Chess Boxing How To Play, Rules, History

Too excited to observe the whole chess game? We might be able to help you. Why not watch chess boxing? It combines brains and power in an exciting way.

Despite its absurdity, chess boxing has become one of the world’s most fascinating, if not odd, sports. In this game, players employ their intelligence as well as their boxing skills in an unusual combination.

Today, we’ll learn all there is to know about the crazy world of Chess Boxing.

What Is Chess Boxing?

Boxing is one of the oldest forms of competitive unarmed confrontation, while chess is one of the world’s most famous strategic games.

Although most people think of Boxing as an exciting sport in which two fighters face each other and throw blows in an attempt to knock out their opponent or win a decision on the judge’s scorecards, it is also a sport that involves significant strategy.

Chess boxing is an intriguing hybrid sport created by combining chess with Boxing. Hearing this term, one would be inclined to conclude that this sport is a complete novelty.

In reality, it’s much more than that. It raises a straightforward question. What exactly is chess boxing, and how does it work efficiently?

A sport that combines chess and Boxing is called chess boxing. Until a winner is found, the two contestants alternate rounds of quick chess and Boxing.

Chess boxing victories are achieved by checkmate or knockout. In the case of a stalemate in the tournament’s chess component, victory may be decided by a time penalty, similar to a regular chess game or a boxing decision. This set of rules results in a sport that is completely unique. It is also a sport with a sizable underground fan following that really appreciates it.

Who Created the Chess Boxing Sport?

Chess boxing was formerly a kind of performance art. Enki Bilal, a well-known French comic book artist, developed it. Lepe Rubingh subsequently adapted chess boxing.

Although it originated as a type of performance art, it has now grown into a legitimate, competitive sport that is unexpectedly popular in certain parts of the world.

Where do People Play Chess Boxing?

Chess boxing’s popularity grew slowly in its early years. However, as more people became aware of it, its popularity expanded gradually. Soon after its modest beginnings, Several countries on different continents gave their OK to the hybrid sport.

Initially, the sport was popular in a number of European countries, notably Germany, the Netherlands, and France. Because these were the countries where chess boxing started, support from these countries was anticipated. It was not expected, however, that the sport would develop popularity in countries such as England, Russia, and Japan.

Chess-boxing federations have emerged in a number of European nations. Other countries include Finland, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, and Ukraine. Chess fighting clubs have also sprung up in the Philippines, India, and China. Iran and Turkey, for example, have their own regional chess-boxing federations, demonstrating the sport’s popularity.

Chess boxing has become a popular sport and fascinating leisure activity in Madagascar. The hybrid sport has also spread to North and Latin America, with the United States and Mexico becoming enthusiastic supporters.

History of Chess Boxing:

The Beginnings And Creation

Enki Bilal came up with the idea for chess boxing in 1992. Bilal, a French-Yugoslavian artist, and storyteller were completing the last volume of his renowned graphic book trilogy. Froid Équateur was to be the third episode of the Nikopol Trilogy.

Bilal was no stranger to unexpected juxtapositions and weird imagery as a cartoonist. The bulk of his work was science-fiction and fantasy literature, with unusual plots and characters. Two characters wearing boxing gloves with chessboard-like colors illustrated the sport in the colorful graphic novel.

In contrast to reality, the imaginary version of the game included a whole boxing match followed by an entire chess game.

In any case, the phony sport was an immediate smash with his supporters, who devoured this illogical game for the sake of its uniqueness.

Although it was used as a narrative element, his graphic book never intended to occur. It was just the work of a talented artist who thought it was an outstanding piece of material. He was accurate the vast majority of the time.

However, the true emergence of chess boxing began ten years after the release of his best-selling book.

Making the Transition to Sport

Iepe Rubingh, a Dutch performance artist and athlete, had the bizarre idea of making chess boxing a recognized sport in 2001. However, before it could be considered practical, he had to change the rules of the original fictional game.

Rubingh thought that playing chess after a full-fledged boxing match would be difficult. Boxing bouts, as everyone knows, are long and take a lot of energy from competitors. It seemed ludicrous to have the boxers compete in a mental game so soon after their physical fight. What if the boxing match ends in a knockout? As a result, there would be no place for chess in the future.

As a result, Rubingh devised an innovative and adaptable formula. Participants in his version of chess boxing would alternate between the two opposing games after each round. Participants would switch from Boxing to chess after each round, and so on.

As a result, both players would have to expend an equal amount of physical and mental energy. This style, according to the Romans, would enable players to reach a “healthy mind in a healthy body.”

Although Rubingh started playing the sport in 2001, it wasn’t until 2003 that it became popular. The first world chess boxing championship took place in Amsterdam at the time. Rubingh, the company’s founder, was a sports enthusiast who created the championship tournament. He also won the tournament, making him the world’s first chess boxing champion.

Chess Boxing’s Ascension

The sport grew in popularity over time in a variety of circles. On October 1, 2005, Europe will host its first chess-boxing championship. The competition was going to take place in Berlin, and a number of well-known people were going to try to win.

Only two competitors remained in the tournament’s final rounds. Tihomir Atanasov Dovramadjiev, a world-class chess player and Bulgarian warrior, was on one side. Andreas D’Schneider, a well-known athlete and chess master from Germany, was the opponent.

Seeing the two “needles” compete in six rounds of action-packed competition was quite a sight. Andreas D’Schneider forfeited the chess match in the seventh round, determining the winner. It culminated in Bulgarian chess boxer Tihomir Atanassov Dovramadjiev becoming the first European chess boxing champion.

Rules of Chess Boxing

Chess boxing, like any other sport, has its own set of rules and restrictions. The fundamental goal of a boxing or chess match is to defeat the opponent.


To win a round of chess, you must either checkmate or force your opponent to forfeit. Alternatively, if a player delays the chess round for excessive time, he or she may be disqualified from the game. You can also win a round by knocking out your opponent or getting more points than them.

The Gameplay

The meeting starts with a four-minute chess game. Remember that since this is blitz chess, you must make a lot of moves in each round. If the judges believe you are purposely taking your time, they may order you to move within 10 seconds.

Following the first chess play, combatants enter the ring for a conventional boxing encounter. Because each boxing match lasts three minutes, your chances of knocking out your opponent are limited.

The game continues in this fashion for the next eleven rounds, with one minute between each round. There are six chess rounds and five boxing rounds in all. For contenders to proceed, their boxing and chess abilities must be of the greatest degree. A single checkmate or rapid knockout concludes the game.

Tools & Equipment

The players are given the necessary equipment for the duration of the game. When they enter the ring for the Boxing round, they put on boxing gloves, but they take them off for the chess rounds.

Furthermore, each player is provided with headphones that prevent them from hearing the audience. It prevents the chanting crowd from helping the players.

Points System

Speed chess rounds are played against a 12-minute clock. Therefore you must be fast with your moves. Boxing rounds determine boxing points. Boxing points will determine the winner if chess remains unresolved. If the boxing rounds conclude in a draw, the one with the most chess points wins.

The chess game is often used to select the winner, with the boxing rounds acting as an afterthought. However, in rare circumstances, the chess game approaches a stalemate, and Boxing rounds become more important.

Whatever the result, the judges will choose a winner based on the final score. Chess boxing is an entertaining event with a unique drive. Both chess and Boxing need the application of strategic maneuvers to defeat the opponent, and this one-of-a-kind sport combines the two. Chess boxing is more intellectual than traditional Boxing and more violent than traditional chess.

Chess Boxing Weight Classes

Women Over 17 Years Old:

Weight classWeight (lbs)Weight (kg)
Heavyweight165.3+Over 75
Lightweight121.355 (maximum)
Light heavyweight165.375

Men Over 17 Years Old:

Weight classWeight (lbs)Weight (kg)
Heavyweight198.4Over 90
Lightweight154.370 (maximum)
Light heavyweight198.4+90

What Skills Make a Good Chess Boxer?

Some say that being a great chess player who can also punch is the ultimate qualification for success in chess boxing.

Others feel that the most important trait is to be a competent fighter who can think strategically. Given the significance of strategy in the sport of Boxing, this makes perfect sense. The majority of the world’s finest boxers excel in both the cerebral and physical sides of the sport.

In fact, the best chess boxer will most likely be a combination of both of these characteristics. Those who can successfully combine both sides of this odd competition stand to win the most. This seems to be the case in terms of the most successful chess boxers.

How to Play Chess Boxing?

Chess boxing may appear simple on the surface, but it is actually quite difficult. A lengthy training regimen is typically required for athletes to participate in a sport. Overall, it requires mental and physical concentration.

We can teach you a few things if you want to start your own chess boxing career. You won’t become an expert overnight, but after months of hard work, you might be ready for your first game.

Prepare yourself because you will need to unlock the full potential of your mind while conditioning your body to withstand a tremendous amount of abuse in the ring.

Know Yourself

To be a chess boxer, you must have a thorough understanding of both disciplines and excel in both. The vast majority of professional chess boxers are either chess-savvy athletes or nerds who like fighting sports. Determine whatever kind you are and adjust your training accordingly.

If you are already a skilled fighter, you should focus on your chess plays rather than your physical attributes.

Obviously, To improve your strength and stamina, you will still need to exercise on a regular basis. You must, however, balance this with several hours of chess play.

Play Blitz Chess

Most people feel that the boxing portion is more difficult. However, this is not the case. Chess boxing consists of blitz chess, which moves much faster than conventional chess. It requires complete attention and a focus on performing rapid successions of strategic operations. In any event, you can’t gaze at the chessboard for a whole minute.

In case you weren’t aware, chess boxing matches seldom end in a knockout. Because it usually comes down to a clever checkmate or a forfeit, the chess component of the game carries a lot of weight.

In the first round, a competent speed chess player may easily defeat their opponent. If not, all that is left is to survive the boxing rounds while devising a chess strategy.

Learn to Box Defensively

In the boxing segment, you’ll need to pull your weight in the ring, but scoring a knockout won’t be easy. Your primary concern in the boxing ring should be to defend yourself well enough to avoid giving your opponent any points.

You will not be in the ring consecutively, as in traditional Boxing, but rather at regular intervals. As a result, neither you nor your opponent will become exhausted enough to be knocked out. Because both combatants are always full of stamina, a knockout becomes extremely unlikely.

Finally, chess boxing is won by physically defending yourself in the ring and attacking your opponent intellectually on the chessboard. We guarantee that you will quickly become a chess boxing champion if you train using this strategy!

What is the Best Chess Boxing that has ever Happened?

Chess boxing matches may be intense and humorous, depending on the contest. However, only a few matches in the ring and on the chessboard have reached legendary status. These clashes between the world’s most famous chess-boxing players will go down in history.

The 2008 World Chess Boxing Championship match between Nikolay Sazhin and Frank Stoldt was one of the best chess boxing matches we’ve ever seen. Both contestants excelled in the ring and on the chessboard, exhibiting exceptional proficiency in both areas.

The boxing rounds were some of the best we’ve ever seen, with both fighters trading punches. Although their strength levels were comparable, Nikolay had the advantage in terms of speed owing to his youth.

In order to weaken his opponent, Frank aimed to retain his distance and execute long-range attacks. Nikolay utilized his quick reflexes to strike a few body punches in between.

Nikolay eventually defeated Frank in chess by trapping his opponent’s queen with a double knight attack. Because Frank could not supply more footage, he forfeited the contest, declaring Nikolay the victor and new World Chess Boxing Champion.

The duel is unquestionably one of the most iconic bouts in chess boxing history and, in our opinion, the best chest boxing match ever.

Best Ten Chess Boxing Champions:

Sr. NumberName of PlayerCountryDuration of ReignTitle
01Sergio ‘The Phoenix’ LevequeItalyJune 18, 2016 – CurrentWCBO
02Jeet D. PatelIndiaApril 15, 2017 – CurrentWCBO
03Nikolay ‘the Chairman’ Sazhin “The PP”RussiaMarch 20, 2012 – CurrentWCBA
04Tim WoolgarEnglandAugust 28, 2008 – CurrentGBCBO
05Leo ‘Granit’ KraftGermanyNovember 28, 2009 – CurrentWCBO
06Lepe ‘the Jorker’ RubinghNetherlandsNovember 14, 2003 – CurrentWBCO
07Gianluca ‘II Dottore’ItalyOctober 9, 2009 – CurrentWBCO
08Morgan JohnsonUnited StatesJanuary 7, 2022 – Current
09Sean MooneyCanadaNovember 28, 2015 – CurrentWCBA
10Frank’ Anti Terror’GermanyNovember 3, 2007 – July 5, 2008WCBO

Who is the Current Champion of the World?

