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[Originally posted July 9, 2008]

This novelty sport was certainly a surprise to me — athletes who compete in alternating rounds of chess and boxing. For all of the years I have been in contact with the chess community, this is the first I have heard of this strange combination = news account of a championship Russian match.

A chess boxing match consists of six rounds of chess and five in the ring but it can also end suddenly in knockout or checkmate.

You can bet most of the chess players I have competed against would not last long in the ring. I guess that is why the average chess rating for these competitors is so low — not even an Expert rating (2000 and above). So the level of chess on the part of these champions is not very high; these are more boxers than they are chess experts — but it certainly would make for an unusual match. Your cut doctor has to work quickly to make sure you don’t drip blood all over the chess pieces. The bulky wraps on your hands must make the touch move rule a little precarious — easy to lose your concentration as well. I think I will stick to just the chess component.