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Is Chess a Sport?

Is Chess a Sport?

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Chess is a strategy game that has captivated the hearts of young children, teenagers and adults all across the world.

Played internationally, chess is one of the most popular games ever created. Sophisticated and challenging, chess is hailed as one of the greatest strategy games of all time, requiring enormous skill and patience to master.

But is chess a sport?

Yes, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland, along with over 100 countries, chess is classified as a sport, as it requires both mental and physical exertion.

Elite chess matches require hours of sitting with sharp and attentive focus, which burns calories and can be physically demanding.

While not physically demanding in the same sense as football (U.S.), soccer or other team sports, chess does require physical stamina for the player to function properly during the game.

Grandmasters and elite players must eat well and keep themselves in good shape if they hope to have the prowess to outwit and dominate their opponents.

The debate about whether chess is a game or sport has endured for many years. And it's time to settle it right now.

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Chess is Both a Game and a Sport


Chess can be played leisurely among friends or in global tournament settings among serious competitors.

It's all a matter of how you're playing.

If two people are playing chess in a coffee shop and they're not playing to win, then it's more a game than a sport.

Why? Because there's no real competition taking place and there's very little physical exertion during a short game of leisure chess.

The same could be said about a group of people shooting hoops for fun at the basketball court. Nobody is keeping score and nobody is set out to "win" anything here.

Sure, they may get a little exercise, but if there's no competition then their basketball playing is simply a game or a leisure activity.

We think of basketball, however, as being always a sport because of how it's been exhibited in our society.

Basketball is only a sport when there's competition involved. Sport is defined as competition with physical exertion.

Chess demands physical and mental stamina to be won when playing tournament-level games.

Chess is certainly a sport in the tournament setting or when playing for ratings.


Why Chess is Not Considered a Sport to Some


To make sure this article has integrity, we must include opposing viewpoints.

While many countries and institutions have deemed chess a sport, some do not classify it as such.

The reason chess is not always classified as a sport is because the level of physical exertion is questionable to some countries and institutions.

Because aerobic activity is not taking place, chess is not always considered a sport.

Essentially, some view sport as competition coupled with heavy breathing, sweating, exhaustion and the like.

But if you talk to a professional chess player who was representing their country in a global grandmaster tournament, then they may tell you all these things are true about chess as well.

Chess is a sport in our opinion.


The Bottom Line


Love us or hate us for saying this, but we believe chess, played competitively and seriously, is indeed a sport.

Chess, as a game or a sport, is perhaps the most sophisticated strategy game ever devised and has won the hearts of many for years.

We look forward to chess hopefully becoming a part of the Olympic games someday.

Until then, just keep playing chess, because chess can make you smarter!

Thank you for reading! Before you go, Check out Our Awesome Line of Chess Shirts!

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