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The Canadian government spends millions each year on sports, supporting everything from hockey and baseball to bowling, archery and cricket. But, since it is not considered a sport, chess gets no financial help.

Now, a new petition is calling for government to change its policy, and it already has enough signatures to allow any MP to introduce it in Parliament. The government would then have 45 days to table an official response.

The petition was initiated by Olga Mushtaler, vice-president of the Chess Federation of Canada, who argues that chess is recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee and most members of the European Union. She says funding is badly needed to help Canadian players attend international events.

Mushtaler says her local MP authorized the publication of the petition, and it can be signed online by any Canadian citizen up to April 1. She is hoping thousands of people will do so.

The debate about whether chess qualifies as a sport always elicits strong opinions from both sides. Anyone who wants to read the text of the petition can see a link on the chess federation’s website at

Etienne Bacrot v. Nihal Sarin, Online, 2020

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It is Black to move. How does he win?

Black played 33… Rg6! This blocks the pin on the Black Queen, which threatens Qxf3 checkmate. If 34.Qxd3 then Nxf2 is also mate.

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