Air Pollution Causes Chess Players To Make More Mistakes, Study Finds
Friday February 3, 2023. 08:20 PM , from Slashdot
Chess experts make more mistakes when air pollution is high, a study has found. From a report: Experts used computer models to analyse the quality of games played and found that with a modest increase in fine particulate matter, the probability that chess players would make an error increased by 2.1 percentage points, and the magnitude of those errors increased by 10.8%. The paper, published in the journal Management Science, studied the performance of 121 chess players in three seven-round tournaments in Germany in 2017, 2018, and 2019, comprising more than 30,000 chess moves.
The researchers compared the actual moves the players made against the optimal moves determined by the powerful chess engine Stockfish. In the tournament venues, the researchers attached three web-connected air quality sensors to measure carbon dioxide, PM2.5 concentrations, and temperature. Each tournament lasted eight weeks, meaning players faced a variety of air conditions. Fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, refers to tiny particles 2.5 microns or less in diameter, which are often expelled by burning matter such as that from car engines, coal plants, forest fires, and wood burners. Further reading: Study Reveals Links Between UK Air Pollution and Mental Ill-Health.
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