Saturday, 13 December 2008

Political Chess - Michael Adams at Gordon Brown Organised Event (London)

The Prime Minister's Office recently invited sports stars, music stars and community leaders to an event to highlight the UK government's progress on fighting knife crime. A short clip of the meeting was shown on the BBC News At Ten. Grandmaster Michael Adams appears to have been one of the invited guests. It is good to see the UK's highest rated player (Elo 2734) recognised outside of the chess world.

I wonder in what capacity Michael Adams was invited to the event?

If he was invited as a sports star then that is very interesting. There has been alot of debate about whether chess is a sport or purely a game. Individual countries answer this question differently, and some have even voted chess players as sportsperson of the year - ie Vishy Anand in India and Anatoly Karpov in the Soviet Union. The recent issues around drug testing at the Dresden Chess Olympiad have also reignited the debate about whether chess is a sport. The Wikipedia description of sport is also quite illuminating:
"Sport is activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. Sports commonly refer to activities where the physical capabilities of the competitor are the sole or primary determiner of the outcome (winning or losing), but the term is also used to include activities such as mind sports (a common name for some card games and board games with little to no element of chance) and motor sports where mental acuity or equipment quality are major factors. Sport is commonly defined as an organized, competitive and skillful physical activity requiring commitment and fair play. Sports differ from games based on levels of organization and profit (not always monetary). Accurate records are kept and updated, while failures and accomplishments are widely announced in sport news."
Below are some of the shots from the event showing Michael Adams and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.




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