How Chess Grandmasters Think During Blindfold Simul: Timur Gareev's Cool Insights
As was starting out playing my first simul, I tried to hold on to every position in my mind. I would recreate it over and over in attempt to solidify the image. As I found out later, I don’t need to do that. I can experience the position once. When I “come back” to the board, the position pops up automatically. My quickest session was the 18 board simul in Austin. The event took about 3 hours including many take backs I suggested for instructional purpose.
I felt a little rusty as I started my Hawaiian simul. I certainly felt the lack of consistent preparation which had previously included weekly blindfolded 3-hour matches. Though it is never easy, the mission had to be completed. I took a few moments to enter the meditative space. When my breath started feeling more harmonious I initiated the blindfold journey.
Players announce his or her name and the move in the first couple rounds. Some helpfully announce names throughout the event. Voice acts as an immediate trigger to reawaken the position. Some players may speak softly which can be resolved using a microphone. The player can not announce the move, until I announce the board number. Garyk Ontai was helping me lead the simul. We had a few players who had a hard time shouting out the moves. Garyk was announcing for a girl named Young. The first few times he did that, I was thrown off trying to recollect the player and the position.
Several beginners took advantage of my “fast” decisions and were able to seize big material advantage. None of them managed to convert or hold up in the end. The “2000 club” guys defended their honor with two draws and one win. As part of the fun we assigned a prize of $200 which was divided between the successful participants. 24 warriors were outplayed, outricked, or simply gave away all of their stuff.