I'm a software engineer, mostly working from home so I get to schedule my time however I want. I noticed few things recently.

If I play more than 3 games a day, I can't work afterwords, I'd be mentally tired. I used to think that Chess makes me more productive and I kept playing every few hours a 5 min match to stay focused, but noticed that if the match is hard to win, I can't focus on work afterwards or if I was in time trouble.

I'm avoiding playing chess these days because of that and considering leaving the game. Is it just me or is what I described a common problem?

  • 6
    "I used to think than Chess makes me more productive" why would that be so? Every mental activity, be it chess or doing crosswords or anything else does obviously exhaust the body (no need to say the mind).
    – gented
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 10:40
  • @GennaroTedesco because I used to think that I wake up not feeling to do anything, I play chess it forces me to focus and then I could use that mindset when working. I knew it would have an effect on me but never thought I would need to rest after a chess match
    – Lynob
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 10:49
  • 3
    Seems to me the problem isn't chess, but your time management. Why not get your work done and then play chess? Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 13:35
  • @RandyMinder I suck at time management definetly
    – Lynob
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 14:02

3 Answers 3


I have the same problem, and I think it's caused by two factors: 1- Bad time management. 2- Taking the games (win, loss) and rating seriously.

It happens to me that when I am winning and then I lose on time. I keep thinking of the game, even after I close the app. It's because I keep thinking that I should've played faster here or there. When I lose due to bad position or blunders, or if the position was equal, I run the analysis and keep thinking of the missed chances to win.

I did like what you did. It's been a week or so that I haven't played chess games. I only solve puzzles and do lessons. No online full games. This keeps my mind working (refreshed by the distraction of a different activity) and I don't have to think of what went wrong!


I like playing some 1 0 chess once in a while for often 20-30 minutes. I find it helps to actually relieve stress/nervous energy that I gathered when working.

It's obviously different for many people though. If you spend more effort on the game, it will tax you more. I haven't really heard of it exhausting an individual for the rest of the day, however.


If you play Classical Chess, try not to play more than one or two each day. They can be very exhausting.

Try to play Blitz or Bullet, these time controls tend relieve the stress out of you.

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