A pair of world records were set recently. The first went to the self-titled “Blindfold King,” Timur Gareyev, who has long stated his goal of setting a new blindfold simultaneous record. On Dec. 3 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he played 48 games at the same time, winning 35, drawing seven, and losing six. Though the tally is not yet officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, the consensus is that it’s just a matter of time, as the event was well witnessed and met all the relevant requirements — including winning percentage (80.2 percent) and strength of opposition (roughly 1700). The prior record was held by German master Marc Lang, who played 46 in 2011 (25 wins, 19 draws, two losses).
The second record was for two-player, multiboard simul. On Dec. 2, grandmasters David Navarra, the Czech Republic’s best player, and Sergei Movsesian, Armenian Olympiad team member, played a 12-board, clocked, simul against each other. The 12-board simul was held at a Prague shopping center, and Navara won easily, 8.5 to 3.5. The organizers claimed that the prior record was a eight-board simul played between Mikhail Tal and David Bronstein in 1986.
On a sadder note, Russian grandmaster and concert pianist Mark Taimanov has died at the age of 90 in his hometown of St. Petersburg. A unique talent who combined both world class chess and music, he is perhaps best known as Bobby Fischer’s first “victim” on Fischer’s way to winning the 1972 world championship. Their match was played in 1971, with Fischer winning by the amazing score of 6-0. It was a shocking result at the time and one that brought Taimanov nothing but grief on his return to Russia. His book, “How I became Fischer’s victim,” detailed the extent of his government-imposed misery.
Winners: Pillsbury Open, Open: 1st-2nd: Denys Shmelov, Nithin Kavi, 3.5-.5, U1950: 1st-2nd, Bharath Heggadahalli, Evan Maclure, 3.5-.5; U1610, 1st: Anjali Toly, 4-0, U1310: 1st: Kavita Bhatia, 4-0; Boylston Scholastic, 1st–2nd: Rishi Gujjar, Advaith Rajesh, 3.5-.5
Coming events: Dec. 17 and 18, Back Bay Open, Hilton Boston Back Bay, 40 Dalton St, Boston, www.relyeachess.com; Dec. 18, 31st Scholastic Chess Tournament: Spiegel Cup Series, NESSP, 290 Littleton Road, Unit 3, Chelmsford, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Answer to today’s problem: 1.e7+ Rxg4 2.e8 (Q)+ Qd8 3.Qe6+ Qd7 4.Qxd7+ Kxd7 5.Ne5+! Winning the rook.