Sunday, March 29, 2009

CCC Couch Car Computer

The past 25 years my physical strain consisted mainly of dragging my body between my couch, car and computer. Since I feel less fit lately I (we) decided to become a member of a local fitnessclub. Today I had my first workout. I wonder if it is possible to combine chess visualisation exercises with cardio workouts?


  1. LOL, I have the same track record for the last 25 years. I started running about a year ago, but had to stop after a few months because of a knee injury.

    In December I started playing soccer once a week (on Saturday morning from 8.00 till 9.00). We play on a field in the woods. And probably because of this soft underground, up to now no knee problems.

    And like a year ago, I can feel my body reacting and building up. I am sure you and your loved one will have similar results

  2. Congrats on your self-discipline. Gyms are not to me. Like Phaedrus, I prefer the occasional game of football or squash. And I'm considering filling the garden chess set in the little park next to my apartment with sand and then use it to replay grandmaster games as a chess/muscle workout combo.

    Also, by way of shameless self-advertising: I've been browsing the Knight Errants' blogs lately and perused in particular your and Blue Devil Knight's thoughts on training methods and chess psychology. This inspired me to think about animated gifs as a tool for learning certain patterns and, to that end, started a blog: It'd be great to get some feedback on that method.

  3. I know you are not from the US so you may not realize that this is a political cartoon and might possibly bring you some unwanted traffic and comments if the wrong person happens across the post.

  4. Hi Temposchlucker,

    Great to hear you're to the gym. :)

    I've been doing cardio exercises every 2 days in my gym and a swim every few weekends or so.

    I find that these cardio workouts really help to keep blood pumping to the brain when you had to sit across the board for 2-3 hours and helped my mental alertness and improved my concentration.

    It's also a good way to keep fit.

    I admit there are days where I've been really really lazy about going to the gym. :)

    Interesting thot about chess visualisation workouts during cardio.

    I tried that (and failed) a few times. When I'm huffing and puffing on the treadmill or on the cross-trainers, my brain can't concentrate when other parts of the body are screaming for oxygen....

    There is one little thing I've tried that did sort of work. One was to tape record ideas in certain opening lines and to play them continuously till they stick in the head. I find that with constant and repetitive listening, you can whip out the opening moves in record time and yet not needing much effort.

    Just my 2 cents.

  5. Anon, I wasn't aware of that indeed. What is the meaning of the cartoon? Since comment moderation is on I'm not too afraid for unwanted traffic.

  6. Maybe some weights around your wrists can help so each time you have to make a move ... :-p

    I can only say that my stamina, endurance level during a game of chess is higher when i am feeling good in my skin then otherwise.

  7. Long ago Arnold Schwarzennager was a body builder. Through hard work and determination he rose to the top of that field, then became a top actor, and finally became the Republican governor of California in one of our country's most Democratic states. He's an American success story.

    His slogan was that he's "Fiscally conservative but socially liberal." In other words, he agrees with the main Republican platform that the way to improve out state is not through a larger government bureaucracy--which tends to be inefficient and means increasing taxes--but through reducing waste and encouraging private enterprise. But, he disagrees with their other platform of legislating morals such as heterosexuality.

    The elephant is a Republican symbol. The donkey is a Democratic symbol. The cartoonist is lampooning Arnold for spending too much--notice the charge of $15 million/month. After a few more months of this the Elephant will look like an Ass. After all, what is the difference if in practice both in practice just spend, spend, spend?

    Of course, life is more complex than a cartoon. In spite of electing a governor who believes in less spending, California voters have agreed to just about every spending increase to appear on the ballots. While Arnold is spending more than many Republicans would like... he's spending less than many Democrats would like. And the global economy doesn't help either.

    An innocent cartoon, huh? ;)

  8. Years ago I tried setting up a computer with a chess playing program in front of my stationary bike. When it was my move I'd get too distracted by thinking about what move I was going to play so my pedaling would slow down.

    Maybe if you're on the treadmill you could play blindfold chess with yourself.

    I've found Tae Kwon Do has helped with my concentration, and motor skills. Now if I can pick up some pieces and see if I can apply poomse memorization to opening work. The meditation techniques I'm learning for tae kwon do help me calm down at the board.

  9. I do a few things while running on the treadmill. 1) I photocopy tactics puzzles, and solve them while I'm running. The paper lies flat on the treadmill magazine rack; and 2) I have a small pocket chessboard that I lay flat on the magazine rack, void of pieces. I sometimes look at the empty board and visualize different combinations or knight moves, while running.

    Howard Goldowsky