Chess Boxing

chess boxing by Iker Ayestarán

Chessboxing is a hybrid sport that combines chess with boxing in alternating rounds. The sport was invented by Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh, who was inspired by a French comic book ‘Le Froid Equateur’ by artist and filmmaker Enki Bilal. A 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.

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 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 players 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 player with the black pieces wins.

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