I wonder if the ability to play blindfold chess is related to the ability to perform with exercise.
From what I have read, rather little. The process of developing expertise in chess involves dedicating whole areas of the cortex to representations of important chess piece layouts. These representations can then be manipulated rapidly in very nearly the way a novice would manipulate working memeory. Generic reproduction of a physical chess board would be almost trivial in comparison to the memory structures developed by the chess experts.