Sunday, 30 May 2010

Chess in the Olympics

This story has been around for a week or two, although it is nothing more than the usual "I would like to see ..." chess/olympics story. However the new twist in this case is that it is being pushed by a national Olympic Committee (or its President), and a pretty big one at that. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov, clearly has enough clout to at least bring the proposal to the IOC table (in his role as President of the Russian National Olympic Committee), but as usual, it is doubtful it would get much further than that. Apart from the usual "Is chess a sport?" debate, there is the "too many sports in the Olympics" arguments as well. And while this proposal at least avoids the baggage of "hanger-ons" like Bridge, Scrabble or Ballroom Dancing, I'm sure that any indication that Chess may get in would quickly see cries of "What about us?" from these activities. It is this scenario, more than anything else, that would probably be the biggest obstacle to chess becoming a participation sport.

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