Please check out the original article on Chess Boxing on William’s site for more information.

Chess Boxing is the ultimate combination of brawn and brain, and it is achieving record growth in popularity in 2011. I get e-mails all the time of people asking me if chess boxing really exists. To answer your question, yes, chess boxing really does exist and it is growing by the day!

How on Earth did Chess Boxing Begin?

The sport was originally the brain child of Dutch artist Iepe “The Joker” Rubingh, who won the 1st official World Chess Boxing Championship in 2003 in Amsterdam and is the current president of the World Chess Boxing Organization (WCBO). Chess Boxing may seem like a completely absurd idea, but the ridiculousness is it exactly what makes it so cool. Chess Boxing is a perfect combination of the two purest sports ever played, and requiring the highest levels of focus and versatility in a fighter. The chess player maneuvers for complete destruction and embarrassment of his opponent’s mind, while the boxer tries to win via physical knockout. In the words of Bobby Fischer “Chess is war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent’s mind.” And who other than former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson to describe the parallel in boxing “I want to rip out his heart and feed it to him.” Chess Boxing is the real thing – the only way to crush a body and mind in a half hour.

Chess Boxing: Is This For Real?

“Chess is war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent’s mind.”

Personally, when I first heard of Chess Boxing a few years ago I thought some incredibly rich billionaire had gotten really bored and decided to combine his two favorite hobbies. Then I kept hearing rumors about this ridiculous spectacle and decided to give it a thorough investigation. Chess Boxing is a legitimate sporting enterprise that is going nowhere but straight up. With international recognition and respect, chess boxing is emerging as more than just a goofy fitness fad left over from the 90’s and is making a strong push to be considered an Olympic sport. As I am much more experienced as a chess player than a boxer, I think this is a great variant for the newest generation to regular chess – and we’re going to be seeing kids gravitating away from Bughouse, Chess 960, and Losers chess in favor throwing on some gloves and throwing down in the ring (while alternating rounds to play blitz). 2008 UK Heavyweight Champion Tim Woolgar describes Chess Boxing as “A fusion which creates a different kind of energy around chess and around boxing.”

Chess Boxing Rules

The WCBO’s motto: “Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board”

A Chess Boxing match consists of up to eleven alternating rounds of Boxing and Chess. The match begins with a four-minute chess round. This is followed by three minutes of boxing, with rounds of chess and boxing alternating until the end. There is a one minute break between rounds. Speed Chess is used, a form in which each player has a total of only twelve minutes for the whole game.

Chess Boxing Competitors may win by a knockout, achieving a checkmate, by the judges’ decision, or if their opponent’s twelve minutes of chess time is exceeded. If a Chess Boxing competitor fails to make a move during the chess round, he is issued a warning and he must move within the next 10 seconds. Repeated warnings may result in a disqualification. The chess boxers put on headphones during the chess portion so that they do not hear any shouted assistance from the audience or the live chess commentary. If the chess game reaches a stalemate, the scores from the boxing rounds are used to determine the winner. If the boxing score is also a tie, the chess boxer with the black pieces wins. Above Chess Boxing Rules is an excerpt from Wikipedia.

Please check out the original article on Chess Boxing on William’s site for more information.

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William Stewart is a National Master. He specializes in Online Chess Coaching and maintains a daily updated Chess Blog

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