Complementary Activities

Chess players need to be fit to endure the long hours of combat, but what form should this fitness take? The conventional view is that fitness means going down to the gym and building muscles and the proverbial ‘six-pack’. But does this lead to an improvement in someone’s chess game?

Frankly I doubt that such external exercises have much effect and that methods of achieving internal fitness via some form of yoga, breathing system or chi kung are likely to be much more promising. This has certainly been borne out by my own experience, since taking up a powerful form of chi kung  called zhan zhuang, my own health and sense of well being has improved beyond all recognition.

The following DVDs are in chronological order, The Pirc Defence being filmed in 2007, Chess for Scoundrels being filmed early in 2009 and then Tricks and Traps in the 1.e4 Openings coming late in 2010. But viewers might be forgiven for thinking that this is not the case and that in fact it’s the other way round.

The Pirc Defence, 2007:

Chess For Scoundrels, 2009:

Tricks and Traps in the 1.e4 Openings, 2010


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: