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How many times have you wanted to get up from a difficult chess game and aim a right hook at your opponent’s jaw?

In the world of chess boxing, that would be perfectly legal.

Many people are surprised it’s a real sport, but chess boxing has been around for 30 years and is popular in Germany, Britain and a few other countries. Players alternate rounds between a speed chess game and a match in the ring. A checkmate or a knockdown ends the contest.

Winnipeg-born Sean Mooney is retired from the sport now, but once played a memorable match at Royal Albert Hall in London that was billed as a battle of the bankers. He worked for Goldman Sachs at the time. Mooney won all three matches he contested.

‘When you get punched in the head, everyone’s chess rating drops by about 200 points,” says Mooney, who is now a business strategist and consultant in Portland, Oregon. He said blunders at the board were common in the first few seconds after a boxing round ended.

Mooney thinks chess boxing might be ripe for renewed popularity. And a Toronto filmmaker, David Bitton, has recently released a documentary called By Rook or Left Hook - the Story of Chess Boxing.

Hikaru Nakamura v Hou Yifan, Speed Championship, 2018

Handout

White is not a chess boxer but has been known to brawl with opponents. How does he force mate?

1.Rxg7+ Kh8 2.Rh7+ Nxh7 3.Nf7+ Kg8 4.Nh6 mate.