Is chess a sport? Ending the debate

DoctorKraken42

There are many arguments for why chess is a sport, including:

The International Olympic Comittee, quite possibly the most 'official' sports authority in the world, considers it so.

It bears almost all the characteristics of games that are definitely sports, such as basketball, baseball etc. Physicality is the ONLY thing missing.

And even that idea can be challenged, becuase tournament chess clearly requieres a lot of stamina.

Meanwhile, the ONLY argument I've ever heard from the naysayers of the idea that chess is a sport is "But it's not physical (enough)!"

The thing that neither side realizes is that THERE IS MORE THAN ONE DEFINITION OF THE WORD 'SPORT'. There is no 'official' or 'objective' definition. Many defintions include chess, while others do not. None of the definitions are 'more correct' than the others.

The two different sides don't really disagree on anything chess related, only on the definition of a word. So, I present to you, the objective truth on the matter: it depends on what definition of 'sport' you go by, and they're all equally correct. By the definition I go by, chess is a sport. But ultimately, the debate doesn't even matter. Because there IS NO ANSWER. Neither side is 'right'. And a debate of the merits of different definitions would be absurd and almost impossible to reasonably conduct.

Argument over. Forever.

Drawgood
I disagree with the claim that chess is a sport. I remember back in Ukraine people would keep referring to it as "sport" and usually it was just the people who spent too much time playing chess in their leisure time. They wanted to give weight and purpose to their hobby. I think especially with video games emergence over last decades it only shows that either chess is not a sport or the video games must be considered sport. I do not consider something like Call of Duty, Starcraft, or Civ games to be examples of sport. These games either require honed reaction time, skill with hand, knowing the maps, and strategic thinking. One most similar to chess are probably many turn based games like Civilization etc.

Video games like chess do not really require physical fitness. Yes. I know professional chess players exercise to improve their thinking and general stamina. But it is not required at all in general. Physical fitness and development of some physical abilities is what separates sports from non sports. And not every physical activity is a sport of course.

Chess doesn't have to be a sport for people to enjoy it. It makes no difference at all.
macer75
Drawgood wrote:
I disagree with the claim that chess is a sport. I remember back in Ukraine people would keep referring to it as "sport" and usually it was just the people who spent too much time playing chess in their leisure time. They wanted to give weight and purpose to their hobby. I think especially with video games emergence over last decades it only shows that either chess is not a sport or the video games must be considered sport. I do not consider something like Call of Duty, Starcraft, or Civ games to be examples of sport. These games either require honed reaction time, skill with hand, knowing the maps, and strategic thinking. One most similar to chess are probably many turn based games like Civilization etc.

Video games like chess do not really require physical fitness. Yes. I know professional chess players exercise to improve their thinking and general stamina. But it is not required at all in general. Physical fitness and development of some physical abilities is what separates sports from non sports. And not every physical activity is a sport of course.

Chess doesn't have to be a sport for people to enjoy it. It makes no difference at all.

Argument not over.

erik42085

Chess is not a sport, it's just a really really hard board game.

TheEinari

There are other ''sports'' the recuier very little physicality from the ''athlete'' such as racing, shooting, golf and horse riding (the horse does most of the physical work but yes, it does take effort from the rider to stay on).

http://www.arisf.org/members.aspx 

There you can find SPORT federations that International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recognised. If chess is good enough sport for IOC, it's good enough for me.

chessfan999

Chess is a war. Not just on the board, but for the mind too.

SenpaiOfDoom

Just how stupid can you be to not understand what Kraken is saying. He's 100% right. Most people define sport as something like "physical activity", but they are not right! If you tried doing som research you would see, that it's more common to define sport as "competetive activity between 2 or more subjects commonly known as opponents, with purpouse of providing fun". And chess matches this definition extra well.

To sum this up: words do not mean, what you think they mean. They mean what official dictionaries say they mean. Still, again, Kraken was right, there are different definitions for sport and about 15-20% of them would not consider chess a sport.

fishyvishy

I have seen giant chess boards with pieces that are almost 2 pounds each. One may argue that that is quite a bit of weight to move, and can make ones arms muscular. In fact if you try to move two pieces you can get 4 pounds, 3 pieces 6 pound etc. Let me put the table down here:

 

1 piece = 2 pounds

2 pieces = 4 pounds

3 pieces = 6 pounds

4 pieces = 8 pounds

5 pieces = 10 pounds

6 pieces = 12 pounds

7 pieces = 14 pounds

8 pieces = 16 pounds

etc. etc.

 

I would recommend doing 16 pounds at a time for a good triceps extension. That would cause some solid muscles, and give you a 3D look for your shoulders as well.

absolutum dominium

MalikEhtisham

It's not a sport!!!Its a mind game!!♥

MalikEhtisham

It's not a sport!!!Its a mind game!!♥

MalikEhtisham

It's not a sport!!!Its a mind game!!♥

Esteban_Garcia
I have done swimming, martial arts and bodybuilding. believe me, chess is not a sport
Megabyte

I agree with Drawgood. Defining chess as a sport is a try to give it weight. But chess is a wonderful game on its own. Why does it need to be defined as a sport to give it weight?

Robert_New_Alekhine

https://www.chess.com/forum/search?keyword=Is+Chess+A+Sport

And I thought this would be the last time...

DoctorKraken42


Chess doesn't have to be a sport for people to enjoy it. It makes no difference at all.

I totally agree. That was partly my point: while I think chess is more or less a sport, it doesn't change anything and can't really be debated, so it doesn't matter. The argument is silly.

zborg

Chess is -- "Part Art, Part Science, Part Sport..." (Vol #1, page 15, I believe).

Feel free to quote GM Gulko --

http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Grandmaster-Strategy-Psychology-Everyman/dp/1857446682

PlayChessPoorly
The olympics recognize it so thats good enough for me. There is no cardiovascular exertion in archery and that's also considered a sport.
Esteban_Garcia
I am really into mind sports. I am also interested in silent music and motionless dancing.
ImmaLetchuFinnish

Chess is the game of kings. A strategy game meant to help royals learn how to outmaneuver their opponents in order to learn and master military, as well as adminstrative, strategems towards victory . It is a game, not a sport. But what a wonderful game it is.

PlayChessPoorly
@Esteban Garcia - Look into the song 4'33" by John Cage.