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  1. Standard member vivify
    rain
    23 Oct '12 15:28
    When I think "sport", I think physical activity. Beyond slightly moving one's arm to move a piece, usually in between infrequent intervals, there's not much physical activity. Bullet chess could possibly be considered a sport, since at the highest levels, it's pretty rigorous having to move a piece, and then bang a clock a rapid paces. Other than that, I don't see why chess is a "sport".

    Same goes for poker. This is considered a sport, and has even had extensive coverage on ESPN, like with the World Series of Poker.
  2. 23 Oct '12 15:49
    This guy is NOT a sportsman

    http://www.oddjack.com/tomerbenvinitsi.jpg
  3. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    23 Oct '12 17:08 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by vivify
    When I think "sport", I think physical activity. Beyond slightly moving one's arm to move a piece, usually in between infrequent intervals, there's not much physical activity. Bullet chess could possibly be considered a sport, since at the highest levels, it's pretty rigorous having to move a piece, and then bang a clock a rapid paces. Other than that, I d sport, and has even had extensive coverage on ESPN, like with the World Series of Poker.
    Some arguments for NO:
    - Very little physical activity
    - The pay, even at the pro level, sucks
    - Few people want to watch it because
    -- it is too hard to understand unless you're an experienced player yourself
    -- it sometimes goes on for a long long time with lots of 'dead' spots where nothing is happening
    -- it lacks the marketability of other sports [whether inherently or due to poor execution]
    -- it often lacks any dramatic moments of achievement. There is no football to spike in the end-zone, no soccer ball to hit the back of the net, no baseball to hit out of the park. In chess, most players resign before checkmate. The game ends, and the audience may not even understand why.
    -- the crowd doesn't exactly go wild when something thrilling happens
    -- fans hate draws (ties)

    Some arguments for YES:
    - It is a serious competitive activity at the pro level, with competitions lasting up to several weeks
    - It is overseen by governing bodies: USCF, FIDE, etc.
    - It attracts competitors from all over the world
    - It has a "World Championship"
    - Fans keep track of statistics and favorite players, as in other sports, and have a keen knowledge of the history of the game.
    - It has standard sets of rules within each governing body
    - It gives titles, prizes and recognition to successful players
    - It has a ranking system (ratings) like other sports. We can say Magnus Carlsen is #1 just as tennis fans say Roger Federer is #1. We can also say Anand is the world champion just as a soccer fan can say Spain is the world champion.
  4. 23 Oct '12 19:04
    I was surprised to find that the definition of a sport does not include a requirement for physical activity. It is a competitive event where excellence is down purely to ability and improvement can be gained by training.

    So if someone who only does a little bit of casual training (e.g. me) took on someone who has trained very hard over many years (e.g. Anand), they would have absolutely no chance of winning. Chess fits the definition of a sport.
    Whilst Poker has more skill than most people realise, it does also have a large element of luck and thus is not a sport. I would have a small chance of winning against the best poker players in the world due to the random elements involved.
  5. Standard member vivify
    rain
    23 Oct '12 19:49
    I would think the random elements in poker would actually give less experienced players more of a chance to win, against more seasoned players...especially if the game is Texas Hold 'Em.
  6. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    24 Oct '12 11:22
    Originally posted by vivify
    When I think "sport", I think physical activity. Beyond slightly moving one's arm to move a piece, usually in between infrequent intervals, there's not much physical activity. Bullet chess could possibly be considered a sport, since at the highest levels, it's pretty rigorous having to move a piece, and then bang a clock a rapid paces. Other than that, I d ...[text shortened]... sport, and has even had extensive coverage on ESPN, like with the World Series of Poker.
    Kasparov and Karpov both won "Sportsman of the Year" in the USSR at times in the past, which I find interesting.

    I have wondered if the question has a semantic component to it, as languages have various and sundry ways of expressing the idea.

    For instance, in English we have the words "sport", "game", "activity", "competition", "play" and others as distinct words, but some other languages use the same word to describe some or all of them.

    It's also interesting that we use the term "Olympic Games" as opposed to "Olympic Sports", (at least in English).

    My thought is that someone's opinion on this subject might be, in part or in whole, language-based, depending on what they speak.
  7. 24 Oct '12 11:42
    Wiki's description of sport:
    Sport is all forms of competitive physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and provide entertainment to participants.

    The only things Chess lacks to qualify for the above is the "phyisical" aspect, and considering how much my head has hurt from mental strain after a couple of games, for me it makes the grade
  8. 24 Oct '12 12:29
    Looking at the physical aspects of sports:
    What about motorised sports? (ie. Formula 1)
    Or equestrian sports?
    Or something like billiards?

    IMO sports are defined by a competition element, and that the 'luck' factor is not significant.
  9. Standard member vivify
    rain
    24 Oct '12 15:13 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Alessio81
    Looking at the physical aspects of sports:
    What about motorised sports? (ie. Formula 1)
    Or equestrian sports?
    Or something like billiards?

    IMO sports are defined by a competition element, and that the 'luck' factor is not significant.
    So then can we argue that checkers and Go Fish are sports, just like chess and poker are?
  10. Standard member vivify
    rain
    24 Oct '12 15:14
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Kasparov and Karpov both won "Sportsman of the Year" in the USSR at times in the past, which I find interesting.

    I have wondered if the question has a semantic component to it, as languages have various and sundry ways of expressing the idea.

    For instance, in English we have the words "sport", "game", "activity", "competition", "play" and others a ...[text shortened]... t might be, in part or in whole, language-based, depending on what they speak.
    Good point here.
  11. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    24 Oct '12 17:30
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Kasparov and Karpov both won "Sportsman of the Year" in the USSR at times in the past, which I find interesting.

    I have wondered if the question has a semantic component to it, as languages have various and sundry ways of expressing the idea.

    For instance, in English we have the words "sport", "game", "activity", "competition", "play" and others a ...[text shortened]... t might be, in part or in whole, language-based, depending on what they speak.
    Kasparov and Karpov both won "Sportsman of the Year" in the USSR at times in the past, which I find interesting.


    Do you not think that this was slightly politically motivated? The old Soviet Union would have loved chess to be considered a sport as they'd be able to prove Soviet superiority at any Olympic events..
  12. Subscriber Marinkatomb
    wotagr8game
    24 Oct '12 17:34
    As for my opinion, I don't think you can define chess as a sport as it has the knock on effect of making all board games a sport. Is 'Hungry hungry hippos' a sport? What about Twister? Snakes and Ladders?? I don't think many people would consider any of these a sport, but they all share the same arguments 'for' as chess does...
  13. Standard member Phlabibit
    Mystic Meg
    24 Oct '12 18:02
    Originally posted by vivify
    When I think "sport", I think physical activity. Beyond slightly moving one's arm to move a piece, usually in between infrequent intervals, there's not much physical activity. Bullet chess could possibly be considered a sport, since at the highest levels, it's pretty rigorous having to move a piece, and then bang a clock a rapid paces. Other than that, I d ...[text shortened]... sport, and has even had extensive coverage on ESPN, like with the World Series of Poker.
    Ug, I can't stand when people think 'athletics' when 'sport' comes up. Grab your dictionary and you'll know why chess is a sport.
  14. Standard member vivify
    rain
    24 Oct '12 18:21
    Originally posted by Phlabibit
    Ug, I can't stand when people think 'athletics' when 'sport' comes up. Grab your dictionary and you'll know why chess is a sport.
    Is checkers a sport? Please explain why or why not.
  15. Standard member gambit05
    Mad Murdock
    24 Oct '12 18:24
    Some simultaneous games might be considered sports just because the lonely player has to walk quite a long distance.