Chess boxing, or chessboxing is a hybrid sport that combines two traditional pastimes: chess and boxing.Contestants compete in alternating rounds of chess and boxing.
The basic idea in chessboxing is to combine the two disciplines—one demanding mentally, the other physically—into a merger sport that demands the most of its competitors.The governing bodies of chessboxing are the World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO) and the World Chessboxing Association (WCBA).
Chessboxing was invented by French comic book artist Enki Bilal and adapted by Dutch performance artist Iepe Rubingh as an art performanceand has subsequently grown into a competitive sport. Chessboxing is particularly popular in Germany, the United Kingdom, India, and Russia.
The concept of chessboxing was first coined in the 1979 kung fu film Mystery of Chessboxing made by Joseph Kuo. The first chessboxing event was put on by Dutch performance artist Iepe Rubingh.Rubingh's idea to create a new sport fusing the two disciplines, chess and boxing, originates from the 1992 comic Froid Équateur , written by French comic book artist Enki Bilal, that portrays a chessboxing world championship. In the comic book version, however, the opponents fight an entire boxing match before they face each other in a game of chess. Finding this to be impractical, Rubingh developed the idea further until it turned into the competitive sport that chessboxing is today, with alternating rounds of chess and boxing and a detailed set of rules and regulations.
An earlier version of combining chess and boxing was said to have taken place in a boxing club outside London in the late 1970s. The Robinson brothers were in the habit of playing a round of chess against one another after a training session at their boxing club. However, no direct correlation can be made between the Robinson brothers' chess playing and chessboxing.The same goes for the kung fu movie Mystery of Chessboxing as well as the Wu-Tang Clan song "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'" (1993).
The early history of the chessboxing concept, sport, and rules is presented in an online article on the blog Groupchess.
The first chessboxing competition took place in Berlin in 2003.That same year, the first world championship fight was held in Amsterdam, in cooperation with the Dutch Boxing Association as well as the Dutch Chess Federation and under the auspices of the World Chess Boxing Organization (WCBO) that had been founded in Berlin shortly before. Dutch middleweight fighters Iepe Rubingh and Jean Louis Veenstra faced each other in the ring. After his opponent exceeded the chess time limit, Rubingh won the fight in the eleventh round, going down in the history books as the first-ever World Chess Boxing Champion.
Two years after the first world championship,the first European Chess Boxing Championship took place in Berlin on 1 October 2005. Present-day chessboxing commentator Andreas Dilschneider was defeated by Tihomir Dovramadjiev (FIDE Master ) when he resigned in the ninth round of chess, crowning the latter by being the first European Chess Boxing Champion. The event was covered by a number of world popular magazines and media, including Eurosport, CNN, the Los Angeles Times , Die Welt , and ChessBase. A video report by German television channel RBB presented the event in detail. In 2006, more than 800 spectators filled the Gloria Theatre in Cologne for the world championship qualification fight between Zoran Mijatovic and Frank Stoldt. The 36-year-old Frank Stoldt, who was a former UN peacekeeper in Kosovo and Afghanistan, won when his opponent resigned in chess in the seventh round. After qualifying to fight for the title in 2006, Frank Stoldt went up against American David Depto in November 2007 in Berlin to fight for the first world championship title in the light heavyweight division. More than 800 tickets were sold for the event at the Tape Club in Berlin, making it the biggest chessboxing title fight to that date. Frank Stoldt defeated Depto in the seventh round and thereby cemented Berlin's status as the leading city in the chessboxing world and becoming the first German world champion.
Chessboxing first received credit from the International Chess Federation FIDE, in April 2008; its president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, took part in a chessboxing demo fight in Elista.In 2008, chessboxing clubs were founded in London and Krasnoyarsk. Created in 2009, the Los Angeles Chessboxing Club was the first of its kind in the United States and was directly followed by the New York Chessboxing Club in 2010. The Boxer in Munich also opened in 2010 and offers chessboxing training. In addition to the WCBO's initially European and later world championships taking place, the scene at the London Chessboxing Club grew as well. In 2011, the first international club matchup took place, with Berlin and London in the ring.
