Grandmaster to take on all comers in chess this afternoon at South Station

In the midst of bustling businessmen and hurried commuters at Boston’s South Station this afternoon Larry Christiansen will challenge at least two dozen people to a game of chess – all at the same time.

Christiansen, a grandmaster who is currently ranked as the 15th best chess player in the country, was planning to play 25 simultaneous games starting at 5 p.m. today in what enthusiasts call a “simul”.

“Larry has been giving simuls now for about three or four months,” Bill MacLellan of the Boylston Chess Club said. “He opposes 25 players in a simultaneous exhibit and he goes around and wipes them all out.”


MacLellan said that Christiansen is a “very tactical” chess player and is very entertaining to watch. The United States Chess Federation calls Christiansen “an American master of attack” on their website. Christiansen became a grandmaster, chess’s highest title, in 1977 and was US champion in 1980, 1983, and 2002, MacLellan said.

“They line up the 25 boards and he goes down around to the 25,” MacLellan said. “The only thing they ask is that you don’t touch the pieces until the grandmaster comes, and when he does come, you need to be ready to make your move.”

Christiansen will be taking on challengers at South Station just about once a month, MacLellan said. Anyone who defeats the grandmaster will receive one free entry to a Boylston Chess Club tournament. MacLellan said that once Christiansen beats an opponent, another will step up to the board and begin a new game.

“Once he clears the board, somebody else can step in,” he said. “There is no telling how many players he’ll mow down.”

Colin A. Young can be reached at colin.young@globe.com.