Chess Diving with Grandmaster Gareyev [VIDEO]

U.S. Open Champion Grandmaster Timur Gareyev kicks off the most important month in US Chess in decades with a daredevil “chessdive” shoot for the November Chess Life Magazine cover.

The Kansas based Grandmaster (born in Uzbekisan), also known as “Blindfold King” is an adventure addict: an ultramarathoner, yoga enthusiast and blindfold-chess Guinness World Record holder.

Gareyev’s manager Jennifer Vallens coordinated the cover and video shoot with Joe Jennings of, who has filmed stunt dives with everything from snowboards to bikes, all-terrain vehicles, and even jeeps. Seemingly a chess board would be simple compared to those other shoots, but a square piece of wood is anything but aerodynamic. Imagine how your hand reacts to the wind when you stick it out a car window at 60 mph; Timur would be falling at 120 mph with the board in hand. This required Jennings to not just permanently attach the pieces but to also doctor the board with a cone attached underneath to provide aerodynamic stability.

Gareyev chose to set up a position based on a game from 1760 between Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the prince de Conti, played in Montmorency, France. Rousseau wrote, “I have always said and felt that true enjoyment cannot be described.”

Video edited by Daniel Meirom.


  1. Wonderful. 🙂
    Timur is always taking the game to new heights!
    Beats the old cover photo of Fischer playing chess in the swimming pool by a wide margin!

  2. Fantastic! Jennifer Vallens is giving the world to glimpses (well-edited!) of the unbridled adventure-seeking mind of GM Timur Gareyev.

    Timur is truly a “one-in-a-billion” type of a person – so if you have a chance to meet him or host him at your club someday, you will always remember it!

    Fantastic cover Melinda Matthews!

  3. I have seen lots of still photos of sky diving, but I didn’t really “get it” until I saw this video. Wow — he jumped out … there??!!?

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