Chess; art, science and sport
Some people, with full justification, hold that chess is one of the manifestations of scientific thought. ‘Where is the proof? Well, all right, they argue, chess demands an immense amount of systematised knowledge. Chess is unthinkable without deep research work. It is no accident that for many years the outstanding exponents of the game were men who have made a considerable contribution in other branches of human knowledge–the mathematics professor and philosopher Lasker, the professor of physics and electrical technology, Botvinnik.
Then there are the supporters of the other viewpoint (including, incidentally Lasker) who just as categorically alleged that chess is a special sort of sport, a type of intellectual struggle or rivalry. In their opinion this is the reason for the great attraction the game has for young people.
A third group regard chess as a special sort of art, and they are right too. There is no final solution to this problem of defining chess and I doubt if one will ever be formulated.