Weird sport of the week

Yes! Chess Boxing is an actual sport

by Chris Pike

The sport of chess boxing is a hybrid of both boxing and chess that consists of 11 alternating rounds of each sport.

Each match begins with four-minutes of chess followed by three minutes of boxing with a one minute break in between. Speed chess is used during the chess rounds, meaning that a player only has twelve minutes to complete the game. Players can win by either a checkmate, knockout, technical knockout by judges decision or if their opponent’s twelve minutes of chess time is exceeded.

The sport, like many others, has several origin stories. The two most popular are that a Serbian cartoonist named Enki Bilal penned a graphic novel featuring the sport and a man named Lepe Rubingh brought it to life by organizing matches himself.

Another version of how Chess Boxing got its start is in the Finnish film Uuno Turhapuro—herra Helsingin herra where the protagonist plays chess using a wireless headset to call out his moves while in a boxing match.

The sport has gotten large enough that it is now governed by the World Chess Boxing Organization. The WCBO’s motto is “Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board.”

The first World Championship of Chess Boxing took place in Amsterdam in 2003 and was won by the sport’s founder, Lepe Rubingh.

Chess Boxing, like any regular sport, also has its own superstars, many hailing from eastern Europe and Germany. The most notable Chess Boxers are Andreas “D” Schneider , Zoran “the Priest” Mijatovic, Frank “Anti Terror” Stoldt (who was a former UN Peacekeeper) and 2009 world championship runner up Nikolay “The Chairman” Sazhin, who is only 21 years old.

RZA of the Wu-Tang clan is an avid fan of the sport and continues to promote the game wherever he can.

Having read all this could there possibly be a weirder sport? No. The answer is no.

One response to “Weird sport of the week

  1. ENKI BILAL is french, not serbian and it is IEPE RUBINGH, not “LEPE”!!!…

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