Conceptual psychographic test and training model for progress in adaptive chess sport

PhD, Associate Professor I.V. Mikhailova1
Dr. Hab., Associate Professor S.N. Fomina1
1Russian State Social University, Moscow

Keywords: adaptive chess sport, mental performance profile, players with health limitations, operational memory, thinking capacity, valuation function, psychographic test

Backgroundю. Presently the sport research community gives a high priority to the motor skills training methods and tools viewed as the key for progress in adaptive sports disciplines [5]. However, as has been proved by the national and international practical experiences (particularly in the modern adaptive chess sport), progress in the intellectual (as provided by IOC) adaptive sports disciplines may be facili-tated by the mental skills developing trainings with the relevant abstract logical skills training exercises geared to mobilize the individual intellectual resource and employ it on the most efficient basis. Modern chess sport is ranked high among the intellectual adaptive sports disciplines intended to meet the social demand for accessible habitual adaptive sport services, and this is one the reasons why the adaptive chess discipline was listed with the ‘Childhood Decade’ Sports Project [2]. It should be mentioned, however, that the systemic social and training benefits and immense resource of the modern adaptive chess sport are still underestimated by the theoretical and practical research communities and, hence, the adaptive chess sport is sill underemployed as an efficient human resource developing and competitive progress facilitation tool. We would emphasize that the individual mental performance is critical for competitive accomplishments in the modern chess sport.
Objective of the study was to develop and test benefits of a new conceptual mental performance profiling (psychographic) and training model for adaptive chess sport players.
Methods and structure of the study. We made, for the purposes of the study, a content analysis of the relevant study reports with concern to the adaptive-sports-specific mental (psychographic) performance profiling methods [1, 3, 4, 7, 9] and complemented their findings by our own practical training and coaching experiences accumulated at the Russian State Social University’s Chess House [6]. We also applied the intellectual functionality and conceptions formation theory (by P.Y. Galperin and N.F. Talyzina, 1968), programmed training concept (by B. Skinner), psychographics concept (by V. Stern) and the digital technological transformations concept (by A.L. Kudrin) to lay a theoretical and practical basis for this study.
Based on the above customizable psychographics methods and concepts, we designed our conceptual mental performance profiling model for application in the adaptive chess sport, to facilitate progress of the players with health limitations [8]. The psychographs of the model give a range of key progress indicators to profile progresses on the relevant sport-specific qualities test scales and effectively customize/ individualize the adaptive chess sport training systems so as to fully mobilize the individual intellectual resource for success.
We run a Research Project “Action plan to facilitate integrated Chess Problems sport-specific trainings in the general and supplementary educational systems” (registration number NIOKRT AAAA-A17-117071220087-2 dated 12.07.2017) to come up with a set of practical recommendations on how the intellectual resource of the handicapped chess players should be mobilized on a diagnose-specific basis in every training and competitive progress stage.
Results and discussion. Let us consider the new frame mental performance profiling (psychographic) model for adaptive chess sports in detail. The model testing experiment was run in the period of 2005-2015 on the Chess Planet website, at the “Alekseevsky” and “Yuzhnoportovy” District Social Service Centers in Moscow, and at the Russian State Social University’s Chess House. Sampled for the study were the 10-72 year old adaptive chess players (n=1257) diagnosed with different musculoskeletal sys-tem disorders, hearing/ visual impairments and associating health issues. We used a longitudinal psy-chographic test system to profile the key mental performance/ progress trends, produce the individual psychographs for specific time periods and highlight the stable and random progress trends [8].
The adaptive chess sport psychographs covered the following three adaptive chess sport players’ progress stages. The first stage was designed to set goals and functions classified into the interim and final ones. The second stage was intended to integrate the problems-specific skills and help the players develop the solution/ execution algorithms customized to the individual psychophysical progress stage. And the third stage was to specify the sport progress facilitating intellectual and psychological progress criteria for every individual player to guide the training process in a most efficient manner.
We should emphasize that ‘sports-specific qualities’ herein mean the combination of the mental and physical individual qualities critical for success in the sport via the intellectual resource mobilizing and transformation activity for the competitive progress. Striving to improve the integrated adaptive chess sport training system, we identified the key sport progress specific qualities that need to be given a special priority in the training and competitive process. We used a commonly recognized set of the mental qualities rating tests to profile the mental and physical health and progress of the sample in the model testing experiment.
The new mental performance profiling (psychographic) adaptive chess sport training model proiritizes the following sport-specific qualities: mnemonic and intellectual functions including operational memory, thinking capacity and valuation function. This basic pool is supplemented by the adaptive chess sport player’s psychological and mental/ emotional qualities test rates. We used the following tests for the study purposes: WAM (well-being, activity and mood) test; D. Russell and M. Ferguson Subjective Feel of Loneliness Test; and Spielberger Situational and Personality Anxiety Test; plus the Health Status Survey SF-36 (Short Form-36) toolkit.

