As it’s name suggests, chess-boxing is a mix between chess and boxing to form a sporting discipline. Becoming classified as a sport in 2000, it was first inverted as a sport in a French comic book!
Chess-boxing takes it’s origins from Froid Équateur, a french comic book written in 1992 by Enki Bilal who was a comic book cartoon artist, designer and writer. Becoming recognised as a real sport over the years, the first battle was organised in 2003 by the artist lepe Rubingh from the Netherlands, known as the founder of chess-boxing. Today there are 11 national federations of chess-boxing in the world, which are assembled under the umbrella organisation, the World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO).
Two opponents face each other in the boxing ring where there is also a chess board and the rules of the two disciplines apply. A chess-boxing match has a maximum of 11 rounds, more precisely, 6 chess rounds of 4 minutes and 5 boxing rounds of 3 minutes. The rounds of chess and the rounds of box switch between one and other with a minutes pause between each round. The chess game has a “blitz” format as there is a limited time before each shot (a total of 12 minutes).
The battle is over when one of the players finds a way to checkmate their opponent or if their time has run out. The game can also be abandoned, a KO in boxing or a referees decision (TKO).
It is rather a unique sport with it’s mixture of strategies for boxing and chess. For example, a fighter can redouble his boxing attacks to unbalance their opponent and mentally disrupt him so that they are less successful in chess. Or they can choose to put pressure on the chess game by trying to block and dodge shots during boxing rounds.
Look at the video below to see a chess-boxing match in action: