Is Chess a Sport? The Infinite Dilemma
18/04/2023 - Actualizado: 01/05/2023
There have been a variety of opinions as to whether chess a sport or not, today we will try to find out whether it.
The strictest definition of sport as "regulated physical activity of a competitive nature" leaves no room for chess to be considered a sport, since it is not a game where physical activity is part of the game, as is the case with soccer, basketball, tennis, rugby and so on. From this strict perspective, it would not be considered a physical sport, but as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) states, it is a mental sport regulated by the International Chess Federation (FIDE).
There is much talk about the possibility of being part of the Olympic Games, which would certainly help chess.
Is Chess a Sport?
Physical Activity in Chess
Although it does not directly involve physical activity, indirectly it does, you can lose up to 600 calories in a game of more than two hours (if you want to lose weight without moving from your chair, perhaps chess is for you 😃), in tennis you can lose a similar amount in a game of one hour.
Elite chess players are always in good physical condition, they combine chess with other activities to stay active, like Magnus Carlsen, who plays soccer in his spare time, Daniil Dubov has demonstrated in videos his ability to do calisthenics.
In games at these professional levels, where it is necessary to stay focused most of the time, where a small mistake or omission can decide the fate of the game in favor of one of the players, there is no doubt that being in good shape is an advantage you will want to have on your side.
Chess as a Science
Besides being considered a mental sport, chess is also considered a science, since a deep study of the game is required to be able to improve our level, unlike physical sports where by understanding the rules of the game and physical training it is possible to reach the highest levels of professionalism.
The Art of Chess
As if that were not enough, it is also considered an art because of the creativity required to solve the tactical and strategic positions, where thanks to creativity many famous and beautiful games have been born, such as the "immortal".
In many centers where people are treated for addictions, chess is used as a therapy to help them control their addictions, improve their decision making and develop strategies to prevent relapse.
Chess as Education
In educational institutions it is used as a tool to teach children fundamental values for life, besides instilling skills such as critical thinking, memory, creativity, etc. (To learn more about chess for children, visit our special article).
For adults, chess also brings great benefits to their lives, such as the opportunity to socialize with people who have the same taste, it keeps the hands active, maintains the competitive spirit and the desire to excel (to learn more about chess for adults, visit our special article).
The Chess Olympiad
Chess has its own Olympics, organized by FIDE, where a selection of the best players from each country compete to discover the best, a very interesting format where the individual level does not matter as much as in regular tournaments, in the Olympics it is the level of the team what counts.
Adding all of the above, although chess does not fall into the definition of sport, it has nothing to envy soccer or basketball, it continues to grow in popularity, year after year new children, young people, and adults join chess clubs to discover a new world in which most of them end up staying. Instead of trying to convince the world that it is or is not a sport, why not use this time to learn and enjoy the fantastic world of chess?
What do you think, should it be considered a sport?
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