In boxing there are only so many variables, so fighters train for years in order to be that much faster and prepared in presenting the problem to the other guy before he brings it to them. When facing a superior athlete, a wise, cerebral fighter has instinct enough to know the counter for whatever the other dude is throwing. Boxing is beautiful for that reason – having the forethought and puzzle-solving skills to defeat another man on the fly while getting punched extremely hard in the face and tummy. There’s a reason why boxing is called the Sweet Science and referred to as a chess match for years.
Chess has been making the one friend in the group feel intellectually superior for almost 1600 years, but only since 1475 have we seen the iconic game of mental skill and strategy in it’s form we know and love today. Walk down the street and ask a stranger about the Ruy Lopez opening and most won’t know what you’re saying to them. But a few Chess fanatics will know the tactic credited to the Spanish priest who analyzed the opening few moves on the chessboard that would be employed by Starbucks-sippers and RZA in a New York park every day nearly 500 years after it’s development.
If these two historical benchmarks of competitive humanity got drunk and had sex one night in a fit of horniness and shame, out would pop Chess Boxing nine months later in all it’s glory. This is the sport for the 21st century, people.
We checked in on the Chess Boxing scene a few years ago, now a report from Al Jazeera has confirmed that the sport is indeed growing at an impressive rate. Before you judge the sport on the surface: this is an eleven round battle of brains and brawn; six rounds of chess (4 minutes long) and five rounds of boxing (3 minutes long) for a full match. I think we can all agree that after a particularly taxing grappling session for the Xbox 360 controller, it’s hard to be exhausted, bleeding a little and concentrating mentally on middlegame, pawn structure and whether or not you will employ a minority attack on your opponent at the same time.
As one Youtuber commented: ‘MMA Dungeons and Dragons.’ I couldn’t agree more. Imagine the Dungeon Master and a few friends actually having to fight the adventurers? I’m down, I’m 100% down. Full contact LARPing. Let’s get the MiddleEasy community together to do it, but watch this Chess Boxing feature first.