The (Actually Real) Sport of Chess Boxing

What would you say is the biggest problem with boxing?

If you answered, “The insufficient part played by pure intellect and the absence of complex strategic and tactical maneuvering”, well done.

Now, what would you say is the biggest problem with chess?

If you answered, “Nobody ever punches anybody”, well done again.

But what if…I can you’re barely daring to dream…what if they were combined?

That’s right, chess boxing is a thing and there seems little argument that it is the perfect synthesis of the noblest human pursuits. The ideal blend of brain and brawn, the apogee of Man’s varied virtues brought together in one marvellous sport.

2 men playing chess boxing in ring

Chess boxing was invented in 2003 by Dutchman Iepe Rubingh, based on a graphic novel he’d read once, and if that hasn’t already got your blood pumping maybe you’ve not got any blood. The sport is perfectly simple:

  • Players face each other over eleven rounds of 3 minutes each
  • Rounds alternate between chess and boxing
  • Victory is by knockout, checkmate, judges’ decision, or opponent exceeding the time limit

two boxers playing chess boxing

You can get a taste of the sport here if you like – what am I saying is, of COURSE you like.

Thanks to Iepe Rubingh’s marvellous vision, we finally have a solution to the lack of cerebral activity in boxing, and the lack of violence in chess.

The cleverest, most brutal game of all is here. Get in there.

Check it out