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Chess Boxing a Big Hit in London

8 years ago1.7K views

A Dutch artist has created a new sport, combining the intellectual finesse of chess with a good old-fashioned fistfight. This should be interesting, let’s check it out.

It's unlike any game you've ever seen before.

A crowd of 500 gathered at the Dome Sports Hall in North London Saturday to take in the heavyweight Chessboxing match between UK champ Tim Woolgera and Italian Sergio "The Phoenix" Leveque.

Chessboxing is exactly what it sounds like: a competition mixing the brawn of a boxing match with the mental fitness of a game of chess.

Opponents meet in a boxing ring, and play out 4 minute rounds of chess, then slug it out hand to hand.

The physical bout leaves competitors drained, which makes it harder to concentrate on the challenge of the chess match.

According to Chess Referee Rajko Vujatovic, mental fitness is the key to both sides of the game:

[Rajko Vujatovic, Chess Referee]:
"I think what makes a good chessboxer you have to have mental resilience, if you have any sort of a set back you have to have a mental strength to get back from that. To get up on your feet whether physically or mentally and come back and knock the other person out."

Dutch artist Lepe Rubingh was inspired to start the matches by a comic book.

For him, the attraction is in the unique combination of games.

[Lepe Rubingh, Chessboxing Creator]:
"If you have seen this - if you go into a pub what are you going to tell? You know you 'are not going to tell what you did yesterday, you're going to say I saw something you can't imagine and then everybody's going to say wow wow wow - I want to see this, that's how it works."

Sergio "The Phoenix" Leveque won this bout in the chess match, taking Woolera's King in the fifth round.