March 10, 2015

London Chessboxing: A Knockout We’ve Been Waiting For

At ticketscript we love unique events, “the more unique, the better”. One event that’s captured our hearts is London Chessboxing.

Yep, that’s right, Chessboxing. London Chessboxing is one of the most unique and spectacular events you’d care to attend. The blend of brains and brawn have never been better utilised than at this knockout event.

Chessboxing was influenced by cartoonist Enki Bilal’s ‘Froid Equateur’ and was brought to life by Graphic Novelist Lepe Rubingh in 2001. The original concept was to combine two games to create an almost super-sport. The only difference between Froid Equateur and Chessboxing is that in comic, opponents fought a whole boxing match before the pieces on the board are even moved. After further refinements, the final rules were developed. Chessboxing now involves the alternating rounds of Chess and Boxing.

Here are the rules of Chessboxing:

The battle starts out with a 4 minute round of chess. Each contestant/fighter have a total of 12 minutes on a chess timer for the entire match. If neither competitor has won after the 4 minutes, the chess board would be taken out of the ring, and a plethora of punches would rain for three minutes. If a winner hasn’t been found after three minutes, the chess game continues. This process would continue for 11 rounds (6 rounds of chess and 5 of boxing).

A chessboxing match can end via checkmate, by an opponent exceeding the time limit in chess, an opponent giving up, the referee decides the player cannot continue (in a round of boxing), or in case of Knockout.

If both the chess game and boxing match cannot decide a winner, the player with the most points in the boxings round would be declared the winner. Lastly, if the boxing scores are identical, the player with the most black squares (we didn’t make the rules, we simply follow them) on the board will probably smile more than most.

London Chessboxing has grown from strength to strength since its inception. The fighters come from all walks of life. Park rangers, project managers and mental health nurse to capital markets associate, lawyers and commodities broker have all thrown haymakers and left hooks. The sport isn’t limited to men, women regularly take part in the action. After last October’s spectacular event at Scala by King’s Cross Station, the women taught the men a lesson in raw passion, emotion and determination.

Chessboxing is creating quite the buzz. If you’d rather go to an event that emphasises speed, power and coordination with tactics, Chessboxing is right up your street. Its a knockout event you’ll be clawing to go back to.

Raj Jilka