94.5 F

Davis, California

Monday, June 10, 2024

Chess boxing — where brains meet bronze

Here’s what’s really missing from the Olympics


By MALCOLM LANGE — mslange@ucdavis.edu

Ding, ding, ding. The first round is over. Both boxers are bruised and tired. They both return to their respective corners, take a sip of water and wipe the sweat off of their moist foreheads. They both exit the ring and sit at a table facing each other. The first opponent taps the clock, which indicates that the chess game has now continued. Their goal? First to checkmate or a knock-out. This is chess boxing!

Chess boxing has risen in popularity after the pandemic alongside the growing interest in chess. Chess news and streamers hit all-time highs during the quarantine as it was a fun way to keep your mind engaged while also staying safe at home. After isolation ended, the chess fad continued but started to steadily die down. So what was the next natural step for a dying trend? Do what the Paul brothers did: start boxing. 

No, chess boxing was a thing before the pandemic — and it’s great that it still exists after the pandemic. However, it did become increasingly popular as chess influencers competed in a chess boxing tournament, with the help of famous streamer Ludwig. 

If you have never seen chess boxing, it is incredibly entertaining. Not only do you get to watch a boxing match between two people who most likely have never boxed in their lives — but you also get to watch as their chess gameplay slowly deteriorates the longer they box. However, there is a big problem. What should we do with such a fun sport now that it has started to gain some traction?

My proposal is that we make it a part of the Olympics! And yes, this is my second article about what should be added to the Olympics, but think about it. It is not only a physical challenge but a mental one as well — this way, we can see which country has the best chess player who can also beat the living daylights out of someone. We already have a bunch of silly sports in the Olympics, like regular boxing. So let’s just add the better version of the sport to the event. 

I see no real downside to this; I mean, how long does boxing stay entertaining anyway? Something that breaks up the monotonous hitting of the opponent with something that takes a different form of strategy and foresight would be a great addition to the Olympics. It truly is, in my opinion, a more difficult sport, because you can’t just be good at boxing or chess — you have to have some skill in both to make it past the first couple of rounds. 

That is why I am campaigning to get chess boxing added to the 2024 Olympics in France. I mean, it seems like the only real candidate if you ask me. What else would they add instead? Breakdancing? That would be ridicu– oh, um… This is awkward. I am now just being informed, they did in fact add breakdancing. Well… we will try again in four years. 


Written by: Malcolm Lange — mslange@ucdavis.edu


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here