Who are we?

Chess Boxing Global Marketing is building a professional league under the brand Chess Boxing Global. We are taking chessboxing to a whole new level. Lead by Iepe Rubingh, our team is devoted to make chessboxing into one of the most demanding sports and sophisticated entertainment experiences in the world. We are on a quest for the smartest and toughest on the planet!


Chess Boxing is a rare blend of contrasting skills. The athlete combines a powerful body with a sharp mind, and rises above mindless muscle. In the ring, the fighter is fueled by testosterone, adrenaline and skill. Three minutes later, he changes battlegrounds. The contender has only seconds to restrain his fighting instinct and move into the silent logic of his mind. Chessboxers need smartness for solving problems; They must anticipate their opponent’s moves in the ring, as well as on the board. It is the only sport in which the heart, mind and body perform in total harmony. This is the ultimate battle.



The battle consists of 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing.

  • Each round lasts 3 minutes.
  • The 6 chess rounds comprise a total of 18 minutes, giving a total of 9 minutes on the clock for each player.
  • Fighters win: by knockout, by checkmate, by the judge’s decision, or if the opponent exceeds the time limit.

Weight categories:

  • Heavyweight> 90 kg
  • Light Heavyweight 80-90 kg
  • Middleweight 70-80 kg
  • Lightweight <70 kg


Chessboxing was brought to life by Dutch born Iepe Rubingh in 2003. He was inspired by „Froid Équateur“, a graphic novel written by comic artist and film director Enki Bilal in 1992.

In 2003, the worlds first chessboxing fight between Jean Louis Veenstra and Iepe Rubingh was fought in Amsterdam, and was won by Rubingh. The historic event was watched by over one thousand fascinated spectators. Sport had been taken to a new level.

Iepe Rubingh’s description of his first public fight.

“I had been fighting for 45 minutes and I was ready to drop. I mobilised every cell and every nerve-ending in my body, and landed a punch. I could see him struggling to find his corner. All I needed was another hit for the victory! …. then the bell rang, and the the boxing round ended. I wanted to scream, and the next thing I saw was the chess table in the ring, and the final round had begun!”

The Inspiration: Graphic Novel "Froid Équateur" by Enki Bilal

After this overwhelming success, Rubingh founded the World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO) and the first ever Chess Boxing Club in Berlin in 2004. From that moment on, chessboxing clubs and associations started appearing all over the world Now in 2015, the WCBO has members in China, India, Iran, Italy, Russia, Germany, Mexico, Turkey and the US.


In 2013, cartoonist Enki Bilal created a series of paintings with chessboxing motifs. As a strong supporter of chessboxing, he invested one of his major paintings to provide financing. The artwork was unveiled and auctioned by Artcurial on the Champs Elysees, in Paris, and was eventually sold for 174 000€. A unique investment idea!


Iepe Rubingh wins the first chessboxing fight ever | Amsterdam 2003

This tremendous success was crowned by a spectacular show-fight, hosted by none other than arthouse actress Charlotte Rampling. Mixing the art world with athletics turned out to be a big success. The fight was enjoyed by art lovers and sports enthusiasts alike. The proceeds of Bilal’s work was used to start the new company, Chess Boxing Global Marketing (CBGM).


The first professional World Championships were held in Moscow in November 2013 and in Berlin in 2014. The current World Champions are: Sven Rooch (Germany), Leonid Chernobaev (Belarus) and Nikolay Sazhin (Russia) in the light heavy-, middle- and heavyweight category respectively.

Iepe Rubingh and Enki Bilal | Paris 2013
Bilal: "I couldn't believe it, Iepe had brought my idea to life! It is fantastic.“