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How chess helped me to quit smoking

by Just a Random Guy - 13/01/2021

Smoking is a dangerous vice. Once you are addicted to it, it is difficult to get rid of the habit. People often have to take days of therapy in order to solve this problem. But here's the inspiring story of one of our viewers on YouTube. He calls himself "Just a Random Guy." He would like his identity to be concealed, but his story is 100% authentic! From smoking 20 cigarettes a day, he has come down to 1 every couple of days! How did this transformation happen? Chess played a huge role in it and here's the story of how it transpired! 

How I got into smoking:

I had joined my company in 2019 June as a Software Developer just after my B.Tech. And from the very start there was a lot of work. To cope up with the pressure I took a bad step to start smoking. When I started it was like 5 cigarettes in a day. But this urge kept on growing and at a point when lockdown happened in April 2020, I used to smoke a full packet of Marlboro Advance in a day which is nearly 20 cigarettes.

Smoking is often resorted to in order to cope up with pressure in life

The value of chess in my life:

Chess was an important part of my life when I was a kid. Whenever I used to visit my village in summer holidays, I used to play chess with my grandfather all day. Then the race for career happened and chess was lost for me in oblivion. These chess streams on YouTube during the lockdown rekindled those old memories in me. Also I was really good in Mathematics until my engineering. But after I started my job, there was no pure maths and only coding. Chess was the thing which presented some puzzles and problems which I really liked to solve. Chess represented that little bit of mathematics that was left in my life!

For some chess can give the same pleasure like complex solving mathematical equations!

How chess helped me partially quit smoking:

I started playing chess on and did it continuously for long hours at night. And I was so engrossed during this, I would often forget to order cigarettes. When I used to realize this, all the shops would be closed and I would end up not smoking. This started to happen on many nights and slowly turned into a habit. My urge kept on decreasing. Somehow this kind of puzzle solving and adrenaline rush became a replacement of nicotine for me (I don't know how it works, I am not a doctor but it happened in my case). Although, I have not been able to quit it completely, I have been able to significantly cut it down to 1 cigarette in a day or in 2 days.

Chess is a powerful addiction! Powerful enough to trump vices like smoking!

My aim for 2021:

I have reached 1400 on in rapid but I am not so good in blitz. I would like to improve my blitz skills and would try to get 1800 in rapid. Also I would try to give up completely on my smoking.

Thank You for everything Sagar bhai.

About the author

Usually we do not publish articles by unknown people on ChessBase India. But Just a Random Guy is not unknown to us. He is a moderator on the ChessBase India YouTube channel and has supported chess tremendously through his superchats and kind messages. He is not comfortable to reveal his identity and hence we have kept it a secret. But we can assure you that he exists and this story was sent by him.


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