Chess Boxing: Sport with Strength, Endurance, and Cleverness

The Dutch action artist Iepe Rubingh invented a discipline called Chess Boxing” in 2003 that (in compliance with the comic book “Froid Équateur”) originally intended to combine sport professionals at board an in the ring. The extraordinary concept became popular in very short time which caused it to spread from Berlin to the Netherlands and the entire world and made it a competitive sport.

World Championship 2008 in Berlin: Nikolay Sazhin (Russia) against Frank Stoldt (Germany).

Chess Boxing


The Ruldeset

A chess boxing battle is usually fought in eleven rounds; six of which are chess competitions, the other five are boxing rounds. Each round is three minutes long and the disciplines are fought in turns, beginning with a game of chess. This game remains the same throughout the entire competition and is interrupted by the rounds of boxing every three minutes. The exact position of every chess figure is registered and reconstructed on the board before every round of chess.

The participants have sixty second breaks in between rounds and the chess boxing competition can be decided prematurely through a knockout, technical knockout, or checkmate. Players may be disqualified after time trials (when a warning has been announced already). If one of the players resigns prematurely, he or she loses too. If all rounds are undecided and the last game of chess ends in a tie, the player with the alcohol en viagra most points in boxing prevails. If even the scores were equal in this discipline, the players playing the Black figures would win (which hasn’t occurred during competition yet).


The Requirements

Players fight battles and competitions generic for plavix 75 mg in accordance with their weight category (lightweight, middle-weight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight). For admission at professional competitions, players must have at least 1600 ELO points and record of at least fifty amateur fights in boxing or another martial art.

Therefore, a chess boxer needs a high performance level in both disciplines. The competitors must be in good shape at rapid chess and must be able to switch between chess and boxing repeatedly and quickly, since this is the most challenging element of the sport. With adrenalin pumping and blood circulation at its highest level, the players must get their minds together within seconds to deliver a sound, calm, and tactical performance at the board. This game demands more from its players by the round, while they must cope with bodily exhaustion.


The Preparation

The birthplace of chess boxing is considered to be Berlin, where inventor Iepe Rubingh founded the World Chess Boxing Organization (WCBO) in 2003 and of which he is still chairman today. Rubingh even won first World Championship took place in Amsterdam the same year. The following year, he founded the oldest chess boxing club of the world, the Chess Boxing Club Berlin. Since invented, the sport has gained popularity amongst sport professionals and spectators. More than eight hundred people watched the world championship qualifications in Cologne in 2006. Over twelve hundred tickets were sold for the following world championship battle in Berlin. The German player Frank Stoldt secured the first German championship title in 2007 and thus strengthened the country’s advanced position in chess boxing.

Even the FIDE supports this sport; FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov participated in a demonstration battle in 2008 to promote the sport’s worldwide popularity and acceptance. Another capital for chess boxing (next to Berlin) is London, where the London Chess Boxing Club has earned a reputation and came off winner at the first club challenge against Berlin with 2:1 points.

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During the last four years, the sport has gained popularity in Asia. The Chess Boxing Organization India (founded in 2011) has four hundred members today and in the largest chess boxing club in the world. The first association in Western Asia was founded in 2012, which is the Chess Boxing Organization Iran.


Current World Champions

Middle-Weight: Sven Rooch (GER)

Light-Heavyweight: Leonid Chernobaev (BLR)

Heavyweight: Nikolay Sazhin (RUS)



By now, there are particular training methods that have been tailored to the requirements of chess boxing. Blitz chess duels can thus be integrated in strength and cardio exercises, such as “track chess” which is a rapid chess duel combined with intensive sprints or rapid chess duels while boxing.


Who would like to try chess boxing or is looking for fellow chess boxers can check out one of the many clubs and associations:

  • Chessboxing Club Berlin (CBCB)
  • Chessboxing Organisation of India (CBOI)
  • Chessboxing Organisation of Iran (CBOIR)
  • Italian Chessboxing Federation (FISP)
  • China Chessboxing (CBCN)
  • USA Chessboxing
  • Russian Chessboxing Organisation
  • London Chessboxing
  • LA Chessboxing
  • Boxwerk München
  • New York Chessboxing Club

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe