As noted in Sunday’s column, Timur Gareyev is on a quest to set a new world blindfold simul record with 50 boards. He has partnered with the Chicago area Mensa group and will be doing a 10-board simul this October at their big convention, HalloweenM 4D. The hope is to set the record at next year’s convention.

The two biggest concerns we see are the timing and the size of the event. The event is expected to last 24 hours. That is not unreasonable given that Marc Lang’s record-setting event took 21 hours. But the bigger concern is where do you find 50 people willing to play for so long. We sincerely hope they find the players, but we will see how this all plays out.


Today’s game comes from last week’s Waltham simul. It is Gareyev’s only blemish, a draw to Andrew Luff.

It was a messy game from beginning to end, which was all the better for Luff and the one game in the event that Gareyev mind’s eye failed him.

Blindfold Exhibition, Waltham Chess Club, Aug. 7, 2015

Timur Gareyev vs. Andrew Luff

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 The Budapest Gambit, long a favorite of club players everywhere. It has a dubious reputation, though GM Boris Avrukh has offered that “the Budapest Gambit is almost a respectable opening. . . . ” It should also be mentioned that it is the perfect choice when your opponent is blindfolded, playing nine other players, and exhausted from a 2,500-mile flight from Iceland! 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.e3Nxe5 5.Nh3 Heading to d5 5...Bb4+ 5…Ng6 is another idea to try to keep white’s knight on the rim where it is grim. 6.Bd2 Qe7 7.Nc3 c6 8.Nf4 d6 9.Be2 g5!? Controversial but if black doesn’t mix it up, white will just be better. 10.Nfd5!? Fun but either 10.Nd3 or 10.Nh5 are simpler. 10...cxd5 11.Qa4+ the point. 11...Kf812.Qxb4 Nbc6 13.Qb5 d4 14.Nd5 Qd8 15.0–0 d3 Disrupting white, but this pawn will be hard to hold. 16.Bd1 g4 17.Bc3 The computer, now and for many moves, screams for f4. 17...Rg8 18.Kh1?! Again f4! 18...h5 19.f4 Finally! 19...Nd7 20.b4 a6 21.Qa4 Nb6 22.Qb3 Nxd5 23.cxd5 Qh4! This aggressive move came at a very good time during the simul. 24.f5 g3 25.h3 Ne7 26.Rf4 Should be winning. 26...Qg5 27.h4 Back, back foul queen! 27...Qh6 28.Bd2? F6! i.e.; 28.f6 Ng6 29.Qc4 Nxf4? (29...Rh8)and now the nifty 30.Qc7 mates black in a few moves. 28...Bxf5?! 28…Rg4! 29.e4 Rg4! Very strong and very winning. 30.Bxg4 30.Rxg4 Qxd2 31.Rxg3 Qe1+ 32.Kh2 Qxe4 33.Qb2 Qxh4+ 34.Rh3 Bxh3 30...hxg4 Now mate is threaten and white’s king will go for an unwanted walk. 31.Qxd3 Qxh4+ 32.Kg1 Qh2+ 33.Kf1 Qh1+ 34.Ke2 Qxa1 Tired and being pressed for time as there was only one other game going, black sees a rook and captures a rook. Much better was 34...Qxg2+. 35.exf5 Re8 36.Re4 Qxa2 37.Qe3 Qxd5 38.Qh6+ Kg8 39.Rxg4+ Timur’s only real “sight” mistake. Gareyev thought this was winning but overlooked, if that is right word, that 39…Ng6+ was a discovered check. 39...Ng6+ 40.Be3 Now somewhere around here as this was the last game, they put a clock on it with 5 minutes for each player. And Luff started falling badly behind on time. 40...Qxf5 41.Rxg3 Qc2+ 41...Re5 should win. 42.Kf3 Qe4+ 43.Kf2 Qc2+ 44.Kf3 Qe4+ Running out of time, black takes the offered draw though he is up two pawns; ½-½.