Posted by: Tony Carson | 24 October, 2007

Is chess a sport?

“There is the odd country where there’s some lingering doubt whether chess is art or sport. Quite clearly it is a sport.” — Viswanathan Anand, the number one-ranked chess player in the world and the winner last month of the World Chess Championship in Mexico City.

Is it? Is chess a sport? Shouldn’t you have to sweat to qualify as an athlete; shouldn’t a sport require a heart beat of at least 100 bpm’s?

This Time article India’s Great Chess Hope states that in his native country which has only won 3 medals in the past three Summer Olympics — a national shame —  Anand is not only considered a great hero but a great sports hero.

Which brings up the image of a white haired septuagenarian Grand Master: an athlete? Not by most measurements.

Anyway, this is not to denigrate chess in any way. It is surprising that chess players aspire to be athletes; shouldn’t they occupy a more exalted category?

Like golfers do. (Don’t get me started.)


  1. Hi,of course it is a sport:

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