Clinical observations suggest that negative affects such as helplessness/hopelessness (HE/HO) may induce autonomic duration; affects were assessed for every move after reconstruction of the games. In all games compiled, 18 situation of intense confidence/optimism and 20 of intense helplessness/hopelessness were observed.
Intense affects of HE/HO were associated with decreasing HF-HRV (Fisher exact test, p = .003), increasing “nervousness” (p = .0005), decreasing “optimism” (p = .0005), and decreasing “calmness” (p = .0005).
Investigation of championship chess game players with an ELO strength ≥ 2300 in a natural field setting revealed increasing HE/HO being associated with reduced HF-HRV suggestive of vagal withdrawal. Thus, our data may help link negative mood states, autonomic nervous system disturbances, and cardiac events.