Does the attractiveness of your chess opponent influence how you play? Turns out that when men play attractive women they take more risks — and these bold gambits don’t pay off. A Swedish research study concluded that men were 10% more likely to play a risky opening when their opponent was in the top 10% of attractiveness (as evaluated in a separate survey). But these bold moves didn’t translates into more wins. And women’s strategies were not impacted by the attractiveness or gender of their opponents.
The authors correlate these findings to other research that suggested men become bolder in the presence of attractive women in order to signal their own worth. I also wonder if there’s any stereotyping at play of attractive women being less intelligent so that bold moves are thought to be easier to pull off. Anyway, i’ll again recommend The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins to help explain why we’re all driven inherently by our desire to reproduce.