An unexamined life is not worth living.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Meditation and Chess

Recently I have been looking into the benefits of meditation, as well as trying to understand as general purpose.  One of the key aspects of successful meditation is supposedly being able to focus on the current moment rather than worrying about the past and the future. World chess champion Garry Kasparov has pointed out that being able to concentrate at the important moment is perhaps one of the most overlooked and important keys to becoming a successful chess player. I recall Canadian Chess Champion Kevin Spraggett has also indicated that he used meditation for his chess growth.

In our society there are so many distractions coming from the media, technology and pressures of everyday life that being able to focus on a chess position is a skill that I would guess can be improved with meditation.  I consider difficulty with focusing is one of the main obstacles for my successful studying of chess and better tournament results, so I am getting curious if meditation can help me with that ...



  1. As a meditator I think it's dangerous to blame the media, technology, and the pressures of modern life for the distractions we face. The fact of the matter is that if all that was gone, you'd still be off thinking about something else. None of that really distracts us, it just gives us more to do when we want to distract ourselves. Realizing that you are distracting yourself is the key to seeing the process and bringing yourself back to the present moment.

  2. Yeah, I agree on this one. It is our own (my) habits that often cause problems. I could spend ours in front of a chessbook and a board 10 years ago. I can barely spend 15 minutes studying chess on a computer without getting distracted. Blaming the chess software would be missing the root of the problem here ...

  3. I encourage you to try Yoga-Nidra.

    It helps improve overall personality, of the practitioner, and gives immense peace one cannot find through any other method. Surely will have a big impact on chess as well.

    But one precondition: you'll need to find a teacher who knows the real form of this meditation, since today I can see several schools cropping up with their own versions.


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