Is blindfold chess harmful?

ruso2009

I am considering playing blindfold chess in order to enhance my OTB vision but I heard rumors it can be dangerous to one's mental health. Is this true? Does anybody here practice blindfold chess? Opinions are welcome, thanks

KripTik

I've never played blindfold chess before but I don't see how it could be harmful. Paul Morphy played many blindfold chess games at once and apparently went crazy later in his life, but I don't think that playing blinfold chess had much to do with it.

MinedSquaresGoBoom

I've been playing blindfold chess for about six months now and i think it has helped me a lot. I don't know how it could hurt.

colle-pirc

blindfold chess kills.  hahaha but yeah i play it helps with the visualization!

icexoke

I was really curious after I read your post because I had never heard of it being dangerous. But according to wikipedia and this website, simultaneous chess exhibitions in the Soviet Union were banned for health concerns. I haven't found anything specific though. My guess is that if you don't overdue it you will be fine. But that's not a professional medical opinion. haha. Also I have never tried it (it's above my level of play, for sure). 

http://www.chessclub.com/resources/articles/article11_7.html

ozshmbal

My opinion is that blindfolded is not only bad for your vision, but the practice can also place an undo burden on you against a visually perceptible world.

patrickapierce

I'm sorry, but what is Blindfold Chess?

mnag

In the most recent New In Chess magazine (2009 #2, pages 101-105), Hans Ree discusses  blindfold chess and focuses on reviewing Hearst and Knott's concepts in their book Blindfold Chess. He repeats their conclusion that blindfold chess is not harmful except for the exhustion following the exhibition. As for the assumption that the Soviet Union forbade blindfold chess for health reasons, he paraphases Hort and Kasparov. Hort said " ... no Soviet master wanted to do it because it is very tiring." While Kasparov pointed out  ".. that one merely needed approval and medical oversight." Quoting Ree " ,,,it seems likely that blindfold exhibitions were discouraged, ..."

corean
patrickapierce wrote:

I'm sorry, but what is Blindfold Chess?


yes what is blindfold chess exactly? is it when u cover your eyes and play chess without looking or just plain playing without a chessboard?

torre5
KripTik wrote:

I've never played blindfold chess before but I don't see how it could be harmful. Paul Morphy played many blindfold chess games at once and apparently went crazy later in his life, but I don't think that playing blinfold chess had much to do with it.


morphy did not become crazy because of that he became crazy because he proposed to a girl who refused by saying that he is nothing more than a mere chess player    

KripTik
torre5 wrote:
KripTik wrote:

I've never played blindfold chess before but I don't see how it could be harmful. Paul Morphy played many blindfold chess games at once and apparently went crazy later in his life, but I don't think that playing blinfold chess had much to do with it.


morphy did not become crazy because of that he became crazy because he proposed to a girl who refused by saying that he is nothing more than a mere chess player    


Yeah, and I said that I did NOT think it had much to do with it.

Beast719

Source: The Beast of Chess - my autobiography

In order to emulate these feats and cement my legacy I have been practising at home the unique techniques required to play blindfold at the highest level. After the untimely demise of young chess prodigy and former Welsh Champion - Dai Young whilst attempting to conquer 50 boards blindfold I have sensed that my time is now, my destiny is near.  I have learned from his mistakes and will not use a Lidl carrier-bag tied with electric flex. I have been experimenting with a thick flannelette pillow-case and duct tape. 

Teething problems abound: I have found that I knock most of the pieces over when I try to make my moves and anyway after about 4 or 5 moves I start to forget where all the pieces are on the board and after about 20 minutes I start to black out.  How did they do it?

I am thinking of trying a poly-cotton mix with breathing holes cut through.

It really is so difficult that I am also beginning to suspect think that these feats are not possible and that Morphy, Alekhine et al were just sophisticated fraudsters.  There is conspicuously little or no video evidence of them performing their blindfold tasks.  I can’t believe it is possible.  They must have cut small eyeholes in their pillow-cases.

Doctorjosephthomas

Most players are blind already!

TheOldReb

Over the years I have played a few games of blindfold chess but never more than one game at a time. I have had some decent results , winning a game against an A class player and a win against a 2300 ( uscf ) player but with the 2300 we were both playing "blindfold" as we were playing in a car during a trip to a tournament together. I have founf that the most difficult opponents for me to play blindfold against are people who are not "book/tournament" players. They make moves which make no sense, fit no pattern/opening thus making is much more difficult to recall where everything is on the board.....leading to more frequent blunders for me....

JG27Pyth

Lasker attributed Pillsbury's madness and untimely death to his straining his faculties with large Blindfold simul demonstrations.. we all now know of course, it was syphillis that did poor Pillsbury in.

The authors do note that shortly after multi-game displays, it is not uncommon for the performer to experience insomnia, and those who sleep soon after an exhibition may experience temporary difficulty driving the chess images from their minds.

I recall reading one (I believe Russian) GM discussing blindfold chess saying he wanted to see if he could do more than one board, and tried a small simul, and was surprised at how easy he found it, but played no further blindfold chess when later that evening he couldn't get chess positions from the games he'd played out of his head. One got the distinct impression that he found the experience punishing.

 


rich

Huh, it's harmless.

mynd_zye

Bottom line here is dont do it. It has been known to cause the practitioner to hear voices, see hallucinations, destroy personal relationships, and lose all contact with what was formerly known as reality.

 

Just kidding. The truth of the matter is that it can only help in the visualization of the outcomes while calculating long variations, which is everything.

BlueDevilKnight
nimzovich wrote:
The authors do note that shortly after multi-game displays, it is not uncommon for the performer to experience insomnia, and those who sleep soon after an exhibition may experience temporary difficulty driving the chess images from their minds.


In other words, they experience what everyone experiences after a grueling day of chess. Tongue out

Puchiko
BlueDevilKnight wrote:
nimzovich wrote:
The authors do note that shortly after multi-game displays, it is not uncommon for the performer to experience insomnia, and those who sleep soon after an exhibition may experience temporary difficulty driving the chess images from their minds.

 


In other words, they experience what everyone experiences after a grueling day of chess.


Good to hear I am not alone! I always see a chess board with pieces before falling asleep, I make my move, respond, until another situation appears... and then I fall asleep. I always play live chess before bed, so I'm glad to hear it's normal to expirience this.

smileative

In Budapest once - on a chess jaunt - I dragged the whole multinational bunch into the centre of the city for a night on the tiles. While travelling in I played a Luxembourger a game in our heads - checkmated him about 32 moves into it - an' discovered that the consumption of copious amounts of beer, wine and spirits totally erased any images of chess from my mind whatsoever.

This may have been enhanced by small confrontation with casino staff or ear-bashing from my girlfriend; but I suggest anybody suffering from this syndrome apply copious amounts of alcohol and you'll soon find you've got other things to worry about Smile