Blindfold king Timur Gareyev on tour

by ChessBase
4/6/2016 – In 2016 Timur Gareyev wants to break the world record in blindfold play by taking up 47 opponents simultaneously. In March he played a 35 player blindfold simul in Santa Clara, California. Gareyev lost one game, drew two and won 32. As Gareyev believes that physical fitness and mental excellence go together he spun a stationary bike for over 9 hours during the simul!

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Spinning to Victory

By Timur Gareyev

Blindfold king Timur Gareyev in action

As the players started to show up around 8am, we had everyone assembled for morning exercise. We started off following my Tai Chi classmate Jeannie through a few gentle stretches. As players warmed up, we had everyone introduce themselves and show their own favorite stretch. Playing the game of chess at your best requires the connection of body, mind, and spirit. I feel like a bit of physical exercise and improvisation plays a key at intellectual mastery especially with younger players.

Physical exercise as a warm-up for mental exercise

The event launched with a video describing my blindfold chess journey and lifestyle. My good friend and partner in blindfold chess journey Jennifer Vallens inspired her friends to put this video together:

The toughest part of a blindfold match this big is being able to visualize and rearrange all the different opening moves into several neat “shelves” inside my mind. As I moved through the initial stage, I had about 7 games that were somewhat in the “haze”. Meaning the original move order did not quite sink and I had to go back and forth with the moves in my mind to clarify as to what the position was at the moment. After about an hour of play I started to get more comfortable and continued to build towards my first few miniatures in the match.




Tigran and Jeff were among the happiest of the early finishers

I was very consistent with my “middlegame” performance and got my first couple dozen victories. Haha that’s the fun part about giving this simuls you win a bunch of games! You might lose a game too…


Here are a few more games from the same group of tougher finishers:


A few food items to get the energy going

The players

You may find more details about the event at organizer Mathew Benson’s website:

Now wait a moment, the show must go on! Check out my interview with Leo Laporte aka “Leo the Tech Guy”. Screen Savers crew filmed the show the day before my big event. Neurology expert Dr. Jesse Rissman shared his insights on memory and blindfold chess.

A view into the studio

Discussing blindfold chess with Leo Laporte

Show time

Practicing blindfold chess with Leo Laporte (and here's a video of the event)

The images of this article were provided by Jennifer Vallens
who is leading OffdaRook and here is seen with her son Evan.

The blindfold king contemplates his moves

Despite setting the North American and my personal records in blindfold chess this is only a major step in my ultimate accomplishment. The current world record belongs to Marc Lang who played 46 games in 2011 topping Najdorf’s accomplishment of 45-game blindfold simul in 1947. My mission is to set the world record playing 47 games blindfolded simultaneously this year. Stay in touch via!

Timur Gareyev is not only an excellent blindfold player, he is also known and feared for his creative chess and his vicious attacks. On a 60 minute ChessBase video Timur Gareyev revealed secrets how to develop the initiative in your games.


Timur Gareyev:
Developing the initiative

Dynamic play is what makes your chess effective and most importantly fun! You start the game making the essential steps of developing pieces and focusing on the center. As the battle heats up one player assumes the defensive position while the attacker takes over the initiative. As you commit to your attack, keeping the initiative becomes alike ''walking a tight rope''. There is no turning back and the path to success is narrow. You either come out victorious or you fall crushing down. This is the kind of chess we love to play!

  • Video running time: 60 min (English)
  • Delivery: download
  • Price: €9.90

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