Boxing World Championship
This is the real thing, no holds barred. Iepe the Joker vs. Luis the Lawyer,
Germany versus Holland. The two WCBO-title candidates are supermotivated to
sweep their opponent from the board and the ring. Iepe 'The Joker' (29) in
everyday life is a well known artist in Berlin. His opponent Luis 'The Lawyer'
(30) is a lawyer in Amsterdam. The two Chessboxers each weigh 75 kilogramm,
have been doing hard work training for months, and can't await fighting for
the title of World Champion at the Amsterdam pop-temple 'Paradiso'.
Press conference before the world championship
Iepe (1,80m) is coached by the two Germans Jan Schulz (chess) and Johnny
Camara (boxing); Luis (1,85m) has support from the Netherlands by the Vice
World Champion in Kickboxing Richard van Altena and chesstrainer Herre Trujillo.
The course of the world championship match
Iepe the Joker won in the 11th and last round of the match, which is a chess
round (the match starts with four minutes of chess, followed by two minutes
of boxing, then chess again, and boxing, etc; max 6 rounds chess, 5 rounds
boxing). Luis the Lawyer ran out of time and his flag fell.
Why don't the games in Linares and Wijk start like this?
The match had two faces: Iepe was much better in boxing than Luis who seemed
somewhat paralysed by the tension – overconcentration probably. But Luis
was better than Iepe in chess: Luis with the white pieces allegedly punished
Iepe for his opportunistic play, and had the advantage of one piece and two
pawns. His problem: time. It took him too much time to win his chess game.
This added to the drama. People knew Luis could win his chess game with a few
more moves, but he didn't make it (chess commentators informed the audience
about the game, the moves, right ones, bad ones, whose position was better
etc., the audience could see the time of a big screen as well as the digital
They start with the fisticuffs part of the boxing chess world championship
Same thing for the boxing: the drama lay in the fact that Luis 'just' needed
to survive the boxing. But he got quite a few hits. The referee gave him two
counts to eight to make sure he was okay (a third eight counts would have mean
technical knock-out and the end of the match). But Luis survived the boxing
and had one more round of chess left to win the world title – but alas,
mind and body refused to make the right moves in time...
Then comes the more cerebral part, with board, pieces and chess clock
About the crowd: the Paradiso in Amsterdam was packed with around
800 people. The atmosphere was great, people were curious and willing to see
the unexpected. It was in the air that something new was happening. During
the evening the cheering of the crowds grew, and there was lots of excitement.
During the main program, the match between Iepe and Luis, you could feel the
tension that came along with the match. Who would win, chances in the hands
of both players. The crowd was diverse: people from both chess and boxing world
were present (officials, players, chess- and boxlovers), as well as young and
nightlife people and people from the artworld. A nice blend of people which
was exactly the idea: to bring together certain worlds and cultures that are
seemingly different, but then again have more in common than one would think.
Instant replay projection on giant screens above the ring
About the future: A chess-boxclub will be established in Berlin this
spring – the first one. Training programs will be developed for this
new sport. New chess-boxers need to be recruited soon. In Berlin, but also
in the rest of Europe and the world. Who will challenge the world champion?
New chess-boxing galas are planned to be organised in Tokio and Berlin –
and who knows: in Athens during the Olympic Games?
And then it's back to bloodying your opponent's face
What more to know? Perhaps I should stress that this event was organised with
support of the Royal Dutch Chess Association (KNSB) and the Dutch Boxing Organisation
(NBB). They have been part of the process in its early stages and, for example,
took part when the rules of this new sport were developed. Perhaps it's interesting
to mention the old Latin saying 'mens sana in corpore sanem' (healthy in mind
and body) which intentionally goes with this new sport. And also the WCBO's
credo: fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board!
A study in pugilist concentration. The headphones are to keep out the noise
of an unruly crowd that is screaming for piece sacrifices.
To conclude: until January 12th there will be an exhibition about the WCBO
and the 1st world championship in Showroom
Mama in Rotterdam. Some people tend to forget: Iepe is an artist to begin
The triumph of the winner, who won on time after two knockdowns with counts