By Rook or Left Hook: The Story of Chessboxing

Rocky meets The Queen's Gambit as brain and brawn are put to the test

By Rook or Left Hook: The Story of Chessboxing Follow a self-defeating promoter from London and a self-promoting artist from Berlin as they fight for control of professional chessboxing, a sport which taxes mind and body through alternating rounds of chess and boxing. While Londoner and chessboxing aficionado Tim Woolgar toiled away and carried the financial burden to get the sport into the spotlight, Iepe Rubingh, the sport's inventor, used his status to garner all of the media attention at his events. As relations turned sour, Tim cut ties with Iepe and the two squared-off in a behind-the-scenes battle to decide who would become the 'Don King of chessboxing.'

 By Rook or Left Hook: The Story of Chessboxing
(2021) on IMDb

LaurelDocedge | Official Selection
LaurelMelbourne Documentary Film Festival | Official Selection
LaurelSport Film Festival Rotterdam | Official Selection

Reviews and More

Director David Bitton provides an endearing inside look into [Chessboxing's] history and popularity, focusing on the rivalry between Rubingh and Britain’s Tim Woolgar.” – Stuff

Always throw in a documentary that is a total curve ball. It’s a documentary about Chessboxing – what’s not to love?” – The Daily Blog is something that needs to be seen. This shows how much people can get done if they are passionate about it.” – Weekend Notes Australia

The Producers

David Bitton - Writer / Director / Producer

David Bitton earned a degree in Film Production at Montreal's Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and his professional debut, the 2009 terror short Parking Space, played at over 20 festivals around the world. By Rook or Left Hook is his first feature.

Ed Cunningham - Executive Producer

Ed Cunningham is an Academy Award winning filmmaker, broadcaster and former NFL player who has produced the Oscar winning documentary Undefeated, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters – Sports Illustrated movie of the year – and the brand funded TV and web film series H*Commerce: The Business of Hacking You – which won three Effie awards for effective advertising. Cunningham also helped develop and produce Breaking In on Fox and helped create and Executive Produce a reality series for Discovery.

On air, Cunningham has spent over twenty years as a radio host, sports reporter and commentator with his television network career beginning at CBS before moving to ESPN and ABC. He played for the Cardinals and Seahawks in the NFL and currently produces and hosts the podcast Let’s Huddle with Ed Cunningham.

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