Altitude Training

Yesterday I was interested to read that Boris Gelfand moved his training camp to the Austrian Alps in order to ‘improve his concentration and stamina’. I’ve never heard of this before in relation to chess training, but the idea seems interesting. Being at altitude training is known to improve your red blood cell count, thus increasing the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain.

A simpler version of this approach is just to get some fresh air before a game, it’s known that air quality deteriorates when you are indoors. My 10 year old son became a firm convert to this approach during his last tournament; he felt it helped him so he dragged me outside even though it was raining, something that had dampened my enthusiasm.

Anyway, here’s an video with some discussion of altitude training. Of course they’re talking about football rather than chess but it still offers some interesting insights.


Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: