We ended up settling on playing Scrabble-apples (non-referral link: https://www.amazon.com/Parker-Brothers-4979-Scrabble-Apple/d...), sort of a "each player builds their own scrabble crossword in front of them" game. Whenever you run out of tiles in your hand, you say "Peel!" and everyone draws an additional tile from the bag.
We put the bag at the bottom of a snow covered, forested hill.
2+ hours of snowy hill sprints combined with trying to make words out of scrabble tiles later... I fully appreciate how difficult it is to transition back and forth between brain and body heavy activities.
At least for a while, none of that matters, because you're more concerned about your immediate situation.
It's the same reason that I enjoy hiking and hunting. No point in worrying about your bills or relationships or work when you're 12 hours walk from the road, and 4 hours drive back home.
It's a much healthier form of escapism than drugs or alcohol.
There’s this saying, right, wherever you go there you are. And it’s true, there’s no destination far enough that your own faults won’t follow. But what I think the saying misses is that other cliché: it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Because while it’s you who leaves a place, and you who arrives in a place, right? It isn’t necessarily you in between. The you who sits on the road is a different you, one with far less responsibilities. One whose choices have been narrowed down to which exit to stop at, what music to listen to for the next 100 miles. It’s freeing, being taken out of yourself and replaced by this road version. And yes, it’s tiring when you arrive and your worn out, stressed self has to step back into her place, but those moments in between? Those are worth it. Those road hours are the one bit of freedom we get, and the reason we feel like that is because they take away most of our freedom. Sometimes the less options we have, the more free we feel.
I used to be pretty skeptical about the various "constant connectivity is making us miserable!" stories, because my relationship with the various boogeymen listed didn't match the descriptions. I don't compulsively check email, refresh instagram for new likes, or generally let apps send push notifications at all.
These days, I think those stories have real merit, except they're too narrow in their view of the problem. For me, the itch isn't "I should check Facebook", it's the simple knowledge that at any time I could pay bills, order a gift, read a textbook, or otherwise get things done. It used to be that if you were at work or the bank, that's what you were doing; now you can cash a check from the office or finish work from the line at the bank. Even while you're being productive, there's no narrowing of scope to relax your thoughts.
There are lots of tricks to help that, but nothing has ever beaten hiking and climbing for simply forcing me into the present.
It's not hard maths, but it was the perfect distraction from the problem of dealing with how little effort I had left vs what I wanted to achieve. Trying to think on abstract problems was more than I could achieve. Not thinking about anything but my next stroke wasn't enough. It was (and remains) the perfect strategy for me.
BGG also says that Bananagrams is a re-implementation of Pick Two! (1993).
I bring this up because most years they do something crazy for one of the nights. Back in 2011 they did a chessboxing match.
Here was there promo/announcement video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaBWBmYfqVQ
And the actual match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJy2kIWtyvQ
It was pretty crazy. It's one thing to know whats going to happen, but when blood actually started being drawn it just went to a whole new level.
LMAO... I hadn't thought of that angle... This may have single-handedly convinced me that this the best spectator sport ever
In a 2007 interview  he says that, based on Josh Waitzkin's appraisal, his (unofficial) ELO rating would be around ~1400 ELO
Edit: Updated with source
I'm not just being a pretentious nerd, I actually like sports and I used to love watching boxing / MMA.
It is so so so much worse than what we thought. Dave Mirra, Chris Benoit, Aaron Hernandez, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NFL_players_with_chron...
Please find boxing enjoyable again. ;)
Part of my priors is my exposure to amateur MMA, and training and sparring with people who fought amateur MMA. You take a lot of hits in sparring, and some of them are hard enough to disorient you, even thought it’s not a concussion.
Seriously the rest of the world calls 'Soccer': 'football'
...though association football does not have a concussion problem the way American football does. I'm not aware whether Australian or rugby football have concussion issues as well.
I find it interesting to watch combat sports, because it's like an experiment in human physique and psychology that reveals of what kind of self defense is actually effective and how humans function under extreme conditions. For me, that is valuable even if I never got in a fight for the rest of my life.
Learning to fight generalizes beyond actual fighting.
