Does alcohol improve chess performance or destroy it?

SmyslovFan

I agree that everyone is different, but alcohol affects nearly everyone, even when it's only one glass of beer. 

I don't feel the effect of one beer, but I can measure it. Watch some of those youtube videos on the effects of beer and you'll see that even one beer will slow down response time. Ok, if you weigh +300 lbs, perhaps it won't have as much of an effect. 

cellomaster8
That’s why I don’t drink at all
Farm_Hand
SmyslovFan wrote:

I agree that everyone is different, but alcohol affects nearly everyone, even when it's only one glass of beer. 

I don't feel the effect of one beer, but I can measure it. Watch some of those youtube videos on the effects of beer and you'll see that even one beer will slow down response time. Ok, if you weigh +300 lbs, perhaps it won't have as much of an effect. 

Yeah, I see what you're saying. No matter my experience of it, the chemistry that happens in my body is undeniable.

But still, I think some of blitz performance is a willingness or ability to concentrate. This is true even when sober. And the more often you're drunk (I drink about 5 times a week) the more you're able to... mimic sobriety. Yes it affects me, for sure, but I'm more experienced (than some) so I know better how to not give in to the sloppiness so to speak.

 

Because seriously, if it's 200 points for 1 beer, and I take 3 shots in 30 minutes, finish my meal, and then play at a 1900ish blitz level here, then I'm supposedly 2500 blitz here which I guarantee is 100% not going to happen without some massive cheating grin.png

And I weigh about 150lbs, so I'm not a giant or anything tongue.png

 

But if I have 4 drinks with a meal, I'm usually struggling to get to 1700.

Farm_Hand
cellomaster8 wrote:
That’s why I don’t drink at all

It's seriously better to just not drink at all.

I highly recommend it tongue.png

PocketSnowman

yeah, even 3 glasses of wine I had before a round, it took the first hour of the 4 hour game for me to sober up.  It's very different in a tournament, but alcohol among social games are fun

Ziryab
SmyslovFan wrote:

I agree that everyone is different, but alcohol affects nearly everyone, even when it's only one glass of beer. 

I don't feel the effect of one beer, but I can measure it. Watch some of those youtube videos on the effects of beer and you'll see that even one beer will slow down response time. Ok, if you weigh +300 lbs, perhaps it won't have as much of an effect. 

 

The science is indeed clear. Response time and judgement are affected by alcohol. However, in the game of chess a slight slowing of unproductive mental processes can improve focus.

Ritalin (prescribed for ADHD) does the same, as does nicotine. 

I never measure prime cases, measure gunpowder, seat bullets, or shoot after even one drink.

I do find moderate use useful when playing blitz or for the early rounds of a Swiss tournament. Although I often have drinks at lunch on Saturday during a weekend Swiss, I avoid alcohol on Sundays until the last round is over.

sirrichardburton

I am a very light drinker. One beer does it for me for the evening. With me the one beer seems to even out. I tend to throw caution to the wind and im more aggressive than normal. My view is that i would never drink before (or during) a rated game but if it is non rated I might depending on the  circumstances.

 

camter

One drink often relaxes my play. Any more and the performance goes out the window. 

ghost_of_pushwood

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