A new sport combines two of the most intense individual competitive pursuits: chess and boxing. Is it crazy enough to work?

Iepe Rubingh, chess boxing inventor and chairman of the World Chess Boxing Organization (WCBO), moves a chess figure as he poses for a portrait in Berlin, on Thursday, July 10, 2008. Chess boxing combines the sports of chess and boxing in alternating rounds. 

I doubt it, but I have to give the sport’s Russian inventor credit for, well, inventiveness.

Here’s an excerpt from the AP story on the subject:

In front of 1,000 cheering fans one recent Saturday night, Sazhin moved his bishop to go in for the kill and won the world championship of chess boxing, a weird hybrid sport that combines as many as five rounds of pugilism with a game of chess.

The combatants switch back and forth between boxing and chess—repeatedly putting their gloves on and taking them off, so that they can move the pieces around the board without clumsily knocking them over—in a sort of brains-and-brawn biathlon.

"It’s the No. 1 thinking game and the No. 1 fighting game," said Iepe Rubingh, the sport’s 32-year-old founder. . . .

If you knock your opponent out, the chess is over, too, and you win the match. If you beat your opponent at chess, then the boxing is over, and you are the victor. In the case of a draw at the chessboard, the boxer with more points in the ring is declared the winner.

The AP story notes that Rubingh was inspired by a 1992 French comic book. I shall make no comment.

Matches have been played in Amsterdam and Berlin, to audiences reported at 800-1,000 people.

As noted regularly on this site, this is more proof of Karnick’s Law: everything happens in the Omniculture.