Chess and Sport: A Competitive Game, But Is It a Sport?
If you’re into chess or if you know anything about the game, you’re bound to have heard the question at least once – is chess a sport? Naturally, chess fanatics are bound to answer with a resounding, “yes”! While other people who have more traditional views of sport will most likely say no.
Now, the issue certainly isn’t cut and dry – it’s not a simple question for several reasons. It all comes down to how you define sport, and many people also think that the type of chess you’re playing is also relevant – that is, whether it’s in person or online. However, the latter doesn’t necessarily need to matter! But there are other things that do.
What is the Definition of a Sport?
Sure, everybody has different definitions, but the general consensus is that a sport is a physical activity that requires a significant amount of exertion and is intrinsically competitive. That is, the whole aim of the game is for one person or team to win.
Thus, there are two main components to consider – competition and physical exertion.
One of the most important things about sport is that it’s competitive. Whether you have teams competing against one another or an individual taking on an opponent, there’s always at least some level of competition.
If we take an obvious example – something like football, perhaps – you have two teams playing against each other and the aim is to win. They’re trying to score goals and they’re actively trying to avoid the other team scoring. It’s obviously competitive!
When it comes to chess, you have two competitors both trying to outwit the other by means of tactics and strategy. They both want to win. Thus, it most certainly is competitive!
Now, the second component to consider is whether it involves any kind of physical exertion. This, as you may have guessed, is where chess falls short of being defined as a sport. Indeed, it does not require any physical exertion to participate in a game of chess, or any other similar type of game, from pokies to backgammon.
Some extremists may attempt to argue that technically speaking, you’re required to move your arms while moving pieces (if you’re playing in person) or to move your computer’s mouse if you’re playing online. However, we don’t think this counts.
So, Is Chess a Sport?
We’re sure you’ve made your own mind up, but according to the definition of sport and the very nature of chess gaming, the answer simply has to be that no, chess is not a sport.
However, that doesn’t make it any less of a game. It’s fun, it’s competitive and it requires great skill. Just because it’s not technically defined as a sport oughtn’t detract from the value of the game.
These days, there are so many different ways in which you can enjoy it. Whether you prefer the old-school style of using a real board and pieces. Or, alternatively, perhaps you enjoy playing online and competing with new people every day! Whatever it is you enjoy, chess doesn’t need to be a sport to be enjoyed!