How Will You Fare Against a Chess Master?

On Thursdays, Chess.ED hosts an online simul. NM Eric Balck will take on all challengers.

Chess simuls (short for simultaneous exhibitions) are a way for multiple players to play against a single strong player. Traditionally, this is done in a tournament hall. Chess boards are arranged such that they encircle the strong player. The player will make one move on each board, moving through the room until they are back to the first board. Simuls are fun because they give the competitors a chance to beat the strong player. The strong player has to make their moves quickly in order to keep the simul moving along. The other players, however, have more time to think about their game.

8-year child prodigy Samuel Reshevsky plays a simul against several Masters in France in 1920.

How It Works

This is an online simul with game analysis by a Master, thereafter.

  • Please open the Zoom meeting link at 7:55 pm.
  • You will need to have Zoom and lichess open simultaneously. This is simple on a laptop- you just have them on 2 separate windows. On iPad, it’s a little trickier. With Zoom open, drag up from the bottom of the screen to pull up the dock. Press and hold the Browser icon (safari, chrome, firefox, etc) for a second, then drag it up into the middle of the screen. This will open a browser window beside the zoom window, such that one does not cover the other.
  • Once you have zoom and open, log in to lichess. On the lichess homepage press the PLAY tab and select Simultaneous Exhibitions from the drop-down. Look for the MisterBalck Simul (it should be near the top) Click on it and press JOIN. Once you have joined, we will accept you.
  • Play your best against Eric. Don’t be discouraged by the ease with which he crushes you 🙂
  • Once you finish your game, we will move you to a separate breakout room in Zoom where NM Karan will analyze your game. Karan will share his screen, so you will not need to. If he is analyzing another game, feel free to ask questions and participate while you wait for him to get to your game.
  • To sum it up: You play your moves on the, but you see and hear us on Zoom. Once you finish your game, you will not need lichess anymore. You will watch Karan analyze your game in a breakout room. The purpose of the breakout room is so that players who are finished with their game can talk without disturbing the players still playing their game.
  • We will probably not start the simul immediately at 8. We expect it will take a few minutes for everyone to get the simul thing sorted out. We will be on Zoom to assist. However, being on time is very important! Once the simul starts, we can not let new people join. We hope to start by 8:05!
  • The time control will be G20 + increment. If Eric runs out of time in your game, that counts as a win for you! A win is a win, as they say.
  • If all games finish early, we will stick around to analyze games for the remainder of the hour.

Payment Details

This is a separate chess class in addition to the regular Wednesday class. We will still have the regular class on Wednesday.
This is not a required part of the Endgame Course. Just something extra that is entirely optional. 🙂
Cost: $20
Duration: 1 hour
Start Time: 7:55pm (EST), Thursdays
Venmo- @Eric-Balck
Paypal- [email protected]
Zelle- [email protected]

GM Donner's Simul Advice

Dutch Grandmaster Jan Hein Donner gave the following advice for players competing in a simul:
1. Be sure to take special care in the opening. Play something you know well and play carefully. The simul-giver will be very unpleasantly surprised to find that after some twenty moves he has achieved nothing at your board. He will usually propose a draw to be rid of such a troublemaker. Do not accept! Your boldness will greatly upset him.
2. Play aggressively. Ninety-five percent of all victims in simultaneous displays usually owe their defeat to their own passivity. The simul-giver lacks the time to work out variations but doing so is more important when defending than in an attack. On psychological grounds, too, aggressively
approaching the simul-giver is a sound and very effective strategy.
3. Don’t be afraid to exchange pieces. The simul-giver will play the endgame much better than you, of course, but it is—once again— very important at this stage of the game to calculate variations and that is precisely what he has no time for. Do not be afraid!

We will offer Prizes to anyone who can beat or draw NM Eric.
Even if you get totally lucky and it isn’t fair at all. 🙂
Good Luck!