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ddrfreak101 14 ( +1 | -1 )
is chess sport A lot of my friends say chess is not a sport, I think it is. I would like to know what other people a gameknot think. What do you think?
olympio 64 ( +1 | -1 )
fdassjkfljds;aklf;djklafjeiwofjfj according to a sport is a physical activity.. by that definition, no.

the way i see sports, yes. though top players claim to spend much time with physical exercise as well as mental i don't really believe that plays a major factor. however the mental preparation required is intense. there are champions and championships.. competition.. controversy.. stars, sad failures who never reached their potential. what's missing are 10 million dollar contracts and strikes because 10 million isn't enough. also, americans are interested in games where a clear winner emerges victorious.. draws don't make sense to the general public.
kai_sim 135 ( +1 | -1 )
we had this before... and i thought it was very funny
here some highlights:
(this one is dedicated to olympio - thx for reminding me on it):

silverwolfwsc posted:
According to American Heritage

1-Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.
-A particular form of this activity.

2-An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.

answer from buddy2 (thx for this one again):
"Under this definition picking up girls is a sport."

and from mattafort:
"hmm ... physical activity
how about chess played using
chess pieces that weigh 100 kilo! (200 pounds)
that would do it - it is a SPORT"

the old post you can find here:

maybe this time some one will be able to answer my old question:
"i think to remember that there where studies with kasparov about physical exhaustion during important games - does anyone know what came out of it?"

best regards
invincible1 20 ( +1 | -1 )
go look I had conducted a very interesting poll on ragsman's forum with various options on what chess means to each.... Very curious and varied response! Worth going and looking!!
anaxagoras 49 ( +1 | -1 )
Ok, please raise your hand if you think the above dictionary definitions pick out all sports and only sports. War is at least one glaring counterexample, and there are many more. Which is why a dictionary is useless for a serious discussion about symantics...

Here's a good one for the people who won't give up on defining everything: Are all sports games? Certainly not all games are sports (we all agree here). But what makes some sports games and some games sports? Go ahead, knock yourself out.
More: Chess
dervish 386 ( +1 | -1 )
seems like chess is pretty physical to me,.. This story I read at

MOSCOW -- Doctors are blaming a rare electrical imbalance in the brain for the bizarre death of a chess player whose head literally exploded in the middle of a championship game!

No one else was hurt in the fatal explosion but four players and three officials at the Moscow Candidate Masters' Chess Championships were sprayed with blood and brain matter when Nikolai Titov's head suddenly blew apart. Experts say he suffered from a condition called Hyper-Cerebral Electrosis or HCE.

"He was deep in concentration with his eyes focused on the board," says Titov's opponent, Vladimir Dobrynin. "All of a sudden his hands flew to his temples and he screamed in pain. Everyone looked up from their games, startled by the noise. Then, as if someone had put a bomb in his cranium, his head popped like a firecracker."

Incredibly, Titiov's is not the first case in which a person's head has spontaneously exploded. Five people are known to have died of HCE in the last 25 years. The most recent death occurred just three years ago in 1991, when European psychic Barbara Nicole's skull burst. Miss Nicole's story was reported by newspapers worldwide, including WWN. "HCE is an extremely rare physical imbalance," said Dr. Anatoly Martinenko, famed neurologist and expert on the human brain who did the autopsy on the brilliant chess expert. "It is a condition in which the circuits of the brain become overloaded by the body's own electricity. The explosions happen during periods of intense mental activity when lots of current is surging through the brain. Victims are highly intelligent people with great powers of concentration. Both Miss Nicole and Mr. Titov were intense people who tended to keep those cerebral circuits overloaded. In a way it could be said they were literally too smart for their own good."

Although Dr. Martinenko says there are probably many undiagnosed cases, he hastens to add that very few people will die from HCE. "Most people who have it will never know. At this point, medical science still doesn't know much about HCE. And since fatalities are so rare it will probably be years before research money becomes available."

