SportAccord World Mind Games
The Blindfold Events were held on Tuesday and Wednesday (December
18 + 19). It was won by Levon Aronian with a score of 5.5/7 points, half a point
ahead of Hikaru Nakamura, who has come second in all three mind game chess disciplines:
rapid, blitz and now blindfold. Bronze went to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan.
Prize giving: Silver for Nakamura, Gold for Aronian and Bronze for Mamedyarov
Blindfold games under way (with Radjabov, Jobava, Karjakin and Morozevich).
players only see an empty board on the computer screens, where they type in
The organizers tried to provide the most comfortable conditions in order to
help players not to lose their concentration during the games. Four games were
played at the first day of the event, three on the second. Some of the players
got really tired and a number of games finished quite quickly because of blunders.
Here some typical examples selected by Bartek Heberla:
Karjakin,Sergey (2775) - Ding,Liren (2702) [B12]
SportAccord Blindfold Men 2012 Beijing CHN (4.3), 18.12.2012
In this position black is in serious trouble. However in blindfold chess it’s
not a time to resign yet! 31…Nef5!? Very tricky, and
a final chance… 32.Qxb5?? and now instead of recapture,
Black simply gives mate: 32...Rg2+ 33.Kh1 Ng3# 0-1.
Giri,Anish (2720) - Fressinet,Laurent (2700) [D11]
SportAccord Blindfold Men 2012 Beijing CHN (6.7), 19.12.2012
In this position Fressinet thought that the white king was on g1 and played:
43...Rh3?! 44.Bxh3 Ne2 forking the queen and – the empty square g1! After
45.Qxd6+ he had to resign.
Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar (2764) - Aronian,Levon (2815) [D94]
SportAccord Blindfold Men 2012 Beijing CHN (4.1), 18.12.2012
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 Bg7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 dxc4 7.0-0 b6 8.e4
Bb7 9.e5 Nd5 10.Bxc4 c5 11.e6 fxe6 12.Ng5 Qd7 13.dxc5 Nxc3 14.Qxd7 Nxd7 15.Bxe6+
Kh8 16.Bxd7 Ne2+ 17.Kh1 Nxc1 18.Raxc1 Bh6 19.h4 bxc5 20.Rxc5 Rf4
Here things are difficult to explain (did he misread his opponent's move?):
21.Rc4?? Rxc4 0-1.
In the fourth round Shakhriyar Mamedyarov got better position against Aronian
blundered a rook and resigned immediately.
Levon Aronian during a blindfold game. A fter the first day of blindfold
had made just one draw (against Hikaru Nakamura) and led by 3.5/4 points.
On the second day Aronian made two draws against Peter Leko and Teimour Radjabov
and defeated Wang Hao. 5.5 points out of seven games turned to be enough for
the first place in the tournament, as the closest rival of Levon at that time
Hikaru Nakamura failed to win in the last round against Liren Ding and finished
the tournament on the second place. As a result, American player won three silver
medals in the Mind Games!
Second place (as usual in this event) to US GM Hikaru Nakamura
Peter Leko had good chances for the medals but lost the last game against
American GM Gata Kamsky, who tied with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
at 4.5/7 points;
but the Azeri got the bronze medal due to the complicated tiebreak system used
Alexander Morozevich enjoying himself – although he lost this blindfold
game to Aronian
Women's blindfold section
Blindfold Women: Hou Yifan won with 6.0/7 points, half a point ahead of Lithuanian
GM Viktorija Cmilyte, who had beaten the winner in their individual encounter.
In third place was Anna Zatonskih from USA.
Medals for Viktorija Cmilyte (Silver), Hou Yifan (Gold) and Anna Zatonskih
On the first day former women's world champion Hou Yifan (above) took the
sole lead after she defeated her erstwhile WCh challenger Humpy Koneru in the
third round. Hou produced a fantastic result on the second day and won the last
three games to become the winner of blindfold!
The game between Viktorija Cmilyte (above) and Hou Yifan on the first day finished
in favor of Lithuanian player, who replaced the Chinese GM on the top of the
table. Viktorija started the second day with a victory over Humpy Koneru, and
made two draws in the sixth and seventh rounds. Unexpectedly that turned to
be not enough for the gold medal, as Hou Yifan won all three games.
Anna Zatonskih made 2.5 points in the last three rounds and grabbed the
Third seed Anna Muzychuk finished equal 4-6 with 4.0/7 points
Equal 7-11 for Indian GM Harika Dronavalli, who scored 50%, the same as...
... Ukrainian GM Kateryna Lahno, who sees the humorous side of blindfold chess
... as does German IM Elisabeth Pähtz, who also finished at 50% in the
All photos by by Anastasiya Karlovich
Videos from the 2012 SportAccord Mind Games
You will find more well-prepared and commented video reports,
especially on bridge, Go and Xiangqi on this special Youtube
||SportAccord Mind Games with all-star field to play rapid,
blindfold and blitz
13.12.2012 – SportAccord Mind Games will be
held in Beijing, China between the 12th of December and 20th December
2012. The World Mind Games consists of 5 disciplines: chess, bridge, draughts
(checkers), go, and xiangqi (Chinese chess). This year brings an
all-star field of men and women to play rapid, blindfold and blitz. It
all started with a
breathtaking opening ceremony.
||Final online qualifier for World Mind Games
20.10.2012 – Tonight, Saturday, October 20th,
at 16:00h = 4:00 p.m. CEST (click
for world-wide timings), the final round of the World Mind Games qualifier
will be held on the Playchess server.
It is your last chance to win an all-paid trip to Bejing to attend the
2012 Games. Today the 15 places in the candidates tournament will be fixed
– GMs with a 2550+ rating can come in at this phase. Don't
miss this opportunity.
Fressinet wins Men's Rapid at SportAccord World Mind
17.12.2012 – This event in Beijing, which
features bridge, chess, draughts, Go and Xiangqi, there are three chess
competitions, rapid, blitz and blindfold, in separate sections for men
and women. In the category 20 men's section French Champion Laurent
Fressinet won ahead of Hikaru Nakamura. Find out who was victorious
in the other sections and watch the excellent
video reports from Beijing.