Judgment day for chess players

by ChessBase
8/5/2003 – Muscles and chess are not mutually exclusive. We know that heavyweight champions Lewis and Klitschko are fans, but now we hear that superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger plays chess between shoots. This was revealed by a Spanish newspaper, and we found further evidence on a German chess site. Unfortunately your incompetent reporter let the biggest fish get away.

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Spanish journalist David Llada found the details of Schwarzenegger's chess affinity in an interview carried by the newspaper El Periódico in which the third version of the Terminator explains how he keeps fit after massive heart surgery. 25 years ago he would slip into the gym and work out during every break, just to keep awake. But at 56 this is no longer possible. So what does he do? "I play chess. If I read I fall asleep. So I use chess to keep my mind awake. Every game is a stimulation of my brain cells, it feeds my mind."

Further evidence for Schwarzenegger's interest in the game is evident in two pictures we found in the archives of the Schachklub 1858 Gießen e.V.

The caption reads "Arnold Schwarzenegger?" Quite obviously it is – just look at the shape of the man and the gym machine he is sitting on.

Here's a second picture of the chess game. If anyone knows when and where these pictures were taken, and who the opponent was, please write to us. The feedback link is on the left. The subject should be "Schwarzenegger chess".

Arnie and Garry

Actually we know for certain that Schwarzenegger is a chess fan. Recently we found some pictures of him lying on a table in Garry Kasparov's hotel suite. Arnie had his arm around Garry's shoulder, the two were clearly good buddies. We asked Kasparov for the pictures, but he said they were "private" and not for publication. And your wimpy, bungling reporter was too chicken to simply steal one. That's aggressive journalism for you.


  • Schwarzenegger's Chess Battles
    Arnold Schwarzenegger loves passing time on film sets playing chess – and he takes the game very seriously. Co-star Nick Stahl reveals that Arnie set up a chess playing haven in his trailer during the shoot of the sci-fi sequel – but he was too intimidated to take on Schwarzenegger at the intellectual game. "Arnold is a huge chess player. I was too freaked out to play with him, but I was in his trailer and he has two chairs around his chess table, one of which says 'Winner' and one of which says 'Loser'. And anyone who comes in has to sit in the 'Loser' chair. He takes it quite seriously."

  • Schwarzenegger feels more pain
    Chess keeps him alert during the night shoots that are routine in action movies. He suffered a few defeats to stuntmen but often returned the favor. While some Hollywood mavens doubt his bankability at this point, few would question his competitive streak. "You want to win or lose?" he says. "You only have two options, so I'd rather win."

  • Inside Arnold's trailer
    "We entered Schwarzenegger's luxurious personal movie trailer, decorated as a mobile mini-mansion, complete with giant Sony TV, bathroom, kitchen, chess set and the great wall of Maria and family photos. As I entered, it appeared a match of wits between four-year-old son Christopher and papa Terminator was just wrapping. 'He knows chess and knows all the moves and he takes lessons. He's a champion!' said Arnold. 'He amazed me this morning. He was sitting in the corner and I was asking him in German 'what's 1 and 2' and all the way up to 10 and he had all the answers... and he's just four years old.'"

    Another muscular chess player: IM Boris Kreiman

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