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PHOTOS: Life-sized, Blindfolded Chess

On Saturday, July 28 at the annual “Prelude in the Park”, the summer celebration held a chess competition with blindfolded grandmasters using humans as chess pieces.

A large area of the Village Green at was painted over Saturday to look like a huge chess board, with people acting as life-sized chess pieces.

Participants of the game lined up on their respective squares on the large chessboard for afternoon fun.

Adam Brody, director of Academic Chess, invited people of all ages to come and play.

"That’s what’s chess is all about," he said. "It’s fun and teaches focus, while allowing you to have fun and socialize with others."

Chess instructors from Academic Chess, an Orange County organization that promotes chess among children, helped guide participants around the giant board, literally bringing the game to life. Props and t-shirts were even given to the game’s participants to represent their respective pieces on the chessboard.

"Next year I want to be the queen," said Janell Sanders 9, who played a pawn. (She admired the queen’s crown.)

Grandmaster Takashi Iwamoto, an Academic Chess instructor and FIDE Master, and Mission Viejo Councilman were not only matched against each other in this fun-filled game, but were blindfolded the entire time.

"This is going to be a really exciting and fun afternoon of chess," said Iwamoto, in anticipation of his upcoming game. "Too bad I won’t be able to see it,” he said with a laugh.

The blindfolded grandmasters directed their human chess pieces around the board, offering an entertaining and unique take on the popular game. Spectators and participants of the game were all smiles as they watched councilman Leckness and Iwamoto play it out.

"I had a blast," Iwamoto said after his vitctory. "Checkmate!"

Academic chess specializes in teaching elementary school kids chess and its intellectual and social benefits. They also offer an array of chess-teaching services for all ages.

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