16621 Players currently online!
Man vs. Machine - good luck!
Turn-based games at any time!
Vote for the best move to win!
Do you have what it takes?
Sharpen your tactical vision!
Get advice and game insights!
Learn from top players & pros!
View millions of master games!
Your virtual chess coach!
Perfect your opening moves!
Test your skills vs. computer!
Find the right private coach!
Can you solve it each day?
Bring it all together!
Beginners, start here!
Make friends & play team games!
News from the world of chess!
Search all Chess.com members!
Find local clubs & events!
Who's the best of your friends?
Read what members are saying!
Todays topic is, 'Chess, game or sport?'
The chess association says it's a game, but in my eyes, it's a sport because it's competitive and requires a natural skill to play it at a high level. You can't really play chess well if you don't have a naturally logical mind.
What do you think OG?
Well, this is an interesting one, and one that keeps coming up all over the place. Generally, English people consider it a game. If you go out and buy a 'Games Compendium', then it's bound to have a chess set in it. I think this is a shame. You can see easily how chess has declined over the years in our country. Yet next generation looks hopeful, with some young potential talent...
Anyway, on the continent it is seen, on the whole, more as a sport. A 'mind sport'. And this is how I see it. Yes, some would argue that to be a sport, you must be able to work up a sweat playing it. Yet many consider darts and snooker sports. What I think is that chess is much more a sport than them. Chess is a sport. I agree with the French here.
Chess should, in my humble opinion, be generally considered a sport. The definition of a sport is very vague, and maybe this is healthy. Maybe it's good that these things are not black or white. People look at chess in many different ways. For some it's their life, for some it's just a passtime. For me it's in between. I love chess and can't get enough of it: for me, it's a sport. A mind sport.
Anyway, enough of me wittering on! Other views?
I'd agree with all that you said apart from the fact that darts and snooker isn't as much a sport as chess. I'm a snooker and darts enthusiast and i think they are more a sport than chess, chess still being a highly classed sport. And also chess has declined??? It went from the 3rd most popular sport to the 2nd most popular sport in tthe world over the last generation and it does seem that the new generation has a lot of potential.
I think we're agreeing thhat chess is a sport!!! However 1 thing still strikes me as concerning, why does the chess association class it as a game?
Well, there are a few points to raise here. Chess Association, as another group on chess.com, are of course highly influenced by their leaders. It's quite possible that a few of the admins think that it should be seen as a game, then the group 'as a whole' then have to.
You say that darts and snooker aren't as much of a sport as chess. Is there any reasoning behind this. Snooker I maybe see a little more, but with darts I don't quite understand your thinking. I, like you, enjoy them both - snooker more so - but I don't see how they can be classed as a sport.
And also whether or not chess has declined. I think the statistic you gave is of limited value, due to some other factors other than how much chess is played, and how much people enjoy playing it. Chess, in the 70s, was huge. It was on TV loads, the Fischer-Spassky match got huge publicity. And the Anand-Kramnik match? Unless you went out looking for it on a website, or found some random page on teletext (568) then you would not find anything about it anywhere. It got not a single article in the paper, apart from in the chess section. And the Deep Blue-Kasparov, or the Deep Thought-Kasparov matches? Front page articles. Chess used to be the in thing. But now? Certainly not, in England anyhow. Many look to revolutionarise chess, and turn it on its head, and make it popular, but with very, very limited success. I, myself, love chess: but I think probably 1 in 5 people even know the rules. Go back to the 70s, and I'd say it was more like 4 in 5. There is hope for the future, what with strong players coming up, but I still not see it becoming very popular again, like it was before.
Anyway! I've drifted far off the subject in hand! Maybe we should ask the Chess Association why. I used to be a part of the Chess Association, before it changed names to that. There was no discussion of that: how do you hear of this?
Phew, my hand hurts!
And my brain! Too much brain excercise for the holidays!
I feel snooker is a sport very much so because it is in someways connected to chess in the logical and thinking ahead sort of way. If anything, more people would say darts is a sport than snooker! I'm actually having second thoughts saying about darts a sport because it doesn't really have any depth to it other than doing some easy sums they know off by heart!!!
