Chess with the 'Blindfold King' at Reedy Creek

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You couldn't wipe the smile from Mr Cooke's face when he welcomed chess Guinness World Record holder, Grand Master Timur Gareyev, to our Reedy Creek campus. Known as the ‘Blindfold King’, Gareyev holds the Guinness World Record for the most ‘Blindfold Chess Simultaneous Wins.’ In 2016, Gareyev played 48 games blindfolded whilst riding an exercise bicycle throughout the 19 hours and 9 minutes simultaneous match. The King's chess room was transformed into a smaller scale tournament for some of King's brightest chess players to take on one the top 50 rated players in the world.

In blindfold chess matches, the blindfolded player is told what move his opponent has just made but has no ability to go back and see what they did before. This means the player has to keep a mental image of the board, complete with the position of every piece, in order to make sound tactical decisions. Multiple simultaneous games represent an immensely difficult test of memory and skill. Whilst the outcome of the King's simul was inevitable, the learning opportunities were endless. Even Mr Cooke, our extraordinary chess coach, learnt so much from playing the chess champion.

King's top chess players were selected to compete against the Grand Master. They asked Mr Gareyev what advice he could share about becoming successful in a chosen pursuit. The Grand Master shared, "Chess is a tough discipline! You don't get something for nothing. To become a great chess player you need to make a lot of great moves, not just one big move to win a game. You need to strategise all the pros and cons of your options and go through the process."

Chess mirrors life. One giant leap forward or one disastrous wrong move isn't the end of the game of life. Mr Gareyev shared, "Think about how you handle the challenges in life to put yourself in a better position. Always be focusing on your tactics. Strategise to succeed so you can enjoy greater participation and accomplishments in life."

With over 250 students with a rating of 500+, King's has the most junior rated chess players of any school in Australia. Mr Cooke's enthusiasm is contagious, "I love teaching the upcoming generation key life skills in a fun and creative environment!" All King's primary students participate in weekly chess classes as part of their learning curriculum. Why not sit down to a game of chess with your children over dinner tonight? You might just find that your memory sharpens and you have extra creativity to solve a challenge at work tomorrow!