How an Obscure Sport Is Helping Transform the Lives of Indian Girls – Pacific Standard


On a misty winter morning at a gym in Kolkata, Pushpa Jha, 15, hits a punching bag with all her might, sweat trickling down her cheeks and temples, while her mother looks on.

Jha had severe malnutrition when she was younger, which affected her respiratory system badly, stunting her growth. Tiny and frail, she’s an unlikely candidate for a gold medal at the World Chess Boxing Amateur Championships, but she won that very title in May of 2017. Now she has set her sights on the 2018 championships, to be held this July in Kolkata.

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Her coach, Montu Das, president of Chess Boxing Association of India, says that she has something that many players do not—a desire to succeed against all odds. Her mother, Golapi Jha, agrees.

“She forgets everything when she is up in the ring; she has been wounded and injured twice already during matches, and she often has blood flowing through her nose during physical stress, yet she is adamant to continue,” Golapi Jha, a domestic worker, says.

Chess boxing was invented by Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh in 2003; it combines the intellectual skills required to win a chess match with the physical strength needed to defeat an opponent in the boxing ring. Players face off in 11 alternating bouts of chess and boxing until one of them is either outwitted on the board or knocked out in the ring.

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Who needs to beat the traffic? The end of the game just got so much more exciting – USA TODAY


Published 5:35 p.m. ET May 15, 2018 | Updated 5:47 p.m. ET May 15, 2018

A lot more people will have money riding on the final seconds of the game

It will take years before all the ramifications are felt from the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on sports gambling. Yet it’s clear that giving states the OK to legalize betting on sports will greatly alter the way the game is watched. And even if teams stop short of installing betting kiosks in arenas and stadiums, the live, end-of-game experience will look and sound a lot different. Thousands of fans may have action riding on what were once the final, meaningless seconds or innings of a game. Betting on sports isn’t new, but legally betting on sports outside of Nevada is. Gamblers are celebrating. Gambling addiction experts are fearful. States may have a new revenue source, but the gambling dollars might not be a huge jackpot in the long run. Congress may try to regulate sports betting — again — but passage of any legislation is a long shot.

U.S.-North Korea summit plans could implode

Rattled by joint military exercises by the United States and South Korea, North Korea threatened to cancel the June 12 historic summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un. North Korea’s state-run Central News Agency called the exercises “provocative military disturbances.” Pyongyang also canceled high-level talks with South Korea planned for Wednesday. The warning comes amid recent goodwill by North Korea and Kim. In just the past few weeks, Kim met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, North Korea promised to dismantle a nuclear bomb test site, and the isolated nation released three American prisoners. Despite the threat, the State Department said the U.S. is still planning for the meeting between Trump and Kim.

America’s fittest city definitely isn’t Oklahoma City. Too Soon(ers)?

A move to Arlington, Va., won’t put you in the best shape of your life, but the Washington suburb does stand as the fittest of America’s largest cities. Credit all those parks, farmers markets and low-smoking rates, said the American College of Sports Medicine. Perhaps it’s a regional thing. Washington, D.C., ranked third on the list, behind Minneapolis. Arlington’s neighbor, Falls Church, Va., was named the nation’s healthiest community earlier this year. Sorry Sooners, Oklahoma City takes the cake as the least fit of the 100 cities in the new report. Is your city more Fitbit or chicken fried steak? See the full list. Not on there? Green Bay, Wis., America’s drunkest city. 


Arlington, Va. is the fittest city in the country, edging out Minneapolis, Minn. by half a point.

A divided America can’t agree on its moral leaders

“What is happening to my country?” Regardless of political identity, if you spend time on social media or following the news, you’ve likely asked yourself this question. America has grown more diverse, more secular and more polarized, with fewer identifiable voices emerging as moral authorities — including the president. It’s made the nation’s moral compass harder to tune to a true north. That’s part of the reason why activists with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival are kicking off a 40-day operation of civil disobedience to refocus the nation’s moral agenda.


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Iowa State basketball recruiting big board 2.0: Tyrell Terry, Kira Lewis surge to the top –


Nick Weiler-Babb learned quickly which bar patrons had the most money
Randy Peterson,

With April’s evaluation period in the books, 2019 priorities for college basketball teams around the country are becoming more and more clear.

