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Should Coffee Be Banned In Chess Tournaments?

Should Coffee Be Banned In Chess Tournaments?

May 30, 2016, 2:23 AM 0

Back in the days, coffee use to be on the list of prohibited substances set by the World Anti-Doping Agency.  However, they removed it back in 2004.  This short article explores whether this is justified or not.

Other than the additional focus and energy experienced by people, there are very few actual scientific research done on this topic.  Of those, I found one written in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, where Harold explored the effects of caffeine in solving chess problems.  In short, he found that caffeine has a positive effect on solving chess problems.

Despite scientific research, the general consensus within the chess community is that coffee affects their performance negatively.  I’ve done some quick interviews and found that people who drink coffee before a game experienced the following.  They found that they performed poorer than usual – they make more silly mistakes, blunders, and unforced errors.  Some even experienced higher levels of stress, nervousness, and anxiety.

However, there’s little scientific research to back up these claims.  In general, the caffeine in coffee is supposed to speed up nerve cells, increase blood flow, which in turn – causes an adrenaline rush.  More recent research between adrenaline and cognitive abilities suggest that they do have a positive correlation.

Overall, as an avid coffee lover and chess player, I find this topic very fascinating.  Unfortunately, I think more scientific research should be done on the negative side of things.  Until then, it’s difficult to truly say whether coffee should be banned or not – I certainly hope not though.

Read more about coffee at my blog – The Coffee Barrister, and if you’re interested in this topic, be sure to check out my article on how coffee affects your health!

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