Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

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MJMcCready
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Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:28 pm

I found this recently, written by David Papineau who I had the pleasure of meeting a few times. It's a well-written article although I am not sure I agree with some of his claims. I thought it might be of interest to some, and here it is.

https://aeon.co/ideas/chess-and-bridge- ... e-olympics

NickFaulks
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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:42 pm

On a quick read, the whole article boils down to one sentence.

"I would say that a sport is any activity that facilitates the display of physical skills."

That is the writer's opinion and he is entitled to hold it, but it doesn't have to be anyone else's.

MJMcCready
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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:24 pm

You could argue that chess does display some degree of physical skill. If you touch the wrong piece accidentally, you have to move it, so there is some physical skill in chess but not much.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by Michael Farthing » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:54 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:42 pm
On a quick read, the whole article boils down to one sentence.

"I would say that a sport is any activity that facilitates the display of physical skills."

That is the writer's opinion and he is entitled to hold it, but it doesn't have to be anyone else's.
Indutibaly, but I rather suspect that the vast majority of the English speaking world shares the writer's opinion. The rest are contorting themselves into changing the meaning of a word because its use in one or two documents hinders their objective of raising money. It reminds me of a dictum by my college many years ago during a dry summer that students should not be allowed to walk on grass East (or West, I forget which) of the "Hepworth", much to the annoyance of the more militant members of the community. In response the student magazine demanded (admittedly, ironically) that the Hepworth should immediately be moved East (or West) of the college grounds, or, in the alternative, the entire college should be moved West (or East) of the Hepworth.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:36 pm

Well, in my view the difference between "sport" and "a game" is really one of culture and seriousness rather than dfferent types of activity. All sports are also games: football ("the beautiful game") is a game, we play a game of cricket and so on. But games become sports when they are taken sufficiently seriously by their participants, and by society at large, to develop(for instance) professional status for the strongest competitors, governing bodies with agreed rules, that kind of thing. By that stage it's no longer "only a game", and if the only difference you can find between such an acticity and a physical sport is the physical bit, then that's not a fundamental distinction.

I've followed sport closely since I was a kid, and at any given time during the weekend I'm likely to be following football scores (if I'm not actually at a game or watching one on telly) maybe cricket if it's on and some chess as well, and it just seems clear to me that these are the same kinds of activity. NIgel Short once said "of course it's a sport" and it may be the only thing he's ever said that I entirely agree with.
Last edited by JustinHorton on Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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NickFaulks
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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:46 pm

Garry Kasparov ( someone else I rarely agree with ) said something similar, and went on to question how golf could be a sport. You go your separate ways, hitting the ball round a course, and when it's over you tally up your shots to see who won. In chess, on the other hand, you spend an afternoon two feet away from you opponent trying to destroy him by your direct actions, while he does the same to you. That is sport!

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:07 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:54 pm
NickFaulks wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:42 pm
On a quick read, the whole article boils down to one sentence.

"I would say that a sport is any activity that facilitates the display of physical skills."

That is the writer's opinion and he is entitled to hold it, but it doesn't have to be anyone else's.
Indutibaly, but I rather suspect that the vast majority of the English speaking world shares the writer's opinion.
Certainly not convinced about that.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:03 am

Michael Farthing wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:54 pm
Indutibaly, but I rather suspect that the vast majority of the English speaking world shares the writer's opinion. The rest are contorting themselves into changing the meaning of a word because its use in one or two documents hinders their objective of raising money.
The question whether “chess is a sport” only comes up because of financial issues. For some reasons, it’s easier for anything labelled as a sport to get access to public and private funding. Otherwise nobody would ever raise the question.

So, it’s not “the rest” that are contorting themselves but only anyone that wonders why any random activity deemed requiring physical activity (such as flying model airplanes according to sports England) automatically deserves public/lottery money, with nothing going to their non-physical hobby.

Apparently it fits better the mentality of English speaking countries to try and find a loophole into an existing law (arguing chess is a sport) than to change a long standing tradition engrained in law since the dawn of time (public money goes to sport and nothing goes to games).

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JustinHorton
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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:29 am

Paolo Casaschi wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:03 am
The question whether “chess is a sport” only comes up because of financial issues. For some reasons, it’s easier for anything labelled as a sport to get access to public and private funding. Otherwise nobody would ever raise the question.
I'm sure the question has been debated for many decades in many societies, for reasons that are not always tied to money.
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:15 pm

People are always wondering if chess is art or science or sport etc., but to misquote Robert A Heinlein, "Chess is."

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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:26 pm

I am not sure how well thought through the article is. There are many activities that aren't, in my opinion, quite a sport or a game. Take for example endurance events, or feats of endurance to use another term. The most obvious example of that being a marathon. That is a test of stamina and not physical skill or ability as anyone can run in a straight line yet its considered a sport by most because it has a sporting body behind it.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:30 pm

Are you under the impression that a marathon is 42,195 metres run in a straight line?
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MJMcCready
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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:55 pm

Nope given that I have entered several. But its basically running in a straight line towards the finish line. There is no skill involved, its just about stamina and pacing yourself, depending on your level of fitness. There is no element of physical skill or ability involved only stamina.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:05 pm

"Pacing yourself" is skill, just as it is in the 10000 metres or any other event. You may as well say there's no skill in hammer throwing, you just lob the thing. Top athletes dont just turn up and run, they know how to run.
"Do you play chess?"
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lostontime.blogspot.com

MJMcCready
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Re: Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:12 pm

Everyone knows how to run, its a question of fitness like all endurance events are. There is some skill involved but the same could be said of chess seeing as you have to touch the correct piece and move it to the correct square before releasing it.

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