Recently a 17 year old girl in Delhi who had secured 72.5% marks in her 12 CBSE boards approached the high court to challenge the physical test for the chess trails which has ignited the debate whether there should be a different physical test for indoor and out door games.


Chess is a game of the mind which requires a high concentration and quick thinking. It is a very widely played game in our country and people like Viswanathan Anand have made our country proud by not only announcing the arrival of Indians to the international chess arena but also making us proud by winning the world championships on numerous occasions. Chess has allowed Indians to showcase their talent and ability in the international community.

The people who take chess trials at Delhi University require undergoing a physical test which is required for every person seeking admission under the sports quota. The test is to run one kilometer in six minutes.

People are divided on this issue. One set of people believe this is a great injustice and disrespect to the chess players as they don’t have to do much physical work in playing chess and they argue that chess is a game of strategy which only requires the use of the mind and they cannot understand how officials in DU fail to acknowledge this and still demand a physical test .They cannot figure out how a chess player would benefit if he/she could run a kilometer in six minutes.

Another set of people (mostly the DU officials) say that physical fitness is required for mental fitness so if a person could run one kilometer in 6 minutes it shows that the person is physically fit and thus mentally fit.

The recent High Court order has been a blow to the DU officials as they have stated that the DU officials should consider the issue and reformulate physical standards for games like chess.  The judges were of the opinion that the existing physical standard criteria was apt and justified for outdoor games and also indoor games like badminton and table tennis, in which physical activity was involved, but different standards of physical fitness is required for games like chess and carom.

We can now only hope that the DU officials understand the issue and make the necessary changes which will be a big impetus to the students who apply for chess trails .With the support and understanding of DU officials they will make us proud in the international chess arena.

Ashish Kapoor
Guest Writer
Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (M)

Kshitij Kumar
10/1/2012 02:32:17 am

I can recollect being present for the hearing of this matter in Delhi HC as part of my internship this summer . This instance just goes to show how much the system need revamping.


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