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Is chess a sport?

Is chess a sport?

I'm doubt about it.

of course, it is. Chess is a sport. I don't know how to explain much though. But I'm quite sure that Chess is counted among sports. Very Happy
even though chess isn't a game that requires physical abilities, it requires a lot of mental strength and analytical abilities... it can be counted as sports i think Smile
It's always seemed to me, that calling chess (or poker or bridge) a sport is along the lines of calling mysticism science. It doesn't fit the definition, and yet its fans will continue to try and make the definition fit to it (rarely vice versa), thinking the label (sport or science) somehow adds to the quality of the concept (chess or mysticism).

At this point, it should probably be noted that I don't think "sport" or "science" is a quality label. I hate watching 99.9% of sports (American football being the one exception), and I don't think science has - or will have - the answers to most of the essential parts of life.

Anyway, there are many definitions of "sport", but the most common ones are:

Random House Unabridged Dictionary wrote:
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.

American Heritage Dictionary wrote:
Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.

WordNet wrote:
an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition


Chess players and fans will then go on to point out that the word sport comes from "disport" which means something like "passtime", "done for fun" etc. That's not, however, the definition we use today, because noone has so far claimed that reading books (a passtime mostly done for fun) is a sport. Just as the meaning of science ("knowledge") doesn't mean we think knowledge of where I put my keys this morning is science in and of itself. As mentioned, there are plenty of definitions of "sport", but the ones quoted above are the ones the vast majority of people think of when considering what "sport" is. The only reason we'd ever think of including chess is because (some) chess players want us to.

Then the chess=sport advocates will claim that chess requires "huge" physical abilities. Sorry, but the search for muscles or even limbs on Deep Blue, Rebel 10 and Fritz yielded no results. For a game to be physical, moving something has to be a fundamental part of it. Moving the pieces on a chessboard isn't a fundamental part of the game - re. blindfold chess, where the player will not even have to move any body part (other than his tongue - when do they broadcast the first World Conversation Championship?) - or object - at all.

Chess is not a sport, never was, never will be. Smile
so we shud be limited to call chess a game Wink
of course, it is a sport. The spirit of sport is competion. Chess is a competion in man's mind.
Well deciding whether chess is a sport or not needs the definintion of sport. If you take sport in a way that its just a competition and provide fun then yes chess is a brilliant sport . It can give you competition as well endless hours of fun and entertainment . But if you take sports in a sense that it should give you some physical excercise of fitness then chess is far from being called a sport becuase it can just root you to a spot for hours and hours and will virtually make you immobile . In my opinion its the second definition of sport and i don't think that chess is to be called a sport.
According to the school I attend, Chess is a sport, but I don't think you could call a chess player an athlete. Confused
In my opinion chess is game. I cant put in the same category chess and bsaketball. I dont think is bad... but is another kind of game... much different of any other sport like basketball, soccer, baseball,etc.
Chess definitly is a game which you have to think a lot.... if you can not do that... you musn't play it! I prefer to move my body instead of staying sit in a chair waiting for something.... also I cant think a lot all the time so chess isn't for me!
an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as ...

you know how hard is to move all those pieces, especially the rook ... you can get tired Laughing

here's the definition of Chess on Wikipedia :

Chess is an abstract strategy board game and mental sport for two players.

so Chess is half sport, half board game Wink
Yes I think it is a mental sport.
Nite Vizhun
If you are in a serious league, you probably would have to work out to some degree. You've got to figure that a serious match could last several hours. And a serious league could involve several days of long, grueling matches.

On the one hand, it could be said that you have to work out because you're not going to be getting any physical benefit from sitting in a chair for hours on end. However I believe that, in order to be able to maintain a high level of concentration for so long, you have to physically work out your body.

I've heard that working out, or "blowing off steam", helps the mind concentrate. It reminds me of when I was in high school, studying for final exams. After a few hours, I would have to drop everything and go outside and shoot some hoops or kick a soccer ball around the yard for a while. When I came back inside, it became much easier to concentrate and absorb information.
heridlia wrote:
Is chess a sport?

I'm doubt about it.


Come on, I play chess all the time, but it is not a sport.

A quadraplegic could play. No physical expertice is needed. Even golf is questionable.

Sport = SOME physical activity.

I also don't think its a sport. Its a game. You can't play something like Scrabble and tell people you are playing sports, they won't know what you are talking about.

In my opinion sports require physical activity. Although the game is challenging, sitting down across the table from someone can hardly be considered a sport.
heridlia wrote:
Is chess a sport?

I'm doubt about it.


Nope, I don't think chess is one kind of sports.

I think if the game is "sports", it should be physical, like what we are playing in the Asia games.
They want to make it an olympic sport. They have started drug testing.

