London ChessboxingLondon, UK
You might think that getting punched repeatedly in the face by an opponent would be detrimental to your concentration levels and overall cerebral fitness – and generally speaking you’d be correct – but chessboxing gives participants the chance to show off both brains and brawn. The hybrid sport sees appropriately weight-matched opponents swinging haymakers in the boxing ring then glaring across a chessboard at each other in alternating rounds. A knockout or checkmate move decides the contest. The concept was conceived 35 years ago, and was once seen as part novelty sport, part joke – we dare you, however, to laugh in the face of Nikolay Sazhin, a world champion in two heavyweight divisions, or Ruthie Wright, a school teacher who became the women’s flyweight champ.
The burgeoning sport now attracts big crowds at venues in London’s Kings Cross, Berlin and Kolkata in India. We’d like to see Kasparov go toe to toe with Deep Blue in the ring, or watch as Tyson chews over the intricacies of the Ruy Lopez strategy. Intrigued? You can try out a class yourself at the Islington Boxing Club or get along to the Chess Boxing Championship in London.