Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Speelman weighs in...

...on as sport - from "Chess: 'It's as bad as a few rounds in a boxing ring'" in The Independent:
Chess has the status of a sport in many of the individual member countries. This may seem odd, but a game may last six or seven hours, during which the levels of stress on the body are considerable. Your heartbeat remains high throughout and the effect has been compared to several rounds of boxing. When I played my second World Championship Candidates match with Nigel Short in London in 1991 (he won), he lost more than half a stone in little more than a week.
Meanwhile the debate rages on in England:
[Chess'] secondary status as a mere pastime is particularly rankling in the wake of Sport England's decision last week to recognise darts as a sport - a pursuit which, despite a recent ban on big-match drinking, is synonymous in the popular imagination with cigarettes and beer guts.

However, the British Chess Federation (BCF), which represents Britain's 60,000 regular tournament players, is now set to play its killer move. It is petitioning to return chess to its rightful status as a sport.... And according to Roy Lawrence, marketing director of the BCF, his argument was readily accepted by the ancient Greeks who included much less demanding "intellectual sports" such as poetry reading in the original Olympics.
Read the rest of "A sporting gambit by the chess players who say they are athletes" also from The Independent.

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