Is chess a game or a sport

Keeper's chess med.

Keeper's chess med.

Tuesday 20th November 2018

The Evangelical Academy in Frankfurt in the immediate vicinity of the "Römer" is quite active and always looks far beyond its religious "core business". So they tried on October 30th in a three-hour panel discussion on the topic of “Sportsmanship - Spiritual Sports? To shed light on the game of chess as a royal sport ”in all its facets. It certainly has to do with the personal preference of the pastor and director of studies, Dr. Eberhard Pausch, who wrote an essay on the notorious American world chess champion Bobby Fischer, for example, “Bobby Fischer - Nihilist or seeker of God?”.

Under the clever and sensitive moderation by Harry Schaack, the editor of the cultural chess magazine Karl, an illustrious round of debates came together: Dorian Rogozenco, coach of the German national chess team; Sarah Hoolt, female grandmaster and German national player; Ulrich Stock from The time, Club chess players and reporters at the World Chess Championships with very popular contributions Time online; Prof. Dr. Ernst Strouhal from Vienna, who received the Austrian State Prize for his groundbreaking chess culture work “8x8” and initially gave an “impulse lecture” (that's how I got to know this word for an introductory lecture); Helmut Pfleger.

In addition, the audience included the ex-President of the German Chess Federation Herbert Bastian (who still not only plays chess, but also actively plays football), Grandmaster Klaus Bischoff (with whom I commented on major chess events for many years) with his partner Ingrid Lauterbach (International champion and English [!] National player), Dr. Michael Negele, who always humorously talks about chess history at the medical championships, this year about the German world champion Emanuel Lasker (1868–1941), who was world champion for an unbelievable 27 years (1894–1921), on December 24th (! ) His 150th birthday "celebrates" and about which he has just edited the first volume of a three-volume biography "Emanuel Lasker" (highly recommended - because of the worldwide distribution in English), the international master Bernd Schneider, Gerd Densing with many articles on the large website "de. chessbase.com “et cetera.

Of course, the cultural history researcher Prof. Strouhal immediately asked the crucial question: “What is the ancient cultural asset of chess? Games, sports, art, science? "You can imagine that the question cannot be answered in its exclusivity, of course, but that the game of chess extends into all of these areas.

Prof. Strouhal, a great connoisseur of comparative game research, said that there is no game with a similarly large dynamic and that the 8x8 field matrix with the different game characters, which represented different levels and experiences through the ages, ultimately the world in its complexity map. The microcosm of chess (also) stands for the macrocosm.

"The world is a game of chess, inclined day and night,
where fate moves people back and forth,
she shuffles, bids chess, hits
and put one after the other in the box "

says the great Persian scholar of the Middle Ages, Omar Khayam.

Chess is open to everyone, regardless of age, gender and status, and it is precisely because of its slowness that it can be beneficial in an accelerating world.

It was interesting to hear that chess at the time assigned to the "Science" department and that it not only has an overall health-promoting effect and, according to a number of studies in old age (read in the book "Schach und Alter" published by Prof. Strouhal in Springer-Verlag) , it also helps prevent dementia at a young age (!) can positively influence school performance, not just mathematics.

Chess promotes concentration, strategic thinking and planning ahead, you always have to deal with the other person, it educates you to be fair and much more. In this respect, it is very gratifying that school chess is on the rise in Germany (as in many other countries, especially in India).

The then Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker played once in a school team in the large, annual school chess competition "Right against left bank of the Alster" in Hamburg with over 3,000 students and lost to a girl. And yet this great man was not too bad to call the tournament one of the most meaningful events in his political life, not without pointing out the beneficial sides of chess.

Of course, the national coach Rogozenko and the national player Hoolt, who described their daily training (besides their job) and the daily routine at the recent Chess Olympiad in Georgia, advocated chess as a sport. Chess is recognized as a sport in almost all countries (so the chess federation in this country can also feast on the meat pots of the Ministry of the Interior), the world champions Karpow, Kasparow, Anand and Carlsen were "Sportsman of the Year" in their countries.

I also tried to add something to that and reported on my chess medical examinations at the 1979 international tournament in Munich (with world champion Anatoli Karpow, ex-world champion Boris Spassky, Robert Huebner, Wolfgang Unzicker and many others, including myself), when I “normally” worked in the Medical University Polyclinic Munich and not only played in the tournament in the afternoon, but also with medical colleagues various parameters (especially heart rate with tape recorder ECG and blood pressure, but also neurovegetative excitability, laboratory parameters such as blood lipids and ergometry) with the participants examined and the values ​​correlated with party situations (for example, overall increased values ​​in confusing positions and in time constraints, pulse peaks in an unexpected move by the opponent, etc.).

In order to put the examinations “on a broader footing”, I conducted my own “chess medicine tournament” in 1981 at the Grünwald sports school under the aegis of the German Sports Confederation, again with colleagues from the Medical University Polyclinic, in which the Participants competed (Members of the C-squad of the German Chess Federation as well as the unfortunately deceased colleague Dr. med. Modjtaba Abtahi, who took part in many medical tournaments) had to declare their willingness to participate in all examinations from the outset. During the games, EKG, blood pressure, respiratory rate and skin resistance as well as additional blood gases, catecholamines and all laboratory values ​​were measured and ergometry was carried out.

It turned out that chess is definitely comparable with other (light) sports in terms of physical stress and performance and that a cauldron often rages in the body of the "slow breeders".

(wKg1, Da5, Tc1, Tf1, Le7, Se5, Ba2, b3, d4, e3, g2, h2;

sKg8, Qh5, Rd7, Re8, Bb8, Ba6, b7, d5, e4, f6, g7, h7)

So it was after 25 moves between Hellmayr and Backwinkel.

One point on the button! White only had four minutes left before the time control on move 40, his heart rate was 155 beats per minute, and his systolic blood pressure was as high as 200 mmHg. Optimal arousal can easily turn into a blackout.

How did Black win after the gross mistake? 26.Nxd7 ??, and how could White have kept the balance instead?

Show solution

To 26.Nxd7 ?? received black with 26 ... Qxh2 + 27.Kf2 Bg3 +! 28.Ke2 Qxg2 + 29.Kd1 Qxf1 + 30.Kc2 Qf5! Winning position.

On the other hand, White would have with 26.Bxf6! gxf6 27.Rxf6 being able to maintain balance.