Simultaneous Exhibition (Simul) – Everything You Need to Know

Simultaneous Exhibition (Simuls) - A Complete Guide

Chess players worldwide have been awed and inspired by the famed simul exhibition in 1964, by the chess legend Bobby Fischer, who played against 50 players with an end score of -won-47, drew- 2, lost-1.

Many from the present generation know about Magnus Carlson’s 70 board simul at Hamburg, Germany. (hold on to this one, as we share something interesting at the end of this blog!)

But very few know more about the 1934 winning blindfold tandem performance with six pairs of opponents when the world chess champion, Alexander Alekhine, teamed with Salo Landau in Rotterdam.

The simuls are not just a display of brilliance of a chess player. They also show the power of planning and organizing your strategies, actions, and game plans around the game you love the most, Chess!

It is old chess lore that a master walks almost 5 miles in the course of an evening, giving an exhibition of simultaneous play- just from board to board. Quite a distance for a man who probably leads a sedentary life practicing the chess moves!

Let’s virtually walk our way through a Simultaneous exhibition and a better understanding of this exciting and interesting way of playing chess.

What is Simul?

A Simul or Simultaneous Exhibition for short is a type of chess exhibition play in which one host player plays multiple games at a time with several other players. The host, who gets to play the white pieces, moves from table to table to play a single move. With online chess a rage owing to the current pandemic and social distancing, we now have online simuls with the board to board movements instead of physical interactions.

History of Simul

The earliest forms of Simuls were the Tandem Simultaneous Exhibition or “Tandem Simuls.” Wikipedia defines it as “a form of a simultaneous exhibition in which more than one player, usually grandmaster or international master plays multiple games at a time with a number of other players, making successive moves without consulting one another.”

The concept of Tandem Chess is not new, and the first recorded tandem chess game was conducted almost 150 years ago in 1892. The September 1892 edition of the Chess Review covered the game like this:

London: A novel exhibition of simultaneous play took place recently at the private house of a chess enthusiast in the West End of London. On the occasion in question, Mr. Lee and a first-class London amateur played simultaneously in partnership against eight opponents, three of whom were ladies. The two simultaneous performers walked from board to board, and moved alternately and without consultation, the amateur pedestrian making the odd moves for White and Mr. Lee the even moves for White in each game. Several interesting and dashing parties took place, the King’s and Evans’ gambits being adopted in most cases and, after an amusing and well-contested encounter, the simultaneous partners were victorious by five wins to three. The whole performance proved very interesting to both players and spectators, and similar matches have been arranged for the future.

What are the various forms of Simuls?

Regular Simul

Usually played without stop clocks.

The chess boards are arranged in a circle or square table, and the host walks from board to board in a fixed direction. Each participant is expected to make a move when the host arrives at his/her board.

The host may pause after every move since it’s not a time-bound game. And, as the game finishes, they are usually not replaced, and at the end of the exhibition, only a few games remain in progress.

Clock Simuls

A chess clock times all the games in Clock Simuls. These simuls involve a relatively small number of competitors. These simuls also give the host substantial buffer time as he/she has to run on all the boards.

Blindfold Simultaneous Games

Occasionally, Grand Masters have been playing simultaneous blindfold games.

In such tournaments, the host does not look at any of the chess boards but remembers all the games’ moves in his/her head. The opponents play in a standard fashion, and their actions are communicated verbally to the host by a mediator.

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What are the advantages of a simultaneous exhibition?

For the player:

To say that simuls are just for players who have reached a certain level is not really true.

Beginners and intermediate level players can play much better if they practice via simuls too. It gives them a chance to think fast and think clearly. And if they are one of the many who are playing against one, then it makes it all the more impressive because they can attempt to shift the odds in their favor.

The most obvious disadvantage for the player playing multiple games simultaneously is that he has significantly less time to get immersed into a single game and no luxury of continuity like you do if you had a single opponent.

But that doesn’t restrict some amazingly gifted chess players who always come prepared with strategies that go beyond just the opening even for exhibition games. With varied openings offered to each of the players, simultaneous exhibition players provide a huge opportunity to their opponent chess players who want to better understand some of the top chess players.

For the played:

Learning chess from a powerful player is not just the only benefit of a Simul. The sheer experience of playing a Grand Master or an International Master is priceless!

For participants, the first advantage is that in a simul, they get to play a much stronger opponent than they usually play. It is a unique opportunity for a regular player to meet great players and maybe even beat them. Most of the time, it’s a Grandmaster or International Master.

And why should you play Simuls?

Participants get a chance to look at the genius’s game closely and learn about strategies and gameplans. This sharpens the mind and opens up areas of possible moves that they might have overlooked in a stream of monotonic games.

Good chess playing is based on faster calculations and finding the right move among a hundred possible ones through precise attention to detail. Simuls help develop your logical reasoning skills and makes you a better decision-maker.

So if you are still having two thoughts about Simuls, we would say give it a try, and you will be grateful you did!

A simul can change your life as a chess player for the better as the confidence exuded by the master is definitely going to rub on you!

Finally, here’s some simuls humor – Magnus Carlson Style

Let’s end this informative piece on a humorous note.

Remember, we mentioned Magnus Carlson at the beginning of this blog?

When asked if it will be ok to interrupt him at some stage during the 70-board Simul event- to take his opinion on how things were going, Magnus Carlson, in his trademark humor, replied, “Sure, but please make it brief- we don’t want to break the concentration of my opponents, who are hard at work.”

About Chess KLUB Simultaneous Exhibition

At Chess KLUB, we introduce the Chess KLUB Simultaneous Exhibition by International Master Filip Panchevski.

In this event, Filip will play a maximum of 15 players at once. Time control is 30+0 minutes. Filip will get an additional 10 minutes to play as he is playing 15 other players.

Filip is an international master who has played more than 100 international tournaments. He is also a 5-time champion of Macedonia and a member of the Macedonian National team for 11 years. He is also a winner of the European Club Cup in 2016.

Filip is also one of our Intermediate 2 coaches and has been coaching many of our students for the last few months.

What do you get?

This is an excellent opportunity for Chess players at all levels to play an International Master like Filip Panchevski and improve their game. Not often, one gets a chance to play an International Master. This one has been designed to help the students of Chess KLUB who participates actively to improve their game.

Moreover, if you are a CHESS KLUB student, you will get $10 OFF. Please make sure you register with the PROMO CODE – Email us for your promo code, and we will be happy to assist you!

Wrapping up with more details:

  1. Simultaneous Exhibition Host Player – Filip Panchevski
  2. Max # of Players – 15
  3. Time Control – 30+ 0
  4. Host Player Extra Time – 10 minutes
  5. Check-In Time – 10:30 AM EST
  6. Simul Start Time – 11 AM EST
  7. Simul End Time – 12:30 PM EST (approx)
  8. Registration Link –
  9. Zoom Link – Will be provided upon registration

Please mail us at [email protected] for any clarifications!

Chess klub is one of the best academy. My child had learned so much and v have seen his excitement growing for the game....

Posted by Preeti Vanjani Drabla on Monday, 2 November 2020

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