The Beginning of Chess as a Sport – History of the sport of chess

When we look at the beginning of chess as a sport we have to realize that chess can be defined as a sport because it is a competitive activity. You also need the same types of general mental and physical disciplines needed by the sportsman, to compete and succeed in the sport of chess.

When we cover the beginning of chess as a sport, we will first have to look at the omni-present question of: Is Chess a Sport? Before we can look at the history of chess as a sport or even at the sport of chess, we have to determine whether we really think it is a sport, or whether we rather consider it a game.

It might at first seem that chess is a sport. Firstly, it is clearly a competitive activity and games need to be competitive activities to be considered as being a sport. Secondly, when playing chess as a sport, chess players need the same types of general physical and mental disciplines as needed by the sportsman. For example strong self-confidence, mental toughness, strong self-confidence, and endurance, etc. can help you succeed as a chess player.

For example, the famous chess player Karpov's had a frail physique nearly cost him two big matches against another prominent chess player called Korchnoi. One of these games was a world championship, and the other was a final candidate’s match. Some also reason that it could have cost him the chess champion title to Kasparov when he lacked the physical endurance to finish him off in 1984.

Now, whereas people who are trying to get chess recognized as a sport use the above reasons, people who counter them use the following reasons to prove that there will never be such a thing as the sport of chess.

They agree that chess is a competitive activity but state that chess does not fulfill the second requirement an activity needs to be listed as a sport. In other words, they are saying that chess performance does not have an intrinsically physical component. They argue that you hardly need a physical body to play chess and that the game could, in theory, be played by conscious computers or disembodied spirits using mental telepathy. Lets rather not waste time arguing whether either of these two methods is possible…

It could be that the beginning of chess as a sport might still be ahead of us. There is a current chess petition that has been launched on the UK website:

The chess as a sport petition website is trying to make chess a recognized Olympic sport and states:

“This petition is to finally get chess recognized as a sport in the UK. Please make sure you sign the e-petition and make sure you let everyone else know. This is for all chess clubs, leagues, school clubs and individuals who wish to support us. Thank you and we will be updating this site regularly. Please come back for more up to date news as we will soon be dedicating a special page on this site to inform you on how the 2007 Chess as a Sport e-petition is going.”