Chess players on steroids? Rolling Eyes
does chess take skill? yes, then it's a sport
bluefossil wrote:
does chess take skill? yes, then it's a sport

So does playing a guitar or making a souffle. So playing music and baking are sports too. Computer programming, 3D modelling, let's just call everything a sport while we're at it. Smile
heridlia wrote:
Is chess a sport?

hum no physical activity so i dont think that it's counted as a sport... sorry
although there's no body activities, but it is a brain sport... yes, it's a game...
Billy Hill
bluefossil wrote:
does chess take skill? yes, then it's a sport

that is almost as funny as the original question, "is chess a sport?". of course its not a sport. its a game, yes.

but not all games are sports. sports involve more physical activity.

wiki wrote:
Sport is a physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.
I think chess is a sports.Allthought It dont need any phisical strength...but it need a lot of mental strenght.But we sud be limited when calling it a sports. Razz
Definitely a sport. Nobody could be a chessmaster without very hard training and continual learning.
I don't think it's a sport. If chess is a sport, then solitaire is a sport, and Monopoly is a sport. It's just a game.

"Hey guys, get out the Pokemon cards! We're gonna play sports!"
In my opinion, chess shouldn't be a sport, because as many of you said it doesn't require physical abilities, (maybe moving the hand?). But i think it is considered as a sport.
It should be considered a sport...
davidjoin wrote:
of course, it is a sport. The spirit of sport is competion. Chess is a competion in man's mind.

Very well put.

But it is not sports. it is not sporty. Agree with someone, that it is a game (like board games)
I think that chess can be a sport. It is mentally challenging, which in intense situations could also be physically demanding. I mean, NASCAR and Hold'em are sports, so chess at a certain level should be called a sport, too. But if it's just you and a friend plopping down to play withour any stakes or any build-up, I would say it is more a game.
No i dont think so. Sport is a complex btw mind and body. Laughing
Chess is definitely a sport, because as people said before, it requires alot of training to become a champion. I play Table Football (Subbuteo) which is the flicking game not the one with rods, and World Number One in this sport is Maltese just like me. He won the "Top Sports Personality of the Year" here in Malta. Also our sport is recognised by the National Olympic Committees in various countries. So I guess chess stands in the same water as our sport...
I think chess is a sport.
I see what is sport is something that requires you to practice or train a lots..or it requires you to think more than usual...I don't know either

What I know...chess can be consider as indoor sport...maybe it doesn't require your physical movements...but it is still a sport...maybe a mental sport...
It might at first seem that chess is a sport. First of all, it's clearly a competitive activity, which seems to be a necessary if not sufficient condition for something's being a sport. Second, the same sorts of general mental and physical disciplines needed by the sportsman (e.g. mental toughness, strong self-confidence, endurance, etc.) are required for chess players to succeed. To take a prominent example, Karpov's (then-) frail physique nearly cost him twice in big matches against Korchnoi (one for the world championship, the other in a final candidates match) and quite possibly did cost him the title to Kasparov when he lacked the endurance to finish him off in 1984.

Yet despite the above, I think that chess is not a sport. Here's why:

1. I take the following to be necessary conditions of being a sport:

a. That it's a competitive activity.
b. That the performance of the activity have an intrinsically physical component.

2. Chess fulfills (a) but not (b). As far as the nature of chess is concerned, it could be played by disembodied spirits using mental telepathy or by conscious computers.

(Whether either exists is a question for another time; I'm inclined to think the former do exist and to be skeptical about the possibility of the latter, and I'm sure some of my readers think I have it exactly backwards. No matter; the point here is just that either sort of being could play chess either without any physical activity whatsoever, or without the physical activity's being an intrinsic part of the fulfillment of the exercise.)

What I mean by an "intrinsically physical component" is easy to grasp by considering a paradigmatic case: in football, players score touchdowns by using their bodies to move the football across the field and into the end zone, field goals or extra points by sending the ball through the goal posts using only their feet. A physical object must be moved through physical space using particular bodily means.

Not so with chess. Moving the wood or plastic pieces isn't an intrinsic part of the game - one could play an online game by moving one' s mouse or better still, not move anything to play a blindfold game. (One has to move something to state one's move, but the expressing of a move isn't itself a move.) What counts is the production of a move, and that is not an intrinsically physical activity.

3. Thefore, chess isn't a sport.

Now, if one chooses to define a sport merely as some sort of competitive endeavor, then chess would be let in - but so would many other activities, like put-down contests and job interviews. Nor is it enough to add to the competitiveness condition the further requirement that it's an activity where physical prowess can make a substantial difference to one's potential success: one candidate for a job may succeed due to his enhanced fitness (his healthy appearance impressed the hiring committee, his superior conditioning enabled him to successfully work longer hours at his previous job, improving his qualifications, etc.), but that still wouldn't turn job interviewing into a sport.

In sum, while chess is in some significant ways sports-like, and physical and mental training are of great value to ambitious tournament chess players, chess is not a sport - at least if an activity only counts as a sport if it includes some intrinsically physical component.
I think it depend of what you define as a sport, how much physical activity you consider is needed to be a sport.

I think that a lot of activities considered as sport doesn't require a lot of physical energy. Some examples: snooker, shooting (with guns or with a bow), curling, and to some extent car driving....

