When we play all sorts of games, we tend to throw terms around, like whether the game is sport, an athletic activity or anything similar. Since there are so many people in the world, most of them tend to disagree about various topics, including whether something is a sport or not.

When talking about the game of chess, disagreements have been made multiple times and are still to this day made, particularly about the topic of chess being or not being a sport.

Let us add to this discussion and hopefully swing people’s opinions in the right direction.

Chess is Recognized as a Sport by the IOC

The International Olympic Committee has a lot of say in what is and isn’t considered a sport. When the IOC recognizes something as a sport, then we can be sure that the said something is a sport in reality.

Chess ticks all the boxes of what a sport should be doing and what a sport should look like.

That being said, people will still debate whether it is a sport or not, giving their own opinions, often without any arguments.

Chess is Very Physical

The problem with chess is that matches can last up to 9 hours. Professional matches have been known to last very long, where participants would be exhausted after a match. People who don’t play chess often fail to realize how much toll chess can take on the body. Mental exertion in chess manifests itself physically and practitioners who are not physically well trained will have problems with long matches.

Even legends like Bobby Fischer talked about their physical exercise prior to important tournament matches. Exercise plays a large role in chess, though as a preparation method to keep the body healthy to endure all the mental effort that goes into chess.

It Takes Lots of Skill

As far as games go, or rather, sports, chess requires a lot of skill and that means lots of work on the basics and everything else, from advanced moves to openings and defense strategies. 

A player would typically go through thousands of pages of books about strategies and openings before they could reach the top of the ladder, not to mention have thousands of hours of practice and chess play. 

It Doesn’t Matter Whether It’s a Sport

Unless chess being a sport gives the players and the game some benefits in tournament organization and international success, whether chess is a sport or not doesn’t really matter. Chess is a difficult game to play, which requires lots of mental skill as well as physical, to endure the game’s length and focus requirements. 

At the top level, chess is played like most sports, but whether chess is a sport doesn’t matter, as much as people loving the game and playing it, as well as introducing others to it.

Even though chess is recognized as a sport by the IOC, some still deny it being a sport. In the end, as long as we have more chess players and newcomers, the term we slap next to chess is unimportant.