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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why Chess Boxing is Taking Europe by a Storm?

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

CBS News has a nice chess news story from London. It is about chess boxing. CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips took a closer look at chess boxing with a fine report.

"It involves 34 men, 64 squares and one ring -- and you have to see it to believe it." On one side of the ring, there's Andy "The Rock" Costello. You wouldn't want to be his punching bag.

On the other side of the ring, there's Nikolai "The Siberian Express" Sazhin, who never met a blini he didn't like. They're both a new kind of fighter.

They don't just try to knock each others' brains out: They also use what's left of their brains. The two men will battle it out over the chess board, wearing headphones so they can't hear the crowd shouting moves. Then they'll box each other in the ring.

Chessboxing is 11 alternate rounds. It's three minutes of chess, followed by three minutes of boxing. You can either win by a knock out or by checkmate, which ever comes first.

"I think the contrast of seeing two people playing chess and then hitting each other, either of them in isolation wouldn't be comedic," Costello said. "But when they're alternated it is (pretty funny)."

However, he stated it isn't funny when you're the one fighting. Costello is a 6-foot, two-inch, 210-pound former cop. He was also a child chess prodigy who played for his English county at the age of 10. Chessboxing is the sport he's been waiting for all his life.

"It's more fun if you're kind of doing the pounding," he said. "But there's no guarantee of that ... The pounder undoubtedly has more fun than the poundee."

The other fighter, Sazhin, is now a real estate agent in his native Siberia. He was on the Russian youth boxing team as a teenager. He's been playing chess for 10 years. Costello and Sazhin were the headline bout on this card that drew an overflow crowd to this London venue.

Read the full chess boxing story here.

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