2012 Olympics: Chess should be included – for players and parents

Chess isn’t included in the list of events for the 2012 Olympics, though as an officially-recognized sport, it should be. Like other sports, chess attracts driven players and supportive parents to world competitions.

By Lisa Suhay, Correspondent / July 31, 2012

Of all the unusual sports that should be included in the 2012 Olympics, chess actually has a legitimate claim: This year marks the 85th anniversary of chess being an officially recognized body of sport by the International Olympic Committee.

That’s right. Chess is a sport, complete with an Olympiad and chess parents.

Any chess parent (me included) will talk your ear off about the benefits of exercising the mind and how curling, the Winter Olympics sport, is just chess on ice. With any sport, you need to have tactics, critical thinking, and quick mental reflexes in play.

The World Chess Olympiad is bigger than the Winter Olympics but smaller than the summer Games in terms of number of nations participating. About 160 nations are expected for the Chess Olympiad set to take place in Istanbul, Turkey, on August 27. The youngest competitor is 10 years old.

…I called my friend Susan Polgar, a five-time Olympic chess champion with 10 medals (five gold, four silver, and one bronze), to ask her if chess parents are as intense as other sports parents. Ms. Polgar won her first world title at age 12 and an Olympic gold in 1988 when she was 19. She won her last gold in 2004 at 35. She is undefeated in Olympic competition.

Zsuzsanna Polgár is a Hungarian-American chess player, who was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary. She lived in New York for 13 years, Texas for five years, and now lives in St. Louis, Mo., where she heads the chess program at Webster University.

Polgar has seen the sport from both athlete and parent perspectives. She is both the mother of chess-playing sons and daughter to parents who raised her and her two sisters to be champions.

Full article here.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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