Blindfolded Texas chess grand-champion wins chess games blindfolded: just listening to the designed sounds of the pieces and moves

It is with amazement that we report that Zura Javakhadze, Texas grand master chess champion, in rehearsal was able to win three games totally blindfolded with no-one whispering in his ear.

Scot Gresham Lancaster, Sharath Chandra Ram and the Data Stethoscope team used our theoretical taxonomy of data sonification.(details below).

Each piece had a different sound, as does each square, on the board. Zura learned rapidly to recognise the sounds andwas able to beat three people in chess games, just by listening to the sounds of their and his moves.


To our knowledge this is the first time that data sonification has been used to win chess; beyond this it demonstrates our claim that you can hear things you cannot see in the data. This proof of concept will serve us well as we expand our data sonification to various applications.

Our business applications work is led by UTDallas Judd Bradbury; he has demonstrated that business students are able to hear key information in the data, that they cannot notice in the data visualisation. He has applied this to stock market data, opinion polls as well as more specific business data.

In the audience this evening will by Dr Gagan Wig of the Center for Vital Longevity.; he will be playing chess against the blinded grandmaster. Gagan was the leader of our team, with funding from DARPA and the O’Donnell family of dallas, that initiated the project at UTDallas. In that case we demonstrated that one could sonifify fMRI data on human brains. And that you could distiguish the brain connectome of an older healthy adult compared to a young healthy adult just by listening to the data.

We would like to acknowledge the crucial contributions of the numerous members of the ArtSciLab Transdisciplinary team including: Tim Perkis, Andrew Blanton, Cassini Nazir, Kristen Duepree, Shruti Ayloo, Vina Somareddy, Anvit Srivastav, Michela Chan, Neil Savalia, Paul Fishwick, Mihai Nadin, Frank Dufour, Carlos Aiken, Adnan Syed, Linda Anderson, Jacob Hunwick, Kathy Gresham-Lancaster and others in the UTD ATEC ArtSciLab.

We note that the performance this evening is a benefit for the for the Vogel Alcove homes for homeless children. Sadly Dallas one of the richest cities on the planet, has a growing and unacceptable number of homeless people.

The Data Stethoscope software has immediate applications for partially sighted people and will allow users to hear information in the data that they cannot see.

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