Many people think Chess is not only a game, but an Art and a Science.
While I think it's true that in Chess we have to express ourselves, but more and more I am thinking that it's only something we chessplayers say to make staring at a black and white board for hours on end less insane sounding.
First of all, "Art", is incomparible. You cannot say who's a better painter, Van Gogh or Picasso. Similarly, you can't say who's the better musician, Mozart of Hendrix. However, in Chess, you can easily pick out who is the better player, even if the two have distinctly different styles.
-anyone who sits down and plays a tune on a Clarinet or uses markers to draw on cardboard is making "art". But does everyone on a chessboard make art? Is a beginner who gets mated in 4 moves making a masterpiece?
-Originality. People who does something original in Art is often praised and their works are considered a masterpiece. Consider those people who paint two colors, one a square, one a rectangle, whose works are recognizable by everyone in the modern world, and Jackson Pollock, whose barf-like paintings are priceless. Meanwhile, a beginner who plays 1. h4 2. Rh3 3. Re3 is being pretty original, but they can hardly be called masterpieces.
-Art can be interpreted and judged by everyone in the world, it's a natural skill that people have. Music is even enjoyed by babies. Meanwhile, only people with considerable chess skill can enjoy the games of Grandmasters and such.
-Art really cannot be judged and inaccuricies or accidents by a painter are sometimes judged as genius ideas. Meanwhile, we can all easily pick out blunders from beginners and criticize them and even Grandmasters make mistakes.
-My last reason why Chess isn't an Art may be most convincing. In Chess, we develop almost genius strategies from the game of infinite depth, and create moves that seem like "Art". And yes, we do express ourselves in a game of Chess. However, if this is true, then we can say everything is an Art. Even card players have their own styles and even Rugby, Football, Basketball players have their own personal way of playing a game and express themselves. In fact, even people who clean toilets have their own techniques. So, there is a line we have to cross when dividing what is "Art" and what isn't.
Truthfully, Chess is at best a game and a science. I believe in a series of perfect moves, constructing the "perfect game of chess", probably leading to a draw, that is only known by God, or whatever divine creator you believe in. For Atheists, this perfect game isn't known then. Therefore, as a Science, Chess can be judged and criticized and improved.