May 02, 2013 15:00

Timur Gareev performs 33-board blindfold simul in Saint Louis

Timur Gareev performed a blindfold simultaneous exhibition on Tuesday in Saint Louis (USA) and scored 29 wins, four draws and zero losses. His opponents were all members of the Saint Louis Chess Club. The simul was held the day before the start of the 2013 US Championships.

We received the following press release from the organizers. The photos are from the Saint Louis Chess Club; you can find more here.

SAINT LOUIS (May 1, 2013) --  It took 10 hours and 39 minutes for Grandmaster Timur Gareev to topple the final king and leave the chess community in Saint Louis dazed and amazed.

On Tuesday, GM Gareev put on a 33-board blindfolded simultaneous exhibition at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, scoring 29 wins, four draws and zero losses.

The field, composed entirely of Saint Louis Chess Club members, had an average USCF rating of 1363, and featured of two experts, three class A players (1800-1999) and five class B players (1600-1799).

CCSCSL Executive Director Tony Rich (USCF 2020) was the highest-rated player in the field and one of only four players to draw the blindfolded virtuoso.

It was a truly an amazing experience to witness this remarkable display of concentration and memory

Rich said.

GM Gareev is working toward setting a new blindfold simul world record of 64 boards before the end of 2013. The date for the record-breaking simul is tentatively set for December 21 on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

After switching federations from Uzbekistan to the U.S., he will be competing in his first-ever U.S. Championship. He enters the tournament as the No. 2-rated player in the field, second only to GM Gata Kamsky.

The 2013 U.S. Championship and 2013 U.S. Women’s Championship will be held simultaneously May 2 through May 13, with the Opening Ceremony taking place the evening of May 2 and the first round of play beginning at 1 p.m. CT on May 3.

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The participating players in the simul, their board numbers, and their current USCF ratings are as follows (the * denotes the players that played GM Gareev to a draw):

August Meyer: 987
* Steve Mislich: 1642
Lou Cotton: unr.
Ben Boaz: 1269
Joe Wojcki: 1817
Richard Pack: 1881
Ken West: 1269
Sal Falcone: unr.
* William Little: 1515
Ed Protzel: unr.
Joe Baur: unr.
Tim Baur: 487
Abdul Shakoor: 1176
Diamond Shakoor: 1259
Micah Losee: 1770
Julian Proleiko: 1735
Josh Cardenas: 1334
Jim Smith: 739
Preethi Kembaiyan: 1228
Yizheng He: 1160
Adam Eubanks: 1321
* Justin Hull: 1673
Sathya Anand: 1423
Katie Stujenske: 544
Willy Kane: 1871
Alex Marler: 2012
Adonis “Mark” Reddick: 1548
* Tony Rich: 2020
Sarah Crawford: 476
Jonathan Lake: 581
Richard Pointer: 1594
Brian Jerauld: 1762
Ben Simon: 1437

The average was derived from the 29 rated players with the four unrated players omitted from the calculations. Of the four unrated players, only Ed Protzel is not a current USCF member.

Here are three games from the simul:

PGN file

The 2013 U.S. Championship and 2013 U.S. Women’s Championship will be held simultaneously May 2 through May 13. This marks the fifth consecutive year that each of these prestigious events will be held in Saint Louis.

The opening ceremony takes place on May 2, and the first round for both events will kick off at 1 p.m. CT on May 3.

Also, fans of the U.S. Chess Championships can participate in Fantasy Chess for free by visiting: The grand prize is round-trip airfare for two from anywhere in the continental U.S., two nights hotel, a private dinner with GM Yasser Seirawan and two private lessons with Seirawan as well.

Below is a video of the simul, unfortunately shot in portrait mode. But the user already commented below his video on YouTube that he has learnt his lesson!

History of blindfold simuls

The great French player André Danican Philidor made the headlines of newspapers when he played three blindfold games simultaneously in 1783. Paul Morphy held in 1858 a blindfold exhibition against the eight strongest players in Paris, winning six and drawing two. Other early masters of blindfold chess were Louis Paulsen, Joseph Henry Blackburne (he played up to 16 simultaneous blindfold games) and the first world champion Wilhelm Steinitz.

In 1900 Harry Nelson Pillsbury played 20 games simultaneously in Philadelphia. In 1924 in New York Alexander Alekhine played 26 simultaneous blindfold games against very strong opponents (Isaac Kashdan and Hermann Steiner among them), with the score of 16 wins, 5 losses, and 5 draws. This was probably the strongest of any blindfold exhibitions ever held. The next year Richard Réti bettered this record by playing 29 players simultaneously in São Paulo.

On July 16, 1934 in Chicago, Alekhine set the new world record by playing 32 blindfold games, with 19 wins, four losses, and nine draws. George Koltanowski then set the world's blindfold record on 20 September 1937, in Edinburgh, by playing 34 chess games, winning 24 games and losing 10, over a period of 13 hours. The record was included in the Guinness Book of Records and was generally accepted as the world record until November 2011.

A new European record was set in November 2010 by German Marc Lang in Sontheim, Germany, playing 35 opponents with 19 wins, 13 draws, and 3 losses over a period of 23 hours. Lang set the world record a year later in November 2011 once again in Sontheim by playing 46 opponents simultaneously and blindfolded, with 25 wins, 19 draws and just 2 losses.

(More at Wikipedia)


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Wes's picture

Really amazing, congratulations! I can only imagine how exhausting this must have been after nearly eleven hours of blindfold chess.

Johnnyballgame's picture

Glad to see that the guy who shot this video has "learnt his lesson"!

SierraSunset's picture

I can still barely manage ONE blindfold game at a time. Gradually working my way up to two...

filiusdextris's picture

I'm a USCF 2100 player, in blindfold chess I can play reasonably at a 1300-1400 level with some nice wins, which I don't consider that bad for my expert-rated peers. But I tried playing 2 blindfold games at once against rank beginners and I felt utterly helpless. That was a long time ago but I still can remember that feeling of dread and confusion.

Kronsteen's picture

Anyone know of an iPhone (or Mac, or Web) chess app with a text interface - to enable true blindfold chess? I.e. where you do not see the Amber-style blank board.

Axel's picture

You can play gnuchess from the terminal. It should also be possible to use other (better) chess engines from the terminal directly.

obvious answers's picture


NN's picture

Wow, Kamsky played a game in Switzerland on April 30 and plays again in America on May 2.

Bob's picture

George Koltanowski then set the world's blindfold record on 20 September 1937

This must be wrong?

World Chess's picture

Record of Blinfold in the world is 1 vs 56 board, set by George Koltanowski on 1960. Final: +50,=6.
Now, on 31/12/2013 there will be a new record, maybe 1 vs 64 by Timur Gareev

Harish Srinivasan's picture

What is the criteria to create a new world record.
Clearly it cannot be just the number of boards without considering the score.
Or do they consider just the over all score?

Anonymous's picture

Take it from me, all chess tournaments should be blindfold chess. By the way, can blind chess players read chessvibes?? If not, fix it.

Demaemiainsuwgd's picture

ancedyjescecy xaikalitag carfUnini - iziananatt bajonnaunpazy pypeuncooro

XRumerTest's picture

Hello. And Bye.

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