Chess Boxing

Every few months Dave and I have this conversation:

Me: I don’t know how to play chess. Doesn’t it seem like I should know how? I mean, not that I would play a lot, but it seems like a reasonably intelligent, educated person should know how to play chess.

Dave: I can teach you if you want. It will take, like, 20 minutes to learn the basics…

Me: And a lifetime to get good at it. I know.

[pause] I don’t really like strategy games.

[another pause] Let’s play backgammon.

Today I found a reason to maybe take Dave up on his offer: Chess-Boxing

From an article in Time magazine:

The chess-boxing combo traces its roots back to a 1992 comic book, titled The Nikopol Trilogy, in which the men of the future box on a chessboard floor. The image inspired Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh to hold — and compete in — the first official chess-boxing bout in Amsterdam in 2003.

The World Chess Boxing Organization, calls itself an intellectual fight club, and its slogan is “Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board.”

During matches, competitors alternate between three-minute rounds of boxing and four-minute rounds of speed chess with one-minute breaks in between. The best part? The winner is determined by knockout or checkmate (or… snooze… referee decision).

Says spokesman Andreas Dilschneider (in Berlin, naturally), ” You can build up a very strong position. You can be a very good player. But if for one moment you are not aware, and you make one bad move, the whole game is over.”

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