I've Got a Mean Left Rook ...

First person with the world chess-boxing champion

Wolfgang Kumm / EPA

Nikolaj Sazhin won world chess-boxing championship on July 5 in Berlin.


Nikolaj Sazhin, math major, 19

Won world chess-boxing championship on July 5 in Berlin

In the emergent sport of chess-boxing, competitors alternate between 3-min. rounds of boxing and 4-min. rounds of speed chess, with 1-min. breaks in between to take the gloves off, etc. The winner is determined by knockout, checkmate or referee decision. Ada Calhoun spoke via translator with the 2008 World Champion Chessboxer, Russian math student Nikolaj Sazhin, 19, who won the light-heavyweight division in Berlin on July 5 after seizing his punch-drunk opponent's queen in the fifth round of chess:

How did you start chess-boxing?...

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