Chess has been elevated to a medal sport at the Asian Games for the first time.
January 9, 2007 12:40pm CST
The event takes place in Doha, Qatar starting on December 1. The official chess section is here. The format is curious: "The 15th Asian Games features a mixed team competition played over nine matches in two different formats: classical (with a time limit of 90 minutes for each player's moves, and 30 seconds added after every move) and rapid (where the limit is 25 minutes with a 10 second addition). The three-person team comprises two males and one female player."Kasimdzhanov, Sasikiran, and Bu Xiangzhi are the biggest names on the list of participants. This is as close as chess has come to making it to the Olympics. The IOC dismissed chess and other mind sports from the possibility of becoming official Olympic sports, but there are hopes there might be an exhibition chess event in Beijing 2008 thanks to Chinese successes. There haven't been any so-called demonstration sports since 1996, although the martial art wushu is being granted a semi-official status in Beijing