Chess players slug it out in Los Angeles

by ChessBase
6/21/2003 – 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...

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News flash: The match was won by Lennox Lewis under controversial circumstances. After six rounds Vitaly Klitschko was leading by points on all three scorecards, but the Ukraine had a bad cut above his left eye. The ring doctor interrupted the bout before round seven and Lewis was declared winner by TKO. Klitschko has demanded and Lewis agreed to a rematch. Here is a full report by CNN.
Lennox Lewis

Lennox Claudius Lewis of Great Britain is the undisputed heavyweight camp, with the IBO, WBC and WBA title belts in his possession. He learnt boxing at High School in Canada, but excelled at many other sports including basketball, volleyball, track and field, American football and soccer. His boxing career started with his first gold medal win at the World Junior Championship in 1983 and a silver in 1984 at the Olympic games.

Lennox turned professional in 1989 and went on to win the European title in 1990 against Jean Chanet. He followed this up with the British Commonwealth Heavyweight Championship in 1992 against Derek Williams. Lewis was officially crowned WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World on 14th January 1993, when he also became the first British Heavyweight World Champion this Century!

In September 1994 Lennox unexpectedly lost his WBC Title to what many experts have called a lucky punch thrown by Oliver McCall of the USA at Wembley Stadium in London. On 7th February 1997, Lennox Lewis became the first British boxer to regain the world title when he defeated Oliver McCall, for the World Boxing Council Heavyweight Title.

Taking on all comers with defences against Andrew Golota, Tommy Morrison, Henry Akinwande, Evander Holyfield, Frans Botha and David Tua to name a few. In April 2001 Lewis lost his title to Hasim Rahman in South Africa, only to regain it in a revenge match soon after. On June 8th, 2002, he scored a demoralizing round eight KO victory over Iron Mike Tyson.

Vitaly Klitschko

Vitali was born in Belovodsk, Kyrgyzstan, on July 19, 1971. He has a PhD in Sport Science and Philosophy, lists politics, music, computer, kite surfing, diving as his main interests and hobbies. Favourite leasure activity: chess. He loves pancakes with curds, carrot juice, photography, Steve Martin, Julia Roberts and chess. He is married and has a two-year-old son.

Vitaly is 6' 8 1/4" (2,00 m) tall, weighs 245 lbs (112 kg), has a 46 1/2" (118 cm) chess, a 78" (198 cm) reach and 17 1/2" (43,5 cm) biceps. Vladimir is 6' 6" (1,98 m) tall, weighs 243 lbs (110 kg), has a 47 inch chess (118 cm), a 79" (200 cm) reach and 18" (44,5 cm) biceps. Vitaly has a professional record of 29 fight, losing one and winning 28 by K.O. Vladimir has fought 39 bouts, lost just one, and won 36 by K.O.

In October 2002 the Klitschko brothers Vitaly and Wladimir visited the ChessBase office in Hamburg. The reason they gave on their web site at the time was that, a day before the final round of the $1 million Man vs Machine event in Bahrain, their friend chess world champion Vladimir Kramnik had enlisted their help to wear down the machine. So they organised a pre-bout sparring with Fritz.

Playing on the Fritz Server against the program in Bahrain, Vitali proved that his "Punching Professor" tag is more than just a stage name! He almost took the machine over the full distance. "It may have been a points decision for Deep Fritz, but the computer at least had its pride dented."

The Klitschko brothers Vitaly and Vladimir play against Fritz in the ChessBase office

These two multilingual PhD-toting heavyweight boxers love to relax with chess

The match
  • Place: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Date: Saturday, June 21, 2003,
  • Time: 3:00 p.m. Western = 23:00h London, 24:00 Paris/Berlin
  • Prices: Concourse level $75-150, premier level $250-375, loge level $250-950, floor level $700-950.
TV coverage

The Lewis-Klitschko match will be covered on Pay-TV channels all over the world. The second German channel ZDF will cover the event free and unencryped from 23:00 to 06:00h. The fight is scheduled to start at 04:00 a.m. In the build-up the ZDF program will show portraits and scenes from previous fights. The program is also transmitted on the ASTRA-1H and 2C satellite (transponder 33, frequenz 10,96425 GHz, polarisation horisontal, receiver 1.214 MHz, Norm: uncoded Pal.

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