Blindfold games are always very interesting. For non chess players it is a spectacle showcasing the power of the human mind. How on earth can two players play a game of chess that has so many possibilities on each and every move without seeing the chess board!
Seasoned chess players know better. Daily practice and work on the chess board makes them used to the 64 squares and pieces which makes playing blindfold quite possible.
As Vishy Anand had rightly said, " Chess is like a language, the top players are very fluent at it."
But still blindfold games are very interesting for regular players of the game because such games happen quite rarely and it is always possible to make huge mistakes which otherwise strong players wouldn't make if they could see the chess board.
On 10th of January IM Nisha Mohota took on WGM Padmini Rout in an exhibition blindfold game at the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Sri City, Andhra Pradesh.
The poster of the game
It was a rapid game with a time control of 25 minutes + 10 second increment per move. All the details of the game along with what the players felt prior to the match were covered in my previous blogpost.
The game began with a blindfold cloth around the player's eyes. Both of them sat next to each other and called out the moves which was then made on a giant computerized chess board. As you can see both players look pretty calm and relaxed as Nisha began the game with an English Opening
But as the game progressed, players started to get a bit worried!
Look at Nisha! Trying to eke out every last bit of her mental power. And Padmini, as cool as a cucumber!
The crowd which consisted of girls with around the same age as Padmini and Nisha had a hard time to get to grips with the amazing mental power shown by the two girls.
Nisha repeats the position for the third time by moving her bishop to e7 and Padmini has to decide whether she will take a draw or not.
Padmini makes the move Ke4- d4 and that means its a three fold repetition! Nisha who cannot see anything is trying to claim for a draw. If you watch carefully, you can see Padmini has a small smile on her face. She knows its a draw but sits calmly!
Finally the blindfold is off and a huge relief for both the players and more so for Nisha as she was had just a minute left on her clock!
This exciting game was excellently commented upon by IM Saravanan who not only had to explain the game but also the very basic rules of chess to the spectators. He covered a wide range of topics and going over his commentary can help you to learn a lot about how a good chess player thinks.
Here is the game with a few comments by WGM Nisha Mohota:
The video of the entire game can be viewed over here.
The blindfold game was followed by tandem simul in which both the players played against 13 opponents and made moves one after another in every game. They won on all the boards.
No, this was not the prize they received for playing the blindfold game!
Guess whether this was the lunch before the game or dinner after it? More than the daylight, it is Padmini's expression that can give you the answer! :)
Now this one is definitely after the game! A relaxed Nisha!
Padmini in front of a Christmas tree
Both the players stayed in a hotel that looks magnificient!
Nisha and Padmini show their love towards the cavalry. This makes me wonder why did Nisha part away with her knight in the endgame with Ne5+? It has been long known that chess players mind starts working differently once they are in front of the 64 squared chess board! :)
I would personally like to congratulate both the players Padmini and Nisha on their excellent performance. I consider myself to be a decent blindfold player. But if I had to perform in front of so many people with a pressure of the clock ticking by I would have surely made a blunder! It's a big achievement by both of them to play a nearly flawless game! Both the girls have popularized the game of chess, in their own little way!
Pictures by Nisha, Saravanan's twitter and
screen captures from the live video feed