Polish Grandmaster Jan-Krzysztof Duda won the 2023 Armageddon Championship Series in convincing fashion but the intriguing science story is his biology while doing so.

Armageddon Chess is often used as a tie-breaker, and in it, black plays second but is the winner if the game is a draw - and has a shorter clock. The Armageddon Championship Series compresses time and uses a double-elimination format once the regional finalists are obtained.

That the top-ranked European beat the top-ranked American isn't a huge surprise, what was interesting was their heart rates. All of the 8 players in the finale had their heart rates monitored and available to viewers.

There are no marathon runner-type stats during the high-pressure events, Runner-up Wesley So hit an alarming 179 beats per minute while winner Duda maintained 144 bpm. Tachycardia in someone sitting is 100 bpm so these competitors clearly had stress levels that were through the roof during play. Yet Duda was not feeling the burn the way some of the others were. 

The event starts up again next spring so if you intend to compete, start getting on a treadmill now.