In the meantime, the doctor urges people to take it easy and not think too hard for long periods of time. "Take frequent relaxation breaks when you're doing things that take lots of mental focus," he recommends.


Although HCE is very rare, it can kill. Dr. Martinenko says knowing you have the condition can greatly improve your odds of surviving it. A "yes" answer to any three of the following seven questions could mean that you have HCE:

Does your head sometimes ache when you think too hard? (Head pain can indicate overloaded brain circuits.)
Do you ever hear a faint ringing or humming sound in your ears? (It could be the sound of electricity in the skull cavity.)
Do you sometimes find yourself unable to get a thought out of your head? (This is a possible sign of too much electrical activity in the cerebral cortex.)
Do you spend more than five hours a day reading, balancing your checkbook, or other thoughtful activity? (A common symptom of HCE is a tendency to over-use the brain.)
When you get angry or frustrated do you feel pressure in your temples? (Friends of people who died of HCE say the victims often complained of head pressure in times of strong emotion.)
Do you ever overeat on ice cream, doughnuts and other sweets? (A craving for sugar is typical of people with too much electrical pressure in the cranium.)
Do you tend to analyze yourself too much? (HCE sufferers are often introspective, "over-thinking" their lives.)
wreimann 94 ( +1 | -1 )
Study about GM's Chess players often loose several kilograms during matches or tournaments. In Munich they studied the physical reactions in a human body during serious master games. The results were stuning. For example, the adrenalin level during a game is the same that Formula 1 drivers experience during a race. A F1 race only last round about 1 1/2 hours which is short distance in master level chess. If a normal person would suddenly experience this adrenalin level it would die immediatly. Also they tested the photographic memory of the (at that time) young Kasparow to see how long it stores. They let him read books (several hundred pages) to see how long he can recall them word by word. They found out it lasts 2-3 weeks, what a good preparation for a match!! I look if all this is posted in the internet if yes i state the site later.
divine_sun_cat 4 ( +1 | -1 )
dervish you do realise that story is a wind-up don't you?
coyotefan 4 ( +1 | -1 )
Chess is not a sport It is a mental activity, not a physical activity.
tonlesu 29 ( +1 | -1 )
sports Back in the last century, I think it was 1999, ESPN ran a segment called great sports highlights of the 20th century. They did this everynight for the entire year. One night their segment was Fischer v Spassky 1972. I guess ESPN believes it was a sporting event.
bigkev 53 ( +1 | -1 )
What qualifies as a sport? Is darts or snooker or pool (9 ball) sport or are they games. They have a physical component.

I notice that shooting is a sport. What level of physical activity separates a sport from a game or does the level of physical activity not define a sport and therefore the dictionary is inaccurate.

More conundrums and brain power that would be better served over a chess board.

BTW I believe chess is a sport but because it is not visually appealing there is no interest from TV networks.
anaxagoras 30 ( +1 | -1 )
coyotefan "It is a mental activity, not a physical activity."

Are you a mind-body dualist? I am sincerely curious!

Suppose that we translated chess moves into physical motions, e.g. to play e4 you have to jump twice and clap once. What would chess be then? A "mental" or "physical" activity?
anaxagoras 7 ( +1 | -1 )
Of course, we are all running in circles here. This thread is nonsense.
error 24 ( +1 | -1 )
No Is Monopoly a sport? No. Chess is simply a board game that has became very popular. Sure it takes much more work and dedication then any other, but that doesnt change if it qualifys or not. Just my opinion.
ddrfreak101 1 ( +1 | -1 )
come on its a sport
olympio 31 ( +1 | -1 )
monopoly? what are we comparing here? game with championships.. international tournaments.. gladiators who take the game to new levels.. thousands of books written on the subject.. careers.. to a game where you roll dice and buy imaginary properties and steal money from the bank when no one is looking?

