Timur Gareyev on Blindfold, Endurance & a World Record

heartland American open chess tournaments dictate an intense rhythm of several rounds played every day. I like the idea of playing events in one weekend and pick the quickest schedule available. There certainly is little room for game preparation. There is little time for anything aside from playing the games really. Contrary to the common belief among chess players, I do not like to sit around trying to save energy. I believe you get more energy for your body and mind as you come out for some fresh air and exercise! This weekend I am set to face 47 players simultaneously while blindfolded and exercising on a spin bike. Aside from the intellectual magnanimity of the challenge, I will likely get an ultra-marathon distance worth of a work out! Exercising while playing chess not only helps direct blood flow to my brain, but also empowers me with a consistent rhythm of play. Once I get in the rhythm, exercising creates “white noise” vacuum for my thoughts and visualization process to flow. Similar to the paradigm of “body in motion stays in motion”, the mind will go along with the rhythm of your physiology. The key to maintaining a successful pace and performance over many hours of play, is to keep “spinning”. The subconscious mind decides and executes 90% of our day-to-day decision-making process.  Thus, set with the right strategy, the mind will recognize and follow the needed steps along the map of the world record journey. The mindset necessary for success is thus more of a meditative ultra-marathon like state rather than a power-lifting effort. Speaking of meditation, I tend to do yoga whenever I get a chance. This past weekend in Costa Mesa I discovered a yoga place across the street from the American Open venue. I started off with a strength oriented class in the morning and took quick power naps during restorative classes in the afternoon. Similarly as you relax and stretch out your body, the mind will follow and run at a much more efficient pace. Staying fresh through a long battle is key to a successful event. A sense of awareness during quiet moments of meditation gives you the focus you need during your decisive rounds. Lastly, I watch my nutrition. Because I have been traveling a lot, in the past year I transitioned towards a more inclusive diet of fish, eggs, and meats. Animal products offer lots of great flavors and savory recipes. It sure is much easier to find a chicken Caesar than a quinoa kale salad at the airport. Despite the added challenge, recently I decided to get back into vegan groove. It certainly is a personal preference of what you like to include in your diet. Personally, on a vegan diet, I sure notice the difference of greater mental clarity, calm, and higher level of energy left at the end of an intense day. Here are a couple games from one of the toughest events I endured: a 15-player blindfold exhibition match in Minneapolis, organized by Beginner’s Mind Chess. Games are annotated by the event organizer, National Master Dane Mattson.
[pgn][Event "Chess Castle of Minnesota"]
[Site "Chess Castle of Minnesota"]
[Date "2016.10.01"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Narayanan, Samrug"]
[Black "Gareyev, Timur"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C21"]
[PlyCount "94"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 d5 4. exd5 Nf6 5. Nf3 Nxd5 6. Nxd4 Be7 7. Bd3 O-O 8.
O-O Bf6 9. Nf5 Nc6 10. Ng3 Re8 11. Qc2 h6 12. Nd2 Ne5 13. Be4 c6 14. Nb3 Qc7
15. Nd4 Bd7 16. Ndf5 Rad8 17. Bxd5 cxd5 18. Nh5 Re6 19. Nxf6+ Rxf6 20. Ne7+ {
OK - Black is not exactly thrilled with this situation, but how should a
player psychologically respond to an unpleasant turn of events? First of all,
how unpleasant is this position for Black? Perhaps it is not as bad as we
think...} Kh8 21. Nxd5 {This is a common point for players to collapse. We
must strive to remain active - but how?} Bf5 22. Qb3 {Black to move.} Nf3+ 23.
gxf3 Rg6+ 24. Kh1 Qc6 25. c4 Bh3 26. Bf4 {White is trying to maximize his
chances for a successful result with this move -- Black must commit to a
specific continuation - what should it be?} Bg2+ 27. Kg1 Bxf1+ 28. Kxf1 {Black
to move - keep the train moving on the tracks!} Rxd5 {Black to move - keep the
train moving on the tracks!} 29. cxd5 Qa6+ 30. Ke1 Rg1+ 31. Kd2 Rxa1 32. d6
Qa5+ 33. Qc3 Qd5+ 34. Ke3 Qe6+ 35. Kd3 Qf5+ 36. Ke3 Rd1 37. Ke2 Rd5 38. Bg3
Qe6+ 39. Kf1 Qh3+ 40. Ke2 h5 41. Qb3 Qe6+ 42. Kf1 h4 43. Bxh4 {Black to move -
can't we just win a bishop with 43...Qh3? Perhaps, but is there a better way
to proceed?} Rxd6 44. Qxe6 Rxe6 45. Bg3 f6 46. Bb8 a6 47. Ba7 b6 0-1[/pgn]
Nastassja Matus is ranked #1 in the U.S. for girls age 12.
[pgn][Event "Chess Castle of Minnesota"]
[Site "Chess Castle of Minnesota"]
[Date "2016.10.01"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Gareyev, Timur"]
[Black "Matus, Nastassja"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D15"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. e4 b5 6. e5 Nd5 7. a4 Nxc3 8. bxc3
e6 9. Ng5 Bb7 10. Qh5 g6 11. Qg4 (11. Qf3 $1) 11... h6 12. Ne4 Nd7 13. Rb1 Ba6
14. Be2 Be7 15. O-O Nb6 16. axb5 cxb5 17. Bf3 Nd5 18. Re1 h5 19. Qg3 Rb8 20.
Ra1 Rb6 21. Nc5 Qc8 22. Bxd5 exd5 23. e6 Bxc5 24. exf7+ Kxf7 25. dxc5 Re8 26.
Rxe8 Qxe8 27. Be3 Rc6 28. Qf3+ Kg8 29. Qxd5+ Qe6 30. Qd8+ Kf7 31. h3 Qe7 32.
Qd5+ Qe6 33. Qf3+ Qf6 34. Qg3 Qxc3 35. Rxa6 Rxa6 36. Qc7+ Kf6 37. Qd8+ Ke5 {a
resourceful defensive move! Black offers White the tempting option of playing
a move that looks like it is decisive, but proves to be decisively drawn!} 38.
Qc7+ {White maintains the tension and refuses to be tempted by Qh8 ideas.} (38.
Qh8+ $2 Rf6 39. Bg5 $2 Kf5 $1 {and Black is perfectly fine.}) 38... Kf6 39.
Qd8+ Ke5 40. Qe8+ Re6 41. Qb8+ Ke4 42. Qb7+ Ke5 43. Qb8+ Ke4 44. Qa8+ Kd3 45.
Qd5+ {Timur wins the rook and converts his advantage in a time scramble
situation.} 1-0[/pgn]
Learn more about Grandmaster Timur's upcoming record-breaking blindfold chess event:  The Blindfold Chess World Record Event takes place on December 3rd at 8 a.m. in Las Vegas, NV. Watch the live stream broadcast on the Blindfold King Twitch TV stream. For more information, visit his Official Website and Twitter page  

