"The Terminator" vs. "The Incredible Hulk"

by André Schulz
1/16/2024 – Arnold Schwarzenegger is well known for his love of chess. The Terminator actor and former governor of California has now found a chess partner who is also a physical match for him - "The Incredible Hulk". | Photo: Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger started his career as a bodybuilder ("Mister Olympia") and then, thanks to his imposing looks, became a successful actor in Hollywood. Schwarzenegger had his first successes in the 1980s as the title character in the sandal movies "Conan the Barbarian" and "Conan the Destroyer". Several comedies followed, including "Twins" and "The Kindergarten Cop". He also starred in Dutch director Paul Verhoeven's sci-fi hit "Total Recall". 

However, it was James Cameron's Terminator films, especially the sequel "Terminator 2 - Day of Reckoning" (1991), that played the biggest role in Schwarzenegger's popularity. With a production budget of $100 million, the film grossed $520 million.

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a virtually indestructible battle robot, a T-800, sent from the future to the present to protect John Connor. In the future, the machines have taken over and are fighting the humans. They are led by the older John Connor, who sent the T-800 back in time to protect his younger self.

Arrival of the T-800CSM 101 (Terminator 2)

But the machines of the future are no fools and send a T-1000, an improved version of the indestructible battle robot, back in time to kill John Connor. Over the course of the two-hour film, the indestructible T-800 (Schwarzenegger) and the even more indestructible T-1000 (Robert Patrick) engage in a series of thrilling battles, and much to the audience's delight, a great deal of damage is done.

Schwarzenegger's seeming invulnerability and popularity eventually led to his election as the Republican candidate for governor of California in 2003. He held office until 2011. Had Schwarzenegger been born in the US (a prerequisite for the office), he would certainly have followed actor Ronald Reagan as president.

In addition to weight training, Arnold Schwarzenegger has always had a soft spot for chess. For a while he organised the Arnold Classic, a sports exhibition in which chess played an important role, on different continents.

During the pandemic, Schwarzenegger posted a self-deprecating picture on X of what appeared to be a chess game against a donkey.

Now Schwarzenegger has returned to chess, this time against an opponent who is at least physically his equal.

Like Schwarzenegger, actor Lou Ferrigno has a background in bodybuilding. As a child, Ferrigno lost most of his hearing after a middle ear infection and was severely handicapped in learning to speak. He began bodybuilding at the age of twenty and won many competitions and prizes. Schwarzenegger and Ferrigno have known each other since their bodybuilding days in the 1970s.

After retiring from sport, the 1.96m Ferrigno went into the film business and became best known as the titular hero of the 'Hulk' series (1978-1982). The Hulk is an American comic book character created by Stan Lee in 1962. According to the story, scientist Bruce Banner was irradiated while developing a gamma bomb, which causes him to turn into a big green monster whenever he gets angry - a trait that helps him solve many problems, but also causes many more. As a result, he has to buy new clothes every time he gets angry.

No word yet on who won the match or whether Ferrigno had to buy new clothes afterwards.


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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