what a bad comparison.
error 21 ( +1 | -1 )
It's not my fault no one writes books on monopoly. it could have championships. The fact that no one wants them, doesnt matter, if it was played more seriously, it would be just as much a sport as chess is.
olympio 49 ( +1 | -1 )
error you're in "error"

you were using the fact that monopoly is a board game to as an argument for why chess isn't a sport. but that fails because monopoly as you said is not taken as seriously as chess

like you said "it could have championships" then it would be just as much a sport as chess is

the point is, it doesn't have championships, so unlike chess, it is not a sport. and if it did have championships, i would argue for it being a sport just as much as i argue for chess being a sport
anaxagoras 7 ( +1 | -1 )
Ok then. Argue for me why having a championship makes a game a sport.
kai_sim 99 ( +1 | -1 )
time out and start thinking, review the past posts ...
now my thoughts:
monopoly can't become a sport neither poker or skat and so on. simply because there is also luck involved (dices, random cards, etc)
in chess you don't have that.

thank you wreimann i was waiting for that answer a long time i heard when they started the studdy, but never heard results.
fact is: chess after that studdy can have all points to be considdered as a sport.
my lucky guess is, that chess is not olympic because there is a chance that the entire event will end as a tie.
shooting for example you'll get a limited count of shots on the target, most rings wins. why is shooting considdered as a sport and even olympic but chess not? (don't want to even think about horse riding and curling)

so when you ask me, i would say it's a sport and it would even be olympic if there wouldn't be the chance that the entire event ends remis.

greetings to all
anaxagoras 18 ( +1 | -1 )
Good grief. When will one of you admit that *there is no criterion* for saying what's a sport and what is not a sport. Ask the general public: chess is not a sport. End of story.
thumper 3 ( +1 | -1 )
hehe Chess is not a's a way of life. :-)
olympio 36 ( +1 | -1 )
anaxagoras how about right now? i think no one admitted it till this point because it wasn't relevant. of course the general public is going to not consider chess a sport. the question is.. is it a sport? is there some definition of a sport that we can consider definitive and that applies to chess. it's a philosophical discussion not a new rule we're trying to impose on the general public.
bigkev 40 ( +1 | -1 )
General Public? The same general public that says chess is not a sport would probably also say synchronised swimming is not a sport. But synchronised swimming is an olympic event. Go figure.

Ice dancing is a sport but other forms of dancing such as ballroom, modern, tap, etc isn't. Methinks there is some other agenda that classifies an activity as a sport other than the dictionary and the general public
wizard_of_odd 32 ( +1 | -1 )
In my book... ...a sport is something competetive that you do for recreation. What I consider recreation, however, might not be the same as what others enjoy. Muscle-building, for instance, is too much like work for me to consider recreation. But I do believe it's considered a sport. Or running. Why would I do that fo *fun*?

Just a few thoughts from a woodpusher.

olympio 11 ( +1 | -1 )
maybe In order to be a sport you have to be entertaining to audiences. Probably Russians consider chess a sport, true?
anaxagoras 62 ( +1 | -1 )
olympio wrote: "is there some definition of a sport that we can consider definitive and that applies to chess. it's a philosophical discussion not a new rule we're trying to impose on the general public."

A definitive definition of sport is precisely what I deny exists. In so far as this discussion is a piece of philosophy it's a piece of confusion. Go ahead and call chess a sport if you like. I couldn't say you were wrong, just that I wasn't familiar with that use of 'sport.' (perhaps I could get used to it) But whether or not chess is a sport is immaterial: the game remains the same.

p.s. olympio, I find it so charming that you and I always end up on opposite sides! ;-)
olympio 24 ( +1 | -1 )
it's It's much more educational for everyone that way. Wouldn't you say?

