Reports | July 12, 2010 3:30


At this moment millions of soccer fans are watching the FIFA World Cup Final, played in Johannesburg, South Africa. Perhaps we can hire commentator Andrés Cantor for one of our new videos...

Several fans pointed out to us the following video on YouTube. We decided that this was the right moment to publish it: the start of the FIFA World Cup final. In the video, a commercial for insurance company Geico, we see a combination of chess and football, with a game being played and commented by the famous Spanish commentator Andrés Cantor.


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Eiae's picture

Best team won. Second best team wasn't in the final.

chris's picture

There are two white bishops! If you are going through the effort to make this commercial - does no one on the staff play chess?

Septimus's picture

There is some real talent in the Dutch side, but these negative tactics completely negate it. Robben is world class, probably one of the best in the world, but somebody needs to tell him that diving and poor sportsmanship brings a bad name to his team. I guess we should thank the stars that Khalid Bholahurz did not start or we might have seen a death or two in this final.

Bert de Bruut's picture

Admittedly Holland descredited itself, at least in the first half of the match, showing that the lesson of 2006, when Holland kicked not the ball but mainly opponent Portugal, was wasted on the Dutch midfield (that match ended in 20 cards, including 4 red ones). In the first half De Jong should have been sent off immediately, when he no doubt would soon have been followed by Van Bommel. and the Dutch would have been annihilated. Now it almost looked like it can pay to play anti-football, though the doubtfull decisions of the arbiter at the end of the match (no red for Puyol where Heitinga got one for a lesser offense; no corner for the 10-men Dutch squad which happened to end in the one goal) where perhaps inspired by the general attitude of Holland's players.

Much of the blame is to be put on FIFA of course, since that organisation cares about football about as much as FIDE does about chess. The Geman goalie, for instance, plainly cheated earlier in the tournament versus England, when he pretended nothing happened whilst the whole world could see the ball crossed the line of his goal. But it is more often than not rewarding to cheat and commit fouls, and as long as that remains unchanged, players will behave likewise - not only the Dutch ones.

Septimus's picture

Good job Spain! Sadly, the Dutch resorted to the most vulgar, thuggish type of play possible. Always going for the man instead of the ball. Van Bommel should be banned for his shyte play. Looks like finesse triumphs thuggery. Good to see the Dutch goons head back home with an egg on their face. Very sad for their supporters. They need another Bergkamp or Overmars, two very classy and honest players...

JM's picture

I'm not saying Spain's fouls were comparable to the Dutch. My first paragraph was about the fouls. It was a hard match, but only the two mentioned fouls (by De Jong and Van Bommel) were really, really disgraceful.

Still, it doesn't change that the referee had a huge influence on the final result. Puyol and Heitinga commited similar offenses. One was sent off, one wasn't. The referee's decision not to award a corner in the 117th minute was an irreversible blunder that probably decided the match.

Sure, Spain was a bit better. Sure, their playing style was easier on the eyes. They deserved the win a bit more than the Netherlands. All those things are true, but they don't count in sport. At the end of the day, it is very probable that the referee decided the World Cup Final by a terrible blunder at the very end of the game when a penalty shootout seemed inevitable.

I think it's really queer that everyone seems to think something like "it's not so bad the referee made this decisive mistake, because Spain deserved to win". To me, it feels the same as saying "it's not so bad England wasn't awarded the goal, because Germany played much better and more attractive".

Zeblakob's picture

I saw at least 3 red cards for Holland team. Neither the hollandish played nor they allowed the spanish to play.

Andy's picture

Funny video but White has two light squared bishops. Amazing how chess is always depicted in the media with impossible/ ridiculous positions, it would take literally under a minute to research this or at least check the position is correct.

JM's picture

Spain played slightly better this match. Both of the teams didn't manage to play at their best level. Especially the beginning of the match was incredibly nervous. Van Bommel and De Jong played very mature in this tournament, playing hard but fair. At the start of the final, they clearly lost control of their nerves and both commited one egregious foul (Van Bommel a sliding tackle from behind vs. Iniesta, De Jong a karate kick against Xavi Alonso). It set the tone of the match, but the high number of yellow cards was also caused by the referee. As a comparison: Spain got only 3 yellow cards in all their previous matches combined, while in this single match they got 5.

