Successful Strategy – Marc Lang sets new Simultaneous Blindfold World Record

After not even 21 hours it was done – when at 6:59 AM in the town hall of Sontheim/Brenz – Germany, the last opponent remaining resigned his game with Marc Lang, a new world record for Simultaneous Blindfold Chess was set. Beating the long-term world record of Miguel Najdorf from 1947, Marc Lang managed to win 25 games, agreed to 19 draws and was defeated twice only. In the Event in Sontheim –situated just outside the western border of the federated state of Bavaria- the average opponent for Lang was a strong club player in the top 25 percentile range, the strongest defeated player was an Expert and almost a Master himself.

“Time is my worst enemy – because the longer it takes, the harder it gets” – so Lang at the press conference before he set the new world record. He described his strategy as to “play fast”.
Shortly after the former Olympic gold medalist (1972) Klaus Wolferman from main sponsor
Astra Tech executed a symbolic first move at board one, it was clear that Marc would put this strategy into action. At a breathtaking pace, he announced his moves. So it’s no surprise that this world record took less time than his own European record from 2010, which lasted over 23 hours for "only" 35 opponents. But who believes that Marc was taking too much risk, and sacrificed the quality of his play for speed, is wrong. The former world championship candidate, world-class grandmaster and multiple German chess champion, Vlastimil Hort, commented the games in a room next door, and was full of praise for Marc's style of play. Hort himself played blindfolded simultaneous chess against 22 opponents 1972 in Merano/Italy and revealed later that he had major health problems following this event. He found it hard to find back into reality and it took about half a year until his condition returned to normal, so the Grandmaster. Hort said repeatedly that Marcs’ achievement is tremendous and he also admired Marc Langs’ lightheartedness and creativity in the games. Thanks to his sponsor, Marc was able to take several months off to prepare himself, and played very clean and beautiful chess. He declined several draw offers by his opponents and often came up with a snappy slogan. When the player on Board 38 resigned at around 6 AM, it was settled that Marc had won enough games to break the record. The remaining games lasted just under an hour.

What a performance - 46 Boards - 1472 chess pieces and 21 hours without seeing the boards, nor seeing the positions of the pieces or touching them, forced to maintain a mental model of the boards, the positions, and communicating via a recognized algebraic chess notation. And as if the word fatigue has no meaning to him, Marc started to look over some of the games with his opponents immediately after the event. In subsequent interviews, he was in a good mood and answered the question of what could come next

“I will never say never again”

...we’ll have to stay tuned...

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