Chess boxing might make your head explode

Jordan Demcher Contributor
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Chess boxing is exactly what is sounds like.

The sport combines four-minute rounds of blitz chess alternating with three-minute rounds of boxing. It lasts until there is a checkmate or a knockout.

The hybrid sport, which is gaining attention in the United Kingdom, combines “the mental workout of chess with the physical challenge of boxing,” according to BBC journalist Christian Parkinson.

Basically, you play a few minutes of chess to get your brain stimulated, and then you get into the ring for a few minutes to get your brained smashed.

The hybrid sport is governed by the World Chess Boxing Organisation, and held its first world championship in 2003. So it is actually quite legitimate, and according to the WCBO website, its task “is to train people in the no. 1 thinking sport and the no. 1 fighting sport and the combination of both.”

On June 21, 2003, Lennox Lewis, former World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion, and Vitali Klitschko, current WBC heavyweight champion squared off for a title match, which was billed as the “Battle of the Titans.” Lewis was controversially named the winner of the fight by technical knockout, but rather than a straight boxing rematch, many would like to see the two go at it in a match of chess boxing.

Klitschko is a member of the Ukrainian Parliament and holds a Ph.D., earning him the nickname “Dr. Ironfist”. Lewis is an avid amateur chess player who was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in Waterloo.

They are prime candidates for chess boxing glory, but the match was never arranged and is unlikely to happen. Perhaps one day the World Chess Boxing Organisation can land two top contenders like Lewis and Klitschko.

In case you were wondering, the 2003 WCBO world championship was won by the current president of the WCBO, Iepe Rubingh.

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Jordan Demcher