When I say chess association, I think the group would say it's a game, but |I'm talking about the chess commitee and the chess olympiad team. They say it's a game??? How can they criticise their own sport.
Now you put the popularity thing up there, I take your point. I think it'll be 2 to 3 out of 5 people nwo a days maybe 2.
Thoughts? I'm off to drama, so will be back later!!!
I'm not sure you can say that snooker is a sport because you have to think ahead to the next shot or two. It's about cue control. The thinking side of it is very basic, really. You might have to think: 'oh, I'll use side on this shot, or maybe some swerve', but I don't think you can really say it's a mind sport. Chess could just about make it, but in that it's two of you sitting aside a table battling it out through the power of your minds. So which side are you arguing for, in snooker? A physical or mental sport? Before that I thought you meant physical, but now maybe you mean mental.
And also, I don't think that something being seen as a sport makes it greater than a game, necessarily. What does being a sport mean, after all? You say that the chess commitee and the chess olympiad 'criticise' their own sport. But I don't see it as a critisism. I believe it should be seen as a sport. But that's just what I think. I'm not sure which word people think of it as really matters. It doesn't change the game itself. It doesn't change the beauty in it. The outside world can think of chess as they like. So can chess players. But 'sport' and 'game' mean little, really. They're just words, like beauty, or culture. They mean different things to different people. I would be interested to see dictionary definitions of both.
I won't be back until around 6 - I'm going to Wales - so I'll be interested to see your comments then!
I still say that snooker is a physical sport and I will stick to that. I find that sports are classed as being better than games because, so say, sports are competitive and games are just a bit of fun. That, in my opinion, is the definition of game and sport, but here is what a dictionsary says!!!
Sport: Sports are games (key word) and other enjoyable activities which need physical effort or skill. This fits in with snooker and darts, the skill bit that is.
Game: An enjoyable activity with a set of rules which is played by individuals or teams against each other.
This is interesting, sport is physical, game is just an activity with rules. So the new conclusion to this question is: All sports are games and chess is just a game???
This fact doesn't seem right in my opinion, this dictionary is a Collins School dictionary, so I looked on dictionary.com to see their definitions:
Sport: an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.
Game: a competitive activity involving skill, chance, or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators.
Chess: a game played by two persons, each with 16 pieces, on a chessboard.
I now am so confused, it fits into the sport category, which fits into the game category. Yet when i put chess in it says a game!!! I looked chess in the dictionary, to see what that puts!
Chess: Chess is a board game with 16 pieces for each team and the aim is to catch the king!
So now we have the term board game into the mix of confusions. Personally, we can eliminate this factor, because a board game is a game played on a board, but it's still a new term!
I asked 2 well trusted friends, chess, game or sport? One said game, other said sport and game. So this goes to show that there is a lot of controversy on this matter.
I look forward to your response!
P.S. I feel we should continue this debate into tomorrow, it looks very deep!
I agree with your thinking that snooker is, indeed, a sport. It involves physical skill: it's just that I got confused when I thought you meant you were saying that it was a sport in the same way chess was. The thinking is of little importance (as long as you aren't too stupid), in the way that how you strike the ball: this is the physical element.
Games and sports seem very much interlinked with different definitions. The whole thing is very confusing. Dictionaries, on the whole, seem to say that to be a sport the thing in question (I hesitate to say 'game'!) must involve skill or effort. I think the term skill is more appropriate. There is no mention at all of 'mind sports', and this is where different people have different views. I'm sure if you were to get a French, or Spanish dictionary (not English-French, or English-Spanish, just a dictionary of their own), they might mention chess. Chess is different to other board 'games', in the way that it involves no luck at all. I can't name another board game that doesn't. And this is where opinion comes into it. Although we can't just outrule the dictionary: it, after all, is our most accurate source, although opinions are very important too. Now a dictionary would say: 'Physical skill is required', but we could easily say that 'Mental skill should still make something a sport'. Now an idiot might say that chess requires physical effort, but that is easily outruled by the fact that if you were actually in such a state that moving pieces around on a board does become effort (and I think you would be dead before that were the case!) then you needn't move them around, just say the move.
