Is Chess a Sport? Missouri Hall of Fame says yes.

Dec 22, 2011 at 4:00 am
Rex Sinquefield is making his mark in Missouri in more than just politics these days. The gazillionaire best known for shoveling millions of dollars into Missouri political campaigns is also one of our state's greatest athletes. Yep, it's true.

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame announced last week that Sinquefield is one of seventeen inductees to its 2012 class. Other athletes sharing that honor include former Cardinals outfielder Jim Edmonds, Kansas City Chiefs great Emmitt Thomas and Mizzou basketball legend Jon Sundvold.

The HOF says that Sinquefield is worthy of induction for his role in founding (and bankrolling) the Chess Club and Scholastic of Saint Louis and the nearby World Chess Hall of Fame. Both are fine institutions. We won't argue that. But c'mon, can you really call chess a sport?

Yes, says the Springfield-based hall of fame. It claims it's just following the protocols of the International Olympic Committee, which has recognized the game as a sport.

Er, OK. But you'll note that the "sport" won't be played at London's 2012 Olympics, nor is it scheduled to be played at any of the following two Olympic games scheduled for 2014 and 2016. Apparently recognizing a game as a sport and giving a rat's ass about it are two very different things for the IOC.

Here in Missouri, though? Hey, we got to fill that hall of fame with something.

— Chad Garrison


Chess is most certainly a sport. It takes way more effort than a lot of other sports, just not physical effort. And I, for one, am very happy that someone with the means and the desire is doing what he can to make Missouri better for everyone. If only some of the other well-to-do people cared enough to get involved and make St. Louis and Missouri great again! Ben Muehleisen

Wait! What about checkers and backgammon and Monopoly and my personal favorite — Chutes and Ladders! There are sports, and there are games. Chess is a game, not a sport. OscarsWild

Poker, checkers, backgammon players do not play under a time control system like chess. Battling a clock requires speed, timing and mental focus like all sports. Seanpaultrani

My goddamn strategy for winning Chutes and Ladders is unbeatable! Luck = preparation + opportunity. Uhvbnjonathaned

How many of you did Rex call or e-mail and tell you to comment on this post? "So fortunate to have a leader like Rex to bring his passion"? I think I just gagged a little! Lobbysaurus Rex