Did you know that other countries do not recognize chess as a sport? Playing games has always been a part of human life. However, it has become a trend for leaders in sports bodies in decrying of the rise with gaming when the young people are supposed to be active outdoors. Little do these leaders know that many people advocate strategy games instead of the games that are “shoot them up” games wherein adrenaline is high, yet the intellectual content is usually at the low level. Coming from the English Chess Federation, they take a more positive stance towards games. Chess is a classic game that is heavy on the strategy wherein it challenges the greatest minds in the world. In the UK, it is not accepted as a sport and doesn’t receive any public funding. It is worth reminding people why more than 100 countries in the world and the International Olympic Committee recognizes chess as a sport.
The main objective of the game is to win. It involves a persistent struggle against the opponent. You can find no other sporting activity in which two people involved are focused in a competitive struggle with great intensity for a long period. It is not for people that are easily distracted. Just a single lapse from concentration and the good position that a player thought of becomes a losing piece. Every game becomes a drama wherein the outcome is uncertain until you see the very end. According to Magnus Carlsen, a world chess champion, he sees the game as definitely a sport.
It is well established.
The game’s world championship was first organized in 1886, and the national federation in the UK was founded in the year 1904. The competition is organized in each level, from schools to universities, leagues, cities, senior, junior, World, etc.
This is one of the reasons that many people still doesn’t recognize chess as a sport. However, here is one thing that will convince people that it is indeed a sport. The peak mental condition of the player requires them to be in a good physical condition. Players are expected to concentrate for up to 7 hours. When tension and stress build up, respiration, pulse and blood pressure rates all go high. Contenders on the world championships are assigned with fitness coaches and nutritionists.
Players get penalized if they display poor sportsmanship like they don’t want to shake hands with the opponent. Cheating is even taken seriously. Players are not allowed to leave the playing area. There is even the anti-doping policy.
One of the best things about playing chess is that it doesn’t discriminate against age, gender, income, race or language. Even those with physical disabilities are allowed to play chess, blind people even. People that are diagnosed with the advanced motor neuron disease are welcome to play chess. There is one person that is well-known for this condition: Stephen Hawking.
Every sport has the mental component. At the ultimate level, competitive sports can be interpreted as strategy games although it differs with its physical manifestation.
Player Ranking System
This was developed for the game back in 1960 and was widely adopted in many other sports including basketball, baseball, korfball, hockey, golf, rugby and American football. Cricket and football use similar formula.
Chess also has health benefits, like one that delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. It promotes social integration as the players travel to different places and interacting with the other players. It presents a welcome activity in socializing with different people, especially among children on the autistic spectrum.