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Old 5th August 2011, 01:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The new sport for those with brains AND brawn... it's chess-boxing!

The new sport for those with brains AND brawn... it's chess-boxing!

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 10:46 AM on 4th August 2011


According to the stereotype, punch drunk boxers are not generally thought of as the sharpest cards in the pack.

But now there is a knockout new combat sport which calls on competitors to be as sharp with their minds as they are fierce with their fists, as fighters compete over rounds of both boxing and chess.

The challenging new sport - which has even been played by professionals like James De Gale - sees competitors face off in the ultimate clash of brains and brawn.


Brains and brawn: Fighters face off over a round of chess, their faces showing the signs of some stiffly fought rounds of boxing. Boxers like James De Gale have even taken up the new sport

And unlike mainstream pugilism, fighters can win by not only knocking out their opponent, but also by catching them in checkmate.

Tim Woolgar, the founder of the UK's first chessboxing gym in north London, said: 'Chess is a gladiatorial game, just like boxing.

'Chess was designed as a strategy for training for warfare - there's still the will to win.

'The perception that people have of chess players and boxers is slightly warped at either end of the spectrum.

'So that's the beauty of this discipline - it goes completely against those stereotypes, mixing brains with brawn.'


Queensbury rules: Boxing rounds and chess rounds are alternated, and fighters can win by either knocking out their opponent or catching them in checkmate

Some of the world's biggest chess players have taken up the unusual pastime - in which 11 alternating rounds of chess then boxing take place.

Each chess round lasts four minutes, while the boxing bouts last a gruelling three minutes a piece - with a one minute break in between to switch the equipment.

THE RULES OF CHESSBOXING



A contest consists of 11 rounds: six rounds of chess and five rounds of boxing.

A round of chess lasts 4 minutes, with each competitor having just 12 minutes on the chess timer.

A round of boxing lasts 3 minutes. Between the 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.
One European chessboxing champion, Tihomir Atanassov Dovramadjiev, is a World Chess Federation Master with a chess rating of over 2300 and has won multiple board game competition wins under his belt.

The sport is now governed by the World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO), which has adopted the motto 'Fighting is done in the ring and wars are declared at the table.'

And Mr Woolgar, who is credited with bringing the sport to the UK after seeing it on a German website, has now taken the sport to underprivileged youths on the The Ringcross Estate in Islington, north London.

The 37-year-old added: 'When I'm training a youngster I tell them that you need to protect your king on the chessboard as that is just like your head in the ring.

Mr Woolgar's chess boxing club recently defeated its Berlin counterpart by two bouts to one - cementing the UK gym as a serious heavyweight contender in the sport.

He said: 'There are some people out there who are top chess players and brilliant boxers, especially in Russia where chess is part of the national school curriculum.

'Here in the UK there is still a lot of room for improvement, but we are getting there as the recent win shows.'

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ss-boxing.html

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