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  1. 23 Oct '08 14:41
    How long does it take to get good at playing blindfolded? I am good enough to calculate 4-5 moves ahead easily. I want to be able to play blindfolded. Who has done it and how?
  2. 23 Oct '08 14:50
    I think quite a few people must play blindfolded on this site, there's no other explaination.
  3. 23 Oct '08 14:51
    are you implying that you never make mistakes? I think not. Lets keep it positive.
  4. 23 Oct '08 15:10
    Originally posted by kmac27
    How long does it take to get good at playing blindfolded? I am good enough to calculate 4-5 moves ahead easily. I want to be able to play blindfolded. Who has done it and how?
    I've played a few games blindfolded against friends, but they weren't very strong players.

    I think the best way to learn to play blindfold is to gradually build up your visualisation skills. A good way to do that is to get a chess book, pick a game that you haven't seen before and try to play through it in your head, without using a board. Hopefully the book will have diagrams every few moves, so you will be able to refer back to those if you are having difficulty remembering the position. If you feel confident, try to avoid looking at the diagrams.

    If you can get through an entire game (at least 30 moves or so) without making any mistakes, then you will probably be ready to try a blindfold game against someone.
  5. Standard member Korch
    Chess Warrior
    23 Oct '08 15:32
    Originally posted by kmac27
    How long does it take to get good at playing blindfolded? I am good enough to calculate 4-5 moves ahead easily. I want to be able to play blindfolded. Who has done it and how?
    Have played blindfold against friends (not too strong in chess) a long time ago when I was much weaker (my ELO strength was about 2000-2100 then). It`s nothing supernatural.
  6. 23 Oct '08 15:34
    Originally posted by kmac27
    are you implying that you never make mistakes? I think not. Lets keep it positive.
    Always making mistakes, would make even more if I couldn't see.
    I don't really see the point in spending time learning to play blindfolded when you could spend that time on getting better at the game itself?
    I think if you play the game non-stop, read and study it every day then eventually you'll be able to play blindfold without having to actually practicing how to do it.
  7. 23 Oct '08 15:52
    Originally posted by TheGambit
    Always making mistakes, would make even more if I couldn't see.
    I don't really see the point in spending time learning to play blindfolded when you could spend that time on getting better at the game itself?
    I think if you play the game non-stop, read and study it every day then eventually you'll be able to play blindfold without having to actually practicing how to do it.
    Well, any time spent learning to play blindfold will not be wasted, because it will help to improve both visualisation and memory - two of the most important skiils for a chessplayer.

    In his opening post kmac said that he could calculate 4-5 moves ahead. If he learns to play blindfold, he should be able to calculate much further than that, and will definitely become a stronger player.
  8. Donation !~TONY~!
    1...c5!
    23 Oct '08 16:43
    I found out I could play blindfolded simply by being asked one time if I wanted to play. If you study enough chess, play enough, eventually it will just happen. As Tebb said, you could work on it by working on your calculation and visualization skills. I find that some chess players can calculate farther than they think they can if they just force themselves to do it. If you finish calculating a variation, just try to keep going, even if it's slow but steady. Play through the variation a couple times in your head if you have to remember where all the pieces go. Eventually you'll just get better.
  9. 23 Oct '08 18:35
    Originally posted by !~TONY~!
    I found out I could play blindfolded simply by being asked one time if I wanted to play. If you study enough chess, play enough, eventually it will just happen. As Tebb said, you could work on it by working on your calculation and visualization skills. I find that some chess players can calculate farther than they think they can if they just force themselve ...[text shortened]... your head if you have to remember where all the pieces go. Eventually you'll just get better.
    I realized this too. I can never seem to calculate too far but once I find myself in trouble I am suddenly a master calculator.
  10. 23 Oct '08 18:51
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    I realized this too. I can never seem to calculate too far but once I find myself in trouble I am suddenly a master calculator.
    it could be because when you are in trouble, the lines become more forced.
  11. 23 Oct '08 18:53 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by diskamyl
    it could be because when you are in trouble, the lines become more forced.
    Nah, sometimes yes but other times I am in trouble and it's very complicated. "Trouble" doesn't always mean forced lines and even if it is forced it is still hard to calculate so far when you have a lot of legal moves that lose but only one or two that will defend properly.
  12. 23 Oct '08 19:26
    I play a LOT of blindfold chess
    I've played a few ok people (best I've beaten is 110 grade ECF) and once done a simultaneous blindfold agaist two not-especially-good people.

    I tried a bunch of programs to help with visualisation, but basically, they don't work. I may team up with a programmer from my school at some point, and get him to make something that would be helpful, but until then, don't bother with all the computer stuff.
    Things to do instead:
    1) Find someone else who wants to learn blindfold. Then you can get a blindfold, and take it in turns. Allow yourself to take off the blindfold after 20 or so moves, and finish off a game as normal. This is just practice with your friend. You aren't displaying anything yet, and it helps.
    2) Play a few games not strictly blindfold, but with your back to the board, staring at a blank one. I started off like this. It helps an awful lot, and you can very quickly find it easy to picture where everything is.
    3) In your spare time, imagine simple situations like a lone rook on the board, or a bishop and a pawn. Try to visualise exactly what squares the pieces can move to. How fast they can get to certain squares.
    4) Start visualising harder situations, and compose simple mates in 2 in your head. Play through some basic endgames; King and Rook V King.

