Is Chess A Sport? (Find Out Now!)

Last Updated on February 13, 2022 by

Chess is considered to be a sport by the International Olympic Committee. The game of chess requires skill and physical exertion as mental exertion exhibit itself physically. By the way, the international recognition of the game of chess is a result of its game rules and etiquette. It is a competitive game where participants strive to win. 

Chess is a game of mental and cognitive activity, where participants are challenged by the finest minds in the world. It is a board game of strategic skill for two participants which is played on a chequered board. In the game of chess, each playing piece is played according to precise rules. The objective of the game is to put the opposing player’s king under a direct attack to make escape impossible. The game is recognized as a sport by the IOC and over 100 countries. But still, some believe that the game isn’t a sport. So, in this article, we are going to walk you through the major reasons why chess should be considered a sport. Let’s roll! 

Reasons Why Chess Should Be Considered A Sport

Why Chess Should Be Considered A Sport

After extensive research, we’ve compiled a list of reasons why chess should be considered a sport.

Chess Requires Skill

Like every other sport, chess requires skills. Just like every basketball player needs to master his passing, dribbling, running, and positional game sense, chess players also need to take lessons, read books, memorize openings, and be accustomed to the finer points of endgame play. 

It Is Well Established

The world championship has been in existence since 1886. In 1904, the national federation of the game of chess was founded. That’s to tell you that the game is well established. According to pollsters YouGov., over 6 million people play the game of chess in England alone yearly. Besides, about 125,000 kids are taught chess in school yearly. You should also be aware that Chess competitions are organized at every level including counties, cities, leagues, juniors, schools, universities, seniors, and many more. 

Behavior Code

Chess has its behavior codes that shouldn’t be violated by any participant. Take, for example, if any participant refuses to shake hands with his/her opponent, he/she will be penalized for unsportsmanlike behavior. Additionally, participants are not allowed to cheat or bring with their mobile phones. There’s also an anti-doping policy, and participants are prohibited from leaving the playing area until the end of the game.

European Recognition

24 out of 28 member states of the European Union recognize chess as a sport. Only the UK, Ireland, Belgium, and Sweden don’t regard the game as a sport. In terms of national accolades, world chess champions like Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Vishy Anand (India), and Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) have all won national Sportsman of the Year awards. 



We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers. These FAQs will help you understand everything you need to know about the game of chess. Let’s check it out!

Is Chess Truly A Sport Or Game?

Just like we said earlier, chess is recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee. Although the recognition of chess as a sport by the IOC helped manifest the sport-like properties of the game, it still doesn’t make it a sport in the Olympics. 

Where Is Chess Considered A Sport?

In 2000, the International Olympic Committee recognized the game as a sport, and since then, it has been an event at the Asian Games in 2006 in Doha and again in Guangzhou in 2010. Chess is being considered to be included in the forthcoming Pan-American Games. 

Is Chess An Extreme Sport?

Technically, yes! Even though most chess lovers would find it hard to believe, the game is extreme in certain ways. During a chess game, participants are always an enormous pressure. That’s why you’ll commonly see these participants attending psychology therapy sessions. 

Do Chess Players Exercise?

Yes! Most top chess players in the world exercise daily. Hours of cardio and gym sessions are common among most participants. World champions like Magnus Carlen and Chirila perfect their fitness routine before games. 

Will Chess Be In The 2024 Olympics?

Some time ago, a campaign to include chess in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games was launched by FIDE, International Chess Foundation. This will be a great achievement for the world of chess as the game may be considered an Olympic sport. 

Why Is Chess Not An Olympic Sport?

Chess is not widely recognized as an Olympic sport even though the International Olympic Committee regarded it as a sport way back. It hasn’t been included in the recent Games because it is perceived not to have actual athleticism. 

When Did Chess Become A Sport?

The game of chess became a sport when it was recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 2000. A year after its recognition by the IOC, it was an exhibition event at the Sydney Olympics. Some chess officials submitted a bid to the IOC to include chess in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but it wasn’t successful.  

Is Chess A Stressful Game?

Yes! Though it might not involve actual athleticism, the game of chess can still lead to an immense amount of stress. The game isn’t that bad. But when you’re addicted to it, it will be bad for your physical and mental health.

Closing Thoughts – Wrapping Up!

Chess has a formulated set of rules and etiquette like every other competitive sport. All international chess competitions are organized by the International Chess Federation, (FIDE) which is the governing body of the game of chess. 

Like we said earlier, the International Olympic Committee recognizes chess to be a sport and there’s a possibility that it will be included in the forthcoming Olympic Games. Nonetheless, all sports are games but all games are not sports. 

Even though the game of chess can be played at a high level of competition, some people still argue that it isn’t an actual sport because it doesn’t involve actual athleticism. We’ve reached the final session of this informative article. We hope you were able to find good and reliable resources in your quest to know if chess is a sport. If you have any questions or comments about the article topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks!

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