Two sports that couldn’t be further apart combined into one singular sport: Chess and Boxing. Boxing is highly physical, requiring an immense amount of training. Chess, on the other hand, requires zero fitness and immense strategic training.
Not for a split second could you ever imagine a sport merged of the two. However, there is such a thing, and it’s called Chess Boxing or Boxing Chess.
You may be baffled, wondering if people hit each other while playing chess. Well, not quite.
What is Chess boxing?
The title shows the sport: chess with boxing incorporated or the other way around. However, both sports are not played together. A winner is determined by either a checkmate in chess, a knockout or a points victory in boxing. The match is played against two opponents in a boxing ring with, at first, a chessboard in the middle.
Chess boxing was established in the 1990s; the World Chess Boxing Association was founded in 2003 and is getting more and more popular all over the globe. The sport has become international, with support from nations including England, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Russia, and Japan. For players to compete at the greatest level, they must be proficient in both chess and boxing.
In 2003, Berlin hosted the inaugural chess boxing tournament, while Amsterdam hosted the World Championship. The World Chess Boxing Association, founded in Berlin in 2003, also oversaw the game, which was held in collaboration with the Dutch Boxing Association and the Dutch Chess Federation.
What are the Rules of Chess Boxing?
Chess boxing is a sport where players compete against one another. Each round of chess lasts four minutes. Before returning to the chess board, the players engage in a three-minute boxing round. There are 11 rounds in the competition, with a 1-minute break between each chess game and each boxing bout.
Boxing gloves worn by each player are taken off for the chess game. Players are provided with headphones when playing chess so they won’t hear audience suggestions. The chess portion, basically “fast chess,” is played over 12 minutes. If officials think a player is stalling, they may intervene.
After the round, if there isn’t a checkmate, the chess board is removed from the ring, and opponents put on their boxing equipment and have 3 minutes of boxing. Each round, it goes back to chess; the board is brought back to the ring, and the players resume from where they last were.
The boxing rounds are scored on a points system, just like a regular boxing match. The chess game will proceed to count back on boxing points unless it has a resolution, which is highly uncommon in the sport; if the boxing results in a draw, the player using the black chess pieces is declared the winner.
Chess Rules breakdown:
- Players must spend their time wisely when practising the game’s chess discipline. If the officials decide they are, they will impose a 10-second penalty.
- Players need to be proficient in both the boxing and chess disciplines.
- To participate in the sport, players must have a chess rating of at least 1800.
- Chess or boxing rounds both have winning possibilities for players.
- Competitors will play six chess and five boxing rounds unless the match is terminated with a winner in a previous round.
Are there Chess Boxing Organisations?
There are numerous chess boxing associations around the world, but the following three are the most well-known:
- World Chess Boxing Organisation
In 2003, the World Chess Boxing Organization (WCBO) was founded in Berlin, Germany. The WCBO, among other things, was in charge of planning the world championships of chess boxing until 2013.
- World Chess Boxing Association
Another global group working to advance the chess boxing business is the World Chess Boxing Association (WCBA). The WCBA was established in 2013 and honours WCBO-awarded world champions.
- Chess Boxing Global
A professional chess boxing league was established in 2013 and is known as Chess Boxing Global Marketing (CBG). The CBG has put on the acknowledged world chess boxing championships since it was founded.
Famous Chess Boxers
Nikolay “The Chairman” Sazhin is the most well-known chess boxer on the entire planet. When he attained an Elo rating of 1911, he had an overall record of 49-13-0. Sazhin obtained his initial nickname because he defeated every opponent in a professional match by checkmate.
One of Sazhin’s biggest achievements was to unseat the renowned Frank Stoldt when he was only 19 years old. However, as demonstrated in the match against Frank Stoldt, he performs far better in alternate rounds of chess due to his strong head defence and difficult knockout.
Frank Stoldt is the first German world champion in the history of this sport, whereas Karl “Ouch” Strugnell is the best French name right now and the current owner of the WCBA and WCBO world championships.
Is Chess Boxing a Hard Sport?
It is considered a very tough sport as it requires the ability to transition from a mind game to a physical sport with only one minute of rest.
There are 10-10 rounds in boxing and a stalemate in chess, but the one who pulled the last move should get the advantage.
A genuinely unique competition in the sports world is chess boxing. It mixes two competitive sports frequently seen as being opposed to one another to create a hybrid sport that is a lot of fun to watch. Another intriguing aspect of chess boxing is that, contrary to what you would have initially believed, the more you watch it, the fewer opposites chess and boxing are from one another.
Both of these tasks need a great deal of planning and perseverance. This is a significant factor in how well they get along. In addition, many boxers think that playing chess aids them in their boxing endeavours because it helps them with the mental side. Given these considerations, it is clear that chess boxing has a promising future. It is a sport with ardent followers who are still expanding, as well as governing authorities who are committed to boosting its appeal.
That’s all there is to know about chess boxing. Would you have a go?