Is chess included in all this?

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
Paolo Casaschi
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Is chess included in all this?

Postby Paolo Casaschi » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:34 pm

London 2012 legacy plan from the government:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19638262

Is chess included in all this? Some highlights:
- "Bringing 20 major sporting events to UK by 2019, with more bids in progress." It does not even say "Olympic sports", it could really be anything. Wouldn't be nice to have the chess Olympics in London paid (in part) by your tax money?
- "£1bn investment over the next five years in the Youth Sport Strategy, linking schools with sports clubs and encouraging sporting habits for life." what about the chess in school project? Anything better than chess as a "sport for life"?
- "£1.5m funding to the English Federation of Disability Sport to increase participation in sports by disabled people." Could you think of any sport where (many) disabled people could compete without having to enter separate events? And still an English disabled chess player joined the chess Olympic this year only thanks to a private donation...

If the answer is, "chess is not part of this because chess is not a sport in this country",then I really don't get people in this forum that object to even attempt to get chess considered as a sport. Do you really prefer your tax money be used to support taekwondo, thriathlon or synchronized swimming?
I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby Sean Hewitt » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:06 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:If the answer is, "chess is not part of this because chess is not a sport in this country",then I really don't get people in this forum that object to even attempt to get chess considered as a sport.

Paolo - The fact is that chess is not part of this because chess is not a sport. Many attempts have been made to change this without success and it is clear that there is no prospect of chess. We did get the Charities Act changed so that chess organisations could become charities and I think we need to accept that that is where we are and try to make the best of that opportunity.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby Alex Holowczak » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:10 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:If the answer is, "chess is not part of this because chess is not a sport in this country",then I really don't get people in this forum that object to even attempt to get chess considered as a sport.


It was last attempted within the last five years - I forget exactly when - and was unsuccessful.

Paul Sanders
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby Paul Sanders » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:50 am

Sport England uses the European guidelines which are summarised thus:

"Sport" means all forms of physical activity, which, through casual or organized participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels.


I asked them two years ago how they justified including model airplane flying but excluding chess, and got this reply:

Thank you for your email. The Sports Councils accept that aero model flying is an activity that involves a low intensity of physical effort but one that does require hand / eye co-ordination to take part in. Model glider flying will also often require participants to launch (i.e. throw) heavy model aircraft.

There is no published rationale for the Sports Councils not recognising chess as a sport. Recognition is subject to application and must meet the criteria for recognising sports. Details of the current criteria and recognition process can be found on the Sport England website at: http://www.sportengland.org/about_us/ho ... ports.aspx


Given that the policy would need to be changed in Europe, which is orders of magnitude harder than a local change, my conclusion was that it would be better to ask for recognition as a valuable cultural activity, with the emphasis on inclusiveness and the promotion of international understanding and cooperation (ie giving foreigners a spanking). Particularly for children and young people.

At least on one occasion the ECF seems to have preferred to offer chess to the Government as a strategy to hold senile dementia at bay. Our kids giving foreigners a spanking seemed to me to be much more likely to get a positive reception - cf Team GB.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby Roger de Coverly » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:03 am

Paul Sanders wrote:Sport England uses the European guidelines which are summarised thus:


That's Council of Europe of course.

Strangely those guidelines doesn't seem to bother other European nations. Sport England are sheltering behind the Council of Europe guidelines, but there's a late 1930s Act of Parliament as well. Both use the physical activity test.

There can be advantages in not being a sport, not having to comply with WADA would be one of them.

David Pardoe
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby David Pardoe » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:35 am

Yes...Chess is not a sport in the traditional sense. Even though it can involve athletic activity...rushing round the congress hall to summon/find an Arbitor..
And for league players..they have to rush round after tea, speed off in there cars to find obscure venues....and hastily access cupboards full of chess equipment, to ensure that matches start on time. :D
But seriously, it is time that our many social and cultural...and Arts.. (non profit making) clubs, societies and other bodies were given similar favourable treatment to other sports.
How can we get this huge army mobilised into some form of high profile action..
Maybe we should send a delegation (armed with suitable advertizing banners and publicity material..), down to Parliament and shower those MPs with box loads of old chess sets.
Or maybe something more appropriate...award the PM some honorary chess title, and present him with one of those `high tech` digital clocks.
Not sure about `Charitable status....` that should be reserved for genuine Charitable bodies.
And we must avoid becoming spongers....these bodies must go out and fight for the monies and resourses they need. No free breakfasts.
Thats one of our big challenges....all hands to the pump.
BRING BACK THE BCF

Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby Paolo Casaschi » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:13 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Paolo Casaschi wrote:If the answer is, "chess is not part of this because chess is not a sport in this country",then I really don't get people in this forum that object to even attempt to get chess considered as a sport.

