Chess Boxing: Violence Meets Intellect

The fastest growing sport in Europe.

The fastest growing sport in Europe.

By: Travis Thayer

I’m sure most people in the world at one time or another have thought they are tougher or smarter than someone. It sure would be convenient if there were some sort of competition that could solve that problem. Oh wait, there is. Chess Boxing is Europe’s fastest rising sport, and it combines… you guessed it, chess and boxing. I guess they couldn’t come up with a creative name for the sport, so it is exactly what it sounds like.

A full match consists of eleven rounds. Six rounds of chess, each are four minutes long, and five rounds of boxing, that are three minutes long. Rounds of chess and boxing alternate until the match ends. The first round the competitors head to the chess board, where they will try to rip each others heads off. Wait no, the violence doesn’t start until the second round. The competition can end during any round. Each competitor can win via checkmate or knockout. There is also a scenario where the “fight” can go the distance, and I use the word “fight” loosely. If it goes the distance normal boxing scores determine the winner. If a draw takes place then the player with the black chess pieces wins on the grounds that a stalemate has occurred despite his/her counterpart’s first-move advantage.

Chess Boxing was envisioned by a comic book artist in 1992, and the vision became a reality in 2003. This is one of the greatest sport ever created. What other sport can you visibly see a man or women be crushed both physically and mentally? Boxing gives you the ability to bash your opponents with your fist, while chess allows you to outwit your adversary. Just imagine a player in this game is put in a vicarious position on the chess board. That player may be forced to push the fight when they switch to boxing. That strategy could be a good thing or a bad thing. That player could push the fight and succeed, or like in most cases the player could push the fight and end up getting knocked out. Maybe the other competitor is a dazzling chess player, and chooses to go on the defensive during the boxing rounds. All the different scenarios that are playing out in my head are fascinating, and I can’t decide if I’d rather see a knockout or a checkmate decide the match! One thing for sure is that the participants in this sport must go crazy trying to decide what his/her adversary is thinking.

My wish is that Mike Tyson comes out of retirement, learns how to be great at chess, and dominates this fascinating sport known as Chess Boxing. Here is a closer look at Chess Boxing. Enjoy.

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