Based on what the Register is hearing from recruiting contacts and industry sources, as well as taking team needs into consideration, here is the newest version of Iowa State’s basketball recruiting big board:

Lots of guards in here, as the Cyclones have made the backcourt their big-time priority for 2019. Although they also would like to add an athletic forward or wing.

Iowa State will likely try to land four players in its 2019 class, even if Lindell Wigginton stays in Ames next year. It is no longer in the running for D.J. Carton, who recently named a top six of Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana, Marquette and Xavier.

1. Tyrell Terry, PG

DeLaSalle (Minneapolis)

6-foot-3, 160 pounds

247Sports Composite: 3 stars; Rivals: 3 stars

A lack of clarity with Wigginton’s future kept Iowa State from going all-in on 2019 point guards until recently. Now that it seems more likely Wigginton would leave after next year should he return, the Cyclones can pursue 2019 point guards full-tilt. Expect a strong recruitment of Terry from Steve Prohm and company, who love the Midwest star’s length, bulldog mentality and play-making ability. Terry, whose stock is exploding this offseason, hosted Iowa State for a visit in mid-April — a few weeks before the Cyclones offered May 7.

2. Kira Lewis, PG

Hazel Green (Hazel Green, Alabama)

6-3, 160

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Lewis is blowing up right now. Kansas is his most recent offer, but he’s also received new offers from Oregon, Northwestern, UConn, Clemson, Indiana and Pitt, and Alabama is all over him. Lewis hosted Iowa State for an in-home visit in April. It will try its best to stay in the hunt for the South’s rapidly rising point guard.

3. Mario McKinney, PG/SG

Vashon (St. Louis)

6-2, 180

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

McKinney has been at or near the top of Iowa State’s board for a long time. He’s an explosive combo guard who would work well with any of the point guards on this list. The Cyclones had an in-home visit with McKinney in April. As much as Missouri is considered the favorite, Iowa State is in this race, too.

4. Dekeyvan ‘KyKy’ Tandy, PG

University Heights (Hopkinsville, Kentucky)

6-1, 180

247Sports Composite: 3 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Prohm has had his eye on Tandy since his sophomore year, and he’s recently impressed Tandy with his level of interest. He’s another guy Iowa State had an in-home visit with this April. Tennessee, Kansas State and Cincinnati are also showing healthy interest.

5. Luke Anderson, PF

Lakeland (Lakeland, Florida)

6-8, 220

247Sports Composite: 3 stars; Rivals: 3 stars

Iowa State has been in on Anderson since August, when it became his first high-major offer. Other schools, such as Georgia and Florida State, have offered since. But the Cyclones are well-positioned here. Their interest hasn’t wavered.

6. Tyler Wahl, SF

Lakeville North (Lakeville, Minnesota)

6-7, 200

247Sports Composite: Unrated; Rivals: Unrated 

Wahl, who plays with Terry on D1Minnesota, has blossomed into a high-major prospect with a strong offseason. He’s hauled in offers from Drake, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa State and Butler since April 22. His shot needs some work, but the Cyclones love his length and play-making ability. On paper, he looks like a power forward, but he plays nimbly like a wing. He could see more high-major offers come his way this summer.

7. Samuell Williamson, SG

Rockwall (Rockwall, Texas)

6-6, 170

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Iowa State has gained good traction with Williamson lately, and a summer visit could be in the cards. Rivals loves this kid — it ranks him top-50 in the class. Williamson would be a nice third guard to go along with a point guard and a combo guard for the 2019 backcourt class.

8. E.J. Liddell, PF

Belleville West (Belleville, Illinois)

6-7, 220

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Of course, Iowa State would love to get Liddell, the reigning Mr. Illinois Basketball. But the Cyclones are fading from the picture here.

9. Malik Hall, SF

Sunrise Christian (Wichita, Kansas)

6-7, 210

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Iowa State loved what it saw from Hall last month and offered him on April 24. It’s getting into this race later than some of the other contenders, including Kansas, who many consider the favorite. The Cyclones will try to wedge themselves in here.

10. Terrence Hargrove Jr., SF

East St. Louis (East St. Louis, Illinois)

6-6, 180

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 3 stars

Iowa State hasn’t offered, but Hargrove is on the Cyclones’ board and they will continue to evaluate him this offseason. Assistant coach Daniyal Robinson watched Hargrove in February during the same trip in which he watched Liddell and McKinney. An athletic, scoring-machine small forward.

Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.