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Chessboxing: A test of brain and brawn is winning fans


Do you know there is a game called Chessboxing? This game is a hybrid of two well-loved traditional games, chess and boxing. While the game had started out as an art performance but it eventually turned into a competitive sport. Chessboxing is fast getting popularity in Germany, United Kingdom, Russia and even India.


In its earlier version, chessboxing used to take place outside a London boxing club. People found the idea of mixing the two games very impractical so Rubingh, a Dutch performance artist developed the game till it became a competitive sport in different countries. Rubingh is actually the inventor of the game.

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The basic objective of the game is to beat the opponent in alternating rounds of chess and boxing. There are 6 rounds of chess and 5 rounds of boxing, starting and ending the game with a round of chess. Each round of chess is of 4 minutes and a 60 seconds break is provided after each round of both. The chess round is played over a 12-minute clock. Headphones are provided to the players for the chess round so that they do not hear any advice from the audience.

To win you knock out your opponent or obtain withdrawal from them. On the other hand, if chess is a draw then win points by knocking out the opponent in the boxing round.

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Shailesh Tripathi

India’s first Chessboxer, Shailesh Tripathi is a perfect combination of brain and strength. He played chess as a hobby and was always keen on boxing. The moment he found out about the Chessboxing Federation of India in Kolkata, he decided to give it a go. “ In the year 2012, I started learning Chessboxing from the Chessboxing Organisation of India in Kolkata,” Tripathi revealed in an interview.

He said that, “There wasn’t much financial sport for sportspersons from the government”.

There was a time when boxers were considered dumb musclemen and chess players, geeks with no physical strength. But, athletes like Shailesh Tripathi are daily destroying such myths with their unique combination of skills – brain and brawn.

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