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taoistlunatic 140 ( +1 | -1 )
Is chess a sport? I first thought about this question when I was reading an article in chess life about Fide trying to get chess into the Olympics. At first I totally disagreed with it, siding with the people who don't consider chess a 'sport'. but after playing my first over-the-board games with a real chess clock against strong chess players, I now consider over-the-board chess to be quite athletic! I was so nervous about the chess-clock and the spectators, that I had to keep my hand from shaking, and the adrenaline really started pumping when I was in complex tactical situations. I actually blundered away a rook in the first game, even though I had an over-whelming positional advantage. The second game I had a tougher game, positionally, but my opponent was caught up in a tactical situation and moved so fast he missed a checkmate on f2!
It is funny, how my correspondance games are generally very complex and such things almost never happen or are just boring. But in over the board, timed-play the pressure is much higher and tactics become extremely nerve-racking.
I have participated in many sports over the years, and none have got my nerves wired like Chess!!!
Of course it lacks the physical activity of real sports, but the psychological activity is higher than any other gamne or sport I know!
victord 25 ( +1 | -1 )
Try.... POKER.....similar situations with pressure only the added pressure of haveing your $$$ involved. Then there is also the "luck" of the things I like most about chess, the absense of luck playing any factor at all.
tulkos 7 ( +1 | -1 )
I think that chess is a sport. not only because of the phischoligical pressure,but for this intresting reason,why not?
vietnamese_girl_18 114 ( +1 | -1 )
A Greek Tragedy I would love, just absolutely love chess to be in the Olympics. But, sadly, I think this would be highly illogical-- and wrong. Outside of the physical effects of anxiety and psychological pressure, there is nothing in chess that requires actual physical conditioning and I believe this is the prime criterion for anything to be considered a sport. Yes, one does better at chess with healthy mind AND body, but Kasparov could be wheeled to the Olympics on a stretcher, in a full body cast (ok, with one arm free), and still be considered a favourite-- not exactly the idea the ancient Greeks had in mind, I suspect! That said, it would certainly bring more attention to the game, and that would thrill me. It just wouldn't make sense.

I've played girl's soccer in high school and the physical effects that taoistlunatic mentions are, I agree, stronger with many chess games I play than with running back and forth the length of a field-- but I have the same nervousness with dating and I pray to God that that never becomes an Olympic spectacle!!

Sarah Tran
spiral 118 ( +1 | -1 )
True, but there are some shadowy areas... I hate to always seem like the voice of the nay-sayer but here it goes again.

I agree with you Sarah that there should be some physical aspect involved with the Olympics since the Greeks founded their original Olympics on (I believe this is correct) running, wrestling, tossing a large stone (or something that general effect) and I believe javelin and one other that escapes me right now. If these are not entirely correct the general impact of what they had in mind sticks, physical superiority.

As of late there seems to be some "variation" from the requirement of extreme physical exertion. I do not intend to say that gymnastics are simple (I have forgotten how many times I have messed up doing them for gym) but what about certain aspects of it? Twirling a long ribbon, tossing a baton... hoola-hooping? I at times fail to see what is so hard about twirling your wrist and flitting about on a gym mat.. but before I dig this grave too deep I will freely and openly admit that there is a lot of practice involved, and this where I want to close, but is it not the same with chess?
gambitnut 110 ( +1 | -1 )
Is chess a sport? I agree that chess exerts about as much strain on the body as any sport. I have played many times in state scholastic chess tournaments and most of the time have played the last round with a chance to win the tournament. I have taken my pulse after these tense last round games and it has almost always been over 200 beats per minute, sometimes over half a hour after the game ended. If that's not a sport I dont know what is, don't forget, they already have synchronized swimming in the olympics and are also thinking of adding ballroom dancing!

I also agree with victord. Whenever someone wishes me good luck in our chess game I respond by wishing them good skill, that seems like a more meaningful wish to me. Wishing someone good luck seems to be making an empty wish to me. If you really want your opponent to give you a good game you should wish them something that will help them.
More: Chess
pbarts89 40 ( +1 | -1 )
Well if we made the board 100 yards by 100 yards and the pieces 80 pounds and then you'd have a sport! You think your nerves are tweaked now? Imagine if you had to move a rook to the back rank...100 yards away...and it weighed 80 pounds... and you had to sprint back to hit the clock. Try thinking clearly when the heart is pounding at about 200 beats per minute after doing this for fifty moves. Now there is a challenge!
bullmoose 17 ( +1 | -1 )
Nice idea pbarts - something like this then?

