Youngest ever chess grandmaster visits club to play six ‘blindfolded’

AUSTRALIA’S youngest chess grandmaster Anton Smirnov, 18, put the moves on six seasoned players at Canterbury Chess Club earlier this month.

Playing blindfolded, he won four games but lost two, though winning the respect of all other club members who attended.
“It was an honour to host him and a very enjoyable games to watch; only a genius can do what he does,” Club Secretary Alexandre Merhi said.
Derived from the Persian word “shah” (king), the name chess is more obvious in the European word for chess “schach” and dates back nearly 1500 years to India in the sixth century AD.
Chess remains a highly popular pastime among the general public to this day.
A 2012 survey found that “chess players now make up one of the largest communities in the world – 605 million adults play chess regularly”.
According to Mr Merhj, 63, who has been playing since he was 14, chess is a wonderful tool in the fight against dementia.
“The game promotes logical thinking and problem solving,” he said.
“It teaches people to think deeply.
“I call it my mental sport.”
Mr Merhi joined the Canterbury Bankstown Chess Club in 2009 and said that although membership wasn’t large, it was healthy.
“We can have up to 20 members during the summer months, ranging in ages from their late teens to early 80s, playing chess at Lakemba Club on a Monday from 7.30pm,” Mr Merhri said.
“Members come from a diverse cross section of the community and multicultural backgrounds.
“We’re a friendly club and welcome new members.”
Mr Merhi said the club staged tournaments between members and also regularly played championships against other clubs in Sydney.
More info at