Performance Enhanced Chess

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Matt Bridgeman
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Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:34 pm

Without making too long or too boring a post, I wonder why more professional level chess players don’t consider testosterone replacement therapy. I don’t think many sports people trying to compete even over the age of 40 overlook that one as a possible avenue to retain high normal testosterone at an age when levels will be gradually declining. I think Danny Gormally on Twitter today moaned he’ll be too old at 46 to win the British next year, and then went on to say he’s tired all the time. Maybe this would be an avenue to explore, who knows?! It definitely not for everyone, but if you’re genuinely found to have low testosterone and you have no energy, then it could be a potential game changer. I just thought I’d put this out there ...and I’m not on TRT. Lol
Last edited by Matt Bridgeman on Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Paul Robert Jackson
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by Paul Robert Jackson » Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:15 pm

International chess tournaments began incorporating drug testing in 2001.
FIDE is a part of the International Olympic Committee, & that relationship means players have to stick to the World Anti-Doping Agency rules.
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:19 pm

That might be so, but the chances of drug testing in the British Championships are, let us say, remote.

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:25 pm

Paul Robert Jackson wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:15 pm
International chess tournaments began incorporating drug testing in 2001.
FIDE is a part of the International Olympic Committee, & that relationship means players have to stick to the World Anti-Doping Agency rules.
If you genuinely had test results showing low T, getting a medical exemption should be pretty straight forward. If you’re walking around with a level of 200, being boosted to even a normal 600 level would make a huge difference. There’s plenty of pro sports people who have gone on TRT even in their 30’s. Some obviously as a gateway to super physiological performance, but some are genuine. Certainly Tom Cruise isn’t hopping around at 58 years old without a high normal TRT regiment, (and probably a whole lot more! Lol)

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Paul Robert Jackson
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by Paul Robert Jackson » Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:25 pm

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:34 pm
I think Danny Gormally on Twitter today moaned he’ll be too old at 46 to win the British next year, and then went on to say he’s tired all the time.
There are numerous other reasons, other than testosterone levels, to why a 46 year old male may feel tired all the time.
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Paul Cooksey
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:30 pm

Lets hope there is a British next year and Adams, 49, is in good form.

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:55 pm

The World Anti-Doping Agency, therapeutic use exemptions are listed below. Testosterone Replacement Therapy would be an option after an exemption granted under the section on Male Hypogonadism. It just struck me as something that might be relevant. England in particular seems to have a band of middle-aged professional players who have entirely dedicated their lives to chess, and still seem to be striving to find that peak career form. Gormally wants to win the elusive British, Trent wants to be a GM, to give two examples. Low T might not be on a lot of players radar I'd guess;
https://www.wada-ama.org/en/what-we-do/ ... exemptions

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by LawrenceCooper » Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:26 pm

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:55 pm
The World Anti-Doping Agency, therapeutic use exemptions are listed below. Testosterone Replacement Therapy would be an option after an exemption granted under the section on Male Hypogonadism. It just struck me as something that might be relevant. England in particular seems to have a band of middle-aged professional players who have entirely dedicated their lives to chess, and still seem to be striving to find that peak career form. Gormally wants to win the elusive British, Trent wants to be a GM, to give two examples. Low T might not be on a lot of players radar I'd guess;
https://www.wada-ama.org/en/what-we-do/ ... exemptions
If Lawrence Trent, born in 1986, is middle aged I dread to think what that makes me :?

