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June 21, 2021

Chessboxing courses: checkmate in the ring

Between combat sport and a strategy game, there is only one step. After the multisport courses offered during the school holidays, the Sporting Camps inDeauville are adding a new string to their bow with chessboxing courses (chess = failures, Boxing = boxing). A cross between the game of chess and English boxing, this hybrid and unusual discipline sees two "chessboxers" compete on their physical performance and their cerebral control. A sport in the era of time which is aimed at both men and women and which is particularly suitable for children.

Chessboxing, a discipline that combines chess and boxing
Chessboxing, a discipline that combines chess and boxing © Léo Lemasson

Combine chess and boxing duels

Sweat and brains, reflex and reflection… Concretely, what are the rules of chessboxing? The players play 11 rounds, alternating 5 rounds of boxing and 6 of chess. The two opponents always start on a chess board, placed in the center of the ring, to play "blitz" chess (within a given time). After four minutes, end of the duel, seats and chessboard are withdrawn. The players put on the gloves for three minutes of boxing. Then they resume their game of chess where it left off, and so on. until the end of the game. Common denominator: anticipating blows.

One week to become a chessboxer

If the body-mind relationship has raised many questions among philosophers, chessboxing is a way of reconnecting them to become one. This is why the courses are structured around two distinct workshops to discover, learn and take ownership of each discipline. The sessions are suitable for players of all levels. The chosen pedagogy favors fast and intuitive learning which promotes reflex play.

Every day begins with boxing at Deauville Boxing Gym. Considered fist fencing, chessboxers learn the art of touching without being touched. Here, the blows are not carried, but the technique and the speed privileged. For five days, everyone works on their coordination, their movements and their physical condition. Children, for their part, prefer learning in the form of playful exercises.

In the afternoon, the trainees leave their gloves in the locker room to sit around a chessboard at the clubDeauvillais chessboard. After the action, time for reflection, the goal being to keep your lucidity where it is necessary to develop strategies to challenge your opponent. Thus, on 64 colored squares, we learn to protect his queen, deploy his towers and move his king to escape checkmate.

And to top it off, the last day is devoted to demonstrations in the form of assaults with 3 rounds of 1min 30 and 3 rounds of 5 min of chess.

One week to become a chessboxer
One week to become a chessboxer© Léo Lemasson

Adult initiation course

From 18 years old - 12 participants

Chessboxing allows followers of the noble art and the king of games to unite their two passions in an explosive and fun mix. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, the course adapts to all levels and takes place as follows:

  • Boxing in the morning from Monday to Thursday: 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
  • Afternoon chess from Monday to Thursday: 14 p.m. to 15 p.m.
  • Demonstration on Friday afternoon from 14 p.m. to 15:30 p.m.

Children's initiation course

From 10 years old - 12 participants

Learning while having fun is the goal set by the Deauville Boxing Gym and the Deauville Chess Board. On the one hand, aspiring chessboxers learn to dodge, feint and move correctly and safely without landing any hits. On the other hand, the teaching of chess - a timeless puzzle game - requires an adapted vocabulary and simplified explanations:

  • Boxing in the morning from Monday to Thursday: 11:30 am-12:30pm
  • Afternoon chess from Monday to Thursday: 15:30 p.m. to 16:30 p.m.
  • Demonstration on Friday afternoon from 15:45 p.m. to 17:15 p.m.


Arnaud and Simon Hadida
Arnaud and Simon Hadida, President of the Exchequer Deauvillais and Vice-Champion of chess of Normandy © Léo Lemasson
Davide Nicotra
Davide Nicotra, organizer, promoter of boxing events and owner of Deauville Boxing Gym © Léo Lemasson

To perfect the learning of these two disciplines so different and yet so complementary, it is Arnaud Hadida and his son Simon (respectively President of the Deauville Chess and Vice-Champion of chess of Normandy) and Davide Nicotra, organizer, promoter of boxing galas and owner of the Deauville Boxing Gym who were asked to transmit their passion to apprentice chessboxers.

Chessboxing, from fiction to reality

Hybrid sport born from the imagination of comic book author Enki Bilal, chessboxing first appeared in 1992 in his book "Cold Ecuador", third part of the trilogy Nikopol. Ten years later, the Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh organized the first official fight, before founding an international federation, the World Chess Boxing Organization (WCBO). Today, around ten national federations have emerged around the world for some 3500 licensees. Proof of the growing craze, France hosted its first chessboxing fight in 2019 at the Cabaret Sauvage, in Paris.

Useful information


  • From 5 to 9 July
  • From 26 to 30 July
  • August 2-6
  • August 16-20

Price: € 490