Simultaneous Blindfold Exhibition in Maribor

10/26/2012 – The Slovenian city of Maribor is set to host the 2012 World Youth Chess Championships in November. It has also been nominated European Capital of Culture, and as such has been staging a number of interesting events. Recently Luka Lenic, Slovenia’s strongest player, a former World Youth Chess Champion, gave a blindfold simultaneous exhibition against six youthful opponents.

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Simultaneous Blindfold Exhibition

Report by Miša Hrenič

The city of Maribor in Slovenia, this year's European Capital of Culture, witnessed a spectacle that was organized in preparation for the upcoming World Youth Chess Championship 2012 and as a part of the ECOC project Black and White World.


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The beautiful city near the river Drava was visited by many chess fans and media representatives. They all came to be a part of a great event – a simultaneous blindfold exhibition. The viewers were also given the opportunity to follow the event live online.


Jonas Znidarsic, a Slovenian television personality and a huge chess fan, hosted the spectacle...


... and the youthful players got to meet the TV star

Slovenia’s strongest player, a former World Youth Chess Champion and a permanent member of the Slovenian national team, grandmaster Luka Lenic (above, photo by Chess Tigers), played against six young Slovenian hopefuls. This way the six chosen young players got the opportunity to play against a real grandmaster.


Jonas Znidarsic blindfolds the simultaneous master...


... who then calls out his moves against the opponents

Before the event Lenic said that this was his first public attempt to try to play blindfold chess against this many opponents. A difficult task required his full concentration. Despite his great effort, the simultaneous blindfold exhibition did not go quite smoothly: at one stage Lenic got a little confused. But after approximately two hours of playing, the Slovenian grandmaster won all six games.

The simultaneous blindfold exhibition was the last in a series of preparatory events for the November’s World Youth Chess Championship, which will also take place in Maribor. Judging by the data that is available this year’s event will become a championship of records, because the organizers are expecting more than 1600 players and about 1200 spectators from 90 countries to fill the city streets and the nearby towns. One of the highlights of the championship will undoubtedly be the visit of the former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. The city is prepared for the arrival of chess players, which was also confirmed by the chief arbiter Guran Unal after his recent visit to Maribor.

You can find all information about the chess events on the following websites:

Previous articles (this year) on Maribor

Ashley Chess Girl – fundraising for Maribor
10.09.2012 – From November 7 to 19 there is a World Youth Chess Championship in Maribor, Slovenia, with over 1500 participants. Ashley Tapp from Canada has just qualified, but unfortunately there is no state or federation sponsorship for the trip, and the family cannot provide the substantial funds involved. So this enterprising young lady is trying to raise the amount herself. Ashley is twelve years old. >
The 100-board Austria-Slovenia match – a unique spectacle
25.06.2012 – On the 16th of June 2012, the city of Maribor hosted a true spectacle – a friendly match on 100 chess boards between Slovenian Styria and Austrian Styria. This singular initiative was a part of Georg Mohr's Black and White World project, and brought together politicians, artists, and players of all kinds and strengths. Read about this amazing match in the report by Miša Hrenic.
Maribor: European Capital of Culture to host chess events
04.06.2012 – It is the second largest city in Slovenia and jointly with Guimarães in Portugal, the 2012 European Capital of Culture. Recently it staged the meeting of Nobel peace prize laureates, and from May to September it will host chess tournaments, which will include top players, politicians, sportsmen, women to the youngest novices. The slogan is: Maribor will be the capital of chess in 2012!

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