Is chess a kind of sport

Is chess sport, science or art?

When we started to learn the rules of chess and played our first games, we didn't care at all about this question.

We just enjoyed the game! But almost everyone who plays chess for a long time stumbles upon the question: "What is chess anyway?"

The answer depends on the time this question is asked. For example, you would Fabiano Caruana When asked about the tie-break of the last World Cup, he would have answered singing: "What is chess? Magnus don't hurt me, don't hurt me no more."

But kidding aside. I think it was the big one Mikhail Botvinnik, chess as one Mixture of sport, art and science designated.

In my opinion he was absolutely right! Although many people claim that chess is just one element of Botvinnik's triad for them, in our chess life we ​​actually experience all 3 elements.

Beginners cannot yet see the beauty of the game. That's why it's all about winning for them. After a chess player has gained some knowledge and experience, read a few books and starts working with databases and engines, chess becomes a science. For me as a retired player, chess is all about art.

So it's no big surprise that different people see the same game in completely different ways - let's take a recent game from the last World Cup, for example.

One of my students followed the World Cup quite intensively. He knew most of the results but couldn't remember a single game; this game was mostly about that Ian Nepomniachtchi Indeed, it is very impressive how the Russian grandmaster dealt with the situation that a draw was enough for him to advance. Since he had won the first game, he could have played it safe, but he played on attack and decided the game with a nice combination.

For those of you who are familiar with the King's Indian Defense and who are looking for a weapon against the ultra-solid (or should I say boring) London system, this game is sure to be an inspiration.

For me personally, every game (and especially every good game) is a work of art. Just like books or films, games of chess bring back personal memories in me.


Memories brighten our minds.
Misty, watercolored memories of the way we were.

Yes, chess games are all about who we are and how we were. Take this game from Nepomniachtchi, the game had just started and I immediately remembered an unforgettable tournament I played over 30 years ago. Vassily Ivanchuk played on the board next to me and was in the process of creating a strategic masterpiece. First he outplayed his opponent in the opening:

I noticed that Ivanchuk was a bit different from a classic game that he definitely knew. I grew up with Ivanchuk. We played the same tournaments, had the same training camps and analyzed a lot together, so if I say that Ivanchuk, with his fantastic memory, knows every classic game, believe me!

Can you find the next two trains from Korchnoi here?

When I saw this game for the first time, I was quite impressed. Black rightly avoids all exchanges, even if he has to withdraw his knights. Pretty soon the white pieces will be pushed back and suffer from a considerable lack of space. That is why Korchnoi avoided the exchange !

This is how the game ended:

In the meantime, Ivanchuk systematically increased his positional advantage and the outcome of this game seemed to have been determined.

Ivanchuk beat the pawn on b3 and then hit the clock so hard that it fell off the table. Lars Bo Hansen but remained calm despite his time pressure, grabbed the clock and put it back on the table. When Ivanchuk saw that the clock was still ticking, he immediately grabbed another pawn with Bxa4!

Now cold filled the room. Dozens of people standing around the board could not understand what was going on. Yes, Baron Munchausen managed to kill 50 ducks with one shot, but even he could not possibly kill two farmers with one move beat! Now Lars Bo Hansen was no longer so calm: his entire queenside had vanished into thin air right in front of his eyes.

The tournament director looked at the board in amazement and could hardly believe that one of the strongest players in the world had just played two moves in a row. After a few seconds of complete silence, the room was shaken by a hearty laugh. The tournament director intervened and stopped the game. When order was restored, I left the tournament hall, the white position was completely hopeless and there was nothing left to see.

About 30 minutes later I returned to see the results of the round and saw the final position of Ivanchuk's game on the demo board.

The result of this game was given as a draw, so I pointed the mistake to the person in charge of the demo board, but he assured me that the game had actually ended in a draw.

"But white can give up here!" was my first thought and with the best will in the world I couldn't understand what had just happened.

"I don't know either," said the man who served for the demo board. "Ivanchuk offered a draw and his opponent accepted it". Later I met Ivanchuk at the hotel and asked him why he offered a draw in a completely won position. He replied: "I don't need such victories" and went on.

As you can see, while watching the match between Tomashevsky and Nepomniachtchi, different people can see very different things. Fans will only be interested in the fact that Nepomniachtchi knocked out his opponent and qualified for the next round. Researchers will search their databases, Korchnois and Finding Ivanchuk's games and finding a good weapon against the London system, but to me this game was like a time machine that took me back to the good old days when the grass was definitely greener!

What is chess for you guys? Let me know in the comments.