European Union Awards Chess 'Religion' Status

  • SonofPearl
  • on 31/3/13 23:53.

php1i3Aif.jpegThe European Commission has ruled that membership of chess clubs and national chess federations can be classed as religious worship under the currently applicable laws covering member countries of the European Union (EU).

The test case was brought by the Latvian Chess Federation, home of former world chess champion Mikhail Tal. Local chess clubs in the country had failed to qualify for EU grants, since the EU does not classify chess as a sport.

However, institutions can also gain access to EU funding if they are based around recognised religious organisations, provided that membership is open to everyone.

The European Commission ruled that under the current definitions used to establish "faith-based" organisations, chess clubs are qualifying institutions.

The key characteristics are:

  • A distinct legal existence (the clubs were incorporated or registered charities)
  • Established places of worship (chess clubs)
  • Regular congregations (weekly meetings of the club)
  • Regular instruction on articles of faith (chess lessons conducted at the club)
  • Ministers selected after completing prescribed studies (FIDE awards GM, IM titles etc)
  • A deity (the chess goddess Caissa, pictured below)
  • A distinct history (modern chess dates from the 15th Century, but has its origins back some 1,500 years)
  • A code of doctrine and guiding principles (chess precepts and maxims)
  • A literature of its own (there are hundreds of thousands of chess books)


It remains to be seen whether the European Parliament ratifies the decision of the European Commission, or decides to tighten the regulations to exclude chess clubs. In the meantime, funding is at last available to cash-starved chess clubs in the EU.


Chess instruction at the Chess Club and Scholastic Centre of St.Louis



The traditional image of Caissa A more modern interpretation
phpGwQQsh.jpeg phphsC6Ho.jpeg


Leído 6841 veces 27 comentarios
6 votos


  • hace 4 años


    Gosh, I was prepared for the april's fool this year, but in the end I missed this article and thought that the Agon's biometrics was the one. Even Carlsen and Kramnik loosing was on the list though.

  • hace 4 años


    Yeah, I think most of us Americans were primed to fall for it due to the fact that our bureaucratic system really is that unpredictable.  Some people in it have real common sense, and there are others who...would probably consider chess a religion for legal purposes, given the right arguments.  I could go on a tangent, but I won't get political here, but when you are in a situation over here where you've got a bureaucrat making a decision on a case that involves you, there's really no guarantee of which type you'll get.

  • hace 4 años


    Last year's prank was much better...I knew this was a joke as soon as I saw the title. Surprised

  • hace 4 años


    Skaboard... check the time the article was posted

    11:53 pm on 31/3/2013

    That is before 1/4/2013 in whatever time zone this site sits in

    Details indeed, and it was a funny article. It took me a few seconds to pick it as a joke.

  • hace 4 años


    In the United States, atheism is legally a religion. So, I was primed to fall for it--as I did. But even while falling for it, I found it hilarious.

  • hace 4 años


    Fools day... Still, why not? I worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

  • hace 4 años


    Funny, but may be not such a bad idea how to get some funding. :-D

  • hace 4 años


    Time zones astronomer...

    Maybe that makes you a fool :D

  • hace 4 años



  • hace 4 años


    Except you posted too early, by 7 minutes.

    Does that make you the fool?

  • hace 4 años


    You did not pay enough attention to detail on this one, SoP. It would not be down to the ECHR to decide what a religion was, if such clarification were ever required. The ECHR and the ECJ are the two bodies that interpret EU law, not the EU itself.

  • hace 4 años



  • hace 4 años


    Why not !

  • hace 4 años


    Considering there is an officially recognized religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I wasn't surprised at all. People have done weirder things to secure funding. Still, nice one.

  • hace 4 años


    I fell for it. If a similar article was written on a different date, I'd fall for it again. I wouldn't put it past humanity to form a mild religion around chess, or anything else for that matter lol.

  • hace 4 años


    Totally fell for it, nice one, SonofPearl!

  • hace 4 años



  • hace 4 años

    MF gauranga


  • hace 4 años


    Hilarious! Laughing

  • hace 4 años


    Plain old April Fools

Ir arriba

Publique su respuesta: