Chess boxing: Kramnik vs Klitschko?

12/2/2003 – Is chess too boring for you? Those crafty Dutchies have found a way to finally resolve the impasse in the chess world. Put the players in a boxing ring, let them play for four minutes and then duke 'em up for a round with the gloves. Hmmm, Vladimir Kramnik loses badly to Vitaly Klitchko in the FIDE classical world chess boxing championship final? We are not joking.

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The World Chess Boxing Championship

The basic idea in chessboxing is to combine the no.1 thinking sport and the no.1 fighting sport into a hybrid that demands the most of its competitors – both mentally and physically, yet which can be performed by easiest means. In a chessboxing fight two opponents play alternating rounds of chess and boxing. The fight goes over a maximum of 11 rounds, 6 rounds of chess and 5 rounds of boxing. The fight is either decided by checkmate or ko. For a detailed description please look at the chessboxing rules (1 MB PDF file). The patronage of this new sport has been taken under it´s wing by the World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO). It propagates the spreading of chessboxing to all 5 continents. Further planed stations in 2004 are Berlin and Moscow. The motto of WCBO: 'Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board'. Here are some pictures of a chessboxing bout.

From the Radio Netherlands web site

Competitors go toe to toe across the chessboard and in the boxing ring in a combined event which tests mental and physical capabilities to the limit. Opponents begin with four minutes of chess then two minutes of boxing – the cycle continues for six rounds of chess and five of boxing, unless of course there's a knockout or a checkmate in the meantime.

A World Chess Boxing Organisation has been set up and the first "world championships" have just been held in Amsterdam. The backers of the new sport, the brainchild of a Dutch artist, say they hope it will become an Olympic event by the year 2016. They say it's the ultimate mental and physical challenge to find an all-round champion.

Will the concept take off? Have your say in this week's Amsterdam Forum.

Top Chess Boxing events we look forward to seeing


Stareoff at the start of the classical chess boxing championship between Ukraine heavyweight champion Vitaly Klitschko and Vladimir Kramnik.


Garry Kasparov after his hard-fought victory over Vladimir Klitschko at the Atlantic City rapid chess boxing finals.


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