I think to call chess is a game is, in a way, patronising the great thing it is: I see your point now, as to how, yes, it matters, and how, yes, it is greater if seen as a sport.
If you play chess, to a high enough standard, you see past the way I think the outside world often sees us. And people who write dictionaries, I guess, aren't chess players. I'm sure if the person who wrote your school dictionary was a chess player, he would add as a footnote: 'A few particular mind games can also be classed as sports: chess, and go, for example'
So in a way I think it's a matter of opinion. And in some ways, whether or not you play these kinds of games can influence you. But if you know the rules and just the rules, then you can be easily mistaken, and can easily think that there is an element, however small, of luck in chess: if your opponent notices that you've just blundered a bishop, then you're unlucky. If he doesn't, your lucky.
This topic has certainly made me think. Before, I just accepted that chess just was a sport. But it certainly needs to have its place argued for!
This is very interesting!
sorry |I haven't replied, I think this topic will continue toill Sunday, there's more depth to this which I've just thought of.
I have a couple of little side questions which will help us determine whether chess is a sport or a game. Can you call a sport a game? Is the moving of the pieces the physical skill? Is a mind sport a sport?
Question 2 is quite simple to answer, as posted before, no, because you could just say the moves and visualise the game. But the other 2 are quite interesting.
As said above, I thoought chess was just a sport, but again, it's a deep topic which we're investigating!
Well, your first point is easily answered: no, the moving of the pieces is not the physical skill, as I said before with my last comment. The point in question is whether a mind sport can be called a sport. I think this is most simply answered by saying that it is a matter of personal opinion. As we have seen before, 'official' sources seem to say that to be a sport the thing in question must involve physical skill. Chess does not involve physical skill. It involves mental skill. An interesting, in some ways philosophical argument would be to say that mental skill is indeed physical skill. In the same way that you could argue that thermal energy is indeed kinetic energy. But I think that this argument is outruled by saying: it is not directly the result of the physical processes of chess that determine the winner. Yes, maybe indirectly, it is so. But, if we take the case of cricket, or football, or darts, yes, the winner is made that by a physical movement. Now the winner in a chess game is also made the winner by a physical movement (no, not the movement of the hand! ), but by the movement of particles in the brain. And then we get the 'predestined' argument, that I don't think we need to go into!
But, as I argue away at chess' case, and how it should be a sport, I come to think of other classic 'games' - things that are no doubt games. Maybe, in trying to prove chess' case, I have inadvertently double crossed myself, and ended up arguing for things like MONOPOLY, labyrinth and backgammon's place as a sport. Now this is where it becomes really interesting. Because maybe I can rule out MONOPOLY and backgammon, by saying that they involve dice, and therefore luck, but things like labyrinth are clearly not a sport. (Labyrinth, if you didn't know already, is a game with a little ball that you must navigate through a maze with many holes in it, by tilting the maze). Now, labyrinth is much more difficult to distinguish. (But I suppose I am discussing its case in a way different to how I am with chess, but oh well. I will go into it anyway). Because labyrinth involves physical skill, you might say. The physical ability of the user results in one side winning, or the other. Aha! So maybe we can't seperate the skills involved in football, clearly a sport, and with labyrinth, a toy game. I don't know how we can.
But this is a different matter. We were discussing chess being a sport, not labyrinth, and for different reasons!
What do you think?
Phew, this certainly is getting very deep. But it's very interesting, too!
I think this labyrinth thing you've brought up is actually really interesting. However the one thing that distinguishes it not a sport is that it's not a competitive activity directly, maybe indirectly though. However the game description says it needs to be competitive too! So this means that a labyrinth is an activity, and isn't a game??!! I think not.
On the luck side of things, football does have some luck involved, along with cricket! Both to do with the weather! If the weather (this is for football) is windy in 1 direction, then windy the other sirection, both for the other sides, one side will have a huge advantage. And in cricket, if a side is on the edge of a loss, then it rains loads, then they may draw, or even win thanks to the run rate rule thing!
Back onto the labyrinth thing, we could class it as a toy. Then we could say a chess set it a toy, and so is a football. So yet another term comes into this discussion! Here are the terms so far:
Sport, game, toy, mind sport, chess, physical, mental, luck and skill.
