All the hours you have put into mastering the game of chess seem to be paying off. Good for you! So, you think you are slowly, yet surely, conquering the challenges this longstanding game continually presents to those daring-hearted individuals who partake in this mind-racking pastime. You are ready for a new challenge, yes? Now that you’ve played the game enough that you feel like you could play it in your sleep, why not partake in a match of blindfold chess? Yes, that’s right: blindfold chess!
Right now, images might be dancing through your mind of you and your opponent clumsily feeling around the chessboard for your knight, possibly knocking down your pieces, simulating a domino effect. Well, go ahead and wipe that vision out of your mind, as your first blindfold chess game will not be quite as complicated as this. It’s not like a piata game, where you will get spinned around, hopelessly aiming for your pawn. A third player will assist in the actual physical moving of the pieces, mind you. Your mission, however, is to memorize each and every move, all the while predicting your opponent’s next move, and calculating your future moves by putting your visual-spatial skills to work, without the use of your eyes!
If you can imagine the intense training your brain goes through during a typical game of chess, when you can actually see your and your rival’s moves, then surely you can begin to fathom just how much more work your brain will have to perform in order to complete this task of blindfold chess. Are you up to the challenge?
You may have seen or heard of chess matches where a player will challenge several opponents simultaneously. This thought alone can be baffling to chess competitors. With chess being a game based on skillful tactics and the ability to calculate not only your next several moves, but also your challenger’s next several moves, adding a blindfold to the situation will make it even more exciting (and possibly, frustrating)! You obviously love a good challenge, though, so hang in there.
People who are most likely to succeed at this style of chess playing are those whose learning style is holistic rather than systematic. The holistic learner’s thought methods are generally processed in pictures rather than words. This ability is beneficial to the blindfold chess player, as he will be able to grasp a full picture of the game board from his mind’s eye, as well as still be able to calculate and predict future moves, without the aid of sight.
Blindfold chess is something that is taken quite seriously amongst pro chess players. The Amber Chess Tournament is a competition that takes place annually at the Palais de la Mediterrane, in Nice. Participants come from all over the world, including Russia, India, Armenia, Ukraine, Norway, Bulgaria, China, Hungary, Azerbaijan, and the United States of America. The total amount of the prize pot is the equivalent of more than US$300,000 dollars. If the mere completion of the task isn’t enough to whet your enthusiasm, maybe financial means will nudge you toward the direction of mastering blindfold chess!
Hone your blindfold and speed chess skills enough, and you just might find yourself amongst the greatest players in the world. Good luck!
The author is the owner of Quality-Chess.net, an online site where you can browse for numerous chess products including wood chess sets. http://www.quality-chess.net