WEEKLY PICK OF STIM­U­LAT­ING IDEAS AND OPIN­IONS

To­day’s chess pros are as fit as top ath­letes

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Sunday Special - SUN­DAY TIMES OF IN­DIA, NEW DELHI OC­TO­BER 13, 2019

CAhess seems like a game for couch pota­toes, but to play it at the pro-level you need to be se­ri­ously fit, says an ar­ti­cle in ESPN. “A chess player can burn up to 6,000 calo­ries a day while playing in a tour­na­ment, three times what an av­er­age per­son con­sumes in a day…”

In a tour­na­ment, the grand­mas­ters can lose over 1kg a day be­cause their breath­ing and blood pres­sure are el­e­vated for hours due to stress. “The 1984 World Chess Cham­pi­onship was called off af­ter five months and 48 games be­cause de­fend­ing cham­pion Ana­toly Kar­pov had lost 22 pounds...” The 2004 win­ner, Rus­tam Kasimdzhan­ov, lost about 8kg in his six games.

For to­day’s grand­mas­ters train­ing is not just about prac­tis­ing moves and men­tal tough­ness. They de­vote a lot of time to main­tain­ing phys­i­cal strength and en­durance as well.

“Viswanatha­n Anand does two hours of car­dio each night to tire him­self out so he doesn’t dream about chess... (Ro­ma­nian grand­mas­ter Cris­tian) Chir­ila does at least an hour of car­dio and an hour of weights to build mus­cle mass be­fore tour­na­ments.” And world cham­pion Mag­nus Carlsen, “works out for hours—run­ning on the tread­mill, perfecting asanas on his yoga mat, playing soc­cer with his friends.”

How long should you wait af­ter a breakup to start a new re­la­tion­ship? “On av­er­age, peo­ple think you should wait five months be­fore en­ter­ing a new re­la­tion­ship,” says a BBC ar­ti­cle, adding that it isn’t the best ad­vice.

The best course is to move on quickly, re­search shows. “Peo­ple who start new re­la­tion­ships quickly have bet­ter ro­man­tic life f eel­ings,” the ar­ti­cle quotes Clau­dia Brum­baugh, a psy­chol­o­gist at City Univer­sity of New York. Ben­e­fits of a re­bound re­la­tion­ship in­clude feel­ing more con­fi­dent, de­sir­able and lov­able. In B r u mbaugh’s stud­ies, “There were no cases where peo­ple who were sin­gle were bet­ter off.”

In fact, peo­ple who nurse a breakup for months may be fool­ing them­selves. Their self-es­teem is shaken, and they try to use the gap to con­vince them­selves the ex­pe­ri­ence has left them bet­ter off. You might tell your­self you are more in­de­pen­dent af­ter the heart­break, even though you are not, psy­chol­o­gist and au­thor Ty Tashiro says in the ar­ti­cle.

If personal growth is your mis­sion, there is a bet­ter way to get there than shut­ting the door on love. The ar­ti­cle says you are bet­ter off not blam­ing your­self. “Peo­ple who blame an en­vi­ron­men­tal rea­son, like work or how they get on with fam­ily mem­bers, also re­ported more personal growth af­ter­wards. The peo­ple who saw the least growth blamed them­selves for their breakup.”

While start­ing a new re­la­tion­ship soon af­ter a breakup can help you get over the pain, stud­ies show peo­ple who re­bound faster are at­tracted to some­one who re­sem­bles their ex, or imag­ine such sim­i­lar­i­ties. Brum­baugh says this is pos­si­bly due to our need for con­sis­tency. “By find­ing a new part­ner who re­sem­bles a past part­ner you get con­sis­tency.”

Con­sis­tency is im­por­tant in re­la­tion­ships be­cause cou­ples “see them­selves as part of each other.” They are likely to have com­mon friends and hob­bies. “This in­ter­twin­ing of selves might leave them feel­ing vul­ner­a­ble af­ter a breakup. Sud­denly, they have lost a part of their iden­tity, or some­one with whom they share an in­ter­est.” Hence, the pref­er­ence for some­one who fills the void.

So, yes, start­ing anew with some­one who re­minds you of your ex has ad­van­tages, but it can be­come a prob­lem if your new part­ner does not ac­tu­ally pos­sess the traits you see in them. For in­stance, if your ex was a good cook, you might be­lieve that your new part­ner—who re­sem­bles your ex—is a good cook, too.

“It could cre­ate prob­lems be­cause of in­cor­rect as­sump­tions. I want him to be as ro­man­tic as Sam, and ev­ery time he is not it chal­lenges my ex­pec­ta­tions, it might be dis­ap­point­ing, even though Bob might be quite ro­man­tic,” Brum­baugh says.

None­the­less, it is bet­ter to not mull over a breakup and “let a lit­tle love back into your life” as soon as you can.

CHANGE THE SEA­SON: In the 2009 film ‘500 Days of Sum­mer’, Tom loves his col­league Sum­mer. He is dev­as­tated when she dumps him and wastes six months be­fore get­ting a grip on him­self. He even­tu­ally falls in love with a girl named Au­tumn

MARATHON MOVES: Top play­ers like Mag­nus Carlsen can burn up to 6,000 calo­ries and lose over 1kg in a day dur­ing tour­na­ments

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