Everyone wonders why Chess isn’t an Olympic sport

People all over the world wonder why Chess is not an Olympic sport.


Chess has it all.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you skeptics, probably papolatrous pipsqueaks – Peepees – are peeping, “In chess they, you know, they just sorta, you know, sit there for hours. What would that be like on TV?!? And it’s about TV now, right? And besides, since we must now reinterpret the entirety of world history according to the secret teachings of Vatican II which only we can reveal to you, anything that pits white against black is, with white going fiiiiiirst, is… is … you know, racist. And you HATE VATICAN II! So there can’t be Chess in the Olympics. Duh!”

Another brilliant argument from the Peepees.

In the 1920’s Chess was, by the way, recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

And it’s not about the TV… now it’s about the money… and wokeness.  Wokeness and money.  Politics, wokeness and money.

There may be things about Chess that Chess-skeptics, anti-Chessers don’t know.

For example, we read about the physical strain that Chess take on a person at higher levels of play. Enormous stress on the body, huge calories burned. Check out this story at ESPN.


In 2004, winner Rustam Kasimdzhanov walked away from the six-game world championship having lost 17 pounds. In October 2018, Polar, a U.S.-based company that tracks heart rates, monitored chess players during a tournament and found that 21-year-old Russian grandmaster Mikhail Antipov had burned 560 calories in two hours of sitting and playing chess — or roughly what Roger Federer would burn in an hour of singles tennis.


[Magnus Carlsen] has even managed to optimize … sitting. That’s right. Carlsen claims that many chess players crane their necks too far forward, which can lead to a 30 percent loss of lung capacity, according to studies in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science. And, according to Keith Overland, former president of the American Chiropractic Association, leaning 30 degrees forward increases stress on the neck by nearly 60 pounds, which in turn requires the back and neck muscles to work harder, ultimately resulting in headaches, irregular breathing and reduced oxygen to the brain.

“A chess player can develop chronic neck and upper back pain, as well as sore shoulders and backaches,” says Overland, who has worked with the New York Mets and the U.S. Olympic Training Center. “This is particularly concerning considering how much energy they are exerting on playing a competitive game of chess at the highest level.”


So, sitting at a board playing Chess for a long time can require, at higher levels, training like an athlete.

And then there’s…

…Giant Bullet Chess.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Scotty says:

    Better yet, Chess Boxing!

  2. WVC says:

    Here’s a second vote for Chess Boxing. Yes, it’s a thing.

  3. pjm88 says:

    « Papolatrous pipsqueaks – Peepees »

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  5. Adeodata says:

    If I am not mistaken, you can find that chess board at the St. Louis Chess Club. The place is a must for any chess aficionado.


  6. prayfatima says:

    God is the ultimate Chess mastermind. The universe is His board game. Whatever happens in the world, God is all good and has all the knowledge, He sees all the possible moves before we even begin. People who do wrong forget that God is the Maker of the game, He made the game from nothing. He made the rules, decides who plays, and He will bring an even greater good out of their evil. We are just little pieces to be moved about the board in order to accomplish His will. He has won the big game already and will continue to win victories until the end of the world!

  7. srackham says:

    Chess in the Olympics just ain’t going to happen. Chess is intellectual and not physical so there is no acceptable justification for separate male and female events. Men would dominate (just 37 of the more than 1,600 international chess grandmasters are women) and we would be left with the politically unacceptable spectacle of the intellectual differences between the sexes on full display.

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  9. Docent says:

    Re: St. Louis Chess Club: Owned by Faithful Catholic Rex Sinquefield.

  10. Great name for a Chess club owner.

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