Chess enthusiast or not, maybe an essential question has crossed your mind: should chess be an Olympic sport? Debate around this topic is pretty much buzzing, with some claiming it should, others claiming it shouldn’t.
In a nutshell, the criteria of defining a sport as to whether it’s Olympic or not is kind of arbitrary. Some sports considered a little bit uncommon have indeed made the cut. Some didn’t. For instance – rhythmic gymnastics is regarded as pertaining to the Olympic sports category, while ballroom dancing isn’t. Another relevant example, furthermore – handball and badminton are considered Olympic sports, whereas rugby and squash didn’t make the cut.
Moreover, reportedly, the Olympic Games are a colossal event, whereas a handful of cities can’t even afford to accommodate them. Thus, as of lately, the number of sports making the cut has been limited. In any case, new sports are sometimes considered. But due to not meeting the specific requirements, these sports are not added. Chess is one of them.
Sadly, these days, the concept of rich, mentally stimulating sports and activities are basically nonexistent within the Olympic games. During ancient times, an array of endeavors from the humanities and arts areas were included in the Olympic Games. The examples vary – for instance, there were competitions in theater, music and poetry, to name a few.
However, back in 2012, both chess and bridge players attended and competed in the first World Mind Sports Games, in a stadium that could be compared to those of international sports: The National Convention Center in Beijing. More than 3,000 players from at least 150 countries competed in this intriguing edition of the games for awards in bridge, chess and checkers. Since it happened in Beijing, a Chinese version of chess was also demonstrated.
The Mind Games showcased that there’s a great deal of energy, effort and determination required in order for one to be successful within this kind of competition. The sense of victory brought upon is as genuine as that emerging from physical sports.
In any case, we do believe chess should be included on the list of Olympic sports, as mind games test an individual’s ability to focus, despite immense pressure. What we know for sure is that sports bring and bind people together. Those less conventional endeavors should also be considered, as they also have a solid fan base altogether too. Besides chess being big in Asia, it’s also a major aspect in Eastern European cultures. Chess is one of the oldest games to be played. That’s why we think this noble activity deserves utmost respect, and the chance of being considered an Olympic game.