You Can Play Blindfold Chess too!
The 18th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament starts today in Nice, France. This is as good as time as any to try your hand at blindfold chess. I have done a little research and if you have any of the popular chess software programs like Chessmaster (any version) or Fritz, Rybka etc. you can play blindfold.
We have already talked about why a player would want to know how to play blindfold. I personally would like to have as many similar traits to a grandmaster as possible. Most grandmasters can play blindfold to one degree or another.
Right now at the 18th Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament we have twelve of the worlds strongest players competing. They are using computers to play each other blindfold. I personally think this helps a bit when you can physically see the board but not the pieces.
Today I tried to find the settings in fritz to make the game blindfold. Here are the instructions. Tools->Options->Designs->Board Colors:
Select BlindAll from the drop down menu for pieces, then apply.
Now I didn't turn the board completely blind in my test game. Just my pieces. I wanted to see what my opponent was doing. Also, I didn't have the game turned up to its highest level. I am a strong advocate of playing the computer at the lowest level until you can beat it consistently before moving up. When I train with fritz I play rated speed games starting at the lowest level. I let the computer adjust the levels after each game, assigning me a rating along the way.
Today I played the following game. I have not included the entire game. I will save you the suspense and tell you that I lost. However, look at the position I was able to obtain blind!
If you are a Chessmaster user, you can easily find the blindfold option in the boards setting area. I have long ago stopped using chessmaster so I don't remember exactly which menu option it is under.
Playing blindfold chess is a tremendous asset to opening preparation training drills. The idea is this. For the first ten moves with any color you should have a solid idea of what to respond or play against any opponent. With opening preparation you should strive to be at least equal out of the opening. Each opening has its own objective so the specific goals can vary but in general you don't want to give an edge away.
Follow the Amber tournament and give blindfold chess a try today.