Ok maybe not save the world, but drastically improve it. How? Because the emerging sport of Chessboxing has a very influential supporter: Andrew McGregor, the President and Founder of the Tiziano Project. With the strong link between Chessboxing and Andrew “The Fightin’ Philanthropist” McGregor, the sport looks like it will have an entertaining future while providing a bigger cause for fans to support. But lets not get ahead of ourselves….
What exactly is Chessboxing??
“All the time he’s boxing, he’s thinking. All the time he was thinking, I was hitting him”
Very much what it sounds like actually (that’s the strange part). In the words of the Los Angeles Chessboxing Club:
Chessboxing is a new sport in which one round of chess is followed by one round of boxing in alternating rounds for 6 rounds of chess, 5 rounds of boxing. A round of chess takes 4 minutes and boxing rounds are 3 minutes. Each competitor has 12 minutes on the chess timer. A checkmate or knockout wins.
When I first had someone give me an intro to the sport it didn’t seem that complicated. But then I started thinking how much I suck at chess… And how much time boxing took when I used to box… People have spent lifetimes trying to master each individually; the combination of the two makes it so much sweeter. You could be reading the board and realize your opponent will have you in the next 5 turns. But then you’re saved by the bell… That next round of boxing you should be doing much less dancing and much more hammering. A well placed haymaker could win you the fight and turn the chess game into an afterthought. On the flipside you still need to keep strategizing because if the next round of chess comes you’ve got to be calculated to avoid check mate. Therein lies the problem… The constant shift between between different parts of the brain forces the Chessboxer to have complete control over their mind or risk not being “present” in the round.
From firsthand experience I can tell you some of the best boxed rounds I’ve had have left me in a state of “what just happened?” (And not because I got hit in the head too much). On the contrary, professional chess players talk about the “perfect equation”, a state of complete immersion into the game where they can almost feel the board and every possibility. This state of complete immersion in Chessboxing becomes increasingly difficult as the fight progresses and in the end, mental fortitude becomes the foundation for success.
All intricate details aside, the sport is RAD to watch. The chess allows the fighters a few minutes of rest so the boxing is fast and furious. And if a player has a bad round of chess he comes out head hunting like a banshee the next round. After a tough round of getting his noggin jarred, a player may not mentally be up to par chess wise and get check mated.
In the meantime check out a few videos to see Chessboxing firsthand:
“It’s like losing your virginity with 50 of your friends watching”
“The first rule of Chessboxing is tell everyone you know that you do it”
ND for the ROOZT team
PS We’re doing a promotion for a free iPad drawing if you refer 5 friends. I literally have 2 iPads sitting in my lap and I don’t know if I can keep myself from opening them. The only thing that’s stopping me is that I won’t be able to get anything done while playing pac man or mario Go sign up. Now.