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Chess Boxing: Strong Mind in A Strong Body

Chess is known to be one of the most challenging mental exercises. Boxing is known to be one of the most challenging physical ones. What happens when you combine them?

That was the question that Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh had when, in 2003, and inspired by a comic by Enki Bilal, he announced the inauguration of “Chess boxing,” a sport that brings together chess and boxing.

Uhmm… Sorry, what?

The idea is simple: you play three minutes of chess, followed by a round of boxing, and then you repeat. You can win, mainly, by either knocking out your opponent or checkmate. A player needs to be able to switch fast from thinking chess moves to protecting their body and punching the opponent (and vice versa).

After hosting an exhibition event, Rubingh won the first world championship, and slowly various federation started sprucing out and spreading around the world. Now, there are events taking place in areas such as the UK and France.

Cool, I want to try it. How can I?

Recently a group gathered in Rotterdam to give it a go. And I was there… Yes, I can confirm it was intense. So far, they have not announced a new meet-up to train, but they have a page if you want to check out.

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