Chennai: How Grandmasters Monitor Their Fitness | Chennai News

SP Sethuraman doing yoga

CHENNAI: In chess, local grandmasters in Chennai say, it’s as much about making the right moves on the board as it is off. Swimming, weight training, badminton, yoga, football, dancing, cycling… it’s a blitzkrieg of fitness as the city’s players prepare to take on opponents from around the world at the World Chess Olympiad in Mamallapuram at the end of the month.
“A match can last for hours and you need a lot of stamina, both physical and mental, to sustain energy levels until you win,” says Grandmaster Adhiban Baskaran, aka the Beast, who trains vigorously in the gym, to keep his trademark. late-game aggression due to reporting.
Adhiban says the day Magnus Carlsen won his first World Chess Championship title in 2013, he signed up for a swimming and gym membership, which he says improved his game dramatically.” The internet was full of reports of how Magnus’ intense fitness regimen of swimming, soccer, and yoga kept him mentally sharp during a tournament. changed the way many Indian chess players looked at physical fitness,” says Abhiban, who is part of the Indian contingent at the Olympiad.
SP Sethuraman says his rigorous schedule of long-distance cycling, weight training, yoga and football is helping him adapt to the board. “Although chess players seem to sit for hours at a time, our body and mind must be in sync to stay focused until the end,” says the grandmaster, whose Instagram page features several photos of him. in yoga poses, the most popular being him in a headstand with a chessboard in front of him.
“There is a significant drop in player HRV during a game of chess”
A study published this year in the Baltic Journal of Sport and Health Sciences found that calorie expenditure during a chess competition was around 200 calories per hour.
The study also mentions that although no physical activity is required during a game of chess, there is a significant decrease in players’ heart rate variability (HRV) due to psychological factors such as “load cognitive, stress, anxiety and arousal”. Acute decreases in HRV are usually reported after intense endurance or resistance training. It is reported that in 2004 the layer Rustam Kasimdzhanov lost 17 pounds in the six-game world championship.
Srinath Narayanan, a non-playing grandmaster and captain of one of the Indian teams, says that since he started training in the gym, he can see a difference in his cognitive functioning during a match. “Every time I had a training session before a game, I played better,” he said. Krishnan Sasikiran supports this. For this great master, it’s a mix between table tennis and badminton, his two loves in addition to chess. “Both give me mental agility on set,” says Sasikiran, who even got himself a robot waiter during the pandemic to play table tennis. “I train seven to eight hours a day in chess, so I try to do some badminton to supplement it,” he says.
For some players, mental conditioning is also important. Sethuraman, for example, works with sports psychologist Gayatri Vartak to help him maintain control of his mind during a match, as he tends to rush his movements. “I practice stopping and asking myself questions before touching the chess piece,” he says.
“With chess players, we focus on how to focus, defocus and refocus during a game, because it is not possible to maintain the same levels of concentration throughout a game. five hours,” says Gayatri, who has worked with more than 150 chess players. players from across the country. “The other area we’re working on is countering late-game pressures.”


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