In 2011, the WCBO and with it the global chessboxing community made the biggest leap forward in its development to date with the foundation of the Chessboxing Organisation of India and its expansion in Asia, including Chessboxing China and the Chessboxing Organisation of Iran, which was founded in 2012. Furthermore, the third chessboxing organization in the United States, USA Chessboxing, was founded in 2011 and the European movement was being reinforced by the foundation of the Italian Chessboxing Federation in 2012. What's more, the professionalization of chessboxing started to take shape in the second decade of the 21st century. In addition to the WCBO becoming a registered association under German law in 2014, the Chess Boxing Global Marketing CBGM GmbH—called Chess Boxing Global, CBG—was founded; it as of May 2013 [update] is responsible for organizing all professional chessboxing fights worldwide and above all, for the organization of the Chess Boxing World Championships.
The Chess Boxing Organisation India was founded in 2011 by kickboxing official and former Indian kickboxing and karate champion Montu Das. With this, the growth of chessboxing in Asia gained momentum, with the first Chess Boxing Organisation in Western Asia already being built in the following year by another experienced official in the kickboxing world, Fereydoun Pouya, who started the Chess Boxing Organisation Iran.
At the same time, the process of making chessboxing a professional discipline reached a milestone: The 2013 World Championship in Moscow was the first chessboxing event organized and marketed by Chess Boxing Global. With three world championship fights in one night, more than 1,200 spectators, and a standard of fighting never seen before, the first CBG event set new standards in the history of chessboxing, with Leonid Chernobaev leading the way. He has been able to make a name for himself with more than fifteen years of chess-playing experience, and in the boxing world as Marco Huck's and Yoan Pablo Hernández' sparring partner, and having fought over 200 amateur bouts. He won the light heavyweight title against Indian fighter Shailesh Tripathi after a technical knockout in the eighth round (boxing). Sven Rooch secured his title in the middleweight class division—winning against Jonatan Rodriguez Vega after the Spaniard resigned in the seventh round (chess), and Russian Nikolay Sazhin won the heavyweight title against Gianluca Sirci by checkmate. Thus, Sazhin (heavyweight), Chernobaev (light heavyweight), and Rooch (middleweight) would all go down in chessboxing history as the first Chess Boxing Global World Champions.
In terms of its development into a mass sport, there was much success in 2013 and early 2014 for the chessboxing world. There were more competitors in the second and third Indian Championships in the summer of 2013 and early 2014 than in any chessboxing events ever before, with more than 245 fighters of varying age and weight class, taking place in Salem and Jodhpur, respectively.Furthermore, the chessboxing community in London—under the command of London Chessboxing and the WCBA—has continued to grow constantly since 2011 and by now stages chessboxing events for 800 or more spectators regularly four to five times a year at the Scala, King's Cross.
Late 2014 also saw the Finnish Chessboxing Club being founded in Helsinki by five members. Since 2013, there has also been a Moscow Chess Boxing club.
Chessboxing events in 2015 were produced by London Chessboxing under the WCBA—two events at Scala, Kings Cross. The second event, in June 2015, The Grandmaster Bash!, saw the British, European, and IBF light-welterweight world champion Terry Marsh fight and defeat Dymer Agasaryan. Terry Marsh is the first professional boxer to compete in chessboxingand has competed in three fights since June 2014 in London and still remains unbeaten in his career.
Chessboxing has also become more popular among young, poor women in India, where the sport has been seen as an alternative to traditional roles.
Actual numbers of local federations are officially registered in some countries, such as: China,Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Iran, Italy, Madagascar, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, and others.
In 2016, then-FIDE president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, publicly announced to Top Sport his desire to include chessboxing in the Olympic games.
A match consists of 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing, starting and ending with chess. Each round lasts three minutes, followed by a one-minute break. The chess rounds are played under time control, with a total of nine minutes allotted to each player and no increment added to either player's clock after a move is made.
A chessboxing match can end by any of the following:
If the chess game ends in a draw before the final round, one more round of boxing is held. If this round also ends without a clear victory, the fighter who is ahead on boxing points wins the overall bout. If the chess draw occurs in the final round, the fighter ahead on points is immediately declared the winner. In either case, if the bout ends with both fighters tied on points, the one playing the black chess pieces wins the bout, due to not having the first-move advantage in chess. This scenario has not yet occurred in practice as of 2021.