Maybe the concept of a sport is more emotional than intellectual. Chess simply "feels" sporty to me. And maybe the problem is that most people don't feel the same way.
anaxagoras 42 ( +1 | -1 )
Well, it is funny that professional chess players do so much of what athletes do for training. Both have a regulated diet, exercise, and benefit from relaxation techniques that a Buddhist might call 'clearing your mind.' Then again, you can be severely out of shape and still excel at chess, and save for the position of relief pitcher in baseball, physical excellence is necessary in sports.
wizard_of_odd 63 ( +1 | -1 )
Maybe not... "In order to be a sport you have to be entertaining to audiences."

Nah. How would you explain golf, then? *rofl*

Besides, I've seen lots of people entertaining themselves with spirited debates about their favorite chess champ's latest conquests... or more usually, speculation about the same. Chess is definitely a spectator sport.

Seriously, though... hunting is considered a sport, right? It's certainly not a spectator sport (that I know of).

Also, if I recall correctly, the original phrasing "for sport" used to mean something you do "for play". I don't know about you, but when I play chess, I'm playing, or "sporting".

olympio 11 ( +1 | -1 )
wizard_of_odd the golf point is well taken. i'd also add baseball as one of those sports that is unbearable to watch.
ddrfreak101 3 ( +1 | -1 )
football Football is very boring to
ccmcacollister 110 ( +1 | -1 )
ACtually... Wouldnt know if Chess should properly be considered a sport or not. To most however, it is a competition. Many describe as a "fight" or "struggle", a "contest" Personally, for me it tends more toward being an artistic expression. The competitive element is of smaller consequence to me. Perhaps since I seem to invest very little ego into the game compared to most I know. {I remember Fischer saying he liked to see his opps ego crushed when realizing they were lost.....or something like that.} For me it involves no measure of worth or intellegence. So my only concern on those lines is; did I play in good character, sufficient to suit myself?
Baseball; Physical Excellence ?? Besides pitchers....I've seen catchers that cant do 7 flat in the 50 yard dash. Doubt that Ruth could either. Physical Excellence ?

Monopoly, actually there have been championships. Or at least some very big tournaments. And there are publbications available on Monopoly strategy as well.
Side-1 quick development vs side-4 ultimate development. Railroads vs Utilities.
And all that stuff!

coyotefan 21 ( +1 | -1 )
Is dungeon and Dragons a sport THere are championships, major tourneys worldwide. They are covered on ESPN. How about Poker?

Sorry, chess is no more a sport than D & D or Poker, or Monolopy. Now spelling bees....... There is a sport :)
skeeterss0 32 ( +1 | -1 )
A Rose by any other name What does it matter if its a sport or not?

Calling it a sport/game/challenge or whatever is only a way to classify it. To some their entire way of life revolves around chess. To others it is merely a kids game. It's catagory means little. How much time you invest and enjoyment you procure is whats important.
atrifix 3 ( +1 | -1 )
ESPN covers D&D tourneys?
coyotefan 17 ( +1 | -1 )
ESPN covers D&D tourneys? Yup. They also cover Workd Series of Poker, World Monopoly championships (yes they do exist) and spelling bees.

Skeeters point is the bes though......WHO CARES??
superfluke 50 ( +1 | -1 )
National Sport of Russia Chess is considered the national sport of Russia.

These are just casual references to the status of chess in Russia.
ccmcacollister 98 ( +1 | -1 )
Like Said Before... I don't know if Chess is a Sport. I don't say it is, here. But might sometime in casual speaking, since (as several said) it doesn't really matter What it is, or we call it to be.
However, I will disagree that it does not take a degree of physical aptitude, as well as being an intellectual pursuit. Perhaps the physical factor is not so noticeable to most, until maybe one acquires a physical impairment.....Or plays an 8 hour tmt game, that could not be adjourned (as I once had). Then the physical aspect becomes more noticeable. Also, it is important to maintain a certain degree of physical fitness to really be able to play chess at your best, since aches aor fatigue lead to impairment of concentration. (EG Try doing some Algebra a minute after running The Mile at your top pace! Or solve some Mate-in-4's then)

......I've heard a number of GM's claim to train physically for Chess play. And considered it important. The Polgar sisters play Ping-Pong too. .......[8D
commodore 13 ( +1 | -1 )
I have the definitive answer to this question and it resides in my profile photo commodore.
dysfl 106 ( +1 | -1 )
Political game Is chess a sport or not?

