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World's Strangest Sports

Chessboxing, Germany

This nerdily violent sport was conceived in 1992 by cartoonist Enki Bilal as a part of his graphic novel Froid Équateur. Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh saw its potential and held a real live tournament…the rest is chessboxing history. Competitors must have a minimum of 20 regular fights under their belt and have an ELO chess rating of 1,800 or above. A win is possible by KO or checkmate. The most difficult part of the game, according to spokesman Bill Schneider, is making the transition from the ring to the board. “Your pulse is not a problem, but the adrenaline certainly is,” he says. “It makes you want to play a far more attacking game of chess than you ordinarily would, and that often leads to mistakes.”

World’s Strangest Sports

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