Chess boxing is a hybrid sport which combines the sport of boxing with games of chess in alternating rounds. Chess boxing fights have been organized since early 2003. The sport was started when Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh, inspired by fictional descriptions of the sport in the writing of Enki Bilal, organized actual matches. The sport has become increasingly popular since then. To succeed players must be both skilled chess players and skilled boxers.
The concept was envisioned in 1992 by cartoonist Enki Bilal, and a match of chess boxing was a major plot point of his graphic novel Froid Équateur. Iepe Rubingh, a Dutch artist, was inspired by Bilal's book and brought the concept to life in the spring of 2001, fighting under the name, 'Iepe the Joker'. Rubingh decided that the method of play in described in the book, a boxing match followed by a chess match, was impractical. Rubingh instead instituted alternating rounds of chess and boxing.