Friday, 31 December 2010

Chess and the Brain

I've been playing in the Hastings Christmas Morning and Christmas Afternoon chess tournaments over the last four days, and managed to score 1.5 in each (i.e. one win, one draw and two losses). No prizes for that, but I'm in it just for the practice, since I haven't played orthodox chess for many years.

I'm also entered in the Weekend Congress, and the New Year tournament next week. This is probably too much really. I'm already quite tired. The draws which both went to over 60 moves were particularly wearing. At the end of my last game this afternoon, which I was fortunate to win, I think we were both punch drunk; I'm sure a lot of the moves will make little sense when seen in the light of day.

There was an interesting item on the Today programme yesterday (I think) where it was claimed that Liberals have a developed "Anterior Cingulate(?) Cortex" in the brain, while Conservatives have a stronger "Amigdala(?)" (a primitive, reptilian, part of the brain). It was questioned whether this was from birth or whether the brain differences developed due to experience. I'm hoping my chess exercise will help stop my brain from subsiding into Alzheimers, as it seems to me to show signs of doing.

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