decide which area of expertise she will pursue professionally. Illustrated
report by GM Mikhail Golubev.
||Chessboxing on ESPN, Playboy and Maxim
27.06.2006 – This unusual sport, in which two
competitors face each other in 11 alternating rounds, six of chess, five
of boxing, is rapidly gaining popularity. You know that is the case when
you see chessboxing on the front page of a leading sports web site, and
as a major story in a number of men's magazines. Check out the ESPN
||Klitschko checkmates Byrd to win IBF title
24.04.2006 – Vladimir Klitschko, the younger
of the world champion heavyweight boxing brothers, took the new International
Boxing Federation title on Friday night, defeating Chris Byrd of the US
by technical knockout in the seventh round. The Klitschkos are great chess
fans and promised their friend Vladimir Kramnik, who was present at the
fight, to attend
||Kramnik on boxing, Fischer, Kasparov and Einstein
08.05.2005 – "Everything is relative," says
the classical chess world champion in a long interview conducted with
German chess journalist Dagobert Kohlmeyer. In high spirits during a preparation
session for the Super-GM in Sofia Vladimir Kramnik speaks candidly about
his many interests and the situation at the top of the chess world. Includes
one historic game.
||Chess Champion Talks Boxing|
01.03.2005 – We have always known that the
two have a lot in common. Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik and co., they are so
very close to Lewis, Spinks, De La Hoya, the Klitschkos. Brain and brawn,
the perfect match. An article in the Black Athlete Sports Network confirms
our views. Here's the story and some philosophical musings on chess
and boxing champions
77 days to go for the classical chess world championship between Vladimir
Kramnik and Peter Leko (Sept. 25 to Oct 18 2004 in Brissago). The sponsors,
the Swiss tobacco manufacturer Dannemann, have announced that the boxing
champs Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko will be visiting the match. Press
day for chess players
Muscles and chess are not mutually exclusive. We know that heavyweight
and Klitschko are fans, but now we hear that superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger
plays chess between shoots. This was revealed by a Spanish newspaper,
and we found further evidence on a German chess site. Unfortunately your
incompetent reporter let the biggest
fish get away.
players slug it out in Los Angeles
Tonight two chess players are playing a World Championship match in Los
Angeles. Not with knights and pawns but boxing gloves. The contenders
are Dr. Viatly Klitschko, chess fan from the Ukraine, and Britain's Lennox
Lewis, the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World, who is possibly
the stronger chess player. Tip: you can watch this match free (in Europe)!
Links and details are here...
Camp supports school chess team
We know that, just like the
Klitschkos, world heavyweight champion Lennox
Lewis is an avid chess fan. In fact Lewis actually adopted an elementary
school team and donated $14,000 towards their chess training. Now the
The Oakhaven Lennox Lewis Chess Team has repayed him with a first
place in the USCF National Elementary Championships in Nashville. More...
Boxing: the Tokyo Fight
Last year Iepe the Joker won the World Chess Boxing Championship. Now
Iepe (29, 1.80m, 74kg) has defended his title against a Japanese challenger,
Soichiro the Cho-Yabai (22, 1.77m, 70kg) in a bout staged at the famous
"Time & Style" venue in Tokyo. Pictorial
thought we were making it up?
"Is it April 1st?", a number of readers asked. Chess boxing? Putting players
in a boxing ring for chess and boxing? The crowd screaming for blood and
piece sacrifices? Our recent
report described the setup, now the organisers have sent us a report
and pictures to prove that they are really serious about this
boxing: Kramnik vs Klitschko?
Is chess too boring for you? Those crafty Dutchies have found a way to
finally resolve the impasse in the chess world. Put the players in a boxing
ring, let them play for four minutes and then duke 'em up for a round
with the gloves. Hmmm, Vladimir Kramnik loses badly to Vitaly Klitchko
in the FIDE classical world chess boxing championship final? We
are not joking.
Magazine on 'Brawn and brains'
He's 6 foot 8 1/4" (2,00 m) and packs 245 lbs (112 kg) of pure muscle.
Like his brother he is a professional boxer – and a keen chess player.
31, is challenging Lennox Lewis, heavyweight champ of the World Boxing
Council early next year. To a boxing match and a game of chess. Contrary
to the Time
Magazine report we believe that Lewis will win – the chess game,
chess player climbs into the ring
We told you about Lennox Lewis's love of chess (see 09.06.2002 below).
On Saturday another brainy boxer, Wladimir Klitschko, will fight for the
WBO Heavyweight Title in Atlantic City – with Garry Kasparov watching.
In a future match against Lewis, Klitschko has suggested the two should
play a game of chess before the fight – with Garry Kasparov watching.
Lewis beats Tyson with white (shorts)
Last night the British heavy-weight champion Lennox Lewis masterfully
defeated Mike Tyson. Lewis is not just physically awesome, he is also
a cerebral human being who loves nothing more than a good game of chess.
"I see him sitting there for ten minutes thinking four moves ahead before
he makes one," says his baffled trainer Emmanuel Steward. A year ago Lewis
took on Telegraph editor Dominic Lawson in chess. You will find a vivid
description of their two-game fight
up to Lennox Lewis
Everyone knows that Lennox Lewis is the undisputed heavyweight boxing
champion of the world, but also an obsessive chessplayer. Last week Lewis
might have lost the chance to defend his title against Mike Tyson (after
the former champion was stripped of his licence for trying to eat Lennox's
leg at a press conference), so instead he decided to accept the challenge
of a Telegraph editor Dominic Lawson to a battle over the 64 squares
of the chessboard. You will find a vivid description of the two-game match
definitely do not want to hide this man's chess set|
When trainer Emmanuel Steward wants to get Lennox Lewis upset and in the
right frame of mind for a big fight, he hides the Briton's chess set.
This is what he did ahead of Saturday's heavyweight title fight rematch
with Hasim Rahman. "I honestly don't like him playing chess,'' moaned
Steward, ''I mean I see him sitting there for ten minutes thinking four
moves ahead before he makes one. And he actually does the same thing in
the ring – he thinks to much.'' Steward, who has worked with many world
champions, has often criticized Lewis for being too cautious, for treating
a fight as if it were a game of chess -- becoming too cerebral and not
physical enough. More...