Like boxing, chessboxers are divided into weight classes. Currently, the following apply to professional chessboxing events of Chess Boxing Global (as of October 2014 [update] ):
For amateur and youth chessboxing bouts under the flag of the WCBO, weight classes are graduated in 6-kilo steps. Exceptionally, event hosts can classify into 10-kilo steps.
A chessboxer must have strong skills in both chess and boxing to be permitted to compete in a professional chessboxing fight. The current minimum requirements to fight in a Chess Boxing Global event include an Elo rating of 1,600 and a record of at least fifty amateur bouts fought in boxing or another similar martial art. One deciding factor in chessboxing is that the fighters have to mainly train in speed chess; the skills required by speed chess are different from those for chess using classical time controls. However, chessboxing is not only the ability to master both sports but above all, to be able to withstand the constant switch from a full-contact sport to a thinking game, round after round. After three minutes of boxing, opponents have to face each other at the chessboard barely having taken a break, and have to then perform calmly and think tactically. This switch becomes increasingly hard for the athletes as the contest progresses.
To practice these skills, specialized chessboxing training is used, in which physical interval training forms are combined with blitz or speed chess games. Thereby, the fighters adopt the rhythm of a chessboxing bout. They will use exercises like "track chess" and "stair chess", in which training partners will play an 18-minute game of speed chess over six rounds, with intensive running exercises in between, such as 400-meter sprints or stair sprints. Other common methods of training combine speed chess games with strength exercises such as push-ups. The classic chessboxing training is box sparring combined with a game of speed chess.
Between 2003 and 2013, the chessboxing world championships were organized by the WCBO. As of 2013 [update] , they take the form of professional events under the auspices of Chess Boxing Global.
This section needs to be updated.May 2017)(
The World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO) is the leading umbrella organization for international amateur chessboxing. It is based in Berlin, Germany, and legally recognized as a nonprofit organization by the German government. Iepe Rubingh founded the WCBO directly after the first chessboxing fight in 2003. Its goal is to establish the WCBO as the worldwide organization for the sport of chessboxing. The WCBO aims to collect and link all active chessboxing clubs worldwide under one roof. It was legally recognized as a registered association by Berlin's district court in 2014. The WCBO was the official organizer of the chessboxing world championships until it recognized Chess Boxing Global, following its statute, as the exclusive marketing agent for professional chessboxing fights, in 2013. Chessboxing inventor and WCBO founder Iepe Rubingh is also the current chairman. The first honorary member is comic book artist Enki Bilal, whose comic inspired the invention of chessboxing.
The World Chessboxing Association (WCBA) is a legally recognized umbrella organization for chessboxing. It was founded in 2013 and is based in London, England. English heavyweight chessboxing champion Tim Woolgar is its current president. The WCBA originated from the London Chessboxing Club after having separated from the WCBO. It was founded by Tim Woolgar in 2013 to accelerate the development of chessboxing. WCBO champions are also managed and recognized by the WCBA.
London Chessboxing is a brand under which the sport of chessboxing has been promoted since 2008in London, England. Although the sport has been practiced in London since 1978, the home of chessboxing in London today is Islington Boxing Club, where London Chessboxing hosts regular training sessions.
The first ever chessboxing event hosted in the UK under the brand was at Bethnal Green Working Men's club in Hackney by Tim Woolgar on 15 August 2008. Other notable venues include Chelsea Old Town Hall,The Grange Hotel in St Pauls, and the Royal Albert Hall. Presently, their events are hosted at Scala, King's Cross, York Hall, and The Dome, in Tuffnell Park. The events are also broadcast on the livestreaming service Twitch.
In parallel with the development of chessboxing as a sport, the discipline has found an increasing place in several works by leading scientists who study the potential application of the concept in various fields.
Riddick Lamont Bowe is a retired American professional boxer who competed between 1989 and 2008. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion in 1992, and as an amateur he won a silver medal in the super heavyweight division at the 1988 Summer Olympics.
Boxing in the 1980s was filled with important fights, events and personalities that shaped the sport. Boxing in the 1980s was shaped by many different situations, such as the continuous corporate battles between the different world sanctioning organizations, the void left by Muhammad Ali as the sport's ambassador and consequent search for a new boxing hero, the continuous presence of Don King as the sport's most famous promoter, the surge of rival promoters as Bob Arum, Butch Lewis and Murad Muhammad, and major rule changes. In 1986, Mike Tyson emerged as a fresh new face in the heavyweight division, which had seen a decline in champion quality level after Ali's retirement and, later on, after longtime WBC ruler Larry Holmes' prime. In addition, the IBF and WBO began operating.
