Another chess player climbs into the ring

6/28/2002 – 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. More

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On Saturday night (10:00 p.m. NY; 02:00 GMT; 04:00 Paris) Wladimir Klitschko fights Ray "Merciless" Mercer for the WBO World Heavyweight Title in Atlantic City, USA. Garry Kasparov will be there as a front-row guest of Wladimir.

Garry Kasparov with his friends, the Klitschkos. Garry's the little guy in the middle.

Wladimir was born on March 25, 1976, in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, but grew up in the Ukraine. Today he lives in Hamburg, Germany. He speaks four languages fluently: Ukrainian, Russian, English and German. Wladimir has earned a doctorate in physical education from the University of Kiev. Full biographies are available on the official Klitschko web site.

Wladimir Klitschko in fighting mode...

Both Wladimir and his brother Vitali are enthusiastic chess players, as we discovered in an encounter last year in Leipzig. There the two played a consultation game against WGM Elisabeth Pähtz (blindfold) and later took part in a simul given by Garry Kasparov. You can read about this in the multimedia report of ChessBase Magazine 83 Extra.

Interestingly Wladimir's ultimate opponent, World Champion Lennox Lewis, is also a chess player (see our news report from 09.06.2002). Klitschko has said that if he ever fights Lewis he wants to play chess with him just before the bout, while Garry Kasparov watches. "Never in history have two fighters played chess before the fight," he said. "Chess is the mental part. Then we fight. That is the physical part." See the full report "Ukrainian's eye on Lewis' title" in USA Today.

... and relaxed with friends in Atlantic City




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