Magnus Carlsen Blindfold Simul with Time Controls

Posted on 2022-09-16 by Odin Chess
Updated on 2022-09-29
Blindfold Chess
Magnus Carlsen blindfolded with a chess themed background

On May 5th 2015, a crowd full of wealthy patrons gathered at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. They had each paid 5,000 dollars per seat to be able to attend the day's events. The money went to a good cause: the research, treatment and cure of pediatric cancer. But the days entertainment was rather unusual. There was no singing or dancing, instead, the attendees had come to watch chess.


Specifically, they had come to watch Magnus Carlsen, widely considered to be the greatest chess player of all time, test the limits of his abilities by playing three opponents simultaneously, all while blindfolded. To make things even more difficult, each of his opponents had 9 minutes on the clock, while Magnus had only 9 minutes total, giving him 3 just minutes per game. This was the first time Magnus had ever played a blindfold simul with time controls.


Carlsen's opponents were Paul Hoffman, the CEO of the Liberty Science Center, J. Christopher Flowers, the chairman of J.C. Flowers & Company, and Gbenga Akinnagbe, who starred as Chris Partlow in HBO's The Wire. GM Maurice Ashley hosted the event and provided commentary throughout.


Blindfold chess is a formidable challenge for any chess player, let alone playing multiple opponents simultaneously, but the 25-year-old Norwegian made it look effortless as he defeated all three of his opponents with time to spare.


This was just an exhibition match, but it was an impressive display of Magnus Carlsen's skills, and it raised a lot of money for a great cause. It just goes to show that even the greatest chess player in the world can still find new ways to amaze us. Magnus Carlsen is truly a one of a kind talent.


You can watch the full video of the exhibition below:


A hand drawn image of the Norse God Odin playing chess
Odin Chess
The Odin Chess team is composed of several members. We have various levels of chess skill, from beginner to expert, but are united by our love of chess. Writing blog entries is a team effort, and each blog entry is written with the intent of helping our users improve their chess abilities.