Russia is well known of its master chess players and (almost) unbeatable boxers, who's names are written in the stars. All this said, Dimitry is a new generation fighter, who has successfully combined the Russian legacy of chess and boxing. This heavyweight fighter is sharp as a knife and furious as a bear, but once he sets his foot outside the ring he is very calm and nice to everyone who he happen to meet. Helsinki is lucky to have this mighty chessboxer from Moscow. Добро пожаловать.
Year of birth: 1992
Current residency: Moscow
Chess ELO rating: 1400
Weight class: Heavyweight
Experience: 10 fights
Russia is well known for its great chess players and boxers. Is there something in the Russian culture or history, which help to create the world’s best athletes?
Russia is a very complicated country. Chessboxing suits Russians. But it's hard to say why exactly chess and boxing have always been popular in Russia. I guess the most simple answer to the given question is that it is in our blood.
How did you personally become interested in chessboxing?
First of all, I studied chess at school, as it was a compulsory school subject. Secondly, I've always loved boxing and it was my coach Marat who invited me into chessboxing, as I'm open to new challenges.
In which way are chess and boxing related to each other?
Yes, I think there are some similarities. Both form of sports, chess and boxing, resemble a furious warlike situation, but one need to be smart, i.e. strategic and tactical, in order to win the opponent.
How do you train chessboxing?
I play chess separately from boxing. I combine these two sports about a month before the fight. I also beat meat carcasses in the butchery, like Rocky in the movies.
What is the best thing in chessboxing?
By far the best thing in chessboxing is the community. I'm happy to know like-minded people around the world.
Which matches do you consider as being important and inspirational?
I remember following the fight between Oleg Petrovsky from Latvia and Nikita Evstafiev from Russia, whose level of talent was an incredible. In addition, I also remember Sakari's fight in Turkey in the World Championship final, when Sakari won by knockout within the last seconds of the crucial round.
Are you more aggressive or defensive in chessboxing?
Well, it depends on the opponent and the round. For example, if I seem to be loosing in chess, I will not hesitate to be very aggressive in the boxing round.
How well do you know your upcoming opponent, Lars Björknäs, from Finland?
I know him rather well, as we fought twice in Berlin. I think he has become even stronger and more dangerous. I didn't think for a minute when I heard about his desire to take revenge. I have a lot of respect for Lars.
Is this your first time in Helsinki, or have you visited Finland earlier?
I have once been in Helsinki and based on the experience I've always wanted to go back. I think Finland is one of the ideal countries to live in, as I love the north.
Finally, do you want to add something?
I want to thank you for the invitation to the tournament. I'm sure we will have a great show with interesting chessboxing fights.
Interviewed by Tero Pajunen
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