Manny Pacquiao Chess Tournament: Should Pac-Man Become A Chess Boxer? [VIDEO]
Could Manny Pacquiao reconcile his boxing career with his love of chess by taking up an obscure French sport? (Photo: Reuters)
While rumors abound regarding who Manny Pacquiao will fight after Brandon Rios, they may have missed his latest bout against chess grandmaster Eugene Torre in Manila on Tuesday.
Pac-Man is the sponsor of the $100,000 Asian Continental Chess Championship, a 10-day tournament being held at the Midas Hotel. According to the Phillipine Star, Pacquiao battled Torre to a draw during a "friendly" 20-move game using a rare a Queen fianchetto variation.
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"Chess is one of the sports I love because I played chess even before I became a boxer," Pacquiao told the Star. The boxer/chess enthusiast said he plans to support the classic strategy game going forward.
"I will support chess as well as other sports like boxing, basketball and billiards because it's part of my platform being a congressman," said the multi-talented Pacquiao, referring to his elected position as representative of the Phillipine district of Sarangani.
The tournament began May 17 and concludes on May 27.
Maybe Pac-Man would one day care to combine his two hobbies and try chess boxing. Chess boxing is an obscure hybrid sport invented in 1992 by French artist Enki Bilal. Opponents battle each other over the course of 11 rounds -- six rounds of chess and five rounds of boxing -- alternately between the two each round. Contestants can win by knocking their opponent out during the boxing round or checkmating him during the chess round. In the case of a stalemate, scores are tallied from the boxing round. Chess boxers must have a minimum 1800 Elo rank -- used to gauge chess skill -- in order to compete, but player skills in one discipline or the other can vary widely between chess boxers, leading to some curious bouts like the 2012 match between Nikolay Sazhin and Andy 'The Rock' Costello. Sazhin withstood brutal punishment from Costello during the boxing rounds, holding out long enough to checkmate his opponent in the 11th round.
With Pacquiao widely acknowledged to be reaching the end of his professional boxing career, it could be time for him to consider chess boxing. Pac-Man will face Brandon Rios in a plain-old boxing match Nov. 24 in Macau.