Saturday, November 10, 2007
An unlikely simile, but one that could well be the motivational motto of Frank Stoldt (below, in red trunks), who has just been crowned world champion of a unique hybrid sport: chessboxing.
Frank Stoldt and David Depto
Stoldt, a 37-year-old German, defeated American David "Double D" Depto in front of 1,200 raucous fans in Berlin this week in what is being touted as the ultimate in physical and mental combat.
After parrying the American's punches in the ring, Stoldt, a policeman known to his fans as "Anti-terror", clinched the light-heavyweight title with a checkmate late in the seventh round.
The bout was organised by the World Chess Boxing Organisation (slogan: "Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board"), which has taken over the running of the sport since the first ever fight 2003.
Frank Stoldt and David Depto
The rules of the game are simple. Bouts are composed of a maximum of 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing, with checkmates or knock-outs resulting in instant victory.
Fighters can also triumph if the boxing match is stopped by the referee, or if their opponent times-out at the chess board.
Chess rounds last 4 minutes each, and each player has a maximum of twelve minutes to make all their moves.
Frank Stoldt and David Depto
If there is no winner after 11 rounds of punching and castling, victory is awarded to the fighter with the most points in the boxing ring.
As a superior boxer with little knowledge of chess may well be able to pound his opponent into oblivion in the first boxing round, only fighters who reach a minimum chess standard are allowed to compete.
The sport has already developed a strong following in central and eastern Europe, and the WCBO plans to expand its appeal next year with exhibition events in Los Angeles, Paris, Prague, Zurich and Moscow.
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