A Day with GM Timur Gareyev
Do you know how it feels to be with the world champion of blindfold chess, Timur Gareyev? You might have not experienced this feeling but I certainly have.
On July 1st, 2017 I attended on of Timur's blindfold camps. These camps are not regular since he travels around the world and teaches in many places. This means that I only meet him once a year. I went to the same camp last year in 2016, but it has been a whole lot better this year, and personally I think I understood more this year.
The camp was like last year except the fact that Timur was not a great blindfold chess master, he was the world champion of blindfold chess. As you may already know, Timur beat Marc Lang's record of playing 46 games simultaneously. On December 3rd, 2016 and December 4th he played 48 games simultaneously and won 35 of them, drew 7, and lost only 6! That is a incredible record playing blindfolded for that many games.
The Day with GM Timur Gareyev
When we came to the site where the camp was going on, Timur actually came a little late. He came on a bike. That is very impressive and healthy!
We started by going over and reviewing some variations in the Dragon variation- Sicilian. You probably might know this, but if you are not familiar with this variation always go to the explorer or openings section. We went into deep lines in the Dragon and finally after a lot of thought we found the breakthrough with moves like e5, and sacrificing the rook on h5. Ultimately, we found out that white was better at the end of the day.
After going through a lot of opening theory, we played a chess variant where the game starts of with no pieces on the board, but as you move the piece from its original square, it is put on the board. By the end of the game, all the pieces would be put on the board.
We ate lunch and played some tournament games. After playing some tournament games we analyzed few of the positions. It is impressive how Timur can relate the position to another famous game. By the end of the session he even gave us puzzles from his own games, and games he was observing from his tournaments. It is cool how he can remember the positions of his games and other people's games from tournaments he played months ago.
After the session was over, he told all of the players that blindfold chess cannot be mastered by just practicing blindfold chess, but through the practice of exercise, meditation, yoga, and staying healthy by eating healthy foods. I have aspirations of being a decent blindfold chess player, playing about 3-5 games simultaneously. I think blindfold chess will help me to calculate deeper and ultimately make me a better chess player. You can also search 'My Blindfold Chess Experience' also written by me to gain insight on what exercises you can do to learn blindfold chess.
I hope you enjoyed and liked this article, and good luck on your blindfold chess!