Europe's newest combination sport, ChessBoxing, sees opponents square-up in the ring and across the chessboard. To excel at ChessBoxing you have to be good at both boxing and chess. You can win by checkmate, time penalty, on points or by knock-out. The two chess clocks are set to twelve minutes (24 minutes total) allowing for a maximum of six rounds of chess at four minutes per round. The bout is contested across eleven rounds, beginning with a round of chess, followed by a three minute round of boxing and so on. The first question on most people's lips is, how can a chess player stand up against a boxer, surely the boxer will always win as soon as the gloves go on? The answer is that ChessBoxing is not a competition between chess and boxing. It is a sport that blends both disciplines. Contestants need to be able to demonstrate a comparable level of ability in both chess and boxing to be matched against each other. Another obvious question is; if a contestant is in danger of losing the chess game, can he (or she) simply stall for time until the next opportunity to fight it out with the gloves on? In practice a referee monitors the game at all times to prevent deliberate time-wasting and if a player refuses to move to gain an unfair advantage, a ten second count is delivered during which the player must make a legal move or forfeit the contest. Obviously there are tactics that are unique to ChessBoxing, for example players do not resign, no matter how hopeless their position as there is always a chance of turning things around in the next round. Chess needs to be played as precisely as possible to force victory in the minimum number of moves.
The first ChessBoxing club in the UK was formed in April 2008 in London and affiliated to the Great Britain ChessBoxing Organisation the same month
"Fighting is done in the ring, wars are waged on the board"