You might have heard of boxing chess, underwater chess, ice water chess and even extreme amazing super chess. But there is one type of chess however, you probably will not have heard of. Blindfold King Timur Gareyev, on his quest to reaching the highest point of New Zealand’s North Island, came to the discovery of… Mordorski Chess!
Living chess legend
Blindfold King Timur Gareyev doesn’t really need any introduction. Setting a Guinness world record by playing 48 chess games simultaneously and blindfolded and demonstrating that the sky truly is the limit, Timur proves to be an inspiration to all chess players around the world.
After meeting him at the New Zealand Chess Championship in Auckland, Timur came across to me as a very friendly, humble and accessible person. Besides blindfold chess, skydiving, yoga and any possible combination of the above, Timur also has a great passion for travelling. With a passport full of stamps from countries in all corners of the planet, Timur was now ready to experience the unique beauty of New Zealand, land of stunning sunny beaches, scenic alpine landscapes and enchanting movie sets. However, what might have come to a surprise is that, in the midst of all this natural beauty, New Zealand is also home to … MORDOR!
Armed with sunscreen, chocolate, nuts, cucumbers and – of course – a chess set, we’re ready for a sunny hike in Tongariro National Park. Rising above the clouds to witness the beautiful, mystical crater lake on top of the volcanic Mount Ruapehu, the highest point of New Zealand’s North Island, was the goal of the day. The reality however, couldn’t be farther away from this promised paradise: dark clouds, stormy showers, walloping gusts of winds were all over the place. We could almost smell the scent of Orks creeping in behind every corner. Welcome to Mordor!
The area was abandoned: nothing but snow cannons and crooked signposts were to be found and construction zones restricted the usual hiking tracks. To make matters worse, having deviated from the conventional hiking tracks, we found ourselves trapped in between remote, steep rocks and Gandalf was nowhere to be found. Weather conditions turned from bad to worse and the promised sunny crater lake seemed farther away than ever. If only we had played it safe and had a coffee while playing a game of chess? Would we ever get out of this nasty situation we got ourselves into?
There is an old Chinese proverb that says “Give evil nothing to oppose, and it will disappear by itself”. And so we went on with our journey and as many of you chess players know, all that’s left to do when everything seems to be going wrong, is to play a game of chess. And so we did. But we didn’t play a regular game of chess though: the horrific weather conditions we found ourselves in demanded a more challenging variation of the game. One where not only the intellectual strength of the players is tested but also their physical strength. A new version of chess was born … Mordorski chess, the ultimate strategy game where competitors fight in alternating rounds of chess and … sign post fencing:
The blue sky is always there
As it usually goes with playing chess, the solution presents itself after a series of long, deep thoughts. All of a sudden, a fine beam of gleaming sunshine penetrated the dark clouds we have been surrounded by all day. I remembered the weather man predicted many low hanging rainy clouds. The percentage of high clouds on the other hand, was close to zero. So as long as we kept rising, we would eventually find ourselves enjoying the blue sky above the clouds and so it happened:
The next day, we continued our journey on the forgotten world highway towards Taranaki and separated ways in Whanganui. Timur has become a great friend, someone you instantly like and respect. Someone you can learn from by observing what he does. How to describe a man of so many talents, interests and hobbies in one word? Chessbase India already asked the question before us. Hear the answer from Timur himself (end of the video).
I’d like to finish this blog post with the following quote by Harold B. Melchart “Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.”