It's a political issue, because sports are political. Remember the Moscow and LA Olympics? Some countries and organizations tries to make chess a sport, because it will add the total number of medals they can get from the event. If chess becomes a sport, many contries will allocate tax-payers money to support this new sport and its players.

Japan made Judo a sport when they hosted an Olympic, China is trying to make Kung-Fu (Wu-Shu, to be correct) as an Olympic sport. Could martial arts be sports? As a former students of old school martial arts, I don't want them as sports, but they are and will be. There are so many soldiers in most of the countries practicing killing skills using guns and knives. It didn't become a sport even it is phycal and assumes cometition. Why even the raser gun simulation battle is not a sport? Political again. You should use ridiculous weapon (fencing) or very ineffective way of depeating the opponents (wrestling), instead of the real thing (9mm or boot-kicking).
hanoi_episode 295 ( +1 | -1 )
A game, not a sport! I find the argument that chess is a sport very unconvincing -- that is, unless you want to completely change the definition of what a sport is.

Physical activity is in no way integral to chess but it is to every sport. Yes, physical movement takes place in shifting pieces but this is by no means necessary. We can imagine that if Kasparov (or any great player) were paralyzed from the neck down, he
would still be able compete at the elite levels of the game (if he were allowed to call out moves rather than make them himself -- and would such a change in procedure really be out of the spirit of chess?). Although there is a physical component to the game, almost all chess players realize that what is most important to the spirit of chess is mental ability. If a chess player were paralyzed, would we say he or she can no longer play, or be good at, chess merely because they can't move e4 with their fingers? I doubt it.

What if the physicist Stephen Hawking had his voice generating computer modified so that instead of generating sound, it made moves on a chess board, on a computer, or over the internet? He could very possibly be a strong player and I think few would doubt his chess ability if he were to win an internet tournament (or even in person in a tournament that allowed him to play with this device). We'd say he was a strong chess player without qualification. So, in this so called "sport" of chess, you could succeed even if you were completely paralyzed and unable to move your muscles. Certainly a bizarre twisting of the definition of sport.

Some people have been mistaken when they look at TRAINING for chess and noting that some top players exercise when they prepare for chess. But this is simply because exercise has beneficial effects -- it increases alertiveness, energy, productivity. Almost any human activity, mental or physical, would benefit from increased fitness or healthy eating, but this doesn't mean your office job is a sport because you're a better worker after working out at the gym. The late GM Tony Miles was overweight, suffered from numerous health problems such as diabetes, and may not have ever exercised in his life; yet, he was an elite chess player. So, there is no necessary or direct relationship between physical training and your success as a chess player.

Chess would be the only "sport" I prefer to play while sitting on my bed eating cookies!

I think the problem is some people feel better about chess if it were a sport. We feel better if we can say to ourself "I've just spent 4 hours playing a sport" rather than 4 hours playing a "game." It's a psychological want, but unfortunately, unless we want to twist the definition of what a sport is from Greek times until now, chess is still only a game.

Sarah Tran
error 1 ( +1 | -1 )
hanoi_episode well put!
pcron 22 ( +1 | -1 )
mind sport I would say chess is a mind sport. All sports involve mental challenges, chess is mostly mental challenge, but slightly physical as well. I say chess is a sport. (and Fischer Random Chess, or Chess 960, is awesome!)
bigkev 107 ( +1 | -1 )
Sport or Game?
To simply say that because chess doesn't have a physical component makes it a game is being too simplistic. Under that definition a Miss Universe competition has more claim to being a sport.

