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As the name suggests, ‘Chess Boxing’ is a sport that is a combination of chess and boxing. Anyone wishing to participate in this sport needs to sharpen not just their mental skills but also their physical abilities.

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The Objective Of Chess Boxing

Chess boxing players participate in to compete in alternate rounds of boxing and rapid chess. The contest continues in this fashion until one of the competitors loses a bout or resigns from the showdown.

As per the rules, one player will get defeated when knocked out in the boxing rounds or checkmated during the chess rounds. Apart from these two instances, players can also be declared winners when their opponents run out of time in a particular bout, or they intentionally impede the smooth flow of the chess contests.

In extreme cases, continuous rule-breaking during the boxing series of chess boxing contests can lead to disqualification from the tournament.

Chess Boxing Championship

When it comes to the Championship, three chief global organisations undertake such events. However, several well-known bodies have set up their own independent championship tournaments. But the three prime bodies that we will be talking about here are – the World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO), the World Chess Boxing Association (WCBA), and the Chess Boxing Global (CBG).

World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO)

The World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO) came into existence in the city of Berlin, Germany, in the year 2003. Being the first world body of its kind, it had the responsibility of holding world boxing championship contests till 2013.

World Chess Boxing Association (WCBA)

The World Chess Boxing Association (WCBA) is the second-most renowned council which came into being in 2013.

Its primary purpose is to promote and develop the chess boxing landscape of the planet. It holds the championship tournaments in its own stead and also recognizes champions coming out of the fold of the WCBO.

Chess Boxing Global (CBG)

The third most crucial international-level governing body happens to be Chess Boxing Global Marketing, also referred to as Chess Boxing Global (CBG). Since its inception, this professional league was established in 2013 and has hosted officially sanctioned many championship contests in various venues.

Recommended Read: Chess Notation – The Language Of Chess

Chess Boxing History

Chess boxing has been around in the professional sporting circuit since 1992. It is a unique sporting activity that requires both intelligence and physical prowess. From humble beginnings in 1992, this sport has slowly but steadily gained a broader audience in countries such as England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, and Russia. With people from each of these wholeheartedly embracing this novel sport, chess boxing captured the imagination of a diverse set of spectators.

The international governing boards have all agreed on a set of standardized rules and regulations that pilot the game worldwide. The following are the main points to remember while playing this game at any level:

  • During the chess rounds, no player should intentionally waste time while deciding to go for a move. The referees officiating the chess rounds of the sport are provided with the full authority to penalize a contestant for the deliberate time delay.
  • All participants should have a proven track record of knowledge in both chess and boxing.
  • Competitors in tournaments are required to have a chess rating of a minimum of 1800 to be considered for a place in a given competition.
  • As a sport, chess boxing gives all participants ample opportunities to show their worth. The game rules are flexible enough to allow any competitor to win a bout after defeating their opponent, either in the chess rounds or in the boxing rounds.

In other words, if a player knocks out their rival in a boxing round, they will be announced as the winner of the match. Likewise, if someone checkmates their adversary in the chess section of the game, the officials declare them as the overall victor.

The standard rules of chess boxing state that a complete match will consist of a total of six chess rounds and a total of five rounds of boxing. A game can be stopped before the entire chess, and boxing rounds are completed. This can transpire due to a participant getting beaten in an earlier round, be it in chess or boxing.

Chess Boxing Players

In chess boxing, the contest begins when the referee points to the clock, and the two contestants lock horns in a four-minute chess round. Once this is taken care of, the players head to the boxing ring to fight for three minutes. The competitors return to the chess board when the boxing round is over.

This cycle continues until a winner is formed. The two players fight it out in six chess and five boxing rounds. Between each round, whether it is chess or boxing, all players are granted a break of a single minute to recuperate from the strain of the earlier round.

When the players sit facing each other to play chess, they remove their boxing gloves. And then, during the one-minute interval, they must wear their boxing gloves again. Each player is supplied with earphones to be worn during the chess rounds in order to prevent the commotion coming from the audience from entering their ears. 

The chess portion of chess boxing is played with a twelve-minute clock as the timekeeper. This makes the chess half of chess boxing a form of ‘speed chess’. If a player is deemed to be taking too much time, the officials could force them to make a move within 10 seconds.

How are Winners Declared in Chess Boxing

The boxing rounds in chess boxing are played as per regular boxing game rules. The same applies to the chess portion of the match. To determine a winner, it is generally the performance of the players in the chess rounds that is taken into consideration. Unless a clear frontrunner emerges in the chess rounds, the overseers of the match consider the outcome of the boxing rounds.

When the points achieved by both the players are the same in the boxing and chess rounds, the player who has competed using black chess pieces is declared the ultimate winner.

Therefore, to win a chess boxing match fair and square, a player has to either strike a checkmate on the opponent in the chess rounds or knock out a rival in the chess rounds. One player’s withdrawal in the chess rounds is also a sign of defeat. If none of this takes place, the difference in points in the boxing rounds is studied to underline a winner.

Recommended Read: How To Win A Chess Match

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