Mind sports: top 5

Almost all sports disciplines are associated with physical fitness and body improvement. However, the main component of sports is competition, which is inherent not only in traditional sports. In the 20th century, intellectual sports appeared, which require the same qualities that are valued in traditional sports: professionalism, dedication, initiative, discipline, determination, courage, endurance and the will to win.

Mind sports: chess

We will give you the top 5 most popular mind sports disciplines in terms of difficulty and puzzle.


5. Checkers



The game is considered the progenitor of chess and has been widespread for many centuries. Something similar to checkers was known in Ancient Egypt.

Major competitions

In 1948, drafts had their own World Federation (FMJD). She brought chess tournaments to the level of sports competition.

And the world championships in international drafts have been held since 1894. The USSR (and later Russia) also succeeded here: many of the champions are our compatriots, while until the end of the 1950s, the championship was won mainly by the French and the Dutch.

Interesting Facts

  • The game of checkers was not prohibited by the church, while chess was considered a “game of the devil”.
  • During the Middle Ages, every knight had to be able to play checkers (then this game was called “ladies”).
  • Many modern checkers practice yoga to focus and relax before matches.

4. Poker



The first mentions of poker date back to 1526: at this time in Italy and Spain they played an exciting card game, where it was necessary to place bets and collect the strongest combination. It gained immense popularity in America in the 19th century, where it almost acquired the status of a national game. The most popular variety is Texas Hold’em, which is the main tournament discipline for poker players from all over the world.

Major competitions

Although poker is not officially recognized as a sport by the Olympic Committee yet, poker competitions are actively held all over the world. Thus, the World Series of Poker (WSOP for short) has been held since 1970 and is considered the unofficial World Series of Poker. In addition, there are World Championship Of Online Poker (WCOOP) tournaments on the Internet, with prizes only slightly inferior to those of live poker.

Interesting Facts

  • With the help of poker, the 37th President of the United States, Richard Nixon, earned about $ 7,000 for his election campaign.
  • The most famous poker battle took place in 1949. Americans Johnny Moss and Nick Dandalos played for five months, interrupted only for sleep. As a result, Moss won $ 4 million.
  • The strongest and rarest poker hand, the Royal Flush, comes up only once every 500,000 occurrences. However, in 1994, Alex Hemstrey, playing in Las Vegas, made two Royal Flushes in a row!

3. Bridge



The father of modern bridge is the Russian card game vint, known since the 19th century, the rules of modern bridge were formulated in 1925. In 1995, at the 104th session of the International Olympic Committee in Budapest, bridge was declared an Olympic sport.

Bridge is currently the only card game considered to be a full-fledged sports discipline.

Major competitions

Bridge championships are held in many countries. Currently, the World Bridge Federation (founded in 1958) includes 125 countries. The World Bridge Team Championship is called the Bermuda Cup (since it was first held in 1950 in Bermuda). The question of including the bridge in the Winter Olympics program remains unresolved.

Interesting Facts

  • Legend has it that status in the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo is largely determined by success at the bridge table.
  • When Winston Churchill was Foreign Secretary, he formally established in his ministry the position of “Sir Winston Churchill’s Bridge Partner.”
  • The Emir of Afghanistan, Amanullah, while studying at Oxford, became an avid bridgist, for which, upon returning to his homeland, he was ostracized.

2. Go



This game, according to various estimates, is from 2 to 5 thousand years old. It originated in China, after which it got to Japan in the 7th century, and from there in the 20th century it spread throughout the world.

Major competitions

Professional sports organizations of go are located in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan – in countries where it is a traditional game. In 1988, the professional world championships in this game began to be held: the Fujitsu World Championship and the Inga Cup.

Interesting Facts

  • Go is the most widely played board game in the world.
  • The power of a modern computer is still not enough to beat the best players in Go, since in this game the board consists of 361 cells, which creates a much larger number of position options than in chess.
  • During the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the second game of the championship match took place in the city. Subsequently, this tournament was called the “Party of the atomic bomb”.

1. Chess



The game, which later transformed into chess, emerged no later than the 6th century in India, and by the 11th century, chess had appeared in Europe. In the 16th century, the game had already become a competition: at this time the first chess clubs appeared, often playing for money. The first international matches and tournaments took place in the 19th century.

Major competitions

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) has existed since 1924. She hosts matches for the title of world champion, championships and various tournaments.

Interesting Facts

  1. In 2003, the Dutch artist Ipe Rubingstahl created a new kind of sport – chessboxing: 11 rounds take place in it, where the odd ones are given for chess, and the even ones are for boxing. The winner is the one who either checkmates the opponent or knocks him out.
  2. In 1962, the Strugatsky brothers published the novella Noon. XXI century “, which mentions the” Kasparo-Karpov system “, thanks to which it is possible to build mathematical models of the brain. At that time, Anatoly Karpov was 11 years old and he only managed to pass the master of sports norm, and Garry Kasparov was born the next year.
  3. Thomas Payne’s wife saved her guillotined husband by playing chess for his life with Robespierre.

Instead of a conclusion

Even if you prefer intellectuals to traditional disciplines, keep in mind that you will not be able to succeed so easily. Any sport involves hard work on yourself and the daily struggle with laziness, so you will need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow a training regimen. Also keep in mind that you need to eat well to keep your mind clear and maintain your nervous system.

Remember: sport is the choice of the strong, so try to strengthen both your body and your intellect!

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