General Question

Riser's avatar

Why is chess regarded as a geek's sport?

Asked by Riser (3485points) March 9th, 2008

Just because I am not running toward, catching or tackling something doesn’t mean I am not using athleticism – mental athleticism.

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18 Answers

delirium's avatar

Because it requires IQ and not brute strength. And because its more fun than (chaste) tackling will ever be.

jrpowell's avatar

I think you already know the answer to this question. And it is a geeks sport because you don’t grab the winners ass after the match.

Riser's avatar

@JohnPowell: You obviously haven’t played chess with me.

@Delirium: You would think someone would be able to find the common ground, the problem is athleticism is usually only categorized in “brute strength.”

whatthefluther's avatar

I suppose because its a game which requires a lot of thought, sifting through alternatives, planning and selecting strategies. :Most other games require some or all of theses aspects, but not nearly to the extent at which chess does. There is probably no oither game with as many books wriitten regarding history and strategy..

Riser's avatar

I’m only thinking out loud but could it be an intimidation? We often alienate what we cannot relate to.

squirbel's avatar

We could also attribute it to the idea that society has moved from outdoors-y pursuits [gaming, hunting, traveling on foot] to more passive and mental ones. We once revered the most athletic because they were the most successful….whereas these days the geek is the new chic. :)


delirium's avatar

JP: You don’t?! Fuck, i’ve been playing it wrong all these years.

squirbel's avatar

Japanese Go is much older and much more strategic :)

boffin's avatar

It is?
I taught my kid how to play for all the wrong reasons…
I thought that the game was to make you think and be responsable for you own actions…
Kind of like life without all the Liberals, Lawyers and Whiney Namby-Pambys, that think games (life) should have a do -over, if things arn’t quite going your way…

segdeha's avatar


bob's avatar

Valuing “mental athleticism” over physical skill is a geeky thing to do. So of course chess is considered geeky. The question is whether you accept the category of geek altogether.

Riser's avatar

That is where it gets tricky because you cannot scientifically define a geek just like you cannot scientifically define “cool.” Societally you can but that is ever evolving.

gailcalled's avatar

Many many folks consider chess, like bridge, a challenging and inventive game that requires skill, cunning, logic, memory, forward thinking; and not remotely related to a sport. I’m with Bob. The broad-brush labels are sloppy, vague and really meaningless; using them is a lazy way of not saying what you mean. But you already know that.

segdeha's avatar

I’m proud to be a geek. And, I love chess. Hmm.

Fallstand's avatar

Chess is a sport?

gailcalled's avatar

See me, above. Chess is, of course, a game.

cwilbur's avatar

In schools, it’s organized as a sport would be—the wrestling team’s logistics and the chess team’s logistics are distinguishable only in that the former has weight classes and the latter has “first board,” “second board,” etc.

crackerjack's avatar

To add onto what others have already stated, many athletes say that chess is not a sport becuase many athletes do not have the mental capacity that these “geeks” who play chess do. I was an all-around athlete in high school and still very much enjoyed chess, but many of my teammates (and this probably holds true to most athletic heavy school) could barely add because some teachers were coaches who let the best athletes slip through

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