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  1. 25 Jan '05 22:25
    I've noticed in reading a lot of interviews with older Masters that a majority say that they are not in competition years anymore. (One example I remember reading recently, a Master stated that it was too late to pursue his dream of being a world champion and he was only in his 40's). It seems to me, that the more you play, especially over years and years, the better you should get? How could this be true.
  2. 25 Jan '05 22:48
    The intense concentration and mental dexterity required for championship quality chess is enormous, and the brain starts to rot from the inside out once you hit your mid-50's. I know from experience. Masters and above certainly can play incredibley well into their later years, but the stress of long tournaments and matches takes it's toll, and the effort is a bit too much for most of them. They are simply not quite as good as when they were in their prime.
  3. Standard member Chaswray
    NUTTING BUSTER
    26 Jan '05 00:36
    Originally posted by Dodger11
    The intense concentration and mental dexterity required for championship quality chess is enormous, and the brain starts to rot from the inside out once you hit your mid-50's. I know from experience. Masters and above certainly can play incredibley well into their later years, but the stress of long tournaments and matches takes it's toll, and the effort ...[text shortened]... t too much for most of them. They are simply not quite as good as when they were in their prime.
    LOL....now I understand why my chess stinks...my brain is rotting
  4. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Gonzalo de Córdoba
    26 Jan '05 01:33
    Originally posted by chaswray
    LOL....now I understand why my chess stinks...my brain is rotting
    I thought it had something to do with ambition and intensity, as well as the ability to handle stress. You have to be intense and aggressive and have stamina, and older people mellow out.
  5. 26 Jan '05 02:41
    Originally posted by Dodger11
    The intense concentration and mental dexterity required for championship quality chess is enormous, and the brain starts to rot from the inside out once you hit your mid-50's. I know from experience. Masters and above certainly can play incredibley well into their later years, but the stress of long tournaments and matches takes it's toll, and the effort ...[text shortened]... t too much for most of them. They are simply not quite as good as when they were in their prime.
    Thanks, well I guess that makes sense. So, it's not the knowledge, but the stress.
  6. Standard member DualSpace
    DualSpace
    26 Jan '05 08:39
    well, take it from Kasparov. he said, 'sure it gets harder, but it's more a question of motivation. you want to win and think harder when you are younger. When you age, your mind is thinking much more about other things, like death' (misquote)
  7. 26 Jan '05 17:09
    I don't think you decline as much mentally, than physically. It's difficult for an elderly person to go through the gruelling competition without exhaustion setting in. Although the elderly masters can still pull off one or two brilliant games, slogging through dozens against sharp competition, when one inaccuracy can ruin your game can be daunting. As someone in his sixties, I know that just sitting in one place for two hours can cause problems, whereas a younger chap can go from tournament to tournament, sleeping in a car, eating fast food and still feeling fine.
  8. 28 Jan '05 02:10
    Call me old rot-brain.

    If I put in a few hours, I could possibly dig up some games from two-thirds of a lifetime ago. I know I recorded some of the games I played in my schools days, but I am not sure if the papers survived the intervening decades of not playing the game. I would be curious to work my way through a schoolboy game, keeping a sheet of paper over my next move, and finding out how frequently I would still make the same move today. I have certainly forgotten how those games went, so it would not be like I would think, "Oh yeah, this is when I castled long..."
  9. 28 Jan '05 03:44
    Yea, Paul, that would be a nice experiment. Let us know how it turns out. I tried it with some games Iplayed a few years back (not as long as you're talking about). It surprised me how many of the same mistakes I would make over again. Remember the Hawthorne story "Dr. Heideggar's Experiment," where elderly people who ruined their life had the chance to go back and change every thing. Turns out they made the same mistakes all over again. There's something more than age or experience going on here. Maybe innate psychological flaws. Of course, I can't go back to my school days because I didn't record anything, but I remember I loved playing the fried liver attack in the two knights. It seemed to work against everybody. Lately, I've gone over to the Ruy after getting my behind whipped severely.
  10. Standard member Vovochka
    Caro-Kann Lover
    28 Jan '05 09:41
    Older players have difficulties in long calculations of complicated positions: first they lose their tactic game.
    That's why the world champions who stayed active for the longest time ( and showed good resullts ) where straightly positional players Botvinnik and Smyslov.

  11. 29 Jan '05 02:09

    Maybe it's the time factor. If it's a tournament game, the older players would be noticeably diminished. But if it's an informal game in a coffee shop, with no timer, they could think as long as they wanted, and still be great players. Maybe the ability is still there, just slower.

    Just a theory...

    -Russell
  12. 30 Jan '05 03:57
    Here is the normal breakdown.

    Ages 15-20 Ambition--to become world chess champion, like Fischer and date good-looking girls.
    Ages 20-30 --to become world chess champion, like fischer, and marry a good looking girl.
    Ages 30-40 --to become national champion and take the wife and kids to Majorca.
    Ages 40-50 --to become club champ and get rid of kids.
    Ages 50-60 --to stay at the club all day, play the janitor, and avoid wife.
    Ages 60-70 --to stop your rating from dropping any further and teach the grandkids how the pieces move.
    Ages 70 on up --to remember where you put the chess set
  13. 30 Jan '05 08:37
    Originally posted by buddy2
    .... Let us know how it turns out...
    I opened some dusty old notebooks in hopes that the games would be on pages within, but no luck so far.
  14. 30 Jan '05 12:34
    Originally posted by buddy2
    Here is the normal breakdown.

    Ages 15-20 Ambition--to become world chess champion, like Fischer and date good-looking girls.
    Ages 20-30 --to become world chess champion, like fischer, and marry a good looking girl.
    Ages 30-40 --to become national champion and take the wife and kids to Majorca.
    Ages 40-50 --to become club champ and get rid of kids.
    A ...[text shortened]... ch the grandkids how the pieces move.
    Ages 70 on up --to remember where you put the chess set
    LOL . Good one!
  15. 30 Jan '05 18:03
    you guys are all wrong. when you hit 50, you are tired of life and you just want to relax. playing chess is not very relaxing at all.