Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Chess as a sport

When I have debated the whole "Is Chess is a sport?" issue with people, there is one argument that I sometimes put forward. It is based on the idea that "sports" are played by athletes. If you accept this definition (I'm not saying you have to btw), then you can find some fairly obvious counter-examples at any chess tournament. And I suspect this is one reason why chess is not accepted as a sport in Australia, US etc
But one consequence of this argument is that if you do recognise chess as a sport, then you may be obligated to prove you are an athlete. This is what has happened in India, to Chetna Karani. She applied to Delhi University under the sports quota category, based on her results as a chess player. While the university seemed happy to include her in that category, they required her to pass the same physical fitness test that other applicants undergo. Unable to do this, she took her case to the High Court.
Based on this report, it looks like she didn't get a place in the University, although the court has asked Delhi University to revisit their regulations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

BIG AL [Alexander Beliavsky] writes in "Uncompromising Chess": "The neighbouring Sports College offered me a place without my having to pass any exams, since my successes in chess had gained me a favorable image in the sports world, and chess was revered then as a type of sport. True, there was no chess specialisation in the collage, and girls gathered to watch my helpless attemps at gymnastics and swimming, in order to laugh to their hearts' content".


Henrik Mortensen