    Some things NOT to do:
    1) Worry too much about working out notation. It takes me quite a long time. Questions like "Is D5 black?" or "How quickly can white get a knight to G6 from the starting position?" are often asked in these software trainers, but they help with nothing. When I train, I do similar questions, but I think "Can the black squared bishop get there?" or "How quickly can my knight get to there?" Instantly picturing the square without any notation getting in the way. Notation clouds your memory. In a game, I have to use notation, but I see this as a method of distributing information rather than a method of storing information. If you try and run over a position, and your first thoughts are "right, I've got a knight on f6, bishop on h4, king on e4" you will find it very very hard.
    2) Don't play over the game to recall where something is. If you're in the middle of the game, and suddenly think "oh goodness, is there a pawn there, I can't remember," then it is very tempting to start building up the game from the start to check what's happened. Don't! You will forget much of the rest of the position and this will often be more important than the pawn. I instead do a sort of mindsweeper tactic, and label that square as blue, assuming there both is and isn't a pawn there (in other words, assuming it can capture diagonally, and assuming pieces can go through it) until either a) it moves or b) your opponent moves another piece through that square. These things will answer your question, and you will have continued safely.

    Hope these things help. I will try and think of more rules I've developped and work by, and will answer any questions you have about it
  13. 23 Oct '08 19:32
    Originally posted by doodinthemood
    I play a LOT of blindfold chess
    I've played a few ok people (best I've beaten is 110 grade ECF) and once done a simultaneous blindfold agaist two not-especially-good people.

    I tried a bunch of programs to help with visualisation, but basically, they don't work. I may team up with a programmer from my school at some point, and get him to make som ...[text shortened]... elopped and work by, and will answer any questions you have about it
    What i find that helps a lot is just calculating out moves in games while you are away from them. For example, when I play an OTB game I often get up and walk away from the board. This, for some reason, helps me visualize complicated variations.. I guess it could be that my intuitive "chess brain" blocks out all the clutter of the pieces and focuses on the important aspects of the position. I also almost always close my eyes when I am deciding my move. This may be odd, but it helps both non-blindfold and blindfold chess for me.
  14. 25 Oct '08 15:03
    Originally posted by kmac27
    How long does it take to get good at playing blindfolded? I am good enough to calculate 4-5 moves ahead easily. I want to be able to play blindfolded. Who has done it and how?
    Have you tried to play blindfold? If you can calculate 4-5 moves ahead, I'll bet blindfold will be easier than you think. Just try it.

    I used to play blindfold against my friends all the time and was surprised how easy it was to keep track of the position. If you can keep track of the position, you can play at reasonable strength. My view of blindfold chess is that its a parlor trick - really impressive looking, but really isn't that hard.
  15. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    25 Oct '08 15:20
    Originally posted by kmac27
    How long does it take to get good at playing blindfolded? I am good enough to calculate 4-5 moves ahead easily. I want to be able to play blindfolded. Who has done it and how?
    In
    1900 Harry Nelson Pillsbury played 20 games simultaneously in Philadelphia; not long after having attempted the unusual feat of playing fifteen chess and fifteen checkers games simultaneously (the record for blindfold checkers being 28 simultaneous games). The Czech player Richard Réti and Russian World Champion Alexander Alekhine were the next to significantly further the record.

    In 1924 at the Alamac Hotel of New York Alekhine played 26 simultaneous blindfold games against very strong opponents (Isaac Kashdan and Hermann Steiner among them), with the score of +16 -5 =5. This was probably the strongest of any blindfold exhibitions ever held. The next year in February in Paris he faced 28 teams of four players each, with the impressive result of 22 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses. In the same year, Réti bettered this record by playing 29 players simultaneously in São Paulo and amusingly commented on his poor memory after leaving his briefcase behind after the event.
    On July 16, 1934 in Chicago, Alekhine set the new world record by playing 32 blindfold games, with the result +19 -5 =5. Edward Lasker was the referee for this event.

    George Koltanowski set the world's blindfold record on 20 September 1937, in Edinburgh, by playing 34 chess games simultaneously while blindfolded, winning 24 games and losing 10, over a period of 13 hours. The record was included in the Guinness Book of Records and is generally accepted as the world record to this day.[1] Later, both Miguel Najdorf and János Flesch claimed to have broken that record, but their efforts were not properly monitored the way that Koltanowski's was. Najdorf's first record in Rosario, Argentina was against 40 opponents (+36 =1 -3)[4] and was organised in an effort to gain sufficient publicity to communicate to his family that he was still alive, as he had remained in Argentina after travelling from his native Poland to compete in the 1939 Chess Olympiad. He increased this record to 45 opponents in São Paulo in 1947, with the result of 39 wins, 4 draws and 2 losses.[5] However, he had access to the scoresheets, and there were multiple opponents per board.[1] Koltanowski claimed that he could have managed 100 games under those conditions.[6]

    The last increase in the record was claimed by the Hungarian Janos Flesch in Budapest in 1960, playing 52 opponents and winning 31 games, with 3 draws and 18 losses. However, this record attempt has been somewhat sullied by the fact that Flesch was permitted to verbally recount the scores of the games in progress. It also took place over a remarkably short period of time, around five hours, and included many short games.[6]

    There have been no serious attempt to increase the record since then, due to lack of interest in mere numbers.[7]

    One other notable blindfold record was set in 1960 by Koltanowski in San Francisco, when he played 56 consecutive blindfold games at a rate of 10 seconds a move. The exhibition lasted 9 hours with the result of 50 wins and six losses.[7] Koltanowski's specialty was conducting a Blindfold Knight's Tour on boards of up to 192 squares.