Sunday, September 13, 2009

GM Smerdon Breaks Simul Record

GM David Smerdon has just broken the Australian record for what he calls the "Most Consecutive Simultaneous Games". That is distinct from the usual kind of large simul, the Aussie record for which is actually held by IM Robert Jamieson (over 145 games).

Here's David explaining how he did it and the special reason behind it.

As part of a charity event called "Gimme Shelter", which was basically a big sleepout to raise money for homeless children, I was tasked to provide some entertainment through chess simuls. Beforehand, as it was clear I'd be going for a fair chunk of the evening, we tried to chase up the Aussie record for most consecutive simultaneous games. According to the Guinness world regulations for the record, one person can play any number of simultaneous boards, with players subbing in and out as games finish, so long as the simul continues without a break (and the 'simul master' scores more than 85%).

As far as anyone knows, Jamieson also held this (albeit less popular) record at 145 for the same simul. As well as Jamieson, I also checked with Graeme Gardiner, David Cordover and Shaun Press (who supplied the sets) - but happy to be proved wrong if in fact there's another record floating around somewhere. Anyway, the point of the evening was more to raise money for the cause than anything else (my simul was sponsored by MindGames, who donated towards the charity cause).

I played 156 games on 18 boards for five and a half hours. I won the first 155, but the last game, which finished at 2.30am, was a draw! As far as authenticity goes, I have signatures for each of the 156 games, as well as around a hundred witnesses...and everyone could play at least a bit - none of the games was a four move checkmate! - but to be fair, like I said, this probably isn't as impressive as the one-large-simul record anyway.

Apart from that chessic success, the effort also produced some $24,000 in donations. If you'd like to contribute, GM Smerdon's donation page is here.

Here's a press release with a picture of the record-breaking GM.

1 comment:

rjsolcruz said...

GM Smerdon has truly used his God-given talent in chess for the lest of His brothers and sisters, in this case the homeless. Glory to God.

Here in Manila, or specifically Pasig, the MERALCO Chess Club has been organizing a fund-raising chess event in the form of simuls by Pinoy GMs for the benefit of the blind players of the RP Paralympics chess Team. GM Antonio did the August episode, GM Torre played the Sept episode, and GM Gonzales handled the Oct episode. GM Paragua is sched to take over in the Nov episode. These GMs are not charging any appearance fee and is doing it all for our blind brothers. If you are interested in posting the photos and a bit of details, please email me at

God bless.