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Andre joins us fresh from a sparring session where he has been training against opponents half his age in order to prepare for his fight against Shayan “Shah” Zarine Dolab. Andre will be playing with the white pieces; however, he doesn’t expect that to make a huge difference given the relative chess ratings of the combatants.
The podcast looks back at the pandemic and what that mean for training and staying fit. Getting back to a level of fitness was tough for everyone but Andre feels he is now back to pre-pandemic levels. Andre also played a few games of chess online during the pandemic with chessboxers from London.
Andre has been studying his opponent but isn’t going to be drawn into any trash talking (unfortunately)! He has been impressed with Shayan’s heart and that he in not afraid to box forward. The pod discusses Shayan’s technique and how it has changed over time. Andre has done some combat sports outside of boxing, but boxing is his passion and he has been honing his skills over many years.
Andre has fought in London twice and got as close as possible a third time but contracted Corona virus and was unable to leave his hotel room in London to fight Matt “Crazy Arms” Read in March 2020. Andre’s chessboxing career also incudes a fight with Mike “The Bedfordshire Bull” Bottley 10 years ago. Andre calls out Mike to fight again and reminisces about their fight and how good Mike was in the ring. All he could hear was his wife screaming for Andre to “hit him!” The British audience started chanting Andre’s name during the bout despite his German heritage, that’s when he knew he was in the right place.
The podcast get a little musical Easter egg from Andre half way through, I wonder what that could be?!
From the pandemic chess tournament and his chessboxing career Andre can be seen to be quite a trappy player. This is typical of his chess and how he plays in real life. Andre also plays very quickly and often his opponent will be drawn into playing too quickly and make a mistake. Shayan isn’t into his chess theory but is a savvy street player with a lot of experience in the chessboxing ring, more than Andre.
Andre lives in Essen, Germany and works as a cyber defence consultant for the public sector, a busy guy. He has seen a big spike in cyber threats since the start of the Ukraine war. Many other chessboxers work in the field of AI which is increasingly being used to secure cyber space but Andre’s advise is to focus on the simple stuff in order to stay safe.
Andre has trained with the Berlin Chess Boxing Club but he lives 4 to 5 hours away so he hasn’t been able to do that for too long. Perhaps if Andre can bring back the belt to Essen he could head up a chessboxing club there.
The podcast talks about Mogul Chessboxing and the impact on the sport or whether some of the show was even chessboxing. They speculate about the likelihood of Ludwig doing another show and whether Iepe Rubingh would have been happy to see a playstation as part of a chessboxing show. We are ready of the next show in LA and Andre is keen to fight!
Andre believes that this chessboxing fight will not end in the first round of chess especially now that there is a new rule giving the defeated chessboxer the chance to knockout their opponent in one round of boxing. Also the boxing referee will be able to give time penalties for foul play in the boxing.
Andre’s favourite chocolate bar is still Twix!
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