Chess families

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Chess families

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:59 pm

Was thinking recently on the topic of chess families, and I was wondering which families have or have had the most number of titled players? I suppose limits could be set at the IM and GM and WGM and WIM titles, and this could be both present and past (i.e. deceased) family members, and I suppose you could distinguish between marrying into a family and blood relatives.

I can think of many examples of two titled players in the same family, but I can only think of one family with three titled players (the Polgar sisters - and even there, it is 2 GMS and 1 IM). I'm sure there must be more out there, but can't think of them right now. Are there more, are there any with three GMs, and are there any with four or more titled players?

EDIT: Doh! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_chess_families :lol:

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Chess families

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:15 pm

The Roos family in France, possibly??
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Paul McKeown
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Re: Chess families

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:21 pm

If it is just chess playing families, rather than titles, then there have been many in the British context.

Littlewoods, John, Norman and Paul are probably the most famous.
Penrose. Lionel and Jonathan, but other siblings of Jonathan also played.
Houska. Whole clan.
Various others.

Paul