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Chessboxing World Championships: India first, Turkey and Russia on podium.

From 12th to 17th November, in Turkey, in the ancient town of Antalya, the 4th Chessboxing World Championships were held. Although world championships in chessboxing were fought since 2003, the year of its invention, they are the type of championships that started in 2017 in India and that are held: 1) in tournament format and 2) on shorter number of rounds. After the first two editions (2017 and 2018) held in Kolkata (India), the third and fourth (2019 and 2022) have taken place instead in Antalya, (Turkey).

Compared to the last edition, that was held in December 2019, this time round there have been a decrease in number both for nations represented and of athletes over all. The decrease in numbers is mainly due to the political situation, particularly in Eastern Europe, the financial difficulties (due also to the increase of energy prices) and the fact the number of days of the Championships was extended and, therefore, it costes more to participate. One might also add the death of Iepe Rubingh in May 2020: his presence was surely a catalysing force.

Marco Muccini: gold medal in chessboxing fit. Besides him Lorenzo Modena, 19 y.o. referee.

If in 2019 the nations competing in the event were 14 (or 15 if we also count Iran) this time round were only 9. The positive thing for chessboxing and the WCBO is that two new nations, that never commpeted in the previous three championships, were present: Afghanistan and Kazakistan. On top of this, more and more national federations and clubs are being estabished around the world and the WCBO General Assembly has accepted over a dozen new countries into the world federation (WCBO).

It is to be remarked that, in this edition of WC, there has been the introduction of the first World Championship of chessboxing-fit. It had entrants divided into three categories: adult men, adult women, male junior. The first category saw more entrants than the others put together: 16 men, 6 women and 5 juniores. The Italian Marco Muccini won all his four matches in the chess round and won the gold medal. Kristina Nguen (Russia) won in the Women category and Aldiyar Zhandaulet, from Kazakhstan, won the the Junior competition.

The Indian team winning the WCBO Nations Cup. Lifting the cup: Mr Montu Das.

 

As for chessboxing, as usual, there was a standing for nations: in the Adults sections (Men and Women) it was Russia that topped the standing with 4 golds, 5 silvers and 1 bronze; second came France with 3 golds and 1 silver followed, then India (2, 2, 5), Germany (1, 1, 2) and then with one medal each: Belarus (gold), Afghanistan (silver), Italy (bronze) and Kazakhstan (bronze). The prize giving ceremony was held in the morning of the final day of the championships.

If we also include the medals for the junior competitions and chessboxing-fit, the medal standing for nations is the following:

During the days of the Championships there has also been the (elective) General Assembly of WCBO and Mr Montu Das (India) was re-elected President. The five Vice-Presidents are: Köksal Arikan (Turkey), Volfango Rizzi (Italy), Guillaume Frenois (France), Petr Zhukov (Russia), Carl Strugnell (Serbia) while Joseph Galert (Germany) is the General Secretary. Executive members are: Fereidoun Pouya (Iran) and Cristián Salas (Chile). This new board of WCBO has already started working to make chessboxing more popular, step up the level of the World Championships and make chessboxer the safer combat sport in the world.

WCBO General Meeting

The WCBO has now two more international referees: Juliana Baron (Germany) and Lorenzo Liam Modena (Italy) who passed their examination following the seminar conducted by WCBO International Referee-Judge Volfango Rizzi. Another intention of the new WCBO board is to improve the quality and consistency of the chessboxing referees, judges and timekeepers. Book of records to be mentioned: Lorenzo refereed these World Championships at the young age of 19 years old; the day after the end of the championships (18th November) turned 20 years old.

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