Is Chess An Olympic Sport? A Quick Answer

27 November 2021

The answer is no. Chess is not a sport in the Olympics. Chess has been considered a sport, but it fails to qualify through the board of directors every time. Every four years, there are official sports that the International Olympic Committee recognizes.

Some sports have been put forward for consideration and have never been accepted by the board. The last time chess was considered for the Olympics was in 1999, but it did not qualify because it received only two votes from the members of the IOC, while baseball/softball got 24.

How to get a sport into the Olympics?

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) receives over fifty applications from sports federations seeking inclusion in the summer or winter games.

The final decision rests with the IOC members, who meet once every two years to vote.

Decisions are not made based on whether a sport is popular or has mass appeal; in fact, some sports widely followed and enjoyed by spectators worldwide fail to make it into the games.

But try telling that to wrestling fans – one of five core sports at every summer Olympics since Athens 1896 (the other four are track and field, swimming, gymnastics, and boxing) – which has been dropped from the 2020 games.

The IOC began accepting proposals for new sports in the mid-1990s to broaden the Olympic program to include more women and youth.

The addition of women’s football (soccer) and softball in 1996 and baseball and mountain biking in 2008 were the first meaningful changes to the Olympic sports program for decades.

Which other sports are not in the Olympics?

Snooker is a cue sport that has been an Olympic sport once, in 1988. It was dropped from the 1994 games for not achieving popularity around the world.

Roller sports include roller skating and inline speed skating but exclude bicycling and motorsports; both are included in the Olympics already.

Roller sports were last featured at the Antwerp games in 1920, after which they did not return to be part of the Summer or Winter Olympics until 2002 when they became a permanent fixture on the roster. In this sense, roller sports have been “re-adapted” more recently than other discontinued events such as polo, tug-of-war, water skiing, and sport climbing.

Cricket has not been included as an Olympic sport because the ICC (International Cricket Council) is not a member of the ICCC (International Olympics Committee), so cricket could never be part of the Summer or Winter Olympics.

As a result of this decision by many members to favor other sports over cricket, one cannot see cricket being admitted into the Olympics anytime soon.

Polo was an Olympic sport in 1920, 1936, and 1960. It is a hugely popular sport with an international following that continues to be estimated at up to 40 million people around the world today.

However, it has not been included since its final appearance at the games in 1964 for two main reasons: firstly, many countries are unable or unwilling to take part because of high costs associated with shipping horses all over the world; secondly, there are no universal rules set out by which all nations abide with regards to how players play on the field.

This last reason means that some teams have an advantage over others even though they may be more skilled than their opponents due to equipment and uniform costs.

What are the biggest chess competitions around the world?

The World Chess Championship is one of the biggest international chess tournaments. It consists of fourteen rounds between the current chess world champion and his challenger. Players must win 7.5 games or more to become the world champion.

Players have 120 minutes to make their first 40 moves and get another 60 minutes to make another 20. If after 14 games the result is 7-7, a tie break of 4 games follows.

Some other international chess championships:

  • World Amateur Championship 2021
  • FIDE Grand Swiss and Women’s Grand Swiss
  • FIDE Online Cadets & Youth Rapid Grand Prix Series
  • FIDE World Chess Championship for People with Disabilities
  • World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad
  • World Juniors U20 Championships
  • FIDE Online Cadets & Youth Rapid Super Final

What are the latest sports in Olympics

Skateboarding – Skateboarding is one of the latest sports which debuted in the 2020 games. It featured skateboarders competing for gold, silver, and bronze medals on a specially designed half-pipe along with an additional park course.

Karate has the highest number of martial arts practitioners in the world, and it is an official sport in both summer and winter Olympic games.

Beach volleyball is a team sport played by two players per team on a sand court divided by a net. It is now one of the most popular spectator sports at the Summer Olympics.

Surfing. Surfers ride waves on surfboards, either standing or lying down. Waves provide momentum to launch onto the shore, which is considered the easiest sport in the 2020 Olympics.


Chess is not an Olympic sport. It doesn’t have the following to make it a popular enough sport for the ICO (International Olympic Committee), but there are still tournaments where people compete for medals. All of these competitions are done on different levels and can range from local events to international ones that take place all over the world.