There is a hybrid sport birthed from the comic book of a French artist and filmmaker called Chess Boxing.
Chess Boxing is a rare blend of contrasting skills. The athlete combines a powerful body with a sharp mind and rises above the mindless muscle. The fighter is fueled by testosterone, adrenaline, and skill in the ring. Three minutes later, he changes battlegrounds. The contender has only seconds to restrain his fighting instinct and move into the silent logic of his mind. Chessboxers need smartness for solving problems; They must anticipate their opponent's moves in the ring and on the board. It is the only sport where the heart, mind, and body perform in total harmony; this is the ultimate battle.
The battle consists of 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing. Each round lasts 3 minutes. The six chess rounds comprise a total of 18 minutes, giving a total of 9 minutes on the clock for each player. Fighters win: by knockout, by checkmate, by the judge's decision, or if the opponent exceeds the time limit.
Chessboxing was brought to life by Dutch-born Iepe Rubingh in 2003. He was inspired by "Froid Équateur", a graphic novel written by comic artist and film director Enki Bilal in 1992.
In 2003, the world's first chessboxing fight between Jean Louis Veenstra and Iepe Rubingh was fought in Amsterdam and was won by Rubingh. Over one thousand fascinated spectators watched the historical event; the sport had been taken to a new level.
After this overwhelming success, Rubingh founded the World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO) and the first-ever Chess Boxing Club in Berlin in 2004. From that moment on, chessboxing clubs and associations started appearing worldwide. In 2015, the WCBO had members in China, India, Iran, Italy, Russia, Germany, Mexico, Turkey, and the US.
The first professional World Championships were held in Moscow in November 2013 and in Berlin in 2014. The current World Champions are Sven Rooch (Germany), Leonid Chernobaev (Belarus), and Nikolay Sazhin (Russia) in the light heavy-, middle- and heavyweight categories, respectively.