Chess boxing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
A chess boxing match in Berlin, 2008

Chess boxing is a hybrid sport which combines the sport of boxing with games of chess in alternating rounds. Chess boxing fights have been organized since early 2003. The sport was started when Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh, inspired by fictional descriptions of the sport in the writing of Enki Bilal, organized actual matches. The sport has become increasingly popular since then.[1] To succeed players must be both skilled chess players and skilled boxers.


[edit] Structure and rules

A match between two opponents consists of up to eleven alternating rounds of boxing and chess sessions, starting with a four-minute chess round followed by two minutes of boxing and so on.[1] Between rounds there is a one minute pause, during which competitors change their gear. The form of chess played is speed chess in which each competitor has a total of twelve minutes for the whole game. Competitors may win by knockout, checkmate, a judge's decision or if their opponent's twelve minutes of chess time elapses.[1] If a contestant does not make a move in the chessround, he will be issued a warning by the referee and he must then make a move within the next 10 seconds.[2] Warnings may eventually result in disqualification.

[edit] History

The concept was envisioned in 1992 by cartoonist Enki Bilal, and a match of chess boxing was a major plot point of his graphic novel Froid Équateur.[1] Iepe Rubingh, a Dutch artist, was inspired by Bilal's book and brought the concept to life in the spring of 2001, fighting under the name, 'Iepe the Joker'.[1] Rubingh decided that the method of play described in the book, a boxing match followed by a chess match, was impractical. Rubingh instead instituted alternating rounds of chess and boxing.[3]

Chess boxing was featured in the 1991 Finnish movie Uuno Turhapuro - herra Helsingin herra, where Uuno plays blindfold chess against one person using a hands-free telephone headset while boxing another person. It is not known whether Bilal was aware of the movie. In addition, there is a 1979 movie by director Joseph Kuo called "Ninja Checkmate" whose USA dubbed version was known as "Mystery of Chess Boxing". It does not feature chessboxing as understood in this article. This movie is likely an inspiration for the Wu-Tang Clan song "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'" from their first album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993). Wu-Tang Clan producer RZA is a fan and advocate of the sport.[1]

The sport is now governed by the World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO), whose motto is "Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board." The first world championship was held in Amsterdam in 2003 and was won by Iepe Rubingh himself.[4] The First European Chess Boxing Championship took place in Berlin on October 1, 2005 when Tihomir Atanassov Dovramadjiev of Bulgaria defeated Andreas 'D'Schneider of Germany after the latter conceded defeat in the seventh round.

On the left: reigning light heavyweight world champion Nikolay Sazhin from Russia.

On April 21, 2006, about 400 people gathered in the Gloria Theatre, Cologne, to see two chessboxing matches. Zoran 'the Priest' Mijatovic played the Queen's Gambit. Zoran's opponent, 37-year old former UN Peacekeeper Frank 'Anti Terror' Stoldt, was well prepared and controlled both the chess board and the boxing rounds.[5] In the seventh round (a chess round) Mijatovic was three moves away from being checkmated, so he resigned.[5][6]

In April 2008, the World Chess Federation FIDE posted a video on its website in which its president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov played a friendly chess boxing match in Elista.[7] Also in April 2008 the UK's first Chess Boxing club was launched in London by Great Britain Chess Boxing Organisation founder Tim Woolgar.

In July 2008 in Berlin a 19-year old Russian mathematics student Nikolai Sazhin won the title of "World Champion" in chess boxing by defeating Frank Stoldt.[8][9][10] Stoldt resigned in the 5th round after losing his queen.[9]

[edit] Required chess skill

World-class chess-boxers are not just good boxers but are skilled chess players as well.[11] For example, Sazhin has an Elo rating of around 1900 while European chess boxing champion Tihomir Atanassov Dovramadjiev is a FIDE Master with a rating over 2300 and has won multiple chess competitions.[11][12]

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Calhoun, Ada (2008-07-10). "Chess-Boxing Hits it Big". Time Magazine.,8599,1821639,00.html. Retrieved on 2008-07-13. 
  2. ^ "What is ChessBoxing?". London ChessBoxing. Retrieved on 2008-07-18. 
  3. ^ McGroarty, Patrick (2008-07-17). "New sport combines boxing and chess". Associated Press. Retrieved on 2008-07-18. 
  4. ^ "Chess Boxing World Championship". Chessbase. 2003-12-05. Retrieved on 2008-07-17. 
  5. ^ a b Mahoney, Donny. "Da Mystery of Schachboxen:Ringside at the Chess Fights". Mongrel (21). Retrieved on 2008-07-15. 
  6. ^ "Special:Chess Boxing". SportsCenter. ESPN. 2007-05-07.
  7. ^ "Kirsan Ilyumzhinov As A Chess Boxer!". FIDE. 2008-07-18. Retrieved on 2008-07-18. 
  8. ^ Bouvier, Arnaud (2008-07-07). "Chess boxers slug it out". Melbourne, Australia: The Age.,23599,23979955-23109,00.html. Retrieved on 2008-07-18. 
  9. ^ a b "Nikolay Sazhin is the New World Champion". World Chess Boxing Organisation (press release). Retrieved on 2008-07-13. 
  10. ^ "Chessboxing World Championship 2008 in Berlin". ChessBase (press release). 2008-07-03. Retrieved on 2008-07-13. 
  11. ^ a b Chalk, Andy (2008-07-07). "World Chess Boxing Champion Crowned". The Escapist. Retrieved on 2008-07-21. 
  12. ^ "Chessboxing on ESPN, Playboy and Maxim". ChessBase. 2006-06-27. Retrieved on 2008-07-21. 

[edit] External links

Personal tools