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Chessboxing Gold Cup [maps + stories]
A
#1
Some of our older members may remember Pokemon73's "Create Your Own Tournament" contest, in which I entered with my Chessboxing Gold Cup. I came up with a few descriptions for the major players, but I feel like I should flesh out this would a little more - so, five years after the contest ended, I've decided to revive the thing :) . I'll probably flesh out some of my players a bit more, and invent some new ones - and I may even do another run of the tournament at some point :P

First of all, however, I'll do a brief overview of the structure of international chessboxing. Much like FIFA, the governance of the sport is divided into several continental confederations, each with their own regional tournament which takes place every two or four years. Here's a map of how the regions looked as of 2014: 

Click to enlarge
(Click to enlarge)

Regional federations are as follows:

- European Chessboxing Federation (ECBF). This region consists of the bulk of Europe, plus Israel (who for obvious political reasons were unable to compete alongside their geographic neighbours). Unlike most of the regions, there's no clearly dominant nation here; however, Germany have the most trophies of anyone, closely followed by France and the UK.

- Commonwealth of Independent States Plus (CIS+). This region accounts for most of the former Soviet states, minus the Baltics. It also contains Macedonia, since Greece vetoed their application to the ECBF over the name dispute. Russia are the major powerhouses of this region, led by formidable Volkov brothers; it's rare for a non-Russian to win a tournament in this category.

- North American Chessboxing Coalition (NACBC). Covers Canada, the USA, and much of the Caribbean. In practice, though, the Caribbean participants don't play much of a role in tournaments: most are won by Americans, with an occasional show of supremacy from Canada.

- Latin-American Chessboxing Association (LACA). Covers most of Latin America (with the exception of Puerto Rico, which competes in NACBC). Cuba and Brazil are the main powerhouses here, although Mexican and Argentine players have built up very respectable cases of silverware over the years.

- Arab League of Chessboxing (ALCB). The name says it all, really: it covers the Arab nations in the Middle East and North Africa. There's not a lot of interest in chessboxing in the Asian section of this region, though: the major powers in this confederation are Morocco and Egypt.

- Chessboxing Federation of Sub-Saharan Africa (CFSSA). Covers the parts of Africa that lie outside the Arab League. For many years, they were the weakest of the confederations; however, as the economies of these countries improved, they've experienced rapid growth. For now, South Africa and Nigeria are the biggest players in CFSSA tournaments; however, East Africa in particular has seen strong growth over the past few years.

- Asian Chessboxing Federation (ACBF). Covers the parts of Asia that don't lie within CIS+ or ALCB. They have the highest number of chessboxers of any regional group (due to strong participation in China and fast-growing participation in India); however, they rarely place among the world's elite.

- Oceania Chessboxing Confederation (OCCON). The smallest and weakest of the eight original confederations. Their only major players are Australia and New Zealand - and, while those two nations do punch above their weight on the world stage, they aren't really strong enough to maintain a regional grouping on their own.
 


By the mid-2010s, there was growing dissatisfaction in some quarters with the original grouping of nations. Therefore, in 2014, the world of chessboxing was re-structured, as follows:

Click to enlarge
(Click to enlarge)

The first change was the merger of OCCON with ACBF, to form the Asia-Pacific Chessboxing Alliance (APCA). Australia and New Zealand decided to make the switch in order to seek out stiffer competition - and then, the other Pacific nations just followed them.

Then, two new regional confederations were formed:

- West Asian Chessboxing Confederation (WACC). It was decided that the merged APCA was simply too large to govern effectively - and, with China and India containing by far the most chessboxers of any nations on the planet, they needed to be put in separate confederations. So, this new one was created, taking up the Indian Subcontinent and everything west of that.

- Caribbean Chessboxing Confederation (CCBoxCon). Due to the American and Canadian dominance of NACBC, the sport of chessboxing simply wasn't growing in the Caribbean, outside Cuba. Therefore, it was agreed that growth in the non-Cuban Caribbean nations (plus Bermuda) should be encouraged by putting them in a new confederation, leaving just Canada, the USA, and St Pierre and Miquelon (for distance reasons) in NACBC. (Also, French Guiana now has its own chessboxing federation, thus removing the awkward ECBF exclave in South America. Why St Pierre and Miquelon had a chessboxing federation while French Guiana didn't is a mystery, but it's an anomaly which has been solved at last :P !)

One final change shown on this map took place in 2016. Kosovo was admitted to the ECBF - and, in protest, Serbia withdrew and switched to CIS+. (There are also rumours that, due to the Russian dominance of CIS+, some of the central Asian nations could switch to WACC - although, as of 2019, nothing has happened yet on that front)

So, that's it for now. Hopefully, I'll have some more soon enough :) !
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[-] The following 1 user Likes Kyng's post:
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#2
I like this idea and hope to reead more!
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#3
I'm glad you liked it :)

I see the tournament is still up, so if there's anybody there whom you'd like to request as your first mini-profile, go ahead! (The one exception is Garry Kasparov, whose profile already exists in Wikipedia form :P )
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#4
No problem! I’ll have to look at that on my computer. My phone screen is too small, sadly.
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