Lessons from the Blindfold Chess King

Chess calculation is something every player needs to work on if they want to progress in their chess career. Not only do we need to train ourselves to look at the entire board and all the candidate moves, but we also need to accurately calculate which of those moves lead to a better position. Miscalculate, and you can go from the joy of finding a brilliant sacrificial tactic to tears as you realize you missed a response from your opponent and have lost a piece for nothing.

Of course, chess calculation isn’t easy! We aren’t robots, and it can be difficult to imagine where all the pieces are going to be in 2 or 3 moves! So how can we improve this important part of our game? How do we get better at visualizing the board as it will look in 5 moves, 10 moves or more?

Who better to help improve your chess vision than Grandmaster Timur Gareyev – a blindfold chess world record holder! Timur played 48 games at the same time, winning 37 of them, drawing 7 and losing only 6 – and all without taking a single glance at a board. Most of us would be lucky to have a record like that even if we could see the boards. Quite impressive!

In this video preview in cooperation with chess24, GM Gareyev analyses one of the exhibition blindfold chess games he played during his training in the run-up to his world record attempt. He focuses on how he went straight for the jugular, creating a dangerous and devastating attack that blew the opponent away!

Timur says that sometimes chess is like basic mathematics, and there are simple ways to analyze a position and decide on a proper course of action. With this video, you will learn how the attack develops and how to pull it off successfully.

Attacking Chess Calculation

Let’s take a look at the start of the game that Timur covers in this free video. It’s an opening in the Scandinavian. It begins with 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nxd5 4. d4 g6 5. c4 Nb6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. c5 Nd5 – White is out to attack, attack, attack!

Next comes 8. Bc4 c6 but it would have probably been better for Black to trade the knights at this point rather than defend. Sometimes when lower rated players get under pressure, they go into a defensive mode. That’s why Timur played 9. Qb3, to pile the pressure onto the knight. See the position on the left.

And Black carries on with another defensive move, 9…e6. Another option here would have been 9…0-0, which sacrifices a pawn but tries to get counter-play and gain the initiative.

For example, 10. Nxd5 cxd5 11. Bxd5 Nc6 with the idea of playing …Na6 which wins the bishop, or if White plays Bxc6, Black has the bishop-pair advantage.

So, how does White continue the attack? You’ll have to watch the video!

Lessons from the Blindfold King

The best part about the material you’ll learn in this video? You don’t need to be blindfolded in order to implement Timur’s tips! With your improved calculation and vision, you’ll be able to out-think your opponent more often and find the best moves that lead to winning positions and powerful tactical possibilities.