Chess is a sport or a hobby?

Chess as a sport

Once happened a story that is sometimes cited as a clear example of different attitudes towards chess. The young Canadian player with the Russian surname Kuznetsov asked the head of sports department of the province to help perform at junior championship of the world, having allocated a certain amount. And got the answer that the department couldn’t do that. After all, he has not yet decided what is chess – sport or empty pastime, and is not sure whether Kuznetsov can be considered an athlete.

Unfazed, the chess player replied with sarcasm: “If Michael Tal plays, it’s a big art. If I play, it’s sport. But if you sit behind the board, it will be the spending of time.” After which the future master of FIDE (International Chess Federation) and 54th player of Canada proudly withdrew.

International Grandmaster Mikhail Tal is a famous Soviet chess player. In 1960, he became the eighth overall world champion. It was characterized by a sharp attacking combination game, often going on beautiful realized sacrifices of figures.

Supporters of chess as a sport have other arguments. Among them – the existence of state-funded children’s and youth schools, the holding of championships of Russia and the world both among individual players, including professionals, and among clubs and even national teams. As well as international tournaments with a large prize pool.

In favor of the sport orientation of chess says, in particular, the inclusion of them in the list of game types and in the Unified classification with the assignment of such titles as master of sports of Russia, master international class sports and grandmaster. Chess is included in the annual calendar of competitions held under the auspices of the Russian Ministry of Sports. It

is curious and such argument: professionally engaged in a hall or in a stadium any sport, a person builds up musculature, muscle mass. And spending many hours behind the board with figures or at the computer, developing debuts and endings, actively builds up the level of his intelligence. What is not sport?

By the way

On one of the social networks her visitors were asked to answer what chess is for them, offering seven options to choose. 2538 people spoke. 792 (31.21%) of them chose sports as the answer, 751 (29.63%) preferred art, 360 (14.18%) preferred the “hobby” option, 292 (11.51%) considered this game a lifestyle. Finally, 195 visitors (7.68%) are confident that chess is exactly a science. By the way, only 88 (3,47%) of voting participants were difficult to answer.

In 2010, the Center for the Study of Public Opinion interviewed 1,600 Russians, also suggesting they answer: “Chess is a sport or a hobby?”. And the vast majority of respondents — 69% — spoke in favor of sport.

Chess as a hobby

The main argument that gives supporters of this version is to learn how to play and engage in further is able even to regular kid. That it is a very simple game, for mastering which it is not necessary to visit any specialized sections. And you can move the figures even on the beach or park bench, at any time and without giving the result serious importance.

Supporting them and those who are sure: with the appearance of grandmasters of the Internet and computer development chess grew into an intelligent, scientific game. And from sports left except that the competitive principle.

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