Capoeira was declared the national sport of Brazil by law in 1972. Sri Lanka legally declared volleyball its national sport in 1992.

I'm interested to know more about which countries have (or have had) chess declared a de jure national sport or pastime and the circumstances surrounding the declaration?

I'm not talking about a de facto national sport or pastime but rather one which the law has declared as such.

2 Answers 2


According to the committe behind the Olympics, it is considered a sport. However, I don't think any country is actively participating in it.

Per Wikipedia:

Chess is recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC); since June 1999 FIDE has been the recognized International Sports Federation. As a member of the IOC, FIDE adheres to its rules, including, controversially, a requirement for doping tests. The prospects of chess becoming an Olympic sporting event at some future date remain unclear. The use of the name "Chess Olympiad" for FIDE's team championship is of historical origin and implies no connection with the Olympic Games.

  • Thank you. Having Chess at the Olympics would be brilliant!
    – Totero
    Nov 6, 2012 at 22:22

Not quite a national sport, but for the past several years, the second Saturday in October has been declared "National Chess Day" by Congress.

The "National Chess Day" idea started in 1976, when President Ford declared October 9, 1976 to be "National Chess Day".

Many clubs have events on National Chess Day in order to take advantage of the additional chess publicity.


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