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When you’re a successful Canadian chess grandmaster, the last thing you might expect to receive is an invitation to be the main attraction in a Los Angeles boxing arena.

But that’s what happened to Aman Hambleton, who is scheduled to fight fellow chess player Lawrence Trent in a chess boxing match. The contest takes place Dec. 11 at the Galen Center, an arena that normally hosts University of Southern California basketball and volleyball teams and seats more than 10,000.

In chess boxing, players alternate between rounds of chess and boxing. The first player to score a knockout or a checkmate wins.

“I don’t have any experience boxing,” the 29-year-old Hambleton freely admits. But he has been training and says he will be a formidable opponent in the ring and at the board.

Trent, an English international master, circulated a video showing him sparring with a trainer. In standard trash-talking tradition, he said he was looking forward to meeting Hambleton, “that lanky, skinny beanpole excuse of a grandmaster.”

The event is being organized by Ludwig Ahgren, a YouTube and streaming entrepreneur. Even world champion Magnus Carlsen is looking forward to the match. “I just hope they escape with their health,” he told Chess24.

Lawrence Trent v. Rinat Jumabayev, Online, 2021

Handout

How does White quickly end the game?

White played 46.Qf8+ Re8 47.Qd6+ and Black resigned.