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I once tried running in the morning before my first round of the day. The run was about an hour. In my tournament game about an hour later, I felt edgy or distracted the whole time and didn't have the patience to concentrate until I was sure of my move. The game result was unsatisfactory. Without sufficient data to make a statistically significant determination, I linked the two events in my mind and never ran before a round again. It sounds like Timur has the opposite result and with more data than one event. It is encouraging, though I'm not sure I'll ever run before a round again.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

This is going to be an incredible event! I am doing the commentary and have a few fun interviews lined up, including the current record holder (Marc Lang, who will talk to us from Germany) and Luciano Andrade (from Argentina), who will be taking part in the simul online. It will not be his first time to participate in an attempt to break the world blindfold simul record. He was Board 27 (out of 45) when GM Miguel Najdorf set the mark in 1947!! He is now in his 90's and will play his moves via the internet!

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Go Blindfold King! Are you going to warm up for the WR attempt by doing the Knight's Journey?

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I have met u in person before! U r pretty awesome at exercising and doing chess at the same time. How do u keep track of all those moves into the deep endgame?

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

[…] Many, if not most, chess players view chess as a sport and approach it as such. For instance, the 2018 U.S. Open chess champion Timur Gareyev – a grandmaster known for playing numerous players at once while blindfolded – has promoted the benefits of exercise for chess players. […]

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