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A Different Type of Grandmaster Analysis: The Sports Quotient Print E-mail
September 13, 2012
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Yale student GM Robert Hess is a writer and editor for a new website, "The Sports Quotient", which was founded by his friend and chess expert Zachary Weiner. The two play together on US Amateur Team East teams each year, and their 2012 squad, Forking with Tebow's Knights, won first place. 

Robert, who has always been interested in sports, recently wrote an article inspired by the Istanbul Olympiad exploring whether chess should be called one.  Read excerpts from the piece and find full story here.

In hockey, teeth are frequently broken and slap shots can reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour. Chess requires significantly less physical activity, but games can last many hours. My longest game was about 8 hours (108 moves), and was certainly more draining than any sports game I’ve ever played...

The most pertinent point may revolve around hand-eye coordination. This may be the key factor in determining if an activity is a sport or a game. Basketball, baseball, soccer, etc. all require much hand-eye coordination.  Admittedly chess does not require much of that, not much more than picking up a piece and moving it to a new square. But what about kickball? Paintball? Extreme Ironing? That last one sounds made up, but makes many lists of strangest sports (note chess boxing on that list). Chess, on the other hand, seems to fall short.

Despite being a chess Grandmaster, I feel no inherent need to proclaim chess as a sport. Truth be told, I’m not sure if it is. The debate is up in the air.

What do you think?

Zachary Weiner was inspired to start Sports Quotient by his experience in sports radio and journalism at University of Pennsylvania. 
 
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"I have a Sports Radio show (“The Zone” on WQHS) here at Penn that I have had a lot of fun with and it has really taken off. Last year I was able to interview the General Manager of the NY Jets and recently I have attended MLB, NBA, and NFL games as press. I realized how much I loved all of this, but that it was really dependent on me being a part of college radio. To broaden the horizons of my career in sports media, I decided to start a sports blog. But I didn’t want to do it alone. I knew I had a lot of friends that were smart and knew a lot about sports and I wanted to bring them all together—that’s when The Sports Quotient idea really was created. One of the first friends I thought of to write for us was Robert. He and I have always loved talking about sports and I know that he is a good writer and smart guy (we went to Stuyvesant High School together). When I told him about the idea, he was extremely enthused and immediately agreed to be a writer and editor."
 
In addition to Robert, eight Sports Quotient writes are tournament chess players. In rating order: Robert, Troy Daly, Peter Hess, Rich Rivera, Leo Ernst, Reuben Hampton and Thomas Fabrizio. Although there are no plans to include strict chess analysis on the Sports Quotient, Weiner told CLO, "Because so many of us are chess players, and I feel chess players think in a certain way, our site will be of great interest to chess players that are sports fans." 
  
Find the Sports Quotient on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thesportsquotient and follow at twitter.com/@sportsquotient.

 
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September - Chess Life Online 2012

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