History, Psychology, Techniques, Champions, World Records and Important Games
For centuries, blindfold chess—the art of playing without sight of the board or pieces—has produced some of the greatest feats of human memory, progressing to the extent that the world record in 2009 was 45 [and is now 46] simultaneous blindfold games.
This work describes the personalities and achievements of some of blindfold chess’s greatest players—including Philidor, Morphy, Blackburne, Zukertort, Pillsbury, Reti, Alekhine, Koltanowski, Najdorf and Fine, as well as present-day grandmasters such as Anand and Kramnik.
Including some never before published, 444 games scores are presented, peppered with diagrams and annotations. Hints for playing blindfold, and its practical value, are also included.
About the Author(s) The United States Olympic Chess Team captain in 1962, Eliot Hearst is a U.S. Life Senior Master, a distinguished professor emeritus at Indiana University, and an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Arizona.
John Knott has written numerous legal articles and is a consultant at the London head office of an international law firm. Each author has had a particular interest in blindfold chess and has studied the subject for more than thirty years.
>> Winner of the Cramer Award 2009. Book of the Year--United States Chess Federation. Finalist, Book of the Year--English Chess Federation
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments 1 Introduction 7
PART I. THE HISTORY OF BLINDFOLD CHESS 1. Even Before Philidor 15 2. Francois-Andre Philidor 21 3. Between Philidor and the Late 1800s 25 Early Post-Philidor Blindfold Players 25; Louis Paulsen 29; Paul Morphy 34; Joseph Henry Blackburne 39; Johannes Zukertort 43; Other Late 1800s Blindfold Players 47 4. The First Part of the Twentieth Century 50 Introduction 50; Harry Pillsbury 54; Vladimir Ostrogsky 59; Richard Reti (with a bow to Boris KostiW) 62; Gyula Breyer 72; Alexander Alekhine 73; George Koltanowski 83; Miguel Najdorf 91; Janos Flesch 99; Reuben Fine 110 5. The Last Fifty Years 115 Introduction 115; Francisco J. Perez, Kenneth Rogoff, Leo Williams, Vlastimil Hort, Anthony Miles, Jacob Ost Hansen, Hans Jung, Ole Boegh Larsen, and Garry Kasparov 116-127; Other Players of Note (Val Zemitis, Ortvin Sarapu, Larry Christiansen, Sergio Mariotti, Dimitrije Bjelica, Jacques Mieses, Frank J. Marshall, Samuel Reshevsky et al.) 127-135 6. Women and Blindfold Chess 136 7. Major Recent Tournaments and Matches 139 Introduction 139; The Amber Tournaments 141; The Future 146
PART II. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF BLINDFOLD CHESS 8. Research on General Chess Skill 151 Cleveland (large units of thought and "position sense") 151; Djakow, Petrowski, and Rudik (masters’ memories superior only in chess?) 152; Baumgarten (chess prodigy Reshevsky) 153; De Groot (recognition of patterns) 154; Simon et al. ("chunks" in shortand long-term memory) 155; Some Problems with the Simon Group’s Approach 158; Alternatives to the Simon Group’s Approach 162; Imagery, Verbal Knowledge, "Cartoons" 166 9. Psychological Studies and Commentaries on Blindfold Chess 179 Binet 179; Bergson 184; Fine 185; Ericsson et al. 186; Saariluoma 187; Chabris and Hearst 189 10. The Techniques of Blindfold Champions 191 11. The Supposed Health Hazards 200
PART III. BLINDFOLD CHESS GAMES World Record-Setting Simultaneous Exhibitions 207 Other Significant Games 313 Afterword 391 Appendix A. "World Record" Blindfold Simultaneous Exhibitions Since 1782 395 Appendix B. Proposed Rules for Serious Simultaneous Blindfold Displays 407 Bibliography 409 Games Index (to game numbers) 415 Traditional Openings Index (to game numbers) 422 ECO Openings Index (to game numbers) 424 Illustrations Index (to page numbers) 426 General Index (to page numbers) 427