Checkmate or a punch in the face?

4:00AM Sunday Oct 18, 2009
By Andrew Alderson

It’s one of the more incongruous sights in sport. Two men, towels draped across bare shoulders, sit in a boxing ring, headphones clamped on, concentrating on a chess board.

After four minutes of such intellectual rigour, they ready themselves to come out and practise what Pierce Egan first called back in 1812 the “sweet science of bruising”.

This is the essence of chess boxing, once described as “Rocky with rooks”.

There are 11 rounds – six chess and five boxing. To the casual observer, it’s probably better to be Muhammad Ali than Garry Kasparov. That’s until you realise it is speed chess where, to be comfortable, you need to make a move about every 20 seconds.

Competitors have a maximum of 12 minutes to complete the chess moves during a bout, while the boxing rounds last three minutes. A win is gained either by a checkmate or a knockout; a judge’s decision; or if the opponent’s 12 minutes expire.

Here is the full article.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar