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Chess Boxing - Where are you Josh?

Chess Boxing - Where are you Josh?

Mar 30, 2011, 10:38 AM 0

Many, if not most of you have read Fred Waitskin's book or seen the movie made from it "The Search for Bobby Fischer".  The story is about an amazing chess playing kid, Fred's son Josh (Josh himself said he dislikes the word "prodigy").  Bruce Pandolfini himself was certain Josh would be the next "Bobby Fischer".

Josh Finished his competitive chess playing career in his early 20's as an IM. Someday I will write a review of his book "The Art of Learning" since I have a doctorate in Education and Research, I have a different view.  I also took TKD all through graduate school.

One had to feel a bit for Josh during his chess days.  He would go to tournaments and be "announced" as the subject of the movie.  Other things would go on that would have made his career in chess "difficult" (it really sounds like to me it was more along the lines of "unenjoyable"). 

As he left competitive chess he took up what terms in his book a "second art" - Tai Chi.  He excelled at this and eventually got to the fighting part called "push hands" (you have to be proficient in over 80 different patterns before you are even considered for push hands (there are several videos for Tai Chi Push Hands on YouTube).  Note: not all the videos show the martial arts part of "push hands".

In Europe, they have come up with a new "sport" called "Chess Boxing".  You can watch a video here.  The sport alternates between 4 minute chess playing, and then the board is removed and a 3 minute boxing round happens.  Then the chess board is brought back out for another 4 minutes of chess.  This is done until a checkmate or a knockout.

They have some unusual scoring rules if neither a checkmate or KO happens.  One of is stalemate.   Upon stalemate, it goes to the boxing scoresheet -- if that is tied, black wins (seems a bit strange).

You will notice they wear coverings at the chess table.  That is so they cannot hear people screaming chess moves.

Here are the basic scoring rules:

Chessboxers go through alternating four-minute long rounds of chess and three-minute boxing rounds with a one-minute break in between. A maximum total of 11 rounds are fought out—six rounds of chess and five rounds of boxing. The fight begins with a round of chess. Each player has a respite of 12 minutes during the game of chess, which means the maximum duration of the whole chess game is 24 minutes. A K.O. or checkmate can lead to an early win, and the fight can also be cut short if a player exceeds the chess time limit or the referee decides the fight has to be aborted. If the game of chess ends with a tie, it is settled with the points earned in the boxing rounds. If the boxing fight ends with a tie, the player who had black on the chessboard wins. 

The boxer must maintain an ELO rating of 1800 to compete.  Oh Josh, where are you?  This sport was made for you!

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