22 September 2020

Chess Is Not a Sport!

But bowling is, at least according to more than 50% of respondents to a survey. Chess as a sport received a 14% rating from both men and women. In the most recent monthly featured video on this blog, A Fast Paced History of Chess (September 2020), I mentioned a statistics site I hadn't seen before and transcribed some commentary from the clip:-

The web site 'Statista' values the worldwide boardgaming industry at $7.5 billion. And it's not exactly a new thing -- the same web site values the industry around the game of chess, more than a millennium old, at around $190 million.

A search of the site using my favorite keyword returned 50 Statista chess search results. Along with questions like 'Share of adults in the U.S. that think chess is a game of chance' (you have to register with the site to find out), the most relevant was probably, 'Which of the following activities, when participated in competitively, would you consider to be a sport?'. Here is the chart returned in answer to the question.

Source: Activities considered to be a sport 2014 (statista.com)

Of the 13 activities listed on the chart, chess is 9th, behind billiards/pool, but ahead of poker, quidditch [NB: ?], video gaming, and competitive eating [NB: ??]. Several notes to the chart are particularly relevant:-

Release date: January 2015
Region: United States
Age group: 18 years and older
Special properties: All adults who enjoy watching sport

For more about the service, see Statista (wikipedia.org).

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