In the end, the match was decided by little things. Robben keeping his footing and wanting to score himself when pushed by Puyol, Iniesta immediately going down after Heitinga's lesser offense (ironic that Robben is labelled a diver...). Puyol on the pitch, Heitinga sent off. A clear corner kick in the 118th minute that wasn't awarded. Iniesta's goal was fair. Even in the replay, it is incredibly hard to see if he was on side. When in doubt, play should continue, so that particular referee's decision was fair.

bird's picture

The bishop must be in f2 and not in e2, so Kxg4 now is not a bad move giving the knight for nothing.

biggy's picture

In any case, the patent of Barco soccer style (so called 'total football) belongs to Dutch...

biggy, delft

Traduciendolo's picture

Translation: It's been an intense match today!!!! (insert name) is thinking! He's thinking!!! Let's see what he does!!!! Will he move the King or the knight!???? WHAT TENSION!!! He's coming! Coming! Coming! Coming! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

Traduciendolo's picture

My favorite Holland player: Van Aperder (Going to lose). :)

Traduciendolo's picture

Sorry, he said, will he move the QUEEN or the Knight?

Rob Brown's picture

I was fascinated with the 2010 World Cup. Where I live football is soccer, the least popular of all the major spectator sports. After watching this year's edition of the Football Classic, I can't imagine why this should be so, and I doubt it will remain so long given the growth in youth soccer in North America. In comparison, North American Football, a corporate game where there is meeting on the field after each play, is oafish, baseball is soporific and basketball too specialized and commodified. Only ice hockey, the great Canadian game (albeit part of the US entertainment empire now) is as skilled and exciting. FIFA football is not without its warts though. The officiating I saw would be an embarrassment in Junior "B" ice hockey. The National Hockey League uses instant video replay on all contentious calls and in 50 years of watching hockey, I've never seen a seen a linesman miss an offside. If FIFA wants to retain any credibility, it must bring in video review for difficult calls. The theatrical dives also bring shame on the game. Surely video replay could come to the aid of the referees here too, either at the time they happen, or, if the flow of the game is a concern, to determine the awarding of stiff fines subsequently. Finally, though, thankfully, they are a relatively new South African phenomenon, vuvuzuelas should be banned from the earth. What kind of dolt takes an instrument capable of damaging the hearing of his fellow spectators to a sporting event then mindlessly blows it for 90 minutes? FIFA should have banned them outright. Let's hope their use does not spread.

NBC's picture

Comparing the obvious missed corner and Puyols missed attempt at bringing down Robben (who would of course have let himself fall if he had not thought that he could score) to two outrageous acts of criminal violence (de Jong and van Bommel) is really .. out there.

And don't forget how Robben and Schneider (great players both of them) were permanently complaining to the referee, which along with their bookings could/should have brought them another yellow cards if the referee hadn't had a strong wish to keep 22 men on the field.

And yes, probably Iniesta should have received a yellow card or even a red card (although van Bommels was of course making it look worse), but this does not change the facts: It would have been an absolute disgrace if Holland had won. It would have been like Topalov defeating Kramnik in the toilet-match.

Hans's picture

The world cup was won by some little, disgusting, blackhaired miscreants who would be excellent comedians.

Daan Zult's picture

The game was like a theoretical drawn endgame with practical winning chances for Spain. The referee shifted the balance into a forced win, that is just

When, for instance, you win a rook+bishop vs rook endgame because the opponent makes a mistake, you deserve to win. When the opponent manages to draw, he deserves the draw. When you win because the referee awards you an extra pawn you don't deserve the win, even though you clearly played better. To me this is what happened. If Spain was really better, they should have won without the help of the referee.

ps. My apologies for de Jong's foul, that was simply a disgrace.

cak's picture

Van Bommel should be shown the red card every time he is within hundred meters from a football pitch.

JC's picture

@Daan Zult
Spain did win without the help of the referee. With many/most referees, the Dutch would have been down to 10 men in the first half, and would have been lucky not to be down to 9 or 8 by the end of 90 minutes - had they continued in the same way after the first sending off.

Personally, I quite like Howard Webb's approach - i.e. being very reluctant to give red cards. However, this clearly favoured the Dutch over the course of the game. With a stricter referee, the Dutch wouldn't have made it near extra time.

I'd say that it's not so bad the referee made a mistake on the corner, since the Dutch would never have made it to extra time without the referee's huge leniency early in the match. Having 11 vs 11 for 90 minutes made it a better spectacle, but it wasn't really fair to Spain. I'm just glad they won anyway.

Oh and I'm English, and I don't think it's too bad that England weren't awarded the goal - nor did most of the British commentators after the match. We played badly, we deserved to lose, and we lost. The disallowed goal is hugely important because it could potentially have ruined a really important match. As it was, it just made it a little easier for a clearly superior German side to beat us.
It's really an ideal situation for this to have happened - prominent, and obvious enough to get the system changed, but with very little bearing on the likely/just outcome of the game.

