Trilemma Jr.

Chess is played by millions worldwide. It requires mental strength along with physical durability. Should Chess be in the Olympics?

by Tara Prem, a Trilemma Jr. writer

The game of chess is played by about 600 million adults worldwide and has 189 federations. Because of its large number of players and supporters, chess has long been pushed for the Olympics. However, it has yet to be admitted to them.

Well, that’s where the Trilemma is presented: Chess should be in the Olympics, chess should not be in the Olympics, or is the Chess Olympiad a good middle-ground?

Chess Should be in the Olympics:

There are many who believe that chess should be in the Olympics, including chess fans, who have many reasons to back up their claim. One is that chess is competitive, and it needs skills to be played. According to the London Chess Conference, since chess even has its own Olympiad, it should be in the Olympics.

Additionally, chess’s numerous health benefits make it similar to other Olympic sports, that all carry health benefits. Their arguments also address the fact the International Olympic Committee has recognized chess as a sport and that it has a player ranking system, similar to ones of existing Olympic sports.

Chess Should Not be in the Olympics:

While some push for chess to be in the Olympics, others do not want to include it. One argument from these people is that chess is technically not a sport as a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment”. Chess is not a physical sport and is, instead, one that requires mental exertion.

Their argument to the people supporting chess’s inclusion in the Olympics is that while the International Olympic Committee qualified chess as a sport, it did not rank chess as an Olympic Sport and therefore made it unqualified for the Olympics.

Also, chess is not as popular as other sports like tennis, basketball, and football, to name a few. It is not the type of sport that fills up the stadium. Therefore, not much money will be made from chess.

The Chess Olympiad is a good Middleground:

The FIDE World Chess Olympiad is held every year. For some, it is the balance between the two opposing perspectives, because players around the world get to compete. The olympiad was created on July 20, 1924, and has been held regularly every two years.

Do you think this is a good compromise?