8 Arguments for and 8 Arguments Against Chess as a Sport

Whether chess should be regarded as a sport or not is still up for dispute. Some claim that it’s in fact a sport, but the majority is referring to it to be a game or hobby. There are compelling arguments on all sides of the debate, regardless of your position on the issue.

Right now, you might be wondering which components of chess qualify as sports and which don’t. To answer this question, we must first examine the terms, rules, and structures of sports before comparing them to chess. How you categorize it ultimately depends entirely on your personal experiences, viewpoints, and comprehension.

Now that you’re aware that chess might be regarded as a sport, even as a sport subject to trying your luck at the best chess betting sites in 2023 at Bookmaker-Expert.com, let’s examine the numerous arguments in favor of this claim. We’ll also examine why some individuals refer to it as a hobby or leisure rather than a sport.

You ought to be able to decide for yourself if chess qualifies as a sport after reading this article. So let’s get started if you’re eager to gain further knowledge about the pastime/sport/game known as chess!

Chess Is a Sport for These 8 Reasons

Chess can be categorized as a sport for at least eight different reasons. These are frequently determined by how a sport is described, practiced, and viewed by the general public, and they consist of the following:

It’s Driven by Competition

The goal of chess, like any sport, is to defeat one’s rivals. The definition of sport is a course of action involving effort as well as talent in which an individual or team contests against another for entertainment (paraphrased).

Chess, in the words of grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, is “definitely a sport”.

It Presents a Physical Challenge

To achieve optimum mental endurance, which is required to win at chess, players must be in a top physical state, comparable to athletes.

In fact, just like professional sports, many chess players competing for the title of the world championship work with nutritionists and fitness instructors.

It Has a Conduct Code

The same rules that apply to any sport must be followed. Chess players may suffer consequences for poor sportsmanship, such as declining to shake opponents’ hands.

A policy against doping is also in place, not unlike other major sports.

Recognition from the Olympics

Chess has been acknowledged as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 2000.

It hasn’t yet developed into a competition at the Olympic Games, though. The sport’s IF must submit a petition to the IOC outlining its eligibility requirements in order to be admitted to the Games.

It Has a Global Reputation

Chess is played all throughout the world, like other sports.

No of their ethnicity, age, gender, or language, players come from all over the world to play the game. Chess is structured at every level, from novice to intermediate, amateur to professional, just like any other great sport. All across the world, it is played in towns, classrooms, and communities.

It Has Mental Engagement

There’s a mental component to all sports.

Similar to chess, the majority of competitive sports are built around strategy and the ability to “outwit” the opposition. In fact, chess metaphors are frequently used to describe some sports, such as snooker, curling, and others.

A Player Rating System is Present

Similar to other sports, chess players are ranked according to their level of skill.

Numerous sports organizations, including those in tennis, American football, basketball, baseball, golf, and hockey, among others, employ the rating system.

Above All, It’s Entertaining

Playing sports is primarily done for fun and entertainment. Playing chess is enjoyable, just like playing any sport.

No other justification exists for participating in sports of any kind.

Chess Isn’t a Sport for These 8 Reasons

Chess could be considered a sport for a variety of reasons, but it shouldn’t be, according to some. These are predicated on how chess is more like a pastime or a game than a sport, which encompasses the following:

It Doesn’t Have a Physical Nature

Chess is extremely competitive, but unlike most sports, it’s not a “physical” game. The key to winning is using your mind to “outwit” your competitors.

Chess relies more on intelligence and mental strategy than it does on physical talent or effort.

You May Play it Without Moving at All

Chess requires you to shift the pieces using your hands, which some people may view as “physical exertion”. Can that, however, truly be referred to as physical exertion?

You can yell out your moves and have another person move the pieces if you want to play chess without ever moving a piece.

It’s Never (or Infrequently) Played as a Team

Chess is often a one-on-one activity. It’s mostly an individual game in which each player competes only for their own personal victory.

Even though there are team chess competitions at the professional and amateur levels, the game is typically a standalone activity.

It’s Not (Yet) an Olympic Sport

Despite the realization that the International Olympic Committee defines chess as a sport, it hasn’t yet been successful in getting a spot in the competition, despite continued efforts in this direction.

We mentioned this among the reasons for classifying chess as a sport.

Many Nations Don’t Formally Recognize It as a Sport

Chess isn’t recognized as a sport in many nations throughout the world.

For instance, the UK, Ireland, Belgium, and Sweden don’t recognize it as a sport.

Sports Don’t Include All Competitive Activities

There are several competitive games, including Gin Rummy, Monopoly, and Dominoes. They aren’t sports just because of that.

The same justification is used by many individuals who regard chess as a game rather than a sport.

A Sport Isn’t Defined Just by Its Rules

A sport isn’t defined by its set of rules on its own or code of conduct. A set of guidelines are necessary for furniture assembly correctly. Etiquette or a rule of conduct is required when dining in a fancy restaurant.

Therefore, based only on this standard, chess can’t be categorized as a sport.

Undoubtedly, It’s a Game

Chess is undoubtedly a game, regardless of whether or not it can be categorized as a sport, which is another thing that’s definite.

It perfectly embodies the notion of play, which is defined as a form of play, particularly one that is competitive done by rules, and determined by skill, strength, and occasionally luck (paraphrased).


In conclusion, the question of whether or not chess belongs in the category of sports is still up for debate. While some claim it’s a sport, others prefer to describe to it as a game or hobby. Whatever your position on the topic, there are no less than eight compelling arguments on either side of the debate, which we’ve covered in detail and separately above.

The deciding variables are frequently connected to the manner in which a sport is outlined, conducted, and structured before being contrasted with the standards governing the game of chess. Whether you choose to categorize it as a sport or not, one point is for sure: whatever you choose to name it, it’s a pleasant and interesting activity. So get your chess kit out and start engaging in this activity, wherever you classify it, right away!

A grandmaster and former world chess champion named Simon Williams once observed that the appeal of the game is that it can be anything you desire it to be.

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