I think the labyrinth could be the key here as it's completely different fromk everything we've gone through and could lead us in the right direction. It could be a red herring though, but we have nothing to lose!!!
Yes: the 'labyrinth theory' could be said to be obviously ruled out: 'it's a toy': yes, but as you say, a football could just be named a toy; 'it's just common sense - it's not a sport': well, many people though that it was 'just common sense' that the earth was flat, a hundred years ago!
Just a small point, and not really relevant, but the Duckworth Lewis Method in cricket (the 'run rate rule thing') takes into account wickets and runs, so it's not possible to win a game you were about to lose!
Anyway, I'm sure we can agree that there is a degree of luck in all 'classified sports'. But whether or not there is luck does not feature in the dictionary's definition. But we're talking about a different sort of sport here. Well, are we? I suppose that's the question. You can't just say that chess 'just is' a sport, as many do. They like the game, so when this sort of debate comes up, they say that chess is a sport, and refuse to discuss any further. So that is the question: why is chess a sport? Is it a sport in the way that football, cricket and hockey is - it involves physical skill - or is it a sport in a new kind of way? That's the question.
We either argue that physically, chess is a sport. After all, there is no mention in the definition of direct application of the physical skill resulting in the winner. Our brain cells moving, the physical element we mentioned earlier, does decide the winner. The effectiveness of each side's, and of course whether there is a slip in concentration (BLUNDER!!!) decides who wins.
But let's take another look at Dictionary.com's definitions:
Sport: an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc. (It says that in order to be a sport, the activity must be athletic. Chess certainly is not this. But then again, this is the point raised in my first post. Some would say that you must be able to work up a sweat doing it. But some wouldn't. Some would just say that physical skill was required. And this is where opinions come back. In my French class, we were discussing this very topic, as we were learning the words for different 'games' and 'sports'. So we had a brief discussion on this very topic. The master in charge (no, not IM!) reckoned that it must involve physical effort.)
I'm sure competitive chess players could convince themselves that chess was a sport in a different way. But really, they have an insight into the game that others haven't. And that's not really enough. We should be able to convince non chess playing people that it is a sport. And we can't do that by saying that it is a sport in a different way.
So, in order to be able to prove that chess is, indeed a sport, to a non chess playing person, then we need to be able to show that chess is physically demanding.
And this is certainly a difficult task! But I think we still have a winning argument left. We should be able to convince them, by saying that yes, the mind is a physical thing. That is a completely different philosophical case, but it's certainly true that the brain is real. And we certainly think. Using our brain. (Well, most of us anyway!) And as a real, solid thing, it must be made up of atoms. And as it's a living muscle (well, not quite, but in effect it is) it is made up of cells. And the cells certainly move. The parts of the brain move in a way that enables us to think. So that is physical movement. And after a long day's chess you are tired. So the chess is physically tiring. So it is physical.
Now, many might say that there are two types of tiredness: mental and physical tiredness. But if we argue that mental things are physical anyway, then they are both the same, but in different ways. Confusing, eh?!
So, if we can do that, then we have showed that chess is physically demanding, because it's mentally demanding. Agreed?
Anyway, back to our labyrinth theory:
This is interesting. I can't quite get to grips with the idea that labyrinth might well be a sport! I can't find a way to prove it isn't. It's a side point, but it's still very irritating. I can't see how to prove that it is not a sport. Which is annoying.
But with that comes another point. If all activities that involve skill with the fingers are sports, which surely can't be right, then all computer games are sports! Which definitely isn't right.
Confused??? I certainly am!
I'm most certainly confused!!! as said in my last post, I found that sports have to be competitive to be a sport, and labyrinth isn't directly competitive.
as for the chess thing, the idea of the brain thing is really interesting, as the cells moving and all the concepts do move. And the tiredness thing I think completely shows how chess is a sport. I put on a sweat and people do get tired after playing chess, however small it may be, it increases the energy in your body and your heartbeat.
