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In an effort to make chess more exciting for viewers, organisers of the World Chess Championship are considering strapping heart rate chest monitors to players when the next 12-game title match is held.
Essential reading: Best heart rate training chest straps
When we talk about connected fitness technology, its not often that we discuss the game of chess. In fact, this is a first for us. But anyone who’s follows the World Classical Chess Championship, knows that some of the games can be incredibly tedious to watch. Especially if you are not that familiar with the minute workings of the game. Strapping biometric monitors to players may give fans a new, cerebral aspect to the game.
“Chess matches can be very dramatic, and biometric data gives fans and spectators alike another opportunity to follow the games and relate to them on much deeper level,” Ilya Merenzon, chief executive of World Chess, told the Telegraph.
“It’s not enough to know what the next best move is anymore: you have to know what the grandmaster is thinking. This makes watching the games so much more exciting.”
Chest straps are a popular training accessory, especially for runners. The current trend may be to move heart-rate monitoring over to the wrist, but accuracy at these new locations is still questionable – particularly when it comes to high intensity workouts. If you are very serious about heart rate training, a chest rate heart rate monitor is still the way to go.
Such a device may give fans an insight, for example, into how concerned or stressed a chess player is at any point in the game. Stress releases hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline boosts your heart rate amongst other things. Seeing this data on the screen may make for a more interesting broadcasting experience and make watching the game more engaging.
But before players strap on biometric data monitors, the sport’s international governing body FIDE will need to agree. 2017 is a year without a World Chess Championship match or an Olympiad. This gives plenty of time for a decision to be made before the 2018 title match.
World Chess and FIDE did not immediately return requests to comment.
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