A chessboxing bout begins with chess, which is played on a board placed directly
in the middle of the ring. Each round of chess lasts four minutes. After each
chess round, the bell sounds, and workmen remove the chessboard for a two-minute
round of boxing, the gloves go back on, the punching recommences. Participants
win by way of knockout, checkmate, referee's decision, or if his opponent exceeds
the allotted total of 12 minutes for an entire match on the chessboard.
ESPN has a very nice video
report on chessboxing
(you need a painless to install Flash player to watch)
In the most recent match about 400 people gathered in Cologne, Germany, to
see Zoran 'the Priest' Mijatovic played queens gambit. But 'Anti Terror' Frank
Stoldt was very well prepared and won in the 7th round. In the 7th chess round
Zoran was three moves away of being checkmated, so he resigned. Frank also
controlled the boxing rounds.
Frank Stoldt (right) dodges an attack by Zoran Mijatovic (Photo Nik Kleinbert)
A former kickboxer and longtime chess player, Frank Stoldt, a 36-year-old
Berlin riot police commander, learned about chessboxing over the Internet.
Zoran Mijatovic is a 28-year-old ship welder from Pulla, Croatia.
There is one chessboxer we know quite well. It is Tihomir Atanassov
Dovramadjiev of Bulgaria, a.k.a. "Titschko", which is the
short form of Tihomir. He was an elite chessplayer, winning the Bulgarian national
chess championship in his age group a number of times. Veselin Topalov and
Antoaneta Stefanova were his friends and colleagues from their junior years,
and they played a lot of European and world championships together. Tihomir's
best result was third place in a European championship and 4th place in a world
championship. Today he is an FM rated 2342 on the FIDE list. He is also an
engineer, working on 3D creations and specialising in the 3D CAD system SolidWorks.
At 17 (he is now 26) Tihomir took up bodybuilding, and then started to box.
In 2003 he registred an account, "TigerTAD", on Playchess.com. Since
then (and until June 25, 2006) he has played 23,785 bullet chess and 7144 blitz
chess games. He is one of the few regulars on Playchess to earn the King symbol
by playing on the server (usually the symbol is reserved for FIDE grandmasters).
We have watched him take on some of the strongest players in the world, and
give them a tough fight, especially in bullet chess.
The bullet chess chart for TigerTAD on Playchess
TigerTAD in the top ten bullet chess list on Playchess
Last October the First European Chess Boxing Championship took place in Berlin.
Tihomir Dovramadjiev defeated Andreas Schneider of Germany after the latter
conceded defeat in the seventh round. Tihomir sent us some pictures from the
match, shot by his girlfriend.
Start of the match Tihomir Dovramadjiev vs Andreas Schneider
The chess section of the match, with TigerTAD on the right
Tihomir: "Boxing is harder than chess, because you are receiving damage
in head. The biggest different between boxing and chess is that boxing is a
sport of "enemies", while in chess you make friends. Chessboxing
is fantastically interesting and very difficult. The switch make it difficult.
After boxing a round blood enters your head and this make thinking very, very
In the following months reports on Tihomir Dovramadjiev's Berlin bout appeared
on German TV, and there were stories in a number of men's magazines.
Playboy Germany did a many-page article and blurbed the story on its title
Both the Russian and the Bulgarian editions of Maxim carried major stories
3D Chess pieces designed by chessboxer TigerTAD
In May this year the school Grundschule im Grünen in Germany
held four chessboxing matches.
The girls, we are told, won the prize for the best chess game
The matches were refereed by boxing trainer Gert Rücker,
who trained the chess group of the school for four weeks.