“I thought to introduce you to Chessboxing tonight.”
WTF! Chessboxing? Intriguing name for a sport that combines chess and boxing. Yeah really! It reminded me of the Dutch TV show Pisa from the 80’s. That show combined ice-skating with draughts (featuring Dutch world champions Van der Wal and Wiersma) to a new “olympic sport”. Where the TV show was comedy, Chessboxing is serious business with World- and European championships. Chessboxing was invented by a Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh, who got his inspiration from a ’90’s comic made by Enes Bilalović born in former Yugoslavia (nice detail: the Dutch TV show “invented” their IceDraughts for the 1984 Winterolympics held in Yugoslavia’s Sarajevo).
Real boxing, professional referee. You can find rules, history and all that jazz here.
The dynamic of the fight is interesting. Bad chess play really motivates a player to (try to) finish the fight in the next round of boxing to avoid losing by checkmate. A round lasts 3 minutes and that’s a hard deadline. You can imagine the “all or nothing” kind of boxing it produces. Brutal.
Players have a one minutes break between rounds. Breaks are used to remove gloves (or to put them on), while the organization deals with the chessboard.
Chess is a race against time and lack of concentration due to fatigue and battering. Each player has 9 minutes of pure chess playing time for a total 6 rounds of chess.
Each round of chess (exept for round 11) is followed by 3 minutes of boxing.
The standing 8-count rule applies when a boxer appears to be hurt. During the count the referee decides if the strikken boxer is fit to continue.
The chessboard is an ideal place for psychological warfare.
Bring it on! I had an amazing time.