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:31 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:26 pm
Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:55 pm
The World Anti-Doping Agency, therapeutic use exemptions are listed below. Testosterone Replacement Therapy would be an option after an exemption granted under the section on Male Hypogonadism. It just struck me as something that might be relevant. England in particular seems to have a band of middle-aged professional players who have entirely dedicated their lives to chess, and still seem to be striving to find that peak career form. Gormally wants to win the elusive British, Trent wants to be a GM, to give two examples. Low T might not be on a lot of players radar I'd guess;
https://www.wada-ama.org/en/what-we-do/ ... exemptions
If Lawrence Trent, born in 1986, is middle aged I dread to think what that makes me :?
Yeah, I probably should have swapped him out with Simon Williams. Lol Ah well, it's food for thought. I mean if you're a professional still seeking that mythical peak performance, you probably shouldn't be overlooking hormones. TRT Clinics are ten a penny in America. They are in every region of the UK I believe as well.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:00 pm

WADA are not entirely efficient, but you would need a TUE for a serious event. Speaking with my chemical safety hat on, only take such things under strict medical supervision. Not mentioning any specific athletics world record holders, but some didn't make it to 40 years old...

Nick Burrows
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by Nick Burrows » Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:00 pm

Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:55 pm
Therapeutic use exemptions are listed below. Testosterone Replacement Therapy would be an option after an exemption granted under the section on Male Hypogonadism. It just struck me as something that might be relevant.
What makes you think top UK chess players experiencing lower energy levels would get a diagnosis of Hypogonadism?

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MJMcCready
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:29 pm

Testosterone only improves energy levels in the sense that it repairs and rebuilds muscle faster. It's really just for athletes and most importantly weight-trainers. I assumed it was common knowledge that the most important factor regarding energy levels is fitness level. From what I understand the top chess players have understood the importance of fitness for quite some time.

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:29 pm

Nick Burrows wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:00 pm
Matt Bridgeman wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:55 pm
Therapeutic use exemptions are listed below. Testosterone Replacement Therapy would be an option after an exemption granted under the section on Male Hypogonadism. It just struck me as something that might be relevant.
What makes you think top UK chess players experiencing lower energy levels would get a diagnosis of Hypogonadism?
Well they might very well not be, but it's something to bare in mind. Certainly a sports person feeling a drop off in performance in the 40's might very well be eager to get those blood works done by a doctor and see what's going on. Someone who does genuinely tick those low T boxes might have the option to take something life changing. It is a big commitment - to do it properly you're probably talking about injecting yourself in the glutes once a week for life. But some people make a pretty big commitment to chess, so perhaps a pro wanting to do it isn't so la la land.

Plenty of athletes and celebrities obviously abuse testosterone, and often in higher than normal doses it will often be supplemented by other steroid derivatives and things like Human Growth Hormone, (HGH). Often a celebrity gaining 20-30 pounds of lean muscle and getting unfeasibly ripped in 6 months will usually have fueled the transformation using hardcore steroids - hello Hugh Jackman in those latter Wolverine films, to give one example. Usually when asked they will say things like I exercised 6 hours, ate nothing but chicken, broccoli and rice, and drank a gallon and a half of water every day, and forget to mention the industrial quantities of anabolics.
Last edited by Matt Bridgeman on Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:41 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:29 pm
Testosterone only improves energy levels in the sense that it repairs and rebuilds muscle faster. It's really just for athletes and most importantly weight-trainers. I assumed it was common knowledge that the most important factor regarding energy levels is fitness level. From what I understand the top chess players have understood the importance of fitness for quite some time.
That's right kind of, although testosterone goes far beyond only repair of muscle - sex drive, bones and muscles. In terms of fitness, being fatter will decrease the body's natural testosterone production due to higher levels of estrogen, so conversely losing body fat and getting fitter will usually lead to the body naturally producing more testosterone. If you have normal or high normal testosterone, then pushing it higher into the super-physiological ranges using bio-identical testosterone would be both a doping violation and probably wouldn't help the chess very much. But with very low T that is not simply fixed by lifestyle changes, in terms of energy and performance, you would play better chess I'd think being able to return to a normal or high normal range with TRT. People can feel like they are barely functioning with low T.
Last edited by Matt Bridgeman on Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Performance Enhanced Chess

Post by MJMcCready » Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:10 pm

Okay, well I used to take it for weight training purposes and there is no doubt it is the most natural of all ways to develop muscle, so recovery time was shortened for sure. Other than that it didn't seem to do much but then like you said for those in the low-energy low-testosterone category, perhaps it does help overall.

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