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5 Reasons Why Chessboxing Will Knock You Out!

5 Reasons Why Chessboxing Will Knock You Out!

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GM Bobby Fischer once said that the object of chess is to crush the opponent's mind. What if the object is also to crush your opponent’s face? Welcome to the sport of chessboxing!

Ludwig's Mogul Chessboxing Championship will bring this fringe sport to the mainstream. GM Aman Hambleton will battle IM Lawrence Trent in the main event, with many online celebrities filling the undercard.

Ludwig's YouTube channel will stream the groundbreaking event live from Los Angeles free of charge. The event starts at 4 p.m. Pacific on December 11.

Which will prevail: brains or brawn? Photo: Wikimedia/CC

As Chess.com staff member Ray Linville explains, chessboxing typically "consists of 11 alternating rounds—6 of chess and 5 of boxing—and each one lasts three minutes. A break between rounds usually lasts 60 seconds. In the 6 rounds of chess, a single game is played with each player limited to a time control of 9 minutes with no increment. The winner is determined by checkmate, resignation, knockout, or disqualification by the referee. In case neither player wins in regulation, the one ahead in boxing points wins."

Chess and boxing go shockingly well together like Cheetos in milk. (Look it up.) In fact, adding alternating rounds of boxing solves a few of the systemic issues facing the game of chess today!

Here are 5 reasons why chessboxing will knock you out:

🥊 Say goodbye to rage quitting!

🥊 Games are always decisive!

🥊 Cheating drama is left at the door!

🥊 The next chess variant sensation?!

🥊 It's gonna break the internet!


Say goodbye to rage quitting!

Let's face it: chess is an incredibly frustrating game. Is this how you feel after blundering in a five-hour tournament game or tilting hard in a late-night blitz session?

In chessboxing, there's no need to rage quit! Instead, play on and vent your chess frustrations with your fists in the next round. (Sword-wielding is a violation of chessboxing's fair play policy.)

Games are always decisive!

Chess is a draw with perfect play and it's a very common result at the top level. Over the years, the chess community has tried various means to break the deadlock.

For example, FIDE used rapid tiebreaks to settle Carlsen-Karjakin and Carlsen-Caruana in 2016 and 2018, respectively. Is this a fair way to resolve a tied world championship match with a classical time control? That's a matter for debate, but I think we know how GM Fabiano Caruana feels about it:

There are other futile attempts, such as the Armageddon match, Sonneborn-Berger score, and even a coin flip. We haven't been able to find a perfect solution—until now.

Chessboxing to the rescue! Since more diplomatic methods fail to deliver, we can count on hand-to-hand combat to settle the score. Chessboxing 1 - Chess 0.

Cheating drama is left at the door!

Unless you've been living under a boxing ring, you know the chess world has been consumed by the alleged cheating scandal. In response, tournament organizers have started beefing up security in the playing hall. For example, at the U.S. Chess Championship spectators were no longer permitted, a time delay was used in the broadcast, and players were scanned for metal and silicon devices.

However, chess players are smart and they will eventually figure out a way to circumvent benign security measures. What chess needs is a time-tested, highly effective deterrent: primal fear that comes from knowing your opponent can punch you in the face repeatedly with impunity.

GM Magnus Carlsen isn't just the G.O.A.T. at chess, he's also an all-around athlete. Would you dare cheat against the world champion if you also had to climb into the ring with him?

The next chess variant sensation?!

In case you missed it, Chess.com recently launched three new chess variants: Duck Chess, Seirawan Chess, and Setup Chess. As per the announcement: "These variants will give chess lovers the thrill of playing a different game while having that good familiar feeling we get when playing chess." To the surprise of no one, duck chess has gone viral. Is it the chess variant to end all chess variants, or could something even more awesome come along?

Chessboxing provides the perfect inspiration for the next chess variant sensation: Punch-Bots!! Imagine going toe-to-toe with the Chess.com bots you know and love over-the-board and in the ring! We all know GM Daniel Naroditsky is going to checkmate you, but can you survive enough blitz chess rounds to knock him to the canvas?


It's gonna break the internet!

Chess and boxing events captivate their audience from start to finish because anything can happen. As Frank Marshall famously said: "The hardest thing in chess is to win a won game." We've all blundered checkmate in time trouble when the engine evaluation is +8 in our favor:

A fighter can dominate an entire match on the scorecard, but let their guard down for a second in the final round and get knocked out cold:

Chessboxing will produce many memorable moments, so get ready to capture them and break the internet! We're gonna be clipping more than a senior citizen at the supermarket.

Thanks for reading. Who do you think will win the Mogul Chessboxing Championship? Would you ever try chessboxing? Let us know in the comments below! 

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