Blindfold chess Chess
interesting to watch a master taking on a large number of
opponents simultaneously. That is probably the only occasion
when an average player can hope to beat a far stronger rival.
Playing against so many players at a time is not easy. The
master has to move from one board to another and make his
moves very quickly. Nevertheless, grandmasters have an exceptionally
good score in simultaneous shows.
may turn out to be very different when the master is playing
blindfold! Imagine how he can manage to keep the latest positions
over all the boards in his mind. Diabolical memory? Yes, it
is really difficult to calculate moves when you don't see
anything. Masters have played blindfold games that ordinary
mortals cannot produce even when everything is in sight.
chess players can play without the board. But that is an encounter
between only two players and the game usually is fraught with
mistakes. The blindfold experts, on the other hand, are known
for their ability to play almost as good as they do when their
eyes are open. Alexander Alekhine played a brilliant blindfold
game at a military hospital during the First World War. He
was known for his exploits as a blindfold player. Then there
were players like the Belgian master George Koltanosky and
the Hungarian blindfold wizard Fleisch who could play over
60 blindfold games at a time. The figure is a bit mind-boggling.
blindfold is considered to be a difficult art in which only
super-humans can excel. The exercise obviously puts pressure
on the player as he has to make some special efforts to retain
the positions in his memory. As chess has become a totally
professional game, such gimmicks and weird ideas have lost
appeal. Players at the top level are concerned mainly with
the hefty prize money that big tournaments offer. They have
to prepare themselves constantly for the major events. So
the masters today have little time to entertain the spectators
with chess magic. However, the art is not lost altogether.
prodigy, Harry Nelson Pillsbury, was known for his great prowess
in blindfold games. Here is a game played by him.
Black-Edward Hymes [D00]
New York blindfold sim 1894
d5 2.e3 Nf6 3.Bd3 e6 4.f4 b6 5.Nf3 Bb7 6.00 Bd6 7.Ne5 c5 8.c3
00 9.Nd2 Nbd7 10.Qf3 Ne8 11.Qh3 f5 12.Ndf3 Rf6 13.Ng5 Nf8
14.g4 Bxe5 15.dxe5 Rh6 16.Qg3 fxg4 17.Bd2 Qe7 18.Qxg4 Nc7
19.Be1 Ba6 20.Bxa6 Nxa6 21.Bg3 Nd7 22.Rad1 Rf8 23.Rd2 Rg6
24.h4 Nc7 25.Rg2 Rf5 26.Qe2 Rh6 27.e4 dxe4 28.Qxe4 Nd5 29.Rd1
Nxf4 30.Bxf4 Rxh4 31.Rf1 h6 32.Nxe6 Qxe6 33.Qe3 Rfh5 34.Bh2
Nxe5 35.Rff2 Rh3 36.Qf4 Nd3 37.Qf8+ 1-0
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