Paolo - The fact is that chess is not part of this because chess is not a sport. Many attempts have been made to change this without success and it is clear that there is no prospect of chess. We did get the Charities Act changed so that chess organisations could become charities and I think we need to accept that that is where we are and try to make the best of that opportunity.

The point of my comment was how many people even on this forum (surprisingly) seem to actually agree that chess is not a sport. As a matter of fact, it's just a definition of a word. We might like it or not, but there is a lot of money attached to that definition. Accepting the current situation as proper looks like to me agreeing that more of my taxpayer money should go to support equestrian dressage or beach volley... maybe golf will get a cut next time after entering the Olympic games.
I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby Roger de Coverly » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:16 am

There's a case in India which could demonstrate the downside of Chess as a Sport
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/279 ... chess.html

It's a university admission scheme which has special criterion for elite sports players. The problem for the applicant was that there were minimum standards of fitness that had to be demonstrated.

David Gilbert
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby David Gilbert » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:28 am

There was a Polish study published in the Paediatric endocrinology diabetes and metabolism Journal a few years ago which tested a sample of children from the Polish national squad and observed that the physical fitness of young chess players deteriorated with age. It recommended that children should get more physical training and chess organisers should lay this on. I'd pay to watch some of our chess organisers leading an aerobics session! Another study carried out by the same Polish research team and published in the same Journal found inadequate nutritional education among among children, parents and coaches - god forbid half the kids were given sweets! Of course these results are not necessarily generalisable to our super-fit British chess children, who unlike young Polish chess players, eat their greens and are good at arm-hanging!

Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby Paolo Casaschi » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:58 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:There's a case in India which could demonstrate the downside of Chess as a Sport
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/279 ... chess.html

It's a university admission scheme which has special criterion for elite sports players. The problem for the applicant was that there were minimum standards of fitness that had to be demonstrated.

Are you serious? You should add smiling faces to a post like that.
If that is the main concern with "chess as a sport", I'd be perfectly ok.

Instead of this horrible downside, with the current UK policy, how many universities do we have with an admission scheme for elite chess players?
;-)
I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby Roger de Coverly » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:14 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:Instead of this horrible downside, with the current UK policy, how many universities do we have with an admission scheme for elite chess players?
;-)


I don't think any have an official one, several may have unofficial ones. This goes back many years, Jesus College, Cambridge had a 200 standard chess player as admissions tutor in the later 1960s and (coincidently) a very strong undergraduate chess team.

Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby Paolo Casaschi » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:52 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Paolo Casaschi wrote:Instead of this horrible downside, with the current UK policy, how many universities do we have with an admission scheme for elite chess players?
;-)


I don't think any have an official one, several may have unofficial ones. This goes back many years, Jesus College, Cambridge had a 200 standard chess player as admissions tutor in the later 1960s and (coincidently) a very strong undergraduate chess team.

So it would not be a downside at all... worst case we'd be exactly where we are today in respect of university admission schemes for elite chess players, best case we might tap into new resources...
I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby Roger de Coverly » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:15 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:So it would not be a downside at all... worst case we'd be exactly where we are today in respect of university admission schemes for elite chess players, best case we might tap into new resources...


The point of the example was that if something is classified as a sport, that an unsmiling official might deem it necessary for all participants to demonstrate a minimum standard of fitness in order to be eligible for something.

An official mind, that imposes English language tests on job applicants from outside Europe, even those from Australia etc., is more than capable of demanding fitness tests from chess players.

John McKenna
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby John McKenna » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:43 pm

If each official body that imposed such tests (linguistic & fitness, etc.) had first to subject all its own staff to said tests, well, that would be a good start.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Johnathan Rothwell
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Re: Is chess included in all this?

Postby Johnathan Rothwell » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:48 pm

I can understand the desire to grab some of the Olympic/Lottery/Sports Council funding, but it just isn't realistic. To me Chess is a game, and although it may well be just a definition (between a game and a sport), it is an important one (as definitions tend to be).

You could make a case that as chess is a game, and that the Olympics are played at the 'games', then chess should be included. :lol:

I think the major stumbling block is that including chess as a sport would A: Be ridiculous to the majority of people. B: Set a precedent for other games to join the bandwagon - and try as I might I just can't imagine a gold medal for Hungry Hippo or Buckaroo, can you?


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