So at the moment, my conclusion is that chess is a sport and a game like all sports are. We determined that sports are all games, because they overlap. However, games can't be called sports. The question though is, can this brain be called physical skill?
I think we're getting close to determining the chess thing, but the thing that does make my brain hurt is what to call a labyrinth!? And the computer games thing I can see being a sport, which is amazing!! It's competitive, it's physical skill (fingers or the Wii, moving your body) and there are tournaments of it. I still think we can only call them games though, as much as I like computer games!!!
Dictionary.com time again for definitions of our key words we have now!:
Labyrinth: an intricate combination of paths or passages in which it is difficult to find one's way or to reach the exit. (Nothing to do with game/sport/toy here)
Brain: the part of the central nervous system enclosed in the cranium of humans and other vertebrates, consisting of a soft, convoluted mass of gray and white matter and serving to control and coordinate the mental and physical actions.
Toy: an object, often a small representation of something familiar, as an animal or person, for children or others to play with; plaything. (umm...)
Now, this is very intesting from the website called Wikipedia!!!
Chess is a recreational and competitive board game played between two players. The current form of the game emerged in Southern Europe during the second half of the 15th century after evolving from a similar, much older game of Indian origin. Today, chess is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments. An estimated 605 million people worldwide know how to play chess, and 7.5 million are members of national chess federations, which exist in 160 countries worldwide. This makes chess one of the most popular sports worldwide. Chess is also promoted as a mind sport by the Mind Sports Organisationalongside other mental-skill games, such as Contract Bridge, Go and Scrabble (OMG!!! Scrabble a sport???)
The most impressive statement though:
Chess today is a recognized sport of the International Olympic Committee.
Please see the recognised sports, as Bridge is a sport as well??!!
So chess as a sport is in favour at the moment, but some questions are still unanswered. What is a labyrinth? Is chess physically challenging (proving the brain aspect)? Is bridge a sport (Completely new topic of discussion)? And if chess is a sport, why isn't it in the olympics (An interesting topic which has a lot of leads)?
Lots to think of, but we're nearing the end of this. But many threads are left unknotted (bad analogy!) so a long way to go. We're getting there though.
Good Luck for the response!!!!
That's very interesting. The thing is, we need a reason not to call computer games sports. We can't say that they 'just aren't'. We need reasons. I feel the answer is on the tips of our tongues, but we can't quite get there. I think there is something we're missing. How can Scrabble possibly be called a sport??!! (By the way, your links don't work!) They distinguish, like we did at the beginning. They make them 'mind sports'.
Maybe we need to think of these other 'sports' in a different way. They aren't real sports. They involve a large amount of luck, for goodness' sake! They are, as you put it, 'mind sports'. I don't think that that website put them on a par with football, hockey, cricket, basketball and all that. They are sports, but in different ways.
But I feel chess is a real sport. A true sport, for the reasons we stated earlier (which, admittedly, aren't the reasons we first came up with. They are reasons we had to come up with to make chess the thing we wanted it to be: let's be honest!).
But we can distinguish easily those other 'mind sports'. They are sports in other ways. But that is much more difficult with labyrinth, which definitely isn't a sport in the way other 'proper' ones are. But our 'rules' make it so.
I'm not quite sure where we're going here. But I can answer your comment about chess being in the olympics:
A sport does not have to be in the olympics to be a sport. Football, definitely a sport, was only added recently. And cricket isn't there!
I think now we've drifted, which doesn't matter. We need to preserve our belief in our common sense, by proving that labyrinth and computer games are not sports. But with the rules we've got, we can't!
Recognised sport link, click here:
With Scrabble and bridge, both involve a bit of luck, so can they be classed as sports? And with your remark to mind sports, bridge is marked as a sport, like chess, but Scrabble as a mind sport!
Labyrinth isn't competitive, which is something a sport has to be which shows (thankfully) that the labyrinth isn't a sport. but what is it??? But computer games, they fit perfectly into the sport category!!! I just don't see how it can be a sport! This I think just adds more questions into our heads, which is just brilliant...
Wikipedia has some links to look at about these mind-sports, which do seem different, yet nothing comes up about chess, which is interesting. Here are the links:
Now this is what it comes up with when you put in Mental-Skill game/sport!