Heavyweight is a weight class in combat sports and professional wrestling.
Iepe B. T. Rubingh was a Dutch performance artist, athlete and the founder of chess boxing and World Chess Boxing Organisation.
The World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO) is the governing body of the sport chessboxing. The WCBO was founded in 2003 and has its headquarters in Berlin, Germany. Its current president is Iepe Rubingh (deceased), founder of the sport.
Sports in Ukraine as in any other countries throughout the World plays an important role in shaping popular view of Ukraine and Ukrainian popular culture to its residents and the rest of the World. Being dominated by Russia since the 18th century, sport on the bigger portion of Ukraine as the rest of popular culture in Ukraine has been overshadowed by Russian culture as its regional deviation. As part of Ukrainian culture, sport began its development in Austria-Hungary and was influenced by various European physical culture movements such as pan-Germanic Turners, pan-Slavic Sokol, and others. In the Russian Empire, the Ukrainian nation was never recognized and was criminally prosecuted, while the Little-Russian culture was allowed to existed only as folk culture. Only after dissolution of the Soviet Union, in 1992 the Ukrainian anthem first sounded at Olympic Games starting with the Olympic victory of Oleh Kucherenko and immediately followed by victories of Tetiana Hutsu and Oleksandra Tymoshenko.
Sergei Valerievich Kharitonov is a Russian heavyweight mixed martial artist and former kickboxer. A professional MMA competitor since 2000, he has previously fought in Japanese MMA organizations PRIDE Fighting Championships, DREAM, Bellator MMA, M-1 Global, Strikeforce, and GLORY.
Tihomir Atanassov Dovramadjiev is a Bulgarian chess FIDE master and chess boxer. He became the first European chess boxing champion from Berlin, Germany, in 2005. He has held the international FIDE master title of the World Chess Federation since 2004.
A Grand Slam Champion, also known as a Quadruple Champion, occurs in different sports when a competitor wins four crowns, titles, medals, belts or another distinction. The definition varies depending on the sport.
Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Usyk is a Ukrainian professional boxer. He reigned as the undisputed cruiserweight champion from 2018 until he vacated his titles in 2019, being the first cruiserweight in history to hold all four major world championships—the WBA (Super), WBC, IBF and WBO titles.
Tim Woolgar is a British chess boxer and event organiser who established Great Britain Chess Boxing Organisation and the London Chessboxing Club the first United Kingdom chessboxing institution. He is a former holder of the title, British Heavyweight Chess Boxing Champion. He also promotes chess boxing events.
Bernard Humphrey Hopkins Jr. is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1988 to 2016. He is one of the most successful boxers of the past three decades, having held multiple world championships in two weight classes, including the undisputed middleweight title from 2001 to 2005, and the lineal light heavyweight title from 2011 to 2012.
Santos Saúl "Canelo" Álvarez Barragán is a Mexican professional boxer. He has won multiple world championships in four weight classes from light middleweight to light heavyweight, including unified titles in three of those weight classes. Álvarez is currently a unified super middleweight world champion, having held the WBA (Super), WBC, and Ring magazine titles since 2020, and the WBO title since May 2021.
Natalia Yurievna Ragozina, better known as Natascha Ragosina, is an undefeated retired professional boxer who spent much of her career ranked as the top female super middleweight in the world.
Denis Alexandrovich Grachev is a Russian boxer, kickboxer, and mixed martial artist residing in the United States. Grachev was the IKF Muay Thai world light cruiserweight champion.
The World Chessboxing Association (WCBA) is the governing body of chess boxing. The WCBA was founded in 2013 and has its headquarters in London, England. Its current president is Tim Woolgar who was the chess boxing UK champion at heavyweight.
Nikolay Sergeevich Sazhin is a former world champion of chess boxing. Sazhin has an Elo rating of 1911. Sazhin's overall record was at that point 49–13–0. His alias is "The Siberian Express" or "The Chairman"(Председатель).
Pro Box New Zealand Association is one of the four governing bodies for the sport of professional boxing in New Zealand. Pro Box NZ is a non-profit organisation.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chess boxing .|