New Chessboxing season starts in London

by ChessBase
2/27/2010 – Top of the bill is a thrilling heavyweight encounter between Sergio “The Phoenix” Leveque from Italy and Dutchman, Hubert Van Melick. Chessboxing entails alternating sessions of four minutes at the chessboard and two in the boxing ring. You can win by checkmate or knockout. In two weeks the new season begins, with the first fights in London. Press release and videos.

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The New Chessboxing Season Starts in London!

Saturday, March 13th 2009

Leveque makes his chessboxing debut, marking the final step in his recovery from a horrendous motorbike accident in 2005 when doctors doubted he would ever walk again. Leveque has proved them wrong, regaining fitness and climbing back in the ring three times in Italy during 2009 before rising to the chessboxing challenge. Leveque plays in the Italian A league chess team and is a candidate master level player.

Van Melick makes his third chessboxing appearance following two wins against Mexico’s Hector Gomez in October 2009 and Welshman Bob Innes in December 2009. Van Melick’s chessboxing career kicked off in earnest after losing his job at a top merchant bank during the financial crisis. Now instead of trading shares he trades punches and material on the chessboard, aiming for a shot at the European title currently held by Italy’s Gianluca Sirci.

On the undercard we have a superb middleweight clash featuring “The Man From Pamplona” Daniel Lizarraga matched against Berliner, Sebastian Baursefeld. Lizarraga narrowly defeated Baursefeld’s training mate Sascha Wandkowsky in December 2009 and is looking for a second straight victory at the Boston Dome.

The first bout of the night will be an amateur encounter between two chessboxing enthusiasts, TV producer Rob Gillies and journalist Johnny Higginson, political editor of London’s Metro newspaper. Both men have had just ten weeks to prepare for the bout which is being staged to raise money for the charity The Railway Children.

This is the first of five UK chessboxing events due to take place in London this year, produced by the Great Britain Chessboxing Organisation in conjunction with The Wolrd Chessboxing Organisation. Future dates in 2010 will be May 8th, July 3rd, September 11th and December 4th.

Commentary by International Chess Master Malcom Pein

An introduction to Chessboxing

Last week we visited the inventor of Chessboxing Iepe Rubingh in Berlin. Present was also the German composer, singer and actress Vaile, who is an avid chess player.

Vaile challenged Iepe to a game of chess, in front of the giant Chessboxing poster

She plays a game of chess every day – and takes it very seriously

In summer this astonishing young lady spends two months in the forests of Sweden, alone with two horses. Vaile has written a book on the subject. It will be out as a top title in the Knaur Verlag this fall.

Iepe, who is the better chess player, gives Vaile some pointers. In the boxing round
that followed – no, wait, there was no round of boxing between the two...

Videos on Chessboxing

Brand X: Chessboxing this Saturday: Chess and boxing – seriously, what’s not to like?


Venue: The Boston Dome, Boston Arms, Junction Road, London N19 5QQ
When: March 13th December – Time: 7pm til late
Ticket prices: from just £10 –
Advance Box Office:
Contact: Tim Woolgar +44 7956 196780
More Information:

Previous reports on chess and boxing

Swedish ChessBoxing Sensation in London
28.06.2009 – London hasn’t been this crazy about a Swede since the heady days of Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon. This was undoubtedly the best chessboxing night yet seen in the UK; there was a superlative headline bout between two of the world's leading chessboxers, controversy involving an illegal move, the flamboyant Red Kite, and an England vs Germany match. Pictorial report with annotated games.

Chessboxing Triumph in London
19.11.2008 – This hybrid sport, with four-minute sessions of chess interspersed with three minutes of boxing, is the brainchild of Dutch event artist Iepe Rubingh. The match ends in checkmate or knockout. Chessboxing is fast becoming a world-wide phenomenon, overtaking chess in the number of spectators it can attract. The latest match took place in London. Pictorial report.

Reb Fountain's Chess Boxing single
03.10.2008 – It sounds unlikely: a Kiwi singer who makes "soul music that is real and heartfelt and pure and connects with people because it sounds good and feels great," has been inspired in her new album by – chess boxing. "It is quite beautiful, people boxing and then coming to the chessboard bleeding profusely. I like the idea of that." Video report.

Chessboxing in London’s East End
12.09.2008 – The UK’s first chessboxing extravaganza kicked off on a sultry summer’s night on 15 August in the East End of London. Famous for Jack the Ripper, Pearly Kings and Queens, and 1960’s gangsters, the area is now the hub of a vibrant night scene. Rajko Vujatovic gives his inside account as chess arbiter on the night, whilst Tim Woolgar offers a unique first hand report of his debut chessboxing bout.

The Russians are coming – in chessboxing
09.07.2008 – Having enjoyed recent success in soccer, basketball and ice hockey, Russia is now also able to boast a world champion in the little-known sport of chessboxing. Russia's Nikolai Sazhin, a 19-year-old mathematics student from the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, defeated light heavyweight defending champion Frank Stoldt, a 37-year-old policeman from Germany, to lift the world chess boxing title.

Chessboxing World Championship 2008 in Berlin
03.07.2008 – In October there is one between Anand and Kramnik in Bonn. But that will be peaceful compared to the World Championship that is scheduled in Berlin this weekend. There four minutes of chess are interspersed with three minutes of violent pugilistic activities. We bring you photos and videos – and we also found out what FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov thinks about this sport.

American fighter takes on German champ in Chessboxing
14.10.2007 – David “Double D” Depto and “Anti Terror” Frank Stoldt will meet for the World Championship in Chessboxing. Six rounds of speed chess and five rounds of boxing will take place alternatingly. In a maximum of eleven rounds, the decision will come either through K.O. or check mate. The match takes place on November 3rd 2007 in Berlin, Germany. Press announcement.

Vladimir Kramnik: World Championship Chess (and boxing)
12.07.2007 – After winning the Dortmund Super-GM Vladimir Kramnik travelled to Hamburg to produce his first DVD in the ChessBase Media System, recording over six hours of video material that traces his path to the top of the chess world. After finishing he rushed to Cologne to support his chess playing friend Vladimir Klitschko, who was defending his world championship title in boxing. Pictorial report.

Chess playing boxer Klitschko retains heavyweight title
12.03.2007 – Vladimir Klitschko is a Ukrainian IBF heavyweight world boxing champion with a PhD in sports science and an avid interest in chess. On Saturday he fought American challenger Ray Austin and dropped him with a flurry of left hooks 87 seconds into the second round. Next people hope to see a unification fight against WBC champion Nikolai Valuev. Watch Saturday's fight.

The kick boxing women's chess champion
13.12.2006 – The winner of the Ukrainian Women's Championship 2006 was not one of the very strong top seeds, but WGM Oksana Vozovic, a law student who is also a kick boxer and karate champion. Oksana, who won the women's chess title on tiebreak points, is still trying to decide which area of expertise she will pursue professionally. Illustrated report by GM Mikhail Golubev.

Chessboxing on ESPN, Playboy and Maxim
27.06.2006 – This unusual sport, in which two competitors face each other in 11 alternating rounds, six of chess, five of boxing, is rapidly gaining popularity. You know that is the case when you see chessboxing on the front page of a leading sports web site, and as a major story in a number of men's magazines. Check out the ESPN video footage.

Klitschko checkmates Byrd to win IBF title
24.04.2006 – Vladimir Klitschko, the younger of the world champion heavyweight boxing brothers, took the new International Boxing Federation title on Friday night, defeating Chris Byrd of the US by technical knockout in the seventh round. The Klitschkos are great chess fans and promised their friend Vladimir Kramnik, who was present at the fight, to attend his matches.

Chess Champion Talks Boxing
01.03.2005 – We have always known that the two have a lot in common. Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik and co., they are so very close to Lewis, Spinks, De La Hoya, the Klitschkos. Brain and brawn, the perfect match. An article in the Black Athlete Sports Network confirms our views. Here's the story and some philosophical musings on chess and boxing.

Chess and boxing champions
10.07.2004 – 77 days to go for the classical chess world championship between Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Leko (Sept. 25 to Oct 18 2004 in Brissago). The sponsors, the Swiss tobacco manufacturer Dannemann, have announced that the boxing champs Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko will be visiting the match. Press release.

Chess Boxing: the Tokyo Fight
03.05.2004 – Last year Iepe the Joker won the World Chess Boxing Championship. Now Iepe (29, 1.80m, 74kg) has defended his title against a Japanese challenger, Soichiro the Cho-Yabai (22, 1.77m, 70kg) in a bout staged at the famous "Time & Style" venue in Tokyo. Pictorial report...

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