Reports | October 14, 2009 18:35

Amp can beats everyone, but who is it?

ampNow that's marketing. We're happy to give the company behind AMP energy drinks a stage for showing their latest stunt, in which a grandmaster, disguised as a big AMP can, beats ten of the best players in Washington Square Park, New York City. We love the video.

AMP Energy (or simply AMP - formerly Mountain Dew AMP) is an energy drink produced and distributed by PepsiCo under the Mountain Dew soft drink brand. The AMP drink was launched in 2001 to compete with Red Bull and is available in 8.3 oz, 16 fl.oz. (TallBoy) and 24 fl.oz. (Big Rig) cans and made with Mountain Dew's base flavor formula. 16 fluid ounces of AMP contains 143 milligrams of caffeine, as well as taurine, ginseng, B-vitamins, guarana and maltodextrin, Wikipedia tells us.


The AMP energy drink in four flavours | Photo John Gregorio

Earlier this week Mutaurwa Mapondera, Lead Producer/ACD at +pLot™ Multimedia Developers send emails to chess media, drawing our attention to their latest video posted on YouTube.

My company recently completed filming a chess-based stunt in Washington Square Park featuring a Grandmaster. We filmed our Grandmaster--who will for now remain anonymous--playing three different simuls against the best that the Washington Square Park Hustler scene had to offer. Needless to say the spectacle that ensued had to be witnessed to be believed.


Now the question is: who was the can?


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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.


gg's picture

Wasn't it Kramnik who was in the can?

Jon from Norway's picture

My guess is Varushan Akobian.

DrTom's picture

I don't know, but probably someone below 2600 ? I mean, even against 10 2200-2300ish people, would a 2600+ grandmaster lose 2 games / 10 ? Possibly, it seems a bit strange though.

Thomas's picture

Going by body height it could also be Peter Leko - but not Peter Doggers because he is not a GM.
On the other hand, looking at the "you devil" moment in the video (2:14), the can seems to play the Sicilian Dragon with black - would this narrow down the list of candidates?

Boybawang's picture

He's just a woodpusher Inside carrying a Toshiba Tg01 PocketPC with PocketFritz running in 1ghz snapdragon..

Matthijs's picture

I think it Michael Schumacher, again...

aguy's picture

the can is abalos

silver's picture

It might be GM Jaan Ehlvest

DrBigHands's picture

The can is Vishy Anand, look at the way he raises his little finger when moving the pieces. Thin legs and bulky stomach also.

Jonathan's picture

Yes we can!

Jeroen's picture

Everybody can: tea-can, coffee-can, limonade-can, trash-can..

nick burrows's picture

My guess is John Fedorowicz - is there a prize Peter?!

Peter Doggers's picture

Perhaps they can send a shipload of cans to the winner - I'll ask.

Simmillion's picture

Must be the snapdragon Boybawang talks about, or somebody from Amsterdam

Jackson Showalter's picture

Must be a NY local. Fed after a six pack?

JustBe's picture

I think it is Peter Doggers

Jeroen's picture

Anyway, nice to see the table again where i lost 3 bucks (under the table bet!!!) in a 5 min blitz game to some complete damn good playing stranger, rofl

redwhitechess's picture

My theory is right, Bobby is still alive!!

burugula vamsi krishna's picture

y cant it be polgar..????????!!!!!!! otherwise it can be kramnik

jussu's picture

Anand, Kramnik... get real! The big stars are not financially desperate enough to do something so silly, this had to be a local ~2500 man.

Jeroen's picture

Zusza Polgar :)

vooruitgang's picture

According to the one player who beat Amp: Amp has been playing chess for 30 years.

According to Amp producer Amp is a GM.

On Youtube site someone posts that they are the person who beat Amp and that Amp spoke with "an American man's voice absent any obvious accent". This poster also felt Amp was not a GM due to poor play in the Dragon.

Body build - check out the legs and arms. Height relative to other people and landmarks.

Possibilites: Could be John Fedorowicz, Dean Ippolito, Ben Feingold.

nick burrows's picture

John Fedorowicz has a very thick accent

Thomas's picture

And Ben Feingold wouldn't fit inside the can?
I am less convinced that a GM can't play poorly in the Dragon, at the most it could indicate that it's not part of his usual repertoire (then my earlier comment wouldn't be very helpful).
Not saying that he lost on purpose, but maybe a clean 10-0 score in the simul would be too good to believe - people might argue that the whole thing was prearranged and fake?

Jackson Showalter's picture

Fed's accent is Big Apple all the way.

vooruitgang's picture

Could be Maurice Ashley.

vooruitgang's picture

hahaha Feingold not fitting in the can!

Other possibles: Mike Wilder, Larry Christiansen, Nick DeFirmian, Yasser Seirawan, Alex Fishbein, Ron Henley, Jesse Kraai, Ken Rogoff (doubt this one) based on 30 years experience of chess play.

rdecredico's picture

Quite the undignified way to make $$ for a professional GM, I opine, pimping sugar and caffeine.

I guess lesson rates are low during the recession?

vooruitgang's picture

"Pimping sugar and caffeine" ...funny but true. At least he was able to remain anonymous. Boycott the product until his identity is revealed.

What next? Why not uniforms with the sponsors logo's all over them at tournaments? Wait a minute....I've seen Leko and Anand wearing sponsor logos on their shirts. Oh well, no corporate sponsors, no pro tournaments....unless a rich patron sponsors the event (thank you Mr. van Oosterom for many great events).

John Fernandez's picture

I still don't get the "undignified" comments. Chessplayers need to stop being snobs about cool promotional things. If we keep ignoring business, business will keep ignoring chess, plain and simple.

jonnytuffubckets's picture

it was me.

also, the guys who play in the park at that time aren't very good.

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