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Everything you need to know about chessboxing

Chessboxing is the City's new favourite activity. Combining – you guessed it – chess and boxing, it's a battle of brains and brawn in front of a baying crowd. Citibank's Sean Mooney, who's taking part in the upcoming Oracle Cancer Trust Chessboxing Gala, gives us the low-down on the sport.

THE CHESS

The event starts with the two competitors channelling their inner nerd in an epic battle of the brains. It's a 24-minute game of speed-chess, split into six four-minute rounds. The players sit at a chessboard in the middle of the boxing ring – sporting some noise-cancelling headphones – as a chess master keeps the audience involved, commentating on the pugilists' moves (and mistakes) as the game's projected on big screens around the venue.

THE BOXING

After four minutes of chess, the board's moved out of the ring – it's brawling time. Between each four-minute round of chess the fighters get the chance to test their brawn (and chin) in three-minute boxing rounds. This is closer to a fight club than it is to one of those soft white-collar bouts – there's no headgear and no shirts, but I can guarantee there will be blood. I'd tell you more, but the first rule of fight club is...

THE KNOCKOUT

The competitors continue to alternate between chess and boxing until there's a checkmate or a knockout. Do you fancy yourself as a decent chess player? Why not let someone punch you in the face, and see how many moves ahead you can see when your eyes are swollen shut. It’s the ultimate thinking man's game combined with the ultimate fighting man's sport. Now tell me you’re not intrigued.

Sean Mooney is taking part in the Oracle Cancer Trust Chessboxing Gala on 22 May at the Grange St Paul's Hotel. Click here to book tickets, and quote SEAN14 at the checkout.

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