Friday, January 18, 2008

Yes, Chess Is a Sport

Let me arbitrate the debate going on at DSCommenters: Yes, chess is a sport. (Presumably, it came up in the context of the death of Bobby Fischer.) -- D.S.


marcomarco said...

Think you could qualify that statement a little, so we can then pick it apart?

John said...

So if chess is a sport, that has to make checkers a sport, which would make Connect Four a sport, which would make any board game made by Milton Bradley a sport, including Jenga, Yahtzee and Hungry, Hungry Hippos.

Chess is not a sport.

Jon Bois said...

At least one world chess championship has been terminated early because the players were suffering from physical exhaustion (amazingly this is true; just Google Kasparov-Karpov).

I'd still say, though, that chess is not a sport. As someone who played chess obsessively and competitively in high school, I believe that something can be competitive and taxing without being a sport.

/nerd posting on a sports blog

Unknown said...

There are two definitions of the word sport. The general meaning is any competition. In the most common modern context, it refers to an athletic competition. Who cares? Chess is what it is. I personally love the game. People who don't really understand chance don't really understand the absolute genius of Bobby Fisher.

People now say that Gary Kasparov is the greatest player of all time and it is hard to disagree. However there will only be one Bobby Fisher. Not only because of him losing it in later years completely.

In a match, other Grand Masters were calling for him to resign since he was down a piece. He made a subtle queen move, moving it diagonally one space. Still most of the analysts were saying Fisher should resign. To his credit, his opponent resigned. Analysis showed that Fisher had a winning position. Very few players in the history of the game came up with such innovative brilliance in their game.