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At the Olympiad in Leipzig, Botvinnik had discovered that, when he drank coffee during a game, he could “go for all five hours”. He started to bring a thermos flask filled with coffee to all his games. In addition to this, having studied carefully the vicissitudes of losing the previous match vs Tal, he made the decision, first of all, to “learn from Tal and become an intelligent and artful practitioner,” and, secondly, to “prepare openings and related progressions in such a manner as to develop closed games, with the board divided into separate sections and the pieces being inactive. Objectively, the position might seem bad, but the opponent will be unable to make use of his abilities…” Botvinnik had “dissected” Tal.
What is the optimal amount of coffee to drink before playing an important game of chess? What variety, how should it be prepared, and how long prior to the game?
I always thought the optimal amount was around two gallons (about eight liters).
I prefer mine prepared by a chef.
In my younger and more decadent days (yes, I know it's hard to believe), my attitude towards sour mash whiskey was "Some is good, more is better, and too much is just right!"
The difference with coffee is that when you hit the tipping point where it's no longer pleasant, it becomes unpleasant for an extended time. With whiskey, by the time it's no longer pleasant, you don't remember anyway.
And what about the following morning? It's true that too much caffeine causes discomfort for a few hours, but drinking an equivalent amount of alcohol (especially dark spirits like whiskey) causes even more discomfort for an even longer period of time.
1. Coffee is most effective if you don't drink it regularly. When not playing in a tournament I consume only 1/2 cup a day. For a tournament I bring a full thermos.
2. Sleep pressure is increased 5 hours after caffeine. With the last game at 4PM I drink little until afternoon.
3. The brain runs on glucose. Plenty of sugar in the coffee.
4. Stress increases gastric acid. Plenty of creamer/milk.
5. For me a cold drink is more refreshing; therefore it's iced coffee.
3. Not necessarily.
4. Not necessarily.
5. Your opinion.
Yo get used to it.
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