The Unseen Sport

The first thought that comes to my mind when I hear the word sports, is sweat, heat, energy and strength. Well, there are a few who recognize and enjoy the sport of Board Games. Might sound like an idea of a rainy day, but some board games can be extremely engaging and equally addictive.


Every child grows up with toys and cultivates a fascination for board games. Be it Ludo or Snakes and Ladders, these games enjoy mass following. Monopoly or the Indian version, Business, is a common favorite among players worldwide and is even available in a PC game format.


The entire saga began with the Jiroft civilization in 3500 BC and continued throughout history, leading to the invention of many modern day games such as Chess. Board games have been fateful in some cases, like that in the Mahabharata, where the Pandavas lost everything in a game of dice


An essential element of these games is luck, as everything in the game either depends on the throw of a dice or the turning of a wheel. But often, a good move is utilized in a bad way, thus making strategy the other side of the coin. Thus, a good player utilizes not only foresight but also dances on his luck to win the game.


However as time moved on, the focus of board games changed from a past-time to one’s that involved more strategy and brainstorming. While some aimed at improving vocabulary (e.g.: Scrabble), to some that were based on Math (e.g.: Black Jack) and some recent ones that are based on pure logic. Few of them were based on mystery, like Scotland Yard and Cluedo, while some on guesswork, and others on real-life wars, e.g.: Battleship.


Dr. Wood revolutionized board games by inventing challenging games that tickled every neuron in the brain. A recent release of his, Heist, boasts as the most difficult puzzle and the one who finishes it might win a real diamond. His games are however restricted to only the intellectuals


Board games have also become instruments of earning money. The entire Las Vegas depends on card casinos. It is the largest gambling center in the world and invites tourists from all over. You never think of it that way, but Board games have even played a vital role in cinema. Movies like Jumanji and Zathura: A space adventure, revolve around a real life board game.


Chess is, by far, the most successful among its kin. It has developed many variants since its invention in India. International Chess events are organized every year to crown their Grandmasters. Chess-pieces of varied designs-wizard chess, modern chess, Indian chess, of varied materials- wood, crystal, ivory, are available. Chess is no longer just a board game. It is a passion, as it drives many all over the world, as it gives extreme pleasure if you win, and lastly it’s beautiful.


Board Games are the unseen sport. One may say that seeing such a sport is boring, as one is not very mentally connected with it. My answer is that you imagine yourself as a part of the board with every move, visualize the defeat or the win. It will bring a smile to your face.


I am almost an adult. I love board games and will continue to love them for times immemorial, for there has been nothing more that has been so intriguing to me. They can be called the geeks basketball, the lazy ones cricket or the smart ones football; at the end of the day, it truly is a sport. A sport for the elite.


Rohan Chawla



[Image source: