Ravens guard John Urschel’s job is to protect Joe Flacco.
On Friday, his task will be to protect his king.
Urschel will take on U.S. chess champion Fabiano Caruana in the “World Blitz Chess Title Bout” at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, according to the Baltimore Sun.
In a sense, this will be even more intense than the type of blitz Urschel faces on the football field. Caruana will have a total of two minutes to make all of his moves and Urschel will have three minutes. So he’ll have to make most of his moves in a fraction of the time it takes to block a defender on an individual play.
The 6’3″, 313-pound Urschel won’t necessarily be overmatched in this brainiac setting. A Penn State graduate, Urschel is working on his Ph.D at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and likes to do math research in his spare time.
Caruana has the third-highest all-time chess ranking. His U.S. rating of 2870 is five points short of Bobby Fischer’s highest rating of 2875.
Taking on the likes of Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins should be a breeze after this.