Table 1. An adaptive chess sport player’s psychograph

Sport-specific qualities

Test rates

Mnemonic and intellectual functions

Operational memory

Thinking capacity

Valuation function

Psychophysical personality qualities

Personality anxiety

Physical health component (SF-36)

Mental health component (SF-36)

Mental/ emotional individual status





Situational anxiety

Figure 1. Typical Russian State Social University’s Experimental Group adaptive chess sport player’s psychograph for 2014-15

In the model testing experiment, we obtained a pool of longitudinal age- and training-stage-specific psychographs. Table 1 gives the adaptive chess sport players’ progress-specific qualities by diagnoses; and Figure 1 gives a typical Russian State Social University Experimental Group adaptive chess sport player’s psychograph for 2014-15 training period – averaging many psychographs we obtained in the tests in the competitive, recreation, beginner training and sports excellence stages.

Having processed the progress test data by the standard mathematical statistics toolkit using the values averaging method and factor analysis, we found progresses of the sampled adaptive chess sport players on an age- and diagnose-unspecific basis on the psychological/ physical progress, personality and situational anxiety, subjective feel of loneliness etc. rating scales. It should be emphasized that the adaptive chess sport players’ progresses in the intellectual functions (operational memory, thinking capacity and valuation function) were associated with progresses in mood and activity.
We also found progresses in the socialization/ social integration of the adaptive chess sport players as presented in Table 2; albeit our interpretation may be subjective enough. Note that the regresses in the D. Russell and M. Ferguson feel of loneliness test rates and the C. Spielberger personality and situational anxiety test rates may be interpreted as indicative of improvements in the psycho-emotional statuses of the Russian State Social University adaptive chess sport sample.

Table 2. Russian State Social University’s Experimental Group adaptive chess sport players’ progress rates for 2014-15

Intellectual and psychophysical qualities tests

Progress, %

Intellectual qualities and functions tests


WAM test


Subjective feel of loneliness test

- 36

Spielberger personality and situational anxiety test


SF-36 test

Physical health test rate


Mental health test rate


The mental performance profiling (psychographic) and training model for adaptive chess sport players was found beneficial as verified by progresses of 72 adaptive chess players in the Unified Russian Sports Qualification System records, and 39 players who made progress on the international chess rating lists.
Conclusion. Modern adaptive chess is ranked high on the list of the adaptive chess sport disciplines the sport facilitates an individual progress on an inclusive basis and provides effective socialization/ social integration mechanisms for the adaptive chess players with special benefits from the modern digital technologies increasingly accessible via the open chess training courses/ platforms or cloud/ streaming platforms. When a chess training systems prudently combines the digital training platforms with virtual chess education systems, they have every opportunity to mobilize and employ the individual intellectual resource of an adaptive chess player for competitive progress. The modern progress test systems syner-gized with the new mental performance profiling (psychographic) and training model may effectively contribute to the evolution of the adaptive-chess-sport-related knowledgebase and put it on a systemic basis. The modern chess sport on the whole and the adaptive chess sport in particular shall be given a special priority by the social policies driven by the consolidating national ideas, since this sport discipline offers excellent self-realization, socialization, intellectual resource mobilizing and life quality im-provement benefits. It should be noted, however, that the efforts to effectively socialize the adaptive chess sport players may be challenging enough and need to be supported by the special communal re-source consolidation and channeling initiatives.


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Objective of the study was to develop and experimentally substantiate a conceptual model of psychic profiling for chess players with health deviations, which implied the implementation of integrated peda-gogical control in mass sports and elite sports.
Methods and structure of the study. The study was carried out from 2005 through 2015 on the basis of the Internet portal "Chess Planet"; Moscow state budgetary institutions; territorial centers of social ser-vices "Alekseevsky" and "Yuzhnoportovy"; Chess House of RSSU. The sample was made of 1257 chess players with health deviations.
Results of the study. The findings had made it possible:
- to determine the component composition and highlight the most professionally significant qualities of chess players with health deviations in the training and competitive process based on the psychic profil-ing method;
- to set up a base of criteria for diagnostics of professionally significant intellectual and mnemonic func-tions of chess players;
- to build an individualized psychodiagnostic model of integrated control of mental abilities and condi-tions of chess players with health deviations;
- to outline the prospects of adaptive chess sport as a mechanism of socialization and social integration of the target contingent.
Conclusion. The experiment had made it possible to transform individual’s intellectual potential into a sports result, namely: 72 chess players had the titles by the Unified Sports Classification System of Rus-sia, 39 athletes achieved an international chess rating.