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.