Um, no. Despite the fact that I’ve described boxing using chess (plus swimming plus sharks) metaphors, I don’t think it really works together. Is this a bit surreal for anyone else? Sorry, when the two boxers sit down in their trunks and headphones to have it out over the chess board, that’s when I start looking around to see if they have Yuengling on draft. Something, anything to relieve the pain.
Did they do this because it rains so much in London?
Facebookers, I encourage you to click through to see the video on this one. Yes, there’s video. Of chess boxing. That’s chess plus boxing, in case you were confused.
This is not dramatic, it’s stupid! Four minutes of chess, one round of boxing. Repeat until there’s a checkmate or a knockout, I’m not joking. Would I joke about this? Strike that.
The whole thing was apparently conceived by cartoonist Enki Bilal and featured as a major plot in his graphic novel Froid Équateur. You gotta dig those black and white checkerboard boxing gloves, huh? Oh, and please pardon the nipple there, I could have photoshopped that out but the whole thing is just so weird, just so… Clockwork Orange. Something.
Can you believe Time Magazine did a piece on this? Me either. Sorry, I’m just babbling here. There’s actually a part of the Time article which says:
The 2008 World Champion Chessboxer, Russian math student Nikolaj Sazhin, 19, won the light heavyweight division in Berlin on July 5 in front of a thousand fans, after seizing his punch-drunk opponent’s queen in the fifth round of chess.
“For me the sport is very attractive and demanding and also in a kind of way spectacular,” Sazhin said, via a translator. “You have to be totally cooled down in chess coming out of the boxing round. The adrenaline is the problem.”
“[A]fter seizing his punch-drunk opponent’s queen…” This can’t go on, people.
ESPN did an article on chessboxing with the title — wait for it — “By Hook or by Rook.” Ouch. That stings, doesn’t it?
Here’s another shocker: there’s an organization, dear God and the Baby Jesus preserve us. Yep, the World Chess Boxing Organization was formed in 2008 by Tim Woolgar, who was quoted in the Telegraph saying, “”If you get a guy to box, it teaches him self-respect. But if you get teach him something like chess as well, you teach him a whole new set of skills. And those are skills which can be put to practical use when it comes to finding jobs.”
Finding jobs. Just. Wow.