Chessniti Academy


A Step by Step guide to develop Blindfold Chess skills


Many of you must have seen Magnus Carlsen’s video where his eyes are covered by tying a cloth and plays Chess against 10 players simultaneously and wins most of them.


Magnus Carlsen playing Chess Blindfolded

You might think that he is a former World Chess Champion and that’s why he can play Blindfolded so well. Yes, it is true to play against ten people blindfolded is tough. But you can also develop the skill to play Chess without looking at the board.

Playing chess blindfolded is a challenging endeavor that requires practice and a solid understanding of the game.

Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Master the game: Before attempting to play blindfolded, it’s essential to have a strong grasp of the rules, strategies, and tactics of chess.
  2. Visualize the board: Visualization is crucial when playing chess blindfolded. Start by studying and memorizing the algebraic notation of chess moves, which uses letters and numbers to identify squares on the board.
    Here is a small exercise: Visualize the board in your mind, and try to recall the colour of a particular square. For example g5, f4, a8, h7, b4.
  3. Start with a simple position: Begin with a few pieces on the board and gradually increase the complexity as you gain confidence. Working with simpler positions allows you to focus on improving your visualization skills and adapting to playing without sight.
    Try to visualize the following positions:
    Position 1
    White: King on f6 and pawn on f7
    Black: King on h7.
    Question: Should white play pawn to f8 and promote to a Queen?
    Position 2:
    White: King on h1, pawn on a4.
    Black: King on f5.
    Question: If white starts pushing the pawn can white promote safely or will the black king reach on time and capture the pawn? (Answers are at the end of the blog)
  4. Visualizing short games: If you were able to solve the above positions, then you must try to visualize the following games:
    Game 1:
    1.d4 Nf6 2.Nd2 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.h3
    Question: Can you find a good move for black?
    Game 2:

    1.e4 d6 2.Bc4 Nd7 3.Nf3 g6 4.Ng5 Nh6
    Question: Can white do checkmate in one move? If yes, then what is the move?

  5. Practice regularly: Consistent practice is key to mastering blindfolded chess. Engage in regular training sessions where you play against yourself or with a partner who is also interested in blindfolded play. Analyze your games to identify areas for improvement and work on strengthening your visualization and memory skills.

Playing chess blindfolded is a remarkable feat that requires dedication, practice, and a strong understanding of the game.
By honing your visualization, memory, and chess skills, you can gradually develop the ability to play blindfolded.

Position 1: If White promotes to a Queen then it is a stalemate.
Position 2: The a-pawn can be promoted safely.
Game-1: … Ne3 wins the Queen -+
Game-2: 1.Bxf7. 2.Nxf7 Ne6 +-