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The key to a simul is to make it fun and a memorable experience for the participants and sponsors alike – not serious competitive chess.

Simuls usually commence in the late afternoon or early evening and usually last between two and three hours.

The sponsor/organizer is responsible for all arrangements, the venue, the simul, the players, the other guests, publicity (if required), catering, gifts etc.

Every event is different, but this is typical:

5 pm – Welcome – players assigned tables – photo op.
5:15 – Organizer welcomes players and announces simple rules before play starts
7:15 – Play coming to an end (a simul can last 2 – 3 hours)
7:30 – Concluding remarks by host and Garry takes 2- 3 questions
7:45 – Cocktails or dinner – If organizer wants Garry to sign his book, this is the time

Optional Extra: Garry makes 15 minutes speech and takes Q&A for 15 minutes There are two fees – one without speech and one with speech.

Events have a maximum of 20 “players” and as many people as the sponsor/organizer wishes attending dinner. Some sponsors just serve cocktails and hors’ d’oeuvres during play. The format of the evening is up to the sponsor.

Players must be true amateurs who have 1999 ELO points or less, no exceptions. No player who has ever held a Rating of 2000 or over is permitted–it is contrary to the spirit of the simul and to the agreement. No coaching or computer assistance is permitted.

If the sponsor/organizer requires serious players who want a serious match, this is a different sort of evening with four to five hours scheduled and is a very different event.

Sponsor/Organizer may present to each player

The photograph taken with Garry Kasparov
A CERTIFICATE signed by Kasparov
A signed score sheet
A signed chess board
Books – If it fits with the Sponsor’s objectives, we can arrange for one of Garry’s books to be shipped to the site for individual signing.
Date selection, agreement and deposit payment should all be done months in advance.


Tables set up in a rectangle with only Kasparov allowed in the middle. A diagram of the recommended layout is attached.

Good quality chess sets should be provided with no lightweight pieces.

Organize a knowledgeable “Chess Person” to set up the room, arrange the sets and scoresheets and generally take charge of the chess aspect of the event. (not difficult)

Scoresheets and pencils to be provided by the organizer. Players can keep their scoresheets signed by Kasparov. No smoking. Ask spectators to keep the noise level down. Avoid clutter on the playing tables, preferably no drinks on playing tables.

The lighting over all boards needs to be very good. (Watch out for general lighting being adequate but the lighting directly over the chess sets being insufficient for Garry to see the board at a glance.)

It is recommended that Garry do a “dummy” round without making moves so that everybody gets a good photograph shaking hands with him. It is recommended that each competitor stand up to shake his hand and hold the handshake until the photographer is done.

Garry plays with White and moves in a clockwise direction around the room. As he approaches the players table, the player must make his move so that Garry can see it. The organizer shall have a large board lying flat on Garry’s side, bearing the name of the player with their ELO rating if any, clearly written and association, i.e.: JOHN SMITH, 1800 VIP Guest on a board approximately 6″ x 12″.

Garry likes distilled bottled water at room temperature and one or two chocolates on a table in the middle of the playing area.

The organizers should send each player a letter in advance spelling out the format, when to arrive, and what happens before, during and afterwards–prize giving or cocktails, etc. Players need to know what to do after their encounter is over. Use the items on this memo to inform those playing.

When the simul is completed, there is very often a scramble for autographs with players and spectators trying to get autographs. It is highly recommended that before the game, Garry is told of the post-match procedure. Unless there are other plans, he should be told that the person in charge will be on hand when the last move is made and that Garry will be “escorted” to a podium or to a table where he will give autographs and speak if pre-agreed.


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