}: )
bishop 139 ( +1 | -1 )
jeez! big heads, narrow minds... this is very near the most ridiculous thread in the history of
gameknot! taoistlunatic must be some athlete to make such a comparison.
regardless of how much shaking one might manage, from nervous anxiety
-or the amount of adrenaline one could generate from fear of losing,
playing a game of chess, the same factors that induce such reactions
are prevalent in every athletic competition. difference is, -in sports
you have to get off your a** to be a winner. the only near exception i
can think of would be 'riding the bench' on a championship team (even
then, not the definition of a athletic 'winner') taoistlunatic obviously
hasn't participated in football (american), boxing, ski jumping, or any
motorcycle/auto racing. from his comments, it seems to be a safe bet that
whatever badminton or bowling teams he was on, he was at his best sitting
down! some of you chess nuts really should go outside once in awhile
-perhaps stop and change a tire for some unfortunate soul caught with a
flat on the freeway! then you might more easily understand that playing
chess is relatively relaxing, compared to an event that calls for physical
exertion. i mean, -perhaps you should give your pieces a washing, if your
hands are getting so dirty from playing chess, that you're confusing it
with sports or working!
tonlesu 34 ( +1 | -1 )
Dating as an olympic sport I used to ask my dates to grade me, you know like they do in the olympics. I got a seven once when I was swinging from her livingroom chandelier and did a double back flip. The highest mark I ever received was an eight but that was only because she was 6'1" and 175lbs. She didn't date much. I wonder what a guy would have to do for the perfect ten?
milphasian 91 ( +1 | -1 )
Sport In my opinion, there is a diference between sport and athletic competition. Sport is a direct competition between two individuals or teams with objective measures of victory and/or loss. By this definition, sports include Baseball, Football (both varieties), Basketball, Pool, Bowling, and, in my opinion, Chess. Athletic competition, while generally considered synonymous with sport, is different. For example, Gymnastics and Figure Skating are both extremely demanding physically, but they lack the direct competition and objective measures. When have you seen, for example, two gymnists on side by side pommel horses trying to best one another? As for chess being in the Olympics, the Olympics to me should be the pinnacle of athletic competition, but not necessarily sport. In that spirit, I am not sure chess fits (of course, I would debate ballroom dancing being in the Olympics under the same grounds).
certainratio 26 ( +1 | -1 )
semantics Why bother arguing whether chess is a sport
or not without agreeing on definitions first?
"Sport" is just a word. An argument for or
against chess being in the olympics should
not be based on whether the definition of this
word applies to chess.

taoistlunatic 68 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes, I played American football. Bishop, I played amaerican football, I was fairly good at it, very agressive. I am 6'1" tall, very fast runner and very agresive hitter. I would take on guys twice my size, run so hard to catch the ball, I blodied my self a few times colliding with the opponents. The running backs feared me as I would hit with no mercy. But, yes I like ches better, and consider it more fun.
It can be relaxing, but it can also be very competitive, and stressful.
board #220089
Mybe ytou should take it more seriously, as you seem to be lying down and dying and in our chess match here on gameknot.
taoistlunatic 34 ( +1 | -1 )
Any other opinions? For some reason I thought this would be a popular topic among chess-players. Does anyone else have an opinion on the status of chess as a sport or non-sport? Or about Fide's recent efforts to get chess into the Olympics?

Edmaster's back, what about you Edmaster, do you feel chess is a sport or not?
snyper 2 ( +1 | -1 )
If baseball and bowling are considered sports.. then why not...
paulvalle 160 ( +1 | -1 )
Definition of Sport "Sport" is an activity with a significant physical component in which two or more participants engage for the purpose of competitively evaluating their personal performance. While the focus is primarily on competitive sport - i.e. sport activity in which a winner is declared - the lead-up activity, wherein the non-competitive exercise and learning of basic skills (which will ultimately be used in competition) occurs, is considered to be part of the sport continuum.

A "sport" is defined as an activity that has the following characteristics:

a) It involves formal rules and procedures.

b) It requires tactics and strategies.

c) It requires specialized neuromuscular skills that can be taught and learned.

d) It requires, for either training or competition, a significant involvement of large muscle groups.

e) It involves, where repetition of standardized movements or forms are included in competition, a high degree of difficulty, risk or effort in such reproduction.

f) Its competitive mode implies the development of coaching personnel trained in both general subjects such as biomechanics, sport psychology, nutrition, group dynamics, physiology, etc., as well as the specific skills of the activity.

g) It may involve a degree of physical or emotional risk.

h) Its primary activity involves physical interaction of the participants and the environment: air, water, ground, floor or special apparatus; and, therefore, no activity in which the performance of a motorized vehicle is the primary determinant of the outcome of the competition is eligible (for example: racing of automobiles, power boats, aircraft, snow machines, etc.). Where mechanized vehicles or conveyances are used, the activity must entail significant physical effort in propelling the vehicle or conveyance.