When I first read this, I was sure it was an April Fool, but apparently not.
I had never heard of “chessboxing” before. Apparently it’s alternate rounds of boxing and chess. Yes, you read that right. Two more incongruous pastimes you couldn’t imagine – although both require a capacity for strategic thought.
Tonight, according to Politico, in London, Lib Dem activist and experienced chess-boxer will take on Jonathan Arnott, UKIP MEP in a chessboxing match. It is the first time Arnott has ever been in a boxing ring.
We looked into this a bit further and discovered that the event is being run to raise money for the Ally Cadence Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. This was set up after Ally died at the age of just 6 months, 12 days after she was diagnosed with this condition. Toby White has set up a JustGiving page for the event tonight. Here’s what he has to say about it:
It takes a huge amount of courage to step into a boxing ring. Even more so to fight an opponent you have never met, never sized up and know almost nothing about. Even more again when for your first fight.
Once stood inside the ropes, you come to the immediate revelation that you are isolated, inadequately prepared, and acutely aware. Aware that all those flaws you had been ignoring through countless hours of training are suddenly, painfully exposed for all spectators and your opponent to see. You brace yourself as you try to shake off the undertones of trepidation and dread sinking through the ether as you are clenched by forsakenness to the mercy of your foe. You are overwhelmed by your vulnerability to the unknown and the ominous, overcome with foreboding and dread.
This makes my opponent, UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnett, either brave beyond question, or incredibly foolish; the latter being fitting for the date of the fight. Whether bravery or foolery, his reasons for entering the chessboxing arena are noble.
Jonathan will step on to the canvas to raise money for ACT for SMA, a charity close to his heart, and I have decided to do what I can to assist him to this purpose.
So please donate as much as you feel fitting, even if only to increase the cost of Jonathan pulling out of the fight and decrease the probability of its occurrence. I shall happily accept suggestions for earning your donations. Entry music, costume, dance move, everything is open to consideration.
There’s a wee bit to go to reach the target, so do contribute if you can.
* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings