Skip to main content

Luis Palau v Jan Willem Te Kolste, London Olympiad, 1927 (See diagram)

Ever since the International Olympic Committee recognized chess as a sport in 1999, there has been a faint glimmer of hope that it will be included in the Olympic Games.

It came close in 2000, when it was featured as an exhibition sport during the summer games in Sydney. But a bid to have it formally included in the 2024 Paris games was rejected.

For many people it seems an odd proposition, since the Olympics are all about physical activity. But how much physical exertion is needed for the Olympic sport of shooting a rifle while lying in a prone position?

White to move and win.The Globe and Mail

“I think it would be good for chess to be included,” says Vladimir Drkulec, president of the Chess Federation of Canada. But it would come with challenges, such as implementing an anti-doping protocol, a requirement for all competitions.

In fact, to keep its Olympic ambitions intact, the world chess federation already enforces doping tests at official competitions, though it isn’t clear what kind of banned substances would improve chess ability.

Drkulec says many of the world’s chess federations get funding through their national Olympic committees, but he thinks that may be problematic here. “There would be some pushback,” he says.

Answer: White played 1.Nxe5+ and if Kxh7 2.Qh5+ Kg8 3.Qf7+ Kh7 4.Kd2!+ Kh7 Kd2