Morgan R Johnson is the current chess boxing champion of the United States, having been crowned on January 7, 2022. Because various clubs host their events, there is no acknowledged world champion in chess boxing.

Despite this, our study found one guy with a one-of-a-kind career. This man is Karl “Ouch” Strugnell, the WCBO and WCBA champion. This person, more than anybody other, deserves to be a world champion.

To gain money, the 41-year-old learned to play chess on the streets of Los Angeles and rapidly became a remarkable chess strategist. He subsequently competed in his first chess boxing match in 2013.

Fans admired his self-assurance and vigor, especially because he would perform press-ups in between chess moves. His ESO of 2300 is higher than that of most gamers in the game.

Although he is not a professional boxer, he is a tough opponent in the ring among needles. The Frenchman stands 182 centimeters tall and weighs roughly 88 kilograms.

Furthermore, he is one of the rare chess boxers who has knocked their opponent out of the ring. He had a good time at the Boxing House in Belgrade, Serbia.

Overall, Karl Strugnell is one of the world’s finest, if not the most mysterious, chess boxers. With a record of 10 wins and 0 losses, he is one of the few undefeated chess boxers today.

What Is Chess Boxing’s Future?

We think chess boxing has a bright future and will grow into a major sport. Hybrid games have grown in popularity and spread over the globe in the previous two decades. People see sports as a means of measuring mental and physical strength. Thus their applications are nearly unlimited. Universities and organizations are now using the game to assess intellect and power.

Chess boxing, in contrast to most other sports, has been handicapped by a lack of public support and funding. These flaws prevent the game from blooming as a major competitive sport and limit its use to regional or minor settings.

Chessboxing, we believe, will become a commercial sport in the future. There are already numerous regional tournament organizers that promote the game on a regular basis. Some, such as LCB/Chess boxing countries, have even specialized in chess boxing content and have organized several competitions and events.

If chess boxing becomes a worldwide phenomenon, it will very certainly become a commercial sport with a significant fan base.


How much money do professional chess boxers earn every year?

$22K/year. It is conceivable that overall compensation will be more. However, instruction, not competing, provides for the bulk of this money.

Why is chess considered a sport but not eSports?

It does not require physical activity and does not provide the same health benefits as sports. eSports may be considered an art form similar to violin playing or a game similar to checkers, but not a sport.

When is the ideal age to start chess boxing?

This boxing activity is recommended for children under the age of seven, with the ideal age being eight.

Is boxing a successful career?

Yes, Boxing is an excellent professional option, but success will rely on your dedication. Determine what you are enthusiastic about.

Is Boxing good for self Defense?

Yes, Boxing is a fantastic self-defense sport because of its varied defensive and attacking methods, exceptional footwork, and distance control.

Wrapping it Up

In the world of competition, chess boxing is a really unique sport. It combines two competitive activities that are generally seen to be diametrically opposed to producing a hybrid sport that is very enjoyable to watch.

The more you watch chess boxing, the more you realize that chess and Boxing aren’t as radically opposed as you would have thought.

Both of these tasks need considerable thinking and persistence. This might be a key element in their apparent compatibility.

Furthermore, many boxers think that chess helps them in their fighting pursuits since it provides mental support.

Previous articleThe 10 Best Retired Cuban Baseball Players
Next articleWho Is Steve Krakauer’s Father? About Texans Andy Krakauer, Age Gap, And Family Ethnicity
Bulbul Ahmed is a news writer who covers Boxing, professional mixed martial arts (MMA) and UFC events for The News Titan. He has been writing for several reputable publications and online media for a long time.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here