There’s A Sport Where You Play Chess And Then Punch Someone In The Face

Forget the World Chess Championship: we’re here to talk about Chessboxing.

Invented in 1992 by Dutch performance artist, Iepe Rubingh, the idea came from a French comic that depicted the fictional sport. Thinking that this was an awesome idea, he decided to make it a thing.

It didn’t take long for it to become a legitimate sport with its own rules, weight classes and regulations. The baseline is pretty simple though — two competitors face off in 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing.

Victory can occur via knockout, technical knockout, checkmate, winning by points in boxing or by time-out in chess. Disqualification and resignation can also occur.

It may sound like a joke, but it’s serious business. Its popularity has spread all over the world and there are official organisations that represent the sport on most continents. Sadly, we don’t have one in Australia yet.

It even has its own World Championship.

As an added milestone, 2015 saw Terry Marsh compete in Chessboxing — making him the first professional boxer to officially get involved.

This is probably because there are strict regulations to enter official Chessboxing fights. Competitors need an Elo rating (the skill level calculator for both chess and other competitive games and sports) of 1600, a record of 50+ amateur bouts in either boxing or martial arts and speed chess training.

More people seem to be taking up the sport as its popularity grows. Would you give it a crack?

This article originally appeared on Kotaku Australia

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