Alexander Ipatov: How to conquer fear

6/24/2013 – What is the most dangerous thing you have done as a chess grandmaster? Taking the b2-pawn in a Najdorf? Well, here's a young fellow who is willing to go further. Alexander Ipatov, 19, Junior World Champion, took a bungy leap from the Macau Tower, plunging from the tower's outer rim, 233 meters above the ground. It is all caught in a stomach-churning video. Watch it if you dare.

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How to conquer fear: bungy jumping from Macau Tower!

By Alexander Ipatov

A few days ago I did the craziest thing in my life: I jumped from one of the world’s highest bungy jump platform – 233 meters! It was from the Macau Tower, located in the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, just 60 km away from Hong Kong.

Here's what Macau Tower looks from the outside

The entrance, where lifts zip you up to the different levels

The view of Macau from the observation deck...

... and looking down – not something for the faint-hearted

At 233 meters, the Macau Tower's tethered "skyjump" by AJ Hackett from the tower's outer rim, is the second highest commercial skyjump in the world (after Vegas' Stratosphere skyjump at 260 meters). What was the reason to jump? I feel like I had more than few reasons, for example:

  • To challenge myself and make my mind stronger: Richard Branson said "Obviously, from our own personal point of view, the principal challenge is a personal challenge." I’ve been thinking about that phrase and agree that there is no other way to grow as a personality then by constantly challenging ourselves and extending our limits!

  • To make the world understand that professional chess players are not only the guys who spend all their time at chess board. Chess lacks marketing nowadays, so maybe this is one of the ways how to attract sponsor’s attention to chess: a blitz game, jump, one more blitz game, jump, etc? Not for open tournaments, but could have some logic for top closed events.

  • To try completely new experience in my life.

I really hope, that similar extremal actions made by chess professionals could attract media’s attention. We have to admit, that our game is boring and we must look for unexplored ways how to get new sponsors and investors for chess. Proving my words: my jump was mentioned on half a page in South China Morning Post, one of the most popular newspapers in English in Hong Kong.

So here we go:

Video of the Ipatov jump from Macau Tower

We urge you to select HD on your Youtube player (with the little cog wheel on the bottom right) and switch to Full screen mode. If you can connect your computer to a big flat screen that is even better. We watched this video on a 55 inch Panasonic and are still dizzy from the experience. Next time, Alexander: 3D! That will really kill them!

And what do you look like immediately after such a jump? Like this. If you are 19.

And what do you get for your effort? The above certificate.

Special thanks to Caissa Chess Club Hong Kong for sponsoring this jump and my stay in Macau!


Last August Alexander Ipatov won the FIDE World Junior Championship in Greece

Alexander was born in Ukraine on July 16th 1993. He was four times Vice-Champion of Ukraine among boys under 10 years (2003), under 14 (2007), under 16 and 20 (2008, he was just 14 at the time!). He got titles Master of Sports of Ukraine and International Master at the age of 15, and Grandmaster at 17. His first major feat was the second place at the international chess tournament Le Mans (France, 2008). While commenting the World Chess Championship live in Sofia he won the strong Sofia Blitz Championship and from there his success followed one after the other. A few months later IM Ipatov won a bronze medal and GM norm at Cappelle La Grande (with 573 participants and 80 GMs) and the same year came his final GM norm in Nakhchivan with equal points as Vallejo, Sokolov, and Almasi. Early in 2012 Ipatov was attracted by the Turkish Chess Federation and the same year he brought the first gold from World Junior Championships to the country. Apart from native Russian and Ukrainian languages, speaks fluently in English and Spanish.

Visit the blog of Alexander Ipatov, "Traveller & World Junior Chess Champion 2012"


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