Sport is, first of all, overcoming oneself, achieving the heights of mastery. This is a harmonious physical and intellectual development, long-term training to keep fit, self-control and emotional stability. Sport is a struggle, a competition, to some extent even aggression. Finally, sport is ambition, the desire to become the first, to win the highest awards and titles.
All of the above can rightfully be said about chess. Why do so many stubbornly refuse to consider chess a sport? Why is sport associated exclusively with physical activity, strength and agility?
Recognition of chess
Chess as a sport is officially recognized in more than 100 countries, and in the UK this only happened in 2006. The International Olympic Committee recognized chess as a sport only in 1999, but did not include it in the Olympic program. It is noteworthy that the campaign for the inclusion of curling in the list of Olympic types was held under the motto “chess on ice” – and … was successful! Chess itself has not yet managed to achieve this. And while the IOC has not made a decision, FIDE is holding its own Olympiads – chess, world and continental.
Chess is not the only intellectual game that is not allowed to participate in the Olympics. Among the contenders are bridge, go, checkers, Chinese chess, which also have to fight for the right to be considered sports.
Chess From Practical Perspective
If we put things even more simply and assert why chess is a sport we can take an example from sportsbooks. Everything that is available on bookmakers’ websites for betting, is generally a sport. Hardly you will find a bookmaker where chess betting is not provided. This is one of the strong arguments for people, who believe that chess is a sport. Bookmakers would not have offered this possibility, had it not been a sport.
Chess and Physical Performance
Many people think that sports are only related to physical development. There is even an opinion among the people about the stupidity and narrow-mindedness of professional athletes. But practice shows that it is “intellectuals” who achieve the best success in sports.
Physical strength and dexterity are by no means important in any sport, the simplest example is shooting. But even in purely “physical” species, the intellectual component plays an important role. The winners of armwrestling tournaments admitted that their chess skills help them.
Chess and Tennis
Mainly they develop intelligence and creative thinking, as well as improve memory. The ability to make decisions and be responsible for them, strategic and tactical thinking is important. Speed is essential in time trouble and when playing blitz or rapid chess.
“Tennis is chess in motion.” The strategy and tactics of the match are thought out in advance, the combinations are calculated several moves ahead. You need to quickly analyze the situation, make decisions and adjust your actions depending on the situation in the match and the behavior of the opponent.
Oddly enough, physical training is also necessary for a professional chess player. A physically weak person is simply unable to carry out daily many hours of training, sitting at the board. In Tennis good physical shape, coordination, mastery of the basic techniques of the game are required.
Since preparation for the chess competition, as a rule, takes place on an individual basis, excellent self-organization and performance are required. The psychological struggle during a game can be crucial, especially if the opponents are of equal skill. Excessive emotions lead to mistakes and are unacceptable for high-class athletes.
You can analyze any kind of sport and make sure that all three components are inherent in it, the only question is their correlation and influence on the result.
Chess as a professional sport
Today, in order to play chess at the highest level, it is necessary to study intensively from early childhood. Modern professional sports are inconceivable without financial investments. Parents of future champions spend a lot of money on the lessons of their children, and chess is no exception in this regard.
State support for professional sports is also yielding results – 12-13-year-old champions are already appearing. India and China are especially active in this regard, and in many European countries chess is included in the school curriculum. In Russia, chess has been taught as an option in all schools for over 10 years. During this time, international grandmasters and prize-winners of European and world championships have appeared in the republic.