Chessboxing: A Battle of Mind and Fist

by Kasen Stephensen

For the next 6 months, athletes from all over the world will prepare for the Chessboxing 2017 World Championship.  Yes, that is correct: chessboxing.  It is as entertaining as it is difficult.

Described as an “Intellectual Fight Club,” competitors battle in alternating 3 minute rounds of chess and boxing until a checkmate or knockout is achieved.  After a boxing round, players immediately sit down, clear their minds, and compete in a chess match.  

Tim Woolgar, founder of London Chessboxing and the president of the World Chessboxing Association, says that chessboxing “tends to attract people who are original thinkers… They tend to be independent spirits with the ability to take on a challenge that other people would be afraid of.  You have to be courageous to be a chess boxer because you’re a bit of a pioneer.”

The physical and mental strain of the sport has real-world applications as participants must withstand physical stress and make strategic decisions.

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