Football network theory

Left uppercut to black knight

Boxing and chess have always seemed like polar opposites — games that sit on each side of the Cartesian mind/body divide. Thus I was intrigued to learn about the new sport that limns both regions: Chessboxing. The rules, according to the World Chess Boxing Organization, are thus:

In a contest there shall be 11 rounds, 6 rounds of chess, 5 rounds of boxing. A round of chess takes 4 minutes. Each competitor has 12 minutes on the chess timer. As soon as the time runs out the game is over. A round of boxing takes 2 minutes. Between rounds there is a 1 minute pause, during which competitors change their gear.

The contest is decided by: checkmate (chess round), exceeding the time limit (chess round), retirement of an opponent (chess or boxing round), KO (boxing round), or referee decision (boxing round). If the chess game ends in a stalement, the opponent with the higher score in boxing wins. If there is an equal score, the opponent with the black pieces wins.

The first annual competition was hosted in Berlin last week, and the victor was Bulgarian boxer Tihomir Titschko, who not only has a killer right hook but is one of the world’s top-rated players of high-speed “bullet chess”. A renaissance man indeed! Though as CNN found when it reported on the event, spectators were amazed that anyone could play this thing at all: “It’s hard to imagine coming back from a round of boxing and remembering what you were trying to do on the chess board,” said one. “You’re probably sitting there preoccupied with the pain.”

(Thanks to Yishay Mor for this one!)

blog comments powered by Disqus

Search This Site


I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

More of Me


Recent Comments

Collision Detection: A Blog by Clive Thompson