Is chess a sport?

From the thread about sports you find dull, there are a few posts (tongue in cheek I’m sure) talking about chess. I know darts is often debated as to whether it constitutes a sport or not but surely chess is a board game, not a sport?

Where do you draw the line? Do e-sports count as sports?

For me, there must be some level of physical activity. I would accept darts as this is about hand/eye co-ordination but would rule out chess as the skill here is cerebral only.

I’m surprised you’ve got the patience for chess. I learnt as a child. I got sent to the local chess club, ffs. That didn’t last long. My bro played on his own little chess computer for hours when we were kids. 

Believe me, it was a tedious fvckin game

As well as being a rare genius Carlsen changed chess by demonstrating his physical fitness counts. Elite chess is physically draining because thinking is draining. His reputation for endgame grinds is partly built on superior stamina. 

Even Magnus Carlsen got bored of chess and gave up competing for the title 

It is something I always thought I should be really good at it but just never was 

Yes London 1908. Three classes of powerboat racing. Slightly surprised to learn they had proper powerboats in those days.

The 1900 Paris Olympics had car racing as a demo sport IIRC.

People often tout it as some kind of founding olympic principle that powered sports are excluded, but it is no such thing. In fact, the Olympic movement had very few founding principles, and virtually none at all as to what sports were included.

Glad you've brought this up as a separate thread, Jim.

I believe that I was the one that first suggested it as as being a sport on that other thread, but I did so 'tongue in cheek' knowing that it is certainly considered as a sport by many in official circles but have always been very uncomfortable with that definition myself.  

I am though aware that in some (Eastern European?) countries, certain public parks and spaces have large outdoor areas marked out as chess boards where you can lift and move around large (and quite heavy) 'life-size' chess pieces as well as walking/dancing/skipping/running/etc around the board yourself, so perhaps there is greater justification in those places for calling it a form of sport?


Right. As we all know sports involve shorts.

Anything else is a game / pastime / hobby.

This definition works perfectly, as it correctly identifies cricket and golf for the effete domains of those picked last at school for lunchtime togga.

I am prepared to accept that exclusions apply, mostly around winter sports. 

The current women’s world number one has said that elite chess involves physical elements, leading to men having an advantage in certain respects.

However I would still say it’s a game. BigLaw requires stamina, but the chubby doc blozzer two doors down from me is certainly not an athlete. 

In summary, I think that there has been no (actual or threatened) absolute check mate from either side so far on this matter, as as no side's got a clear winning position at the moment, I suggest that referee Jim might wish to declare the contest as a draw (even if a winning draw/moral victory for those arguing that it is just a game).

Nope. Sorry. Definitely not a sport for me.

Being included in the Olympics doesn’t matter as it’s called the “Olympic Games”, energy burning through mental effort has been effectively countered by iregisteredforthisquestionmark and no other reasonable arguments have been put forward in favour of its being a sport.

Stardust has proven beyond reasonable doubt that even experts in this area* consider it a game.

Attire worn whilst competing is irrelevant as I used to wear trackie bottoms, not shorts, whilst playing football (coz I’m both a keeper and a wuss who hates cold legs) but never wore a sports jacket yet I’m sure we’d all agree footie is a sport.

I will accept that chess boxing is a sport but only if this involves hitting people and not putting the pieces back in their box after you’ve finished.

It is therefore official, chess is not a sport
Nor is bridge. 

Shove ha’penny and tiddlywinks involve some mild physical skills (like darts) and hungry hippos involves exertion therefore all three are now official Rof sports.

Judgement ends.

*her old chess teacher

But I may appeal, Jim, on the grounds that only one thing is certain about chess, and that is that it was a very successful West End musical about a game (or should that a sport?)!

In relation to TheRealist’s appeal - denied

Reasons: irrelevance to the case.

Narrative - I know him so well and I pity the child. You and I both know that chess is a game and, as the arbiter I am on nobody’s side but I decree it to be a game not a sport.

If he feels distraught by the judgement and thinks, “heaven help my heart”, may I recommend one night in Bangkok to cheer up his (Embassy) lament?

Sports council funding denied. The lawyers are saying it falls outside the objects of the foundation. Widespread closure of chess clubs. Gamesmasters rubbing their hands as they get their hands on a new intake of bespectacled asthmatic children denied PE exemptions. A frail boy falls from a rope in a gym in his underpants and breaks his neck. He could have been the next Karpov. 

…His broken neck is healed following marvellous medical intervention and his accident grants him lifelong amnesty from PE. Gleefully he joins a local board games club during PE and takes to chess.

Unfortunately he is shite at it.