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Chess and Stress

Louie Bacaj
Louie Bacaj
1 min read
Chess and Stress

Something funny seems to happen to me when I'm stressed; I suck at Chess.

My Chess rating for Blitz games drops when I am stressed. Blitz games are Chess games with fast time control. I usually hover between a 1500 to 1600 rating when I am on fire and confident about life. When stressed, I hover between 1300 to 1400.

While anecdotal to me this all proves that stress eats a lot of our brain cycles.

Chess is a game of logic and strategy; there is almost no chance or luck involved, like in other games such as Poker. The better player will almost always win in Chess; it's why supercomputers can always beat humans at Chess now.

There were a few times where I didn't even realize how stressed I was, and a consistent losing streak in Chess was the only clue.

When I start getting destroyed in Chess, it's a real eye-opener that I am stressed. It means other thoughts consume my brain cycles, and the game of pure logic and reason becomes nearly impossible at a high level.

This begs the question about people's performance in other high-stress environments. Such as interviews or other settings, I wonder if we are getting the best out of them?

Are you performing your best by being stressed out?