Illness During Tournaments

The threat of a cold coming on brought this particular topic to mind. With dozens or even hundreds of people breathing in each others germs during a tournament it’s common to get a cold or flu. How do you cope when this happens?

Personally I take a prophylactic and proactive approach. The ancient vedic practice of nasal irrigation is known to reduce the incidence of colds and hay fever and should probably be just as much of one’s morning ritual as the brushing of the teeth. Diet helps too with grapefruit and lemon juice being at the top of my recommended list.

I have heard some reports of Chinese studies which claim that Zhan Zhuang increases the number of white cells in the body, though this does not appear to be available in the West.

As far as fighting a cold when it actually appears you can try to kill the germs whilst they are still building up in your sinuses. I know of people swimming in the sea at the first sign of a sore through and nasal irrigation should have a similar effect. There are also some sprays around which do a similar job and possibly more effectively.

As far as mentality is concerned it’s important not to feel sorry for yourself, your opponent certainly won’t. And there can be a positive side of illness during tournaments in that people often find it easier to stay at the board.


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: