Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Chess and Physical Fitness

With the very unpredictable weather, just getting out of the sofa in front of the TV is already a difficult task for some. When it rains being a “couch potato” is often a necessary consequence. Moreover, most of us cannot find the time to exercise due to our very hectic working schedule.  

While there are various indoor exercises one can try there nothing is better that the outdoors and getting the sun, breathing fresh air and feeling the sweat.  Thus, whatever happens we should not let the rains or our schedule from spoiling the fun and getting that much needed exercise.  If we do not have the time to exercise, we definitely got to find the time!

Anyway, when rains fall board games are a great alternative – checkers, monopoly, scrabble, backgammon and chess. Among all these board games, I think chess is one of the best game to play during a rainy day. With the dawn of the internet, chess can be played with a friend or with someone anywhere in the world within the safe confines of our own room. Playing chess has never been convenient, easy and safe as before.

However, do not get the idea that chess and physical fitness are not related. While in a chess game, players are viewed as not moving except when pushing chess pieces - being in great physical condition is essential in chess. Chess players have to be in top physical shape to survive the grueling rounds of chess tournaments. Alexandra Kosteniuk, former World Women’s Chess Champion wrote:

“As chess players we spend a lot of time sitting at the board and at the computer. But physical fitness and a regular exercise program is essential for chess players. Physical fitness in relation to age and body build of young chess players is the subject of a study conducted by Agnieszka Fornal-Urban, Anna KÄ™ska. The University of Physical Education in Warsaw, the European Chess Union and the Polish Chess Federation have supported the study.

The following interesting conclusions were drawn from the study:

(1) "It is worth obligating the organizers of the chess tournaments to make it possible for the chess players to participate in attractive and active forms of recreation in their free time.
(2) It would be advisable to undertake the efforts aiming at making the parents and coaches aware of the significance of the regular physical exercises for the health and high sport achievements.
(3) In the training process of the chess players, more attention should be paid to their fitness preparation, particularly to the exercises developing their strength.
(4) The results of the conducted study are significant not only for the chess players themselves, for their coaches and parents. The characteristics of this population of sportsmen can also be used in much broader perspective, because of the sedentary lifestyle of children and teenagers who do not play chess.”

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