Behavior code. Players are penalized for bad sportsmanship, such as refusing to shake hands with their opponent. Possible cheating is taken seriously. Mobile phones are barred. Players are forbidden from leaving the playing area. There is an anti-doping policy.
Olympic Recognition. Chess has been acknowledged as a sport by the International Olympic Committee since 2000. It was an event at the Asian Games in 2006 in Doha as well as in Guangzhou in 2010. Tokyo is preparing a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics, inviting chess to apply for inclusion. Russia is attempting to bring chess to the Winter Olympics.
European Recognition. Chess is deemed a sport in 24 out of 28 member states of the European Union. The exceptions are Sweden, the UK, Ireland, and Belgium. In Sweden, it is possible that chess will be included from next year. Support has come from the Swedish sports coaches’ organization which has high regard for the mental discipline of chess.
Global game. Chess is played around the globe irrespective of race, age, language, gender or income. People with physical disabilities play chess. Blind people play chess. People with advanced motor neuron disease play chess. Fact: Professor Stephen Hawking played chess with his children.
Mental component. All sports have a mental component. Eventually, competitive sports may be known as strategy games differing only in their physical manifestation. Commentators are prone to similes like curling = chess on ice, snooker = chess with balls, bowls = chess on grass, and so on.
National accolade. World chess champions have won their country’s national Sportsman of the Year competition: Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Magnus Carlsen (Norway), and Vishy Anand (India).
Player ranking system. The player ranking system was created for chess in the 60s and has been adopted by several other sports like American basketball, football, baseball, hockey, rugby, and golf.