This was found on the page of Chess, which shows that the mental part can be determined as a sport. I think we may have an answer to chess, sport of game question!!! However, these questions have derived from what we've learnt, which are all related in some ways.
How do you class a labyrinth?
How can we prove computer games are not sport? (regardless of the name, computer game)
Are mind-sports different to sports, or are they the same thing?
And what really is chess, a sport, a game, a mind sport or both a sport and a game?
I don't care if this takes a while to complete, but the round up of this topic will be 8th of August when we meet up (OG and I). There we will round up what we've learnt, and come to our final conclusion of this topic and any more we've come across over the next week or so.
Lets see what you have to say!
Well, I think that we can agree that mind sports are different to sports, and that chess is a proper sport. That is because of the physical element in it: in the brain.
I think labyrinth is no easier to discard than computer games. It can be perfectly competitive. Just the other day, I was going to have a game, where you play three times, and add up your scores. So labyrinth is competitive: why else would each hole have a score next to it???
So I think your first two questions have merged, in a way. So we are left with the questions to answer:
1. How can we show that labyrinth and computer games are not sports?
2. Are mind sports different to sports, or are they the same?
3. What is chess?
I'll have a crack at them:
1. Maybe we just have to accept that computer games and labyrinth just aren't sports. They don't fit that sort of 'sporty' thing. They may meet the definition, but they don't really fit the feeling. Maybe that's what it's all about. What it being classed as a sports feels to you!
I can't find anything better than that. Because surely, just surely, they can't be sports...
2. I think here we can say that chess is a proper sport, and that they are different, for the reasons stated in my previous post. I think, I think, that if dice or randomly picked tiles are involved then the activity can not be a proper sport.
3. Back to the real question. It's difficult. Because we can't actually prove it to be a sport. But I believe it is. Chess is a sport. But we need to show the layman that it is. But I think our reasons we said before are strong enough. Well, that's my view.
Sorry this wasn't a very long post. I can't come up with much more to discuss, now.
What do you think? What are your answers to those 3 questions?
That's fine, I've had shorter posts than that!!!!
1. I can't show they're not sports, but as you've said they dont feel like sports, and what people class as sports is different in some ways. But still, I can't prove, which is a hard thing to get my head around!!!
2. Mind sports do seem different to proper sports, however I think our next posts need to show what mind sports really are, as this will determine the answer to question 3!
3. From what we've covered so far, I can safely say I can stay with my original statement, chess is a sport. But the next step is to prove it to the ploughman and anyone. That will really prove it's a sport.
Lets do this!
I know, it's difficult that we can't prove it. Really irritating too. But we need to use common sense and perception here. They aren't sports.
I think we're coming to an end here. Maybe another topic? I think we've determined what we set out to do, and a whole lot more! I think our previous posts cover the ground requried. We already have proved it. But I suppose there is one more point we need to think about before this is well and truly over:
We need to define mind sports.
Wikipedia has a page:
But I think we need to know that they are two separate things. The term 'sport' in 'mind sport' just gives it a higher feel to it, I think. We need to ignore that term, and not let it confuse us with the term 'sport'. True sports include chess, I believe. But surely chess is also a mind sport! The two are getting confusingly interlinked. Because one of my earlier posts said that in Europe they tend to believe that chess is a 'mind sport' - a sport in its own way. But now we think that that is something different.
I'm now slightly confused, as I can't quite seperate the two terms. I tried dictionary.com but it didn't have 'mind sports'. So where do we go from here?
Can you distinguish between the two?
Continued in Part 2!
To me the thing that seperates sports and games are competitiveness.To me chess is a game because i play it for fun. Things like football, basketball, track, and maybe even school are sports to me because i am competing with other people to be the best at what i do.
View complete profile
by OpeningGambit 6 years ago
OG and brfc on...
Top 10 great groups to join
Grob and Reverse Grob
Why Join | Chess Topics |
Help & Support |
© 2015 Chess.com
• Chess - English
We are working hard to make Chess.com available in over 70 languages. Check back over the year as we develop the technology to add more, and we will try our best to notify you when your language is ready for translating!