CHESSBOXING: The King’s Discipline

by David Bitton / Anonymous Pineapple Prods


In a small concert venue in Berlin, Germany, a crowd of over 400 people turns to watch the darkened entrance as music starts pumping from the sound system. From the shadows, two hooded figures emerge: Nils “The Berlin Bull” Becker and Nick “The Show-Stopper” Cornish.

Climbing into the boxing ring in the middle of the room, they pump their fists in the air – the crowd responds with wild cheers and applause. Intimidating stares are exchanged. A booming voice fills the room, setting the impending battle in motion:



The Show Stopper and the Berlin Bull meet at the centre of the ring, shake hands, and sit down to play a civilized game of chess.

In 4 minutes time a bell will ring, prompting the two men to strap on boxing gloves andpunch each other repeatedly in the head. 3 minutes more and the bell will ring again, putting them back at the chessboard, struggling to focus while their bodies pump adrenaline and drip blood and sweat. This will continue for up to 11 rounds, until someone gets knocked out, check-mated, or sees the time on their chess clock run out.

This is chessboxing.

Chess and boxing are both known and widely respected by hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Chessboxing, as you might imagine, is not.

The W.T.F. factor of such an unlikely combination has made it an easy target for satire on shows like The Colbert Report or as fluff-piece fodder at the end of the nightly news, but to the man who invented it, chessboxing represents nothing less than the pinnacle of sport – an ultimate test of body and mind.

Chessboxing: The King’s Discipline will tell the story of this man’s struggle to transform his sport from underground cult curiosity into a respected and recognized mainstream phenomenon.

But he’s not the only one with big plans for the sport.

More here:

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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