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Shark93
07-09-2007, 05:45 PM
I was just wondering what people think about being fit and healthy affecting your chess playing ability. Do you think that if you are fit it helps you concentrate more and helps you at chess? Was just wondering if it did :P.

DanielBell
07-09-2007, 07:16 PM
Yeah it does, I can't say how it effects chess directly, I was before over 130kg and am now around 112kg, while I haven't worked out and I've let my diet go a bit crazy over the past 3 weeks (getting back into routine over this long weekend) I found my energy levels were a lot higher which helped a lot in my concentration in uni and even just reading at home.. Intensive excersize such as weight training also helps you get a good nights sleep!

But chess shouldn't be a primary motivating factor for wanting to be fit and healthy :)

Kevin Bonham
07-09-2007, 07:28 PM
I have personally noted no great correlation between my chess performance and any of the following:

* whether or not I have colds or flu
* amount drunk the previous evening (perhaps if hungover I tend to play scrappier, but because I'm aware of it I may actually be less inclined to get dangerously carried away)
* weight (which has been anything from 75-100 kgs at various stages of my chess career)
* emotional state

(etc).

I also find that lack of sleep does not necessarily stop me playing one good game or lightning tournament. However lack of sleep over repeated nights of a weekender definitely causes me to play worse.

I find some exercise on the day of a big game is useful. But not too much. A walk of 15 mins to an hour or so, some time before the game begins, nothing too strenuous.

Mischa
07-09-2007, 08:17 PM
many studies have shown the act of learning to be more pysically exerting than excercise...
As Kevin says, often the awareness that you are not at your best can make you a more careful player.
I would think that a game lasting over several hours must surely be more taxing to the less fit?

Desmond
07-09-2007, 08:20 PM
I'd say my weight gain over recent years has been directly proportional to my rating improvement. :lol:

Kevin's favourite saying about correlation not equaling causation may apply there though ;)

DanielBell
07-09-2007, 08:53 PM
many studies have shown the act of learning to be more pysically exerting than excercise...
As Kevin says, often the awareness that you are not at your best can make you a more careful player.
I would think that a game lasting over several hours must surely be more taxing to the less fit?

Working your brain is a hell of a lot more exhausting than physical labour, that is true, I was just pointing out the higher energy levels that come from proper food choices and excersize, chess is simply another addition to my excersize program :)

Zwischenzug
07-09-2007, 09:27 PM
Being healthy, your mind is sharper and you can concentrate longer.

Garrett
12-09-2007, 05:03 PM
I think being generally fit helps, especially in the 4th round on a Satuday night on a weekender.

Ausknight
13-09-2007, 09:08 AM
I am not sure if it helps directly, I find the biggest factors are being tired or unwell which both impact my ability to think clearly and concentrate.

Would be amusing to see someone at a tournament though in a tank top with muscles bulging...

'Woah, you're a big guy'

'Yeah, I want to improve my chess so I work out in the gym 4 hours every day'

'wtf?'

:)

eclectic
13-09-2007, 09:11 AM
'Yeah, I want to improve my chess so I work out in the gym 4 hours every day'

'wtf?'

:)

Fischer used to do lots of gym work to keep himself fit.

Ausknight
13-09-2007, 09:46 AM
I wouldn't necessarily say it contributed to his chess ability though.

eclectic
13-09-2007, 09:53 AM
I wouldn't necessarily say it contributed to his chess ability though.

it most certainly did!

a long chess match takes as much energy out of a player as a five set tennis match

Garrett
13-09-2007, 01:50 PM
I am not sure if it helps directly, I find the biggest factors are being tired or unwell which both impact my ability to think clearly and concentrate.

Would be amusing to see someone at a tournament though in a tank top with muscles bulging...

'Woah, you're a big guy'

'Yeah, I want to improve my chess so I work out in the gym 4 hours every day'

'wtf?'

:)

Someone with muscles bulging in a tank top is not necessarily fit.

Anyone who spent 4 hours in the gym would be unlikely to have bulging muscles anyway - Those guys get their workout in then eat and sleep as much as possible. Spending 4 hours a day in the gym would get you looking more like a marathon runner.

Davidflude
13-09-2007, 02:59 PM
Fischer used to do lots of gym work to keep himself fit.

Bobby Fischer trained for his match with Boris Spassky in the same gymn that Ali
trained for his fights with Sonny Liston.

Shark93
13-09-2007, 03:01 PM
I think it helps, for the last week or so I have been on a completely healthy diet and have found that I can now cocentrate much better and my mind is clearer.

Davidflude
13-09-2007, 03:05 PM
I have got my weight down by 7 kilos. Also at my doctor's suggestion I am doing weights at a local "family style" gym. I don't know whether it has improved my chess but it has certainly made me feel better.

I suspect that the biggest gain from being fitter will come in the late rounds of weekend tournaments. That is where the tiredness sets in and the blunders occur.