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Portrait Marco Bode

Marco Bode
Born on the 23rd July 1969
European Champion 1996, World Champion runner-up 2002 – Sports Marketing: deepblue sports

 “I play chess because for me it is the most fascinating game ever.”

The drawing of lots deprived the 11 year old Marco of the much desired football working group at the Dreilinden in Osterode am Harz – and only the second choice remained, Chess Ltd. “A new passion emerged very quickly from this rejection and in the subsequent years, I registered again and again for chess,” says Marco Bode.

However, Marco did become an exceptional football professional and one who used the journeys in the team coach to occupy himself with chess, “unforgettable was the game which I played blind and won against Andrea Herzog and Wynton Rufer, although both of them were absolute chess beginners at the time.” Additionally, the variably deployable left-footer offered fans distance chess via his website. “We managed two games – one I won and one was a draw.”

Bode uses the web today more than ever for his chess, for example, in an online simultaneous match against Garri Kasparow; “a wonderful experience, I just tried to last out as long as possible.” Bode is trying to pass on his fascination for chess to his 7 year old daughter, Luca Sophie. “We started a year ago and she shows great interest, but I don’t force it upon her. Parents can only ever offer their children opportunities but they shouldn’t push them. However, I am convinced that chess helps children develop logic, fantasy and decisiveness”.

These abilities were also useful for Bode as a football professional; “on the football pitch, one has to keep an eye on the opponent the whole time and predict possible moves. It is also important to agree and co-ordinate with one’s team members – just as with the figures on a chess board which should follow a coherent strategy.”

However, a strategic foul is much more often seen on the field than on the 64 black and white squares. Bode clearly had chess etiquette as an example - with only 10 warnings in 379 games, he is seen as one of the fairest players in national football’s history. Bode shot 101 goals between 1989 and 2000 for Werder Bremen and is the club’s goal record holder. With Werder, he became German Champion, triple DFB Cup winner and won the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Added to all this are his successes with the national team (40 matches) with whom he became the World Champion runner-up in 2002 and European Champion in 1996.