Brains vs Brawn: The World of Chessboxing
If you were to attend a boxing match at your local community hall then you would probably be surprised to see a folding chair situated in the middle of the ring with a chessboard on top of it. Things would get even weirder when, instead of sparring up, the two boxers instead sat down to square off to each other over a game of chess. However, for one London nightclub, this is exactly what happens on a regular basis. Welcome to the world of chessboxing!
The Ultimate Hybrid Sport
Chessboxing is exactly as it reads like and this hybrid sport offers a round of boxing followed by a round of chess. You could argue that participants are tested on both a mental and physical level and the hybrid continues until there is a winner. If you know how to play chess and you know how to box then you know how to chessbox! It sounds simple enough but what exactly has led to the development of this rather unorthodox sport? The founder of London Chessboxing club, Tim Woolgar argue that both sports are about what you can bring to the table.
The founder argued that both sports involve a duel and all you have to aid you is what you have brought to the table on the day. If you are not prepared then you may not be physically or mentally up to the task and to succeed at chessboxing you have to have both in your locker. The player that has the bigger will to win will emerge victorious but it is important to understand that the will to win has to be both physical and intellectual. Based on this, you can see why chessboxing may appeal to so many people across the UK and beyond.
Now a Global Phenomenon
The hybrid sport has gone from strength to strength and it got us thinking about the potential for other hybrid sports. For example, is it possible to blend boxing and bingo? Maybe the guys that wrote this article can. However, there are now 380 active members of the World Chess Boxing Organization which has groups across Europe, America and Asia. One stat that stood out to us was that the chessboxing club in Berlin was currently sitting at around 500 members with many of these members training every day of the week. Furthermore, the chessboxing club in LA raises money for charity with its chessboxing matches.
Of course, for the spectator, there certainly is a lot going on with chessboxing but spectators seem to enjoy the athletic exchange between the boxers before enjoying a tense few moves on the chessboard. It really does offer something that is completely different to the norm and we cannot get enough of it. If you want to learn more about chessboxing then you can check out the World Chess Boxing Organization’s website where you will be able to find out where your nearest chessboxing club is.