So, the quantity of physical activity is I think not the key, but it is more how people do it and how it is organised (contests, championships...) and that it requires training.

I think that Chess is not less a sport than snooker, but it is difficult to know exactly where to draw a limit between an activity that is a sport and one that is not.
I think yes, it is a sport, sport of mind Rolling Eyes . I am tired of when I play chess so yes sport. Razz
Not a sport if you strictly go by the definition. But what difference does it make. It is a really great past time.. !
I don't know if people are assuming that chess is not physically demanding- it is. Probably not in the sense that you're thinking of, though. While you don't need the brawn of the Hulk to move the pieces, I'd like to see how you feel after an all-day tournament. I am by no means unfit- 6 days a week I lift weights, run, or practice basketball, but after a couple of games of real chess (not friendly games) I am drained. My head hurts, I'm tired- not a muscle tired, but a fatigued kind of tired. I think that Bobby Fischer was once quoted as saying that if he "went out of shape, he was done", so there is a definite element of phyisical energy involved. That being said, you still don't need to run, or jump, or do any sort of conventional sporting activity. Nonetheless, I believe chess to be a sport.
Hoogeveense RAT
If you say checkers is a sport, so why is chess no sport. For me is chess more a sport han checkers, but that's my opinion.
I also think that chess is a sport and o very difficulte one, because to sucssed in it you need a lot of tactiks which you also need in other sports...
I am sure that chess is a sport.

When we heard word "sport" some of us think about sports where player have to be physically strong, but we have also sports where palyer have to think a lot Very Happy I am not talking only about chess, we have card games(Texas Hold'em, Bridge)...
one of my favourite game.according to me chess is a sport because it require use of helps in increasing brain capability and power. it also requires good presence of mind which is required in almost all type of sports like soccer,cricket,hockey,etc. chess is one of the best game to do brain exercise but value of chess is not so good. we should increase its value b encouraging is very easy to learn and play. anyone who require anytype of help can contact me freely.....

.::best game::.


Rolling Eyes
I personally think it is a great game. But I normally would NOT call it a sport. I think, as pointed out by others, the standard definition of sports requires a little more physical activity.

That said, there appears to be a bit of flexibility in the English language. In High School I got the Chess Club recognized as a "varsity sport". Yep, I got a letter in Chess! Laughing The requirements for a varsity team were such that you only had to have competitions with other schools. No mention of activity levels.

Call it a sport, call it a game, both are right. It's all just words. Wink
Chess is a different kind of sport. I prefer traditional.
To me, sport is something which requires running around and getting sweaty and out of breath - and I can't remember the last time that happened while I was playing a game of chess! So no, chess isn't a sport; it's simply a hobby, a game, a pastime.

Fishing and golf can't be counted as sports either. And don't even get me started on gridiron ...
I guess chess is a sport because it's competative, it takes skill, and .... well I'm not sure what else... but I do know that chess is a sport. Not talking
I don't really see it as a sport but as an intellectual game. Many people will say it is but my opinion about it differs.
NOT a sport. you cannot call a chessplayer an athlete and athletes are in every 'sport'. i don't care what espn thinks or anything, still not a sport.
Is chess a sport?
I think it is, albiet a mental one?
No i wouldnt call chess a sport its more logical than physical
Chess is a sport.
When I was on a chess competition, I have been playing one game for 8 hours and I lost 2 kilo's (4.4 pounds) of weight that day.
And chess is even not just sport - it's extreme sport, because sometimes players get injury.
Patriot Players
No chess is not a sport. Sports are defined by athelticism of some sort. Chess is certainly challenging, but does not fall into the category of sports. I cant believe this has gotten so much debate.
Patriot Players wrote:
No chess is not a sport. Sports are defined by athelticism of some sort. Chess is certainly challenging, but does not fall into the category of sports. I cant believe this has gotten so much debate.

Well, that is ONE definition of sport. But sticking with your definition, would you classify NASCAR as a sport? You could make a case for it being strenuous and requiring dexterity even though the driver is sitting on his ass the whole time. If that is a sport, how about drag racing? Maybe a little dexterity, but any strain is over in seconds. In racing, a major factor determining who wins are the mechanics of the vehicle.

Curling? Horseshoes? Darts? What are the criteria? I would be interested in hearing what factors people think make something a sport. A certain level of activity? Winning based on dexterity? Force? Level of exhaustion?
Wikipedia wrote:
Sport is an activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. Used by itself, sports commonly refer to activities where the physical capabilities of the competitor are the sole or primary determiner of the outcome (winning or losing), but the term is also used to include activities such as mind sports and motor sports where mental acuity or equipment quality are major factors. Sports are used as entertainment for the player and the viewer. It has also proved by experiments that daily exercise would increase mental strength and power to study.

I think that this article would suggest that chess is a sport, however personally I've always thought of sport as an activity requiring physical exersion (it makes you sweat),
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