“A game of chess is like a sword fight. You must think first…before you move.”
The matches work like this: competitors alternate between three-minute rounds of boxing and four-minute rounds of speed chess with one-minute breaks in between to get the gloves off and hunker down at the chess table. The winner is determined by knockout, checkmate, or referee decision.
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European chess-boxing arose independently from the American hip-hop community’s efforts to train children in chess alongside martial arts like Jujitsu. One of hip-hop’s biggest chess fans is the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA. (He plays exhibition chess matches on WuChess.com: “Play in tournaments for prizes, or just for the joy of flexin’ ya mentals.”) Banjoko and RZA will be speaking to the U.N. in August about the practice’s potential for giving children resources for peaceful conflict resolution.
Q: My peoples are you with me, where you at?
A: In the front, in the back, killer bees on attack!
Rappenin’ is what’s happenin’!