Sport also has organised competition in it. A social game of basketball, football or tennis can hardly be called sport. Everyone ever asks "Do you want to play a game of basketball, tennis or football?". It is purely intended to be fun and scoring or the activity is not taken that seriously. (Although sometimes it depends on the people you're playing against)

Chess is organised with various national, zonal, candidate, world competitions. Golf, tennis and chess are very similar in how they are organised. For each of them, you can't front up as an unknown and expect to play. To play in the national championship for chess,, you would have played well in some other tournaments to get a high enough rating to qualify. This is similar in trying to qualify for the US Open in golf or tennis.

Chess could be catergorised as a sport but I don't think it will happen.
fmgaijin 102 ( +1 | -1 )
Linguistic Issues Please don't assume that the concept of "sport" possessed by speakers of modern American English translates exactly into other languages and cultures. The word derives from the Old French "desport," which pretty much equates with the first Oxford English Dictionary definition: "Pleasant pastime; entertainment or amusement; recreation, diversion." The inference that this involves physical activity didn't show up until the 19th century as an alternative (not primary) definition: "Participation in games or exercises, esp. those of an athletic character or pursued in the open air; such games or amusements collectively." And I'm sorry, Sarah Tran, but the ancient Greeks were better rounded than you suggest, since the Ideal was to be the best at EVERYTHING (a la Odysseus). Hence, their conception of competition included contests in oratory, poetry, music, drama, etc.--the "agon" in fact still shows up in Greek-derived words such as "protAGONist" and "antAGONist" used to talk about drama, etc.
ccmcacollister 152 ( +1 | -1 )
Hanoi And yet, would you care to name for me 5 persons, out of the entire world, who are paralized and play competitive OTB Chess ?

I can usderstand you may not have an appreciation of what a paralized person, even paraplegic, copes with besides being deprived of movement. They probably could become a good Chess player, yes, but would undoutably be stronger without
the physical limitation, if for no more reason than the distractions such circumstances can create for an individual trying to concentrate during a competition. And while not a learning/study impairment, special circumstance do tend to limit the time available for such. (True, not necessarily more than a job or two can do. But bear in mind that persons with limitations may also be employed. And undoubtably expend much of their primary efforts toward that pursuit.)

Aside from that, yes, wasn't Anthony Miles a trooper. Sad to hear he's deceased.
I did not know. (to Atrifix....nor do I know his middle name, anymore than I know that of Botvinnik, or Philador. :-) But do recall once back in the last century, he once tried to continue playing an OTB event while on his stomach, strapped to a
board basically. Not a Chess board [8-). A medical device to limit movement. I don't know what its called. Maybe just a gurney or sorts.
Unfortunately, seem to recall someone complaining of the situation, and don't know if he completed the event. But what dedication!

fmgaijims remarks are right on target. I was wondering about that but lacked the linguistics to know. Thanks for the info !
anaxagoras 25 ( +1 | -1 )
There is no fact of the matter whether chess is a sport, or not. We could all agree tomorrow that chess is a sport or a game and it would not change anything. Therefore my position is that taking either side on this issue is folly.
ddrfreak101 2 ( +1 | -1 )
ah come on it is a sport
atrifix 68 ( +1 | -1 )
Just for the sake of knowledge: Botvinnik's friends often would call him Mikhail Moiseyevich, in the same way that Mikhail Tal was sometimes called "Misha" or Robert Fischer "Bobby", etc. If memory serves me well, Philidor's middle name was Andre, but no one ever called him that, to my knowledge. No idea what Tony Miles's middle name was. That'd make for good chess trivia.

Once, I believe in Curacao 1962, the late Mikhail Tal was so deathly ill that he had to withdraw from the tournament. He insisted that the games be played in his hospital room and that he call out his moves from his bed, but unfortunately, the doctors unequivocally forbade him from playing.
ddrfreak101 5 ( +1 | -1 )
Robert Fischer do you think Robert Fischer would say it is a sport?