THERE is a saying, if you are mentally fit, you must be physically fit also. The mind and body works better if they are both fit with mental and body exercise.
The leading chess players in the world know this and some of them uses different kinds of exercise to make their body fits for grueling matches against the world's best.
Asia's first Grand Master (GM) Eugene Torre plays tennis and jogging during their training in Baguio City in preparation for Chess Olympiads held every two years.
Honorary Lifetime President of World Chess Federation Florencio Campomanes plays tennis also and have beaten younger practice partner like Gary Bekker of Australia.
The 82-year-old first National Master of the Philippines don't smoke, drink and sleep early that is why he still have a very sharp mind and became the champion in a 7-player blitz chess tournament held on the eve of his departure after visiting Palau in May 11-14, 2006.
In Palau, the players that play tennis in their free time are Amante Caballero, Menandro Manuel and Em-R de Vera, the 2004 junior champion and the only player that didn't play a single game yet in the 2008 National Chess Championship. He promise to Roberto Hernandez that he will play now and gave the his birth date (June 25, 1990) as he is the only one without birth date among 22 contestants.
Palau's first National Master Manny Nedic don't need exercise as he is in maintenance work while Palau's No. 3 Cyril Montel, Jr. is a basketball player of Palau Pacific Resort.
Gene Pastrana, host of many chess tournaments in Palau regularly jogs with his wife and son, Ken. They are regular participants in many fun runs/walk-a-thons and others. He is also active in the sport of karate.
Roberto Hernandez jogs in his room while playing 2 chess computers at the same time when his roommates are not around. Once a week, he runs for 45 minutes at Ice Box Park. His roommate Jaime Guevarra regularly goes to the gym in Meyuns riding on a bike.
Both of them play Text Twist on Arnel Pama's laptop. It's another mind-boggling game like a scrabble. Currently, Hernandez holds the record of 218,310 points upon reaching level 47. The 2nd (156,650) to 9th (111,460) spots also belongs to Hernandez and the 10th spot is by Guevarra (111,440).
The two have different style of play, like in chess, where Guevarra is conservative and defensive, getting all the words until he come up with the 7-letter word that will make him qualify to the next round.
Hernandez' style is like attacking in chess. Go for the 7-letter word because if you don't get it, you will not qualify to the next round.
In both games, the two show contrasting passion to the game. Beginners to Text Twist can get some tips through this.
Source: Chess Mate by Roberto Hernandez
Tia Belau Newspaper
February 16-22, 2009