Is chess a sport

In India , it was known as Chaturanga earlier

It is wrong to pose the question in form "is chess a sport?". In fact, humans use arbitrary names for real phenomena and this is NEVER more than just a language game for every real "thing".

So chess is the real thing, and the question should be reformulated to: "do we want to call chess a sport?".

That poses the question, which real phenomena do we want to call "sport". In my opinion - and this is exclusively an opinion based topic - "sport" should be used as term, where a competition between two or more parties happens (but not exclusively there). Reducing "sport" to activities, where body expression / movement is mandatory would be an unnecessary restriction. If so, an alternative term should be found, which would represent a pure mind based competition activity (let's assume for the sake of a clean argument, chess could be played only by thoughts).

So in the absence of a such widely known special term, "sport" should be also used for chess, since there is urge to induct and abstract real phenomena into any terms.

For one part of the population the physical movement is the most important, for the other large part the competition.

Now what?

According to the definition of the term 'sport':

1. an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.
2. a particular form of this, especially in the out of doors.
3. sports, (used with a singular verb) such athletic activities collectively: Sports is important in my life.
4. diversion; recreation; pleasant pastime.
5. jest; fun; mirth; pleasantry: What he said in sport was taken seriously.


Unfortunately, chess is not an athletic activity. Chess is a mental activity. So chess whould be an type of mental sport like poker and computer gaming.
Chess champion Boby Fischer, thinking. (Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-76052-0335 / Kohls, Ulrich / CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Again: To be defined as a sport, the movements have to be made by the player. If someone else can make the moves for the player, it is not a sport. If you don't have arms, you can say the move and your opponent makes your move for you on the board. If you play blindfold, you say every move of your game. When has ever plain thinking been considered a sport? So, answering a quiz is a sport? A spelling competition is a sport? Participating in a Math Olimpiad is a sport? What next? Students undergoing an exam? That will be also a sport? It sure looks like chess a lot, even with lots of cheating... You are sitting for hours writing down equations... All that blood going through your head... Some students lose several pounds in a three hours exam. If chess was a sport, you would not have to practice ANOTHER sport in order to get your diploma in Universities that require a certain number of hours of SPORTS! After all, chess IS a sport, right? So, it's not fair is you spend 400 hours a year playing online chess but still have to fill those sports hours running, playing/training something like basketball, etc... So, cut the BS. Trying to say "oh, you HAVE to give me my diploma, I playes hundreds of hours of chess, and that IS a sport!" Won't do. Move your bones. A sport is an activity where the movements have to be done by you. Chess is a BRAIN ACTIVITY. Like taking a test.

bruh junior, to be a sport it needs to have some sort of large following with competitions and some sort of competitive scene, if there were 10s of thousands of people tuning in for spelling competitions or 10s of thousands of people watching the one Asian math wiz take a math test then sure it would be a sport.

I see, when we look at a sport, we want to see someone move. Like wresting is the worlds oldest sport.

Example : Labor > Work > Job

Labor is hard physical work and so I think people see sports as being hard and physical too.
Work does not mean it is intensive and so it can include desk jobs.
Job does not mean hard as work, it can be an occupational pastime and so in a way it can be less demanding than work.

When a writer creates a script, it's not a movie yet. Maybe chess needs to be turned into a sport after the game moves have been created. Imagine playing out chess moves on a giant chess set. The chess pieces are filled with cement. The players must move the game pieces as quickly as they can to finish the game. The quickest player wins the final chess weightlifting sport. Now there is physical action in the game. :)

A sport needs fans and spectators.

@schnimnja Thanks for the link...That's what I said in #15...Its been said that "He"... is a sporting fellow, meaning he's ready for mental and/or physical competition.

The term "a sporting fellow" does not mean a fellow who plays sport.It means a fellow who is always up for a gamble.A sportsman is the chap who plays sport.
Yet another example of the mire that we call "the English language".