Carlsen blitzes blindfold clock simul

by ChessBase
5/29/2015 – Carlsen did a blindfold exhibition in New York, blitzing three opponents in a clock simul, averaging three minutes per opponent. Normally, there is no video available from the conference because it is only open to paying attendees ($5000 admission fee) and a few invited guests. However, the video link has been made available to the public who can see the mindboggling exhibition.

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The full video of the clock simul was not only made available, but edited so as to make it easy to follow.
When you see how they bombarded Magnus with moves and boards in no order it quickly becomes clear
just how much harder this is compared to a normal blindfold exhibition.

As explained by Dylan Loeb McClain: Conducting the event was grandmaster Maurice Ashley as MC, and grandmasters Pascal Charbonneau and Anatoly Bykhovsky making and announcing the moves for Carlsen.

The Sohn Conference, which had its 20th anniversary this year, has become the world's largest investment conference (held at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center in New York with about 3,000 attendees), with some of the top investors in the world giving speeches about some of their stock picks and shorts. This year's list included David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, David Tepper of Appaloosa Management, William Ackman of Pershing Square Capital, and Leon Cooperman of Omega Advisors, among many many others.

The Sohn Conference was started to raise money for pediatric cancer research and is named after Ira Sohn, who died of the disease at age 29. The conference was started by Ira's brother, Evan, and by Doug Hirsch, who has become in recent years a huge fan of chess. It was his idea to invite Carlsen to give the ehibition.

Naturally, the former chess columnist for the The New York Times wrote an article for the newspaper.

At Sohn Conference, Masters of Moves Recognize the Good Ones

By Dylan Loeb McClain

William A. Ackman, the founder and chief executive of Pershing Square Capital Management, and Ian Bremmer, the president of the Eurasia Group, are used to commanding center stage and charming crowds. But on Monday afternoon at the annual Sohn Investment Conference, they stood transfixed just off the main stage at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, watching something they had never seen before.

After a dramatic introduction of the match to the audience, Maurice Ashley asked, "Magnus,
are you ready for this?" Carlsen in his usual deadpan style replies, "I've never done this
before, so I wouldn't know."

On stage, Magnus Carlsen, the world chess champion from Norway, was wearing a blindfold and playing a timed exhibition against three people: J. Christopher Flowers, the chairman of J.C. Flowers & Company; Paul Hoffman, the chief executive of the Liberty Science Center; and Gbenga Akinnagbe, a star of the HBO series “The Wire.” Two grandmasters, Pascal Charbonneau and Anatoly Bykhovsky, made Mr. Carlsen’s moves as he called out to them, while Maurice Ashley, another grandmaster, provided occasional commentary.

Each player, including Mr. Carlsen, had nine minutes to complete the games. Though Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Flowers have competed in tournaments, Mr. Carlsen had little trouble dispatching all three players.

As Mr. Carlsen exited the stage, Mr. Ackman bounded up to him to shake his hand and express his admiration. “It was incredible,” he said. Watching Mr. Carlsen walk away, Mr. Ackman mused, “How does that mind work?”


Click here for the complete New York Times article

After the exhibition, GM Ashley asked the world champion to describe the challenges of this format

A fascinating display and undoubtedly a new spin on a popular format adding a healthy dose of adrenaline to it. Kudos.

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