Thursday, December 22, 2011

Making the Case for, and beside, Chess as an Olympic game

Posted by Admin On 10:23 AM

Such an idea may seem ridiculous to some people, but the World Chess Federation has been lobby the International Olympic Committee for years to include chess in the Games. As part of its efforts, the coalition even institute drug testing to bring chess into fulfillment with the committee’s rules.

In making a case for chess, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the president of the federation, has said that curling is fundamentally “chess on ice.” The Olympic committee has granted the federation status as a Recognized International Sports Federation, but that may be as far as things progress, some chess officials acknowledge.

In an interview published a few days ago on Chessbase, a chess news Web site, Ilya Levitov, the head of the board of the Russian Chess Federation, said that in the Winter Olympics, “there are ground rules: ice or snow. Chess has none of these.”

Referring to the Olympic slogan of “faster, higher, stronger,” Levitov added, “It’s not in any way connected to chess.” Still, people continue to try to prove that chess is a viable Olympic sport. The latest effort was the First SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, which ended Friday.

The competition included chess, checkers, Go, Xiangqi and bridge (another game whose federation has Olympic aspirations). The winners of the rapid chess resistance were Wang Hao of China in the open division and Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia in the women’s section.

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