Timus Gareyev was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and earned the title of Chess Grandmaster at the age of 16. He is known in the chess world as the Blindfold King – a title he has truly earned! His biggest blindfolded accomplishment – which earned him a Guinness World Record, took place on December 3rd and 4th, 2016 in Las Vegas. He played against 48 opponents (43 of which were on-site, and five of whom were online) in a blindfolded simul that lasted over 19 hours, and he did it while cycling on an exercise bicycle. Gareyev achieved a winning percentage of 80%, winning 35 games, drawing 7, and losing 6.
Blindfolded chess is no doubt a feat of mental and physical strength, and requires some powerful photographic memorization, as well as sophisticated mental-organization techniques.
Gareyev played half his games with black pieces, and only took short 5-minute breaks throughout the event. The previous world record was held by German International Master Marc Lang who played against 46 opponents in 2011. Eventually Gareyev would like to improve his own record and play 55 simultaneous blindfolded games. We can't wait to see that!
Photos by Lennart Ootes