Simultaneous Chess Exhibition by GrandMaster Priyadharshan in Bangalore Chess Club

Simultaneous Chess Exhibition

I was recently visiting Bangalore and visited the Bangalore Chess Club for a simultaneous display with 10 players. I wanted to share my experience from the simultaneous chess exhibition and also share some tips on why young players should play in simuls if they get a chance!

The Simultaneous Chess Exhibition

The Simultaneous Chess Exhibition, commonly known as a “Simul,” is an event where a single player takes on multiple opponents simultaneously. It is a true test of skill, concentration, and strategic thinking. 

Details of this Chess Simul 

The Simul at the Bangalore Chess Club in collaboration with Chess Gaja was open to players of all ages and skill levels, making it a perfect opportunity for young kids and adults aspiring to become better chess players.

The organizers held the Simul on February 25, 2024 in the Market Place of RMZ Eco World in Bellandur, Bangalore.

In the simul, I had to play 10 opponents at the same time. The selection of players occurred in two ways. The top 5 finishers in an offline arena tournament they had conducted and there were also 5 lucky draw winners, making the total count of my simul opponents to 10 players.

My opponent level ranged from players who have a rating of 1000-2400 level. It was an interesting mix of players in terms of player level. 

Rules of Chess Simul

I played in a regular simul, which means we did not use chess clocks in this simul. The simul where clocks are used is called a clock simul. The general rules of Simultaneous Chess are as follows:

  • White for Everyone: The exhibitor plays white pieces on all boards.
  • Clockless (mostly): Time controls are rare. The exhibitor walks from board to board making moves.
  • Make way for the Master: Players must be ready to move when the exhibitor arrives at their board.
  • Think Fast(ish): A short pause for thought is okay, but the exhibitor shouldn’t wait too long to keep things moving.
  • Touch Move Rule (one-sided): Players must follow the “touch-move” rule, meaning they can’t change their mind after touching a piece. The exhibitor’s move is confirmed when they touch a piece on the next board.
  • Limited Passes: Some simuls allow players a few “passes” where they can skip their turn if not ready. They’ll need to make a move when the exhibitor returns.

In this Simultaneous Chess Exhibition, I gave my opponents two passes each, so they can think longer if they want and more or less all of my opponents used their pass. 

How did the Simultaneous Chess Exhibition go?

Simultaneous Chess Exhibition

I scored 9 points out of the 10 games that I played. I went undefeated by scoring 8 wins and 2 draws in this Chess Simul. The 2 draws that I made were against the two strongest players in the field and I had some nervous moments in a few other boards, but I used my GrandMaster level understanding of the game to outwit my opponents 🙂.

My strategy going into the simul was to mix my opening in all the boards so on 3 boards I played 1.e4, and in 4 boards I played 1.d4 and in 3 boards I played 1.b3 ensuring I get a diverse set of positions on all the boards.

The two players who made a draw against me were Kaustav Bhattacharya and Krishna M, the two strongest players in the field. I know Krishna has a FIDE rating of about 1550+ and I am not sure what Kaustav’s FIDE rating is , but I was told his rating is about 2400.

We originally intended to conduct the simul to be 1hour between 7-8 PM, but the simul got extended till 9 PM, as none of the boards completed by 8PM and we extended the simul by an hour. 

Prizes Given by Chess Gaja to the Simul Chess Exhibition Participants

We had announced that whoever scores a draw or win in the simul will get a 1 month free group chess class session at Chess Gaja. We also gave two lucky draw winners access to our 1 month free group class sessions. In total, Chess Gaja gave out 4 prizes during the Bangalore Chess Club Simultaneous Chess Exhibition.

Why should you play in a simultaneous exhibition?

Imagine you going head-to-head with a super-skilled chess master, playing several games at once! It’s not just about winning or losing (though, let’s be honest, winning would be pretty awesome!).

This is a one-of-a-kind experience where you get to see firsthand the amazing things chess masters can do. Watching the titled players strategize and plan their moves will open their eyes to the depth and complexity of the game they love. It’s like seeing a magic trick played out on the chessboard, and it will spark inspiration and love for the game like never before! And for you, parents, it’s a chance to see the incredible mental power that chess can help develop. It’s a win-win for the whole family! So, why not give your little chess champion this unforgettable experience?

Strategies to play in a simultaneous chess exhibition

I would like to share with you some GrandMaster tips on how you could maximize your chances of scoring a point against the titled player giving a simul.

Know your strengths: Play an opening and style you are comfortable and confident with. The titled players ‌try to play offbeat openings in simul or positional positions and try to avoid long theoretical variations in simultaneous exhibitions.

Research the exhibitor: If possible, study their playing style and common openings to anticipate their moves. This is only if you take the simul very seriously!

Practice tactics: Sharpen your tactical vision to spot opportunities for winning material or checkmating the king. In a simul, the titled player won’t be as alert tactically and won’t have the time to calculate depe tactics, in comparison to a 1-1 game. So try to complicate matters and look for tactical ideas in every move of the game.

During the game:

Play actively: Aim for a complex position and keep the pressure on the exhibitor’s limited time.

Stay calm and focused: Don’t be intimidated by the exhibitor’s reputation or the surrounding activity. Many simul participants actively gaze at the nearby boards and focus less on their own game leading to distraction and poor decision making.

Think efficiently: Analyze only the most likely continuations and avoid spending too much time on each move.

Don’t defend passively: If you get a worse position, look to complicate the game as much as possible, and not to defend passively as strong players giving the simul can find positional moves easily compared to tactical moves. 

Enjoy the experience: Playing against a strong player is a unique learning opportunity, regardless of the outcome.

Learn from the game: Analyze your game after the exhibition to identify areas for improvement.

Be realistic: Beating a titled player in a simul is highly challenging, but not impossible.

About Bangalore Chess Club

The Bangalore Chess Club is a hub for Bangalore chess enthusiasts. It provides a platform for players of all levels to come together, learn, and improve their skills. The Bangalore Chess Club primarily attracts hobby players and they conduct regular casual events in public places like coffee shops and restaurants to promote chess in the Bangalore city.

The recent simultaneous chess exhibition that I gave was undoubtedly one of the most highly anticipated events at the Bangalore Chess Club and was widely advertised by them in their Instagram page. 

Upcoming programs at Chess Gaja

Simultaneous Chess Exhibition

We have a bunch of new summer chess programs in 2024 for absolute beginners and beginner level players. Please check them out in our Online Group Chess Class page.

I hope I have inspired you enough to register for a simultaneous chess exhibition with a titled player, whenever you get the next opportunity! Wishing you the best in all your chess endeavors.

If you liked this blog, share it with your friends and family, and also share with me some ideas on what topics you would like me to write in the upcoming blogs.

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