The game of champions
“In boxing you create a strategy to beat each new opponent, it’s just like chess.” – Lennox Lewis
These photos of David Haye, the former World Heavyweight & Cruiserweight Champion playing chess with our London Edition are the latest link in the seemingly unlikely relationship between chess and boxing.
Both Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko are famous boxers and keen chess players, and Lewis links it with keeping him out of trouble as a boy - "When someone calls you a name you want to punch them out… but chess teaches you to think through the next moves."
The similarity between the two disciplines are not as disparate as you might initially think - the Grandmaster and chess commentator Jonathan Rowson likens the individual nature of both - "there is virtually nothing to mediate the one-to-one combat. Boxing has gloves, but there are no balls, no goalposts, no clubs or racquets."
Recent years have seen the creation of Chess-boxing, a hybrid of the two disciplines, where competitors alternate between rounds of boxing and games of chess, with regular events taking place in major cities around the world including here in London.