Playing chess without seeing the chessboard is very difficult, if not outrageous to say the least. It requires extraordinary talent. In "blindfold chess", the players painfully keep a mental idea of the current situation of the pieces, keep track of the development on the board, while mapping out strategy and tactics to win the game. The moves are conveyed through chess notation.
Those who play or are familiar with how chess is played will be astonished to see these children playing the game without seeing the chessboard. Their ability to do this is clear talent bordering on the magical.
During the game, White allowed her b2 pawn to be taken resulting in a situation where Black is able to promote to a Queen. White's move is a clear blunder. However, what should be appreciated is the fact on how these children were able to keep track of the moves and come up with a clear mental picture of the position of the pieces on the chessboard. Imagine how difficult it is to continue having a clear mental picture of the chessboard after several moves have been made.
To be able to play blindfold chess requires what they call "extraordinary visuo-spatial abilities and memory". Chess players who are good in playing blindfold chess has a clear grasp of the "mental imagery"on the chessboard as explained in this article -
"Mental imagery is a cognitive task which helps you perceive something that isn't there. However, mental imagery goes beyond mentally visualizing objects as you can also mentally represent pictures, sounds, smells, or sensations. When it comes to vision, mental imagery is the impression to actually "see" an image in your mind, like an absent person's face. This can help us create existing (faces, human bodies, numbers, words, objects, animals...) or imaginary (monsters, abstract figures) shapes, whether they are familiar or not, standing still or moving, colored or black and white.
When you have to perform a complex task, you first go mentally through the different steps to make sure you haven't left out or underestimated any of the available information. Take a chess player for example: In order to estimate how relevant each of the possible moves is, he/she mentally plays his own but also his opponent's moves as he cannot physically touch the pawns."Chess is a game that is both entertaining and intellectually challenging. It can be played by anyone no matter what the age or class. It can be played in various ways, What is important is to simply play and enjoy chess.