Titus's picture

Stop the acid pissing! After all Spain deserved to win, but the Dutch were very close and showed a very good team-spirit with brilliant moments of Sneijder and Robben. It could have been sufficient for the title and if Robben would have lifted that ball a bit more they would have crowned their superb tournament. If they would have made it, they would have won the title deservedly as well. There were hard tackles in the first minutes, but the "karate" kick was not intended to land on the chest of Alonso. De Jong has admitted he was afraight he would get a red card, but said was just focused on the ball and did not see his opponent approaching. I believe him because it would be the most stupid way to injure someone if one would have such intention. The Spanish are not complaining and just speak about a very tough battle. The Dutch team showed good sportivity forming the "Viola Fair" to honor the winners.

JM's picture

Most people seem to share your point of view. This seemingly emphasizes a deficit in my understanding of human thought, because I can't seem to understand it. Maybe you could clarify it, so that I can learn something?!

Correct me if I'm wrong: you're saying that when a referee makes a mistake, the evaluation of the referee's decision depends on the favoured party? If Holland would have scored after a similar mistake by the referee, that particular decision would have been worse?

It's quite funny... Maybe my judgement is biased due to my own experience as a football referee. I'll exaggerate to illustrate my point: you were supporting Spain, so your brain likes referee decisions favoring Spain more. My brain, on the other hand, is hard wired by my referee training to be as unbiased towards the two teams as possible. This might be the reason the common point of view feels so alien to me.

The referee should have sent off De Jong. The referee should have sent off both Puyol and Heitinga or neither. The referee should clearly have given a corner. Tho wrongs don't make a right. A World Cup Final is the pinnacle of international football. It deserves a world class referee's performance. Howard Webb was not up to the task. I'm not sure if we should blame the man. Maybe technological assistance is the only option, I'm not sure.

Septimus's picture

Wow, what a load of garbage!

@JM: You are somewhat correct. The ref had an influence on the outcome. The Dutch should have been down 2 players in the first half. Ref was biased, he let shocking challenges by the thug van Bommel and the kung-fu kick by de Jong go by.

@Daan Zult: Dude, put down the crack pipe.

@Titus: "karate-kick was unintentional", you are joking right? Look at this-->
The spanish are not complaining because they won the world cup and are a much more classy side than thugs like van Bommel. This asshat brings a bad name to Dutch soccer. Back in the day, the Dutch were the most amazing team to watch...Bergkamp,Overmars, Cocu, de Boer brothers...all class acts compared to this lot of goons.

Make no mistake, Brasil lost because they tried a bit of rough play which is against their style...

Titus's picture

@Septimus. I just rephrased what De Jong said. In slow-motion it looks horrible, but you don't see at which DeJong was looking at when he started his action. Also his body language shows he was startled. It was way too dangerous play and he could and in some's opinion maybe should have gotten the red card for that. But to say he did that intentionally is rather cynical. But enough, let's discuss chess again on this site!

Bert de Bruut's picture

It is not entirely correct what you state Septimus, though you off course are completely right that Van Bommel should never (again) play in our team. But the Dutch squad in the seventies behaved much like the present team, with players as Neeskens, Van Hanegem and Suurbier often destroying any opponent within their reach, take for example the EC semi-final Netherlands-CzechoSlovakia 1976, which was also an utter disgrace. There is one difference though: the Dutch midfield and defense in the seventies only started kicking when things didn't go their way, whereas Van Bommel and his complicits already made fouls right from the kick-off. That really is an admittance of inadequacy and the lamest of attitudes, spoiling a match that over a billion people watch. Out with them!

Rinzou Wilkerson's picture

Did anyone notice the impossible position in the diagram of the game? White has same-colored bishops on e2 and f1...

Thomas's picture

In the context of Dutch-German football relations (which didn't reach a new climax this time ...), it is interesting that
1) Dutch football icon Johan Cruyff was very critical of the Dutch team in the final [hard to translate his exact words, but they were widely publicized ...]
2) German TV expert Oliver Kahn praised the Dutch team for aggressively countering the Spanish play - the German team had been criticized for being too peaceful in the semifinal. But even he said that De Jong "exaggerated" ... .

Septimus's picture


Fans are angry because the current squad has the talent to win without fouling. van Bommel is actually a very good central mid-field player. He sets up nice passes and is quick on defense, he can be in position to block the ball without fouling. Likewise with Robben (no need to dive when he can easily beat 2-3 defenders) and van Persie (no need to play rough).

I started watching world cups since 1982 (as a baby), never missed a single game in my life (boss probably hates me) so I don't know much about the 76 squad (before my time). I just remember being in mourning in 1994 when the Dutch lost to Brasil 2-3. Bergkamp is my all time favorite player. :)

Spectactor's picture

I don´t know Andres Cantor (the speaker) but based on his accent (and based in that I don´t know him) he is not spanish for sure, but from some South American country, probably Argentina or Uruguay

Spectactor's picture

Reading the interview in the link you provided, its stated that hes from Argentina

Victor's picture

Frankly , I think we should exile Dutch to Africa, then they could keep killing and torturing people and leave us alone.

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