Seriously, the only way this sport could be more Russian would be if they somehow added a vodka-drinking contest round.
Seriously, is the world really a better place if we can’t laugh at one another and especially ourselves?
Moreover, it sounds to me like the commenter is showing a decent level of respect (or sportsmanlike admiration) towards Russians in general.
Personally when I see a boxing match and see somebody hit in the face it hurts me. I think that's called empathy. Getting used to boxing means you get used to seeing violence and it doesn't hurt so much any more. Then when the moment comes for you to hit someone in the face I guess it just feels like good sport. No?
I found chess more destructive than boxing — it serves little to no cardiovascular benefit, and can be hugely addictive. (Bullet chess and competition play can readily take over your life, and I've seen careers and relationships destroyed by it.)
The fittest people I've ever met have been boxers. Yes, the risk of head trauma and eye injury during fights is higher than even MMA (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26327287 ), and every fighter must weigh the risks of that with what they gain from the sport.
> Getting used to boxing means you get used to seeing violence and it
> doesn't hurt so much any more.
(1): Getting hit still hurts.
(2): Seeing people getting hit outside the ring hurts more, because you're more aware of what they're going through.
(3): I've seen boxing (and martial arts) restore respect in people and their communities; kids transformed from roaming the streets to training at the gym every day (not always in the ring; many days just working out).
It is easy to see two people knocking the crap out of each other in a ring and assume those exchanged blows embody everything the sport has to offer, but like many contact sports there are more positive side-effects than bloodied faces and the normalisation of savagery.
They experience less desire to assert themselves physically because they understand who they are and feel more secure in themselves.
They understand that you can’t really tell who is and isn’t worth getting into an altercation with just by looking at a person. There are a lot of very unassuming people who are quite good at handling themselves physically.
Out of continually confronting contained (often consensual) violence they develop a deep respect for what people, both themselves and others, are capable of. The idea of casually entering into real violence without good reason is not taken lightly.
Personally I like boxing because there's something incredibly confidence building about knowing that you can handle getting punched in the face and keep going. Very empowering.
It's a lot less unpleasant than most people imagine.
Actually if it came down to trying to do real violence, I think a lot of boxers wouldn't be any more prepared mentally than anyone else. It's orthogonal, in other words. On the other hand the physical training lends some advantages in defending oneself (but also in grocery-carrying, train-catching and everything else).
I also wouldn't equate offensive hitting and defensive hitting. When it comes to defensive, what you say is true: "when the moment comes for you to hit someone in the face," it helps to be mentally prepared for it. That moment may arrive by someone else's decision.
Finally when it comes to self-defense, hitting someone in the face specifically (unless it's an eye gouge or something) is really not a good thing to do without padded boxing gloves on. Faces are bony!
In one interview - with Peter Thiel, by the way - current WC Magnus Carlsen was asked about Josh Waitzkin. (Waitzkin is a fairly well known and highly talented chess player, whose biography inspired the movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer". He's left chess for martial arts since.)
Carlsen half-jokingly said Waitzkin hadn't succeeded in high level chess due to his insufficient killer instinct, which apparently made him settle for a "more peaceful" sport :) https://youtu.be/ZBnSU-LX1ss?t=1h2m
Or to quote former world champion Karpov, "Botvinnik, Korchnoi and Kasparov had to hate the opponent to play successfully" (Botvinnik and Kasparov = other WCs, Korchnoi was a close contender for the title).
Is that something we should be encouraging the youth to be good at? ;)
My tongue-in-cheek point was along the lines that just because a discipline doesn't involve punching someone in the face - unlike boxing, called out for it by the parent comment - doesn't necessarily mean it's not a brutal sport... in psychological dimension, obviously.
I practiced thai boxing for many years and it may sound odd, but I don't really see boxing as a violent sport, no more than let say soccer. I've never hit anyone (other than on a ring) and never will, and I hate violence as much as most people. In the context of boxing I see hitting as a technical move.
Besides the occasional bruises, rare broken ribs or black eyes, I've never injured myself. Most of the time, you practice with control and with various protections, wary of your partner level.
Competitions are more violent, but even there, there's a gradation. Fighters are matched by skills and weight, depending on their level use protections (helmet, shin guards), and the referee is there to stop the match if needed.
