The IOC does recognise chess as a sport, but will it be accepted at Tokyo 2020? Malcolm Pein on the campaign to get chess added as an event
Chess and Bridge are among 26 sports that have applied for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The Additional Event Programme Panel will determine a shortlist to be announced on June 22, with a final decision made by the IOC in August next year.
The chances of either mind sport being admitted are low.
The competition includes baseball, softball and squash, all of which lost out two years ago when the IOC reinstated wrestling for 2020.
Baseball and softball have a chance, as they are both popular in Japan.
Chess is very much a minority interest there, as the board game shogi dominates.
The FIDE president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, has been talking up the chances of chess being included in the Olympics for nearly 20 years, but this never seemed credible, even though it was an exhibition sport at Sydney in 2000.
Some years ago an IOC functionary replied with what could be summarised as a polite expression of bewilderment in response to an inquiry from New in Chess magazine as to the chances of chess being included.
However, the IOC does recognise chess as a sport, which is more than can be said for HM Government.
This month, Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East, asked a question in Parliament about bridge being recognised as a mind sport.
In reply, Tracey Crouch, the new Minister for Sport, would do no more than confirm the position of Sport England, which does not recognise the concept of mind sports, and referred Mr Blackman to the judicial review on the definition of “sport” which has been requested by the English Bridge Union.
The outcome of that will be significant.
Yoshiharu Habu is the 72nd world shogi champion or ‘Meijin’. He is also a fine chess player.
Y. Habu – T. Serafimov
2nd NAO Masters 2002
Caro Kann Defence
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bf4 Qa5+ 12.Bd2 Qc7 13.0–0–0 0–0–0 14.Qe2 Bd6 15.Ne4 Bf4 16.c4 Ngf6 17.Nc3 Rhe8 18.Kb1 a6 19.c5 Nd5 (19…Bxd2 20.Rxe2 e5! equalises after 21.dxe5 Nxe5 22.Rxd8+ Kxd8)20.Be1! (Now e6-e5 is harder to arrange) 20…Qb8 21.Nxd5 cxd5 22.g3 Bc7 23.Rc1 e5 24.dxe5 Nxe5 25.Nxe5 Bxe5 (Now 26.Ba5 Rd7 27.f4 or 26.Ba5 Bc7 27.Qg4+ Rd7 28.c6 was very strong) 26.c6 Qa7 (Now 27.cxb7+ Kxb7 28.Ba5!) 27.f4 Bf6 28.Qc2 b5? 29.Ba5! Rd6 30.Rhd1 d4 31.Qf5+ Rde6 32.g4 Qe7 33.c7 Qd7 34.g5 hxg5 35.fxg5 Be5
Sunday Chess TV
How did Habu force resignation here?
36.Qf3 1-0 36.Qe4 was also winning