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Chessboxing: Where Two Sports Collide

Picture of Luke Bradshaw
Sports Editor
Updated: 9 August 2017
The ultimate combination of brain and brawn? For the uninitiated, chessboxing brings two classic games together into one super sport. It’s the ultimate test of the physical and mental.

Like standard boxing, the fight is split into three-minute rounds, except that these alternate with three-minute rounds of chess. Fighters can either win by knockout, checkmate or their opponent’s clock running out. Once a frenetic round of boxing has finished, it’s all about which fighter can gather their composure, assess the board and make calm, considered decisions while their heart is racing and blood pumping. Can a fighter plan an attack five moves ahead while their ears are ringing and head is pounding?

To find out more, Culture Trip headed down to London’s iconic boxing venue, York Hall, in the east end of the capital, to watch the latest event to be put on by London Chessboxing. Held for the Ally Cadence Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the night saw four bouts between some of Europe’s finest chessboxers, with the main event being the “Brexit Belt” between Lib Dem remainer Toby “Slowby” White and UKIP MEP Jonathan “The Tactician” Arnott.