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Brains and Pawn: The unusual sport of Chessboxing to make its Norwich debut

PUBLISHED: 13:14 06 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:14 06 October 2017

Chessboxing sees two contestants climb into the ring and compete in alternating rounds of chess and boxing. Photo: MNmedia.

Chessboxing sees two contestants climb into the ring and compete in alternating rounds of chess and boxing. Photo: MNmedia.

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It is an unusual sport that combines brute force and sporting agility with cerebral prowess.

Chessboxing sees two contestants climb into the ring and compete in alternating rounds of chess and boxing. Photo: MNmedia.Chessboxing sees two contestants climb into the ring and compete in alternating rounds of chess and boxing. Photo: MNmedia.

And later this month it is making its competitive debut at Open in Norwich to raise money for Norfolk charity Yellobric.

Chessboxing sees two contestants climb into the ring and compete in alternating rounds of chess and boxing.

The winner is determined by whoever knocks-out or checkmates their opponent first.

Among the contestants taking part in the October 21 event is 25-year-old former UEA student Cameron Little.

The former geophysics student has been chessboxing for a year and had his first fight in London in December.

“I was always a chess player first,” he said. “I started playing chess at primary school when I was 10 and it turned out I had a talent for it so I kept it up and went to lots of competitions in my youth.”

Mr Little said he considered himself a “chess player who boxes”.

He added: “I’m a fairly strong chess player and my boxing is rapidly improving. But putting the two sports together is the ultimate test of brawn and brain.”

He earned the fight name “hurt locker” from his former job at an unexploded bomb risk mitigation company.

The event, which takes place at Open on Bank Plain from 7pm, will see four competitive bouts.

It will help raise funds for the charity Yellobric, which provides digital libraries through eBooks to schools in Africa.

Mr Little will be fighting 32-year-old Matt Gershfield, an advertising executive based in Amsterdam.

Other local fighters from Norwich include Prince Titus Beya-Smiler.

Event organisers said his “aggressive” style will see him hope to survive on the chessboard and win by knockout.

Mr Beya-Smiler studied criminology at UEA and is now a mental health specialist at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Yellobric founder Gavin Paterson, who farms at Smallburgh, said: “It will be much more than a sporting event. We have commentators explaining chess moves, there will be a bar, cabaret, DJ and food and there will be a great atmosphere on the night.”

Tickets start at £15. Visit www.londonchessboxing.com or www.opennorwich.org.uk or call 01603 763111 for more information.

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