Wladimir Klitschko plays chess with the FT

Wladimir Klitschko plays chess with the FT


[MUSIC PLAYING] This is cagey, Wladimir,
waiting each other out before any big move. Yeah. Yeah, the first mistake
is going to be the last. [BOTH LAUGH] It’s not every day you get to
play chess with a former world heavyweight boxing champion,
Wladimir Klitschko– one more heavyweight title
belt than any boxer in history. But now he wants to project
the air of a deep thinker, hence our game of chess, not
that he has much to prove. He speaks four languages and
has a PhD in sports science. Klitschko thinks his experience
as a boxer can be transferred to politics and business. And he’s created an
organisational theory dubbed challenge management. I like to take time before
a move, if you don’t mind. Klitschko boxed
behind a powerful jab. He made it difficult for
opponents to get near to him while he probed for weaknesses. Can I say that your chess style
is very much like your boxing style? Yeah. Yeah. No mistakes– keep
the opponent away. You’re not allowed to
make mistakes in boxing. No, you’re going to
feel it right away– consequence. Getting punched in the
mouth is a good consequence. In boxing, you
feel it right away. It’s not going to
take a long time. After a few moves, I realised
Klitschko was a chess novice just like me. Neither of us
noticed for some time that our king and queen
pieces were set out on the wrong squares. Would you ever talk to
your opponent in the ring? Like Ali? [CHUCKLES] No. I’ve been bitten. Were you bitten? Yeah. I didn’t know that. By who? An [? amateur. ?] That’s crazy. Yeah. Then I was a little talkative. [BOTH LAUGH] With time running out, we
switched to blitz chess where moves have to
be made in seconds. Klitschko makes a first
mistake, losing his queen. I sense victory. But in haste, I
move my queen right in the path of one of his pawns. I can see the game. Klitschko wins. The champ appears
genuinely elated and even takes a photograph
of the final board. With the need for
focus and endurance, Klitschko reckons chess helped
him in his sporting life and will help in his
next career in business.

4 thoughts on “Wladimir Klitschko plays chess with the FT

  1. Holy shit they played with a genuine ebony & boxwood Jaques chessmen by Alfred Dunhill of England. Circa 1925 style. Extremely nice chessmen.

  2. They are playing with the board the wrong way around. Every Chess Junior knows the rule that the square on the right must be white.

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