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  1. 28 Jul '06 12:08
    Hi,

    I am curious to how long the better players (say the 1800+s) on this server have been playing chess. Also I am wondering if you know of any chess masters that started late in life, or if most of them had been playing since they where kids.

    Maybe its to late if you start playing as an adult. Then again I guess ratings and titles dont really matter in the end, aslong as one enjoys the game.

    /petke
  2. 28 Jul '06 12:11
    Originally posted by Patrik Kahari
    Hi,

    I am curious to how long the better players (say the 1800+s) on this server have been playing chess. Also I am wondering if you know of any chess masters that started late in life, or if most of them had been playing since they where kids.

    Maybe its to late if you start playing as an adult. Then again I guess ratings and titles dont really matter in the end, aslong as one enjoys the game.

    /petke
    Almost anyone regardless of age should be able to become about 1800+
  3. 28 Jul '06 13:58
    The only famous player I know who started playing late is Howard Staunton. I have read that he started playing in earnest sometime after the age of 20. I would guess he was probably about 2300 strength at his peak.

    Personally I have known two people who started playing at a late age (25 to 30) and became better than me. They were both extremely clever, one peaked at about 2100 and the other slightly stronger, perhaps 2200. They were both extremely good at tactics and weaker positionally.
  4. 28 Jul '06 14:19
    Rolf Wetzell wrote a book called "Chess Master at Any Age" telling how he became a US rated master at 50. I guess you could do it, but most of us that old lack the motivation and the time.
  5. 28 Jul '06 14:59
    Originally posted by masscat
    Rolf Wetzell wrote a book called "Chess Master at Any Age" telling how he became a US rated master at 50. I guess you could do it, but most of us that old lack the motivation and the time.
    Start playing tennis, golf, or the piano when you're 40+. See how you compare to people that picked it up and studied seriously when they were 10 years old.
    That ship has sailed, my friend. You'll never be top-notch at chess.
  6. 28 Jul '06 15:24
    Originally posted by General Putzer
    Start playing tennis, golf, or the piano when you're 40+. See how you compare to people that picked it up and studied seriously when they were 10 years old.
    That ship has sailed, my friend. You'll never be top-notch at chess.
    That's why I never bought the book.
  7. 28 Jul '06 15:37 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    The only famous player I know who started playing late is Howard Staunton. I have read that he started playing in earnest sometime after the age of 20. I would guess he was probably about 2300 strength at his peak.

    Personally I have known two people who started playing at a late age (25 to 30) and became better than me. They were both extremely clever, o ...[text shortened]... ightly stronger, perhaps 2200. They were both extremely good at tactics and weaker positionally.
    Staunton was a lot better than 2300, he was considered the strongest player in the world for a short period of time. In the 1840's, he played matches against St. Amant, (Frances best player), Horwitz, and Harrwitz, demolishing them all. In 1853 he defeated Jaenish, with 7 wins and two losses, certainly better than a 2300 performance.
    Staunton certainly played chess when he was young, but did not take the game seriously until he was 26 years old. (By his account). I suspect he was a strong player much earlier than that.
  8. 28 Jul '06 15:51
    i started when i was 13, too late?
  9. 28 Jul '06 15:58
    Originally posted by EcstremeVenom
    i started when i was 13, too late?
    No.....puberty or thereabouts seems to be the cut-off for doing anything really well. Learning a foreign language, for example. Someone that moves to another country when they're 9 years old will eventually speak their new language without a trace of accent. Someone who learns it when they are 18 will always have an accent.
    GENERALLY speaking, of course. I'm sure there are many examples of people that are exceptions to the rule.
  10. 28 Jul '06 16:13
    Originally posted by General Putzer
    No.....puberty or thereabouts seems to be the cut-off for doing anything really well. Learning a foreign language, for example. Someone that moves to another country when they're 9 years old will eventually speak their new language without a trace of accent. Someone who learns it when they are 18 will always have an accent.
    GENERALLY speaking, of course. I'm sure there are many examples of people that are exceptions to the rule.
    Except poker. It is probably the only game you can go pro at and only learn to play in your 20's 30's or even 40's.
  11. 28 Jul '06 17:02 / 1 edit
    I read on chessbase I think about a guy turning into a gm at 63. He started chess very late so there is hope!

    For me 1800+ after 2 serious years of playing. So around 21 I started.

    I played before that but just dumb blitz games not thinking much just playing dumb moves like most people you see playing blitz. It didn't do anything for me. 2000+ blitz games on yahoo and nothing. Joined a chess club and played serious chess and 1800+ in 2 years.
  12. 28 Jul '06 17:15
    Originally posted by General Putzer
    Staunton was a lot better than 2300, he was considered the strongest player in the world for a short period of time. In the 1840's, he played matches against St. Amant, (Frances best player), Horwitz, and Harrwitz, demolishing them all. In 1853 he defeated Jaenish, with 7 wins and two losses, certainly better than a 2300 performance.
    Staunton cer ...[text shortened]... he was 26 years old. (By his account). I suspect he was a strong player much earlier than that.
    Just in case there's any doubt, I meant 2300 ELO. That's pretty strong for an amateur player, not too many non-professionals get to that level today. If you play through some of Staunton's games I think you'll find that he was, like many of the famous old-time players, very good at beating people considerably weaker than himself.
  13. 28 Jul '06 17:52
    Jeff Sonas’ Chessmetrics website lists historical rating calculations for everybody who was anybody and is worth a visit. Staunton is listed at about 2700.
  14. 28 Jul '06 17:58
    Originally posted by General Putzer
    No.....puberty or thereabouts seems to be the cut-off for doing anything really well. Learning a foreign language, for example. Someone that moves to another country when they're 9 years old will eventually speak their new language without a trace of accent. Someone who learns it when they are 18 will always have an accent.
    GENERALLY speaking, of course. I'm sure there are many examples of people that are exceptions to the rule.
    Actually, I wouldn't compare language acquisition with chess ability. The idea of a critical age in language acquisition is based on the concept that human beings have a genetic ability to acquire language that must occur at a specific point in the development process. In fact, children exposed to no language through childhood (very rare) cannot become native speakers later in life.

    In chess, a child and an adult are both using the same cognitive skills to learn the game (memory, pattern recognition, general reasoning, etc.). There is no critical age at which you can no longer access these skills. I would believe that the complexity of chess simply rewards experience with the game. Someone taking up the game at 30 with a full time job and a family will not catch up with a 30 year old who started at 10 and has played thousands of games, spent his summers playing for hours with friends. If he's seen a position a thousand times, and you've seen it a hundred times, you're probably in trouble over the board in that position.

    Scott
  15. 28 Jul '06 18:53
    i started last year to play seriously after a 9 year break ( i'm 18 now) and i have gone from 1100 to 1600 too late for me?