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Mental Stability During Covid Crisis-DASS Index 21- Chess Players and Non Chess Players

Cite this dataset

Sen Gupta, Soham; Gupta, Saptorshi (2021). Mental Stability During Covid Crisis-DASS Index 21- Chess Players and Non Chess Players [Dataset]. Dryad.


This study is conducted to distinguish the mental health conditions between a chess-playing and non-chess playing (control) group. The main objective is to assess the positive implications of the game. 400 participants were selected for the study (cases=100, controls=300). The case group constituted 82% males and 17% females (mean age= 21.92) while the controls group had 51.3% males and 48% females (mean age=25.74). An individual with a record of playing chess frequently was included in the case group while any person who does not play chess was chosen as control. The study found that a cognitive board game like chess has significant impact on ameliorating mental health of individuals during times of unprecedented crisis. The intensity of association has no relation whatsoever. The study was directed among residents of India during the 2nd Wave of Covid-19 crisis (May 2021).


Written informed consent was obtained, and the authors conducted structured interviews using Google forms. Answers from the participants were saved digitally and later analyzed. In particular, the questionnaire asked about age (in completed year), infection from SARS-CoV 2 virus (if any in the last two weeks), chess-playing status (only for the case group) and questions from the DASS-21 index questionnaire. 

Age of respondents are indicative of their age in completed years as per their last birthdate.

Status of testing positive for the Covid-19 virus states whether the respondents have been infected in the last 14 days (yes= testing positive for the virus; no= not testing positive)

Among the 100 cases who had willingly enrolled for the study, categories on their weekly duration of chess practice were noted (Column D in chess player’s data). These categories included:

  1. I play and prepare each and every day (professional players)
  2. Sometimes (<4 days a week, but are professional players)
  3. I play chess at times, but not regularly- This includes non-professional players enjoying the game or playing online at times but not at professional tournaments.

DASS-21 index is a self-report questionnaire consisting of 21 items (Column E-Y in Chess Players, C-W in Non-chess player) consisting of 7 items per subscale: depression, anxiety and stress. Participants were required to score every item on a scale from 0 (did not apply to me at all) to 3 (applied to me very much). Final sum scores were obtained by summing up all the scores per items per (sub)scale.