Tuesday, April 03, 2007

How Does It Feel?


Being a deep, sophisticated, profound type, my favourite form of chess is undoubtedly blitz. And during any game at a time limit over about 15 minutes for all the moves, I will regularly suffer bouts of boredom and distraction. It seems it's not the same for all chess players, though. The excellent, albeit occasional chess blogger Rocky Rook puts it like this:

Do you ever find yourself in the middle of a game and notice that your heart is racing and your palms are sweaty? It happens to me every now and then ... especially in games that are really important to me.

I've noticed that the last couple of games I've played, that when I spot a tactic, my heart rate jumps up considerably. I find myself having to control my breathing.

Rocky Rook also uncovered this piece of medical research (PDF file), entitled: Hopelessness Is Associated With Decreased Heart Rate Variability During Championship Chess Games. The title was pretty much all I understood of it, but the message basically seems to be if you find yourself heading toward a coma during a game, you're going to lose. But if you think you're at risk of a heart attack, you're going to win. Mild palpitations predict a draw.

So how is it for you?

4 comments:

Ryan Emmett said...

I'm never bored during a game. I'm always perched on the edge of my seat with my heart racing away, win or lose!!!

ejh said...

I said in an earlier post that I'm incredibly nervous - basically I can't play blitz at all these days and I nearly always disintegrate under the tension when the time control approaches. I think however that it should be possible to recognise this and deal with it....

Incidentally I thought the picture on the posting was this, God forbid....

Tom Chivers said...

According to the research, that means you ought to be winning every game... Science, eh.

That picture is scary!

Rocky said...

Thanks for the mention Tom. I'm right there with you on that medical study ... all I understood was the title. I tried to read it, but got lost in the first sentence.