Chess boxing is a thing. 

The hybrid sport of chess boxing unites the mental game of chess with the physicality of boxing.

Fighters take part in alternate rounds that switch between boxing and chess. It is a sport that is increasing in popularity. Though, what is it all about?

Chess boxing is precisely what it says to be: a union of the physical demands of boxing and the intellectual elements of chess. 

The sport takes the two extremes of endurance and combines them together to see who can triumph in a battle of the body and mind.

It was initially started by Dutch performance artist Iepe Rubingh. However, there are unofficial reports that brothers James and Stewart Robinson started the sport back in 1979. Both Robinson brothers were avid chess players that were also known as amateur boxers.

Though, many credit Rubingh for the contemporary adaptation of the sport that was encouraged by the 1992 comic Froid Equateur, written by artist Enki Bilal, with the 1st competition taking place in Berlin in 2003. The World Chess Boxing Organization was created a short time after and the sport has never looked back.

Since then, other organizations like the World Chess Boxing Association have been created to help the sport grow.

How to Win

There are many ways that fighters can win a chess boxing fight.

During the chess part of the fight, a winner can be determined through a checkmate or by a fighter surpassing the time limit. During the boxing phase, a winner can be decided with a KO or referee decision.

Also, it is possible for a fighter to win in both the boxing and chess phases by the opponent retiring.

In the instance where the chess part ends in a stalemate, the opponent with the top score from the boxing rounds will be determined the winner. If the points are even, the player in possession of the black pieces in the chess rounds is the winner.


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