But then, open-palm strikes are very effective and virtually riskless for the attacker. If you are good at it, you can at the same time strike the opponent's chin and put your fingers in his eyes, but here we are obviously way out of sport's territory and way into aggressive self-defense / violent street fight.
Does boxing cause brain damage? This article says: "Almost certainly":
There's also forms of karate that allow full contact.
But I look at Thai Boxing matches with flying knees, elbows, etc and that recent video where a fighter footswept someone and then kneed them in the head on the way down and I think "Fuck that."
One area that is different to a lot of other sports is that fights aren't stopped for bleeding often as it is very common for thai style elbows to open gashes on the face. A lot of experienced fighters will have scarring around the eyes from getting cut with elbows.
That said in the west fights are split into 3 classes (4 if you include novice fights) C which has no elbows or knees to the head, B which has no elbows to the head and A which uses All legal thai techniques
Perhaps empathy isn't so useful if you're lacking objectivity. Or perhaps failing to understand why people do the thing they dos means you don't have as much empathy as you think.
In many ways, boxing is one of the less violent sports around, both for those who practice and those who watch. I'm more of a football (soccer) fan than a boxing one, but if I had kids I'd rather bring them to a boxing match than to the stadium where they would grow learning that faking a foul can bring a penalty and the victory.
I've known several amateur fighters, and they all report that the decision to actually attack their opponent in anger is the hardest step for most people making the transition from training for fitness to actual competitive fighting.
Two of those people were exceptions, though: one was a junior lawyer whose approach to her first fight earned her the nickname "Basher", and the second a cleaned-up ex-gang member who used to fight for fun in bars.
I've often wondered whether Basher was merely applying the same mindset she learned as a lawyer to the ring.
It's also empathy to see someone hit someone well and feel the flush of success.
I'm not athletic, and have never been good at sports, but the very few times that I've done them and done well it has been exhilarating in a way intellectual pursuits never have been.
The idea of the sport itself is explicit in the Nikopol comics:
So every single match I've seen has been won by the better chess player, and the boxing has just been an interesting diversion.
Someone had also had a banner which read "Take his queen, punch his spleen"
* Do X crunches every 2 or 3 moves.
* Do X pushups/pullups/situps/skipping/etc every 2 or 3 moves.
Disclaimer: I am also creator or a chess variation halfchess.com
Did you try with six?
It was great fun, and folks take it seriously. We were embarrassingly bad at chess by comparison (and pretty ropey at the boxing too).
As a chess player, this makes sense to me. A super-elite grandmaster will win eventually against a skilled amateur, but the amateur can often find ways to stall positions or drag things out. On the other hand, an elite boxer can literally kill their opponent in seconds if the opponent is sufficiently below their level.
I can’t imagine a setup for this type of contest that doesn’t heavily weight boxing skill to making the chess component nearly superfluous (or at least effectively a tie-break). Mike Tyson against Magnus Carlson wouldn’t last five seconds longer than the first round of chess. A skilled amateur boxer vs. Magnus Carlson might take thirty seconds more than that.
Chess boxing seems to be in a similar vein of getting people to play the game, reaching out to those that otherwise might not play.
Growing up, I would have. But after moving to NYC my eyes were open d to how it isn’t “just a nerds game” and popular with a massively diverse group of people.. it’s really great to see actually.
There is a free trial (in Japanese) at
but that is geoblocked an image search using the kanji above should give you the idea.
Basically the author took the idea of chess boxing and then let his imagination run wild. For example: In one contest the fighters competed to factor a series of increasingly large numbers, with the winner getting the sum of the factors in seconds for a free attack on their opponent.
Each player has 10 minutes for the whole game, like in a classic blitz game, but the clock is 10 meters away.
Next one is on May the 19th.
http://www.echiquierdulac.fr/?p=2744 (in french)
Demo : http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/0thPHAyqDOpc
I was kinda hoping that you could punch WHILE the other player was moving pieces so you'd be incentivized to play quickly to defend.
Edit: Just replayed it to that point. It's not talking about chess boxing, just (a very incorrect history of) normal boxing.