It is called ‘chessboxing’ on the official chess-boxing website, and ‘chess boxing’ on Wikipedia and news reports, so I decided to take a middle stance by calling the sport chess-boxing. Chess-boxing is a hybrid sport, which has attracted an increasing following in Europe. It was inspired by French comic book artist and filmmaker Enki Bilal, whilst Dutch artist and competitor Iepe “The Joker” Rubingh organised the first matches.

The sport offers up to 11 alternate rounds of chess and boxing beginning with a chess round. The chess is at a rather fast time limit compared to regular tournament play and players wear headphones so that spectators cannot shout out assisting information.

Technical specifications according to the World Chessboxing Organisation.

The sport is officially governed by the World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO). The first World Chessboxing Championship was held in 2003 (Amsterdam) and the current Light Heavyweight World Champion at the time of writing is Leo “Granit” Kraft.

For your enjoyment, here is a brief excerpt with Anand discussing chessboxing. You can find full chess-boxing matches on YouTube too.


Chess-boxing is an exciting new sport and will also be helpful is promoting chess in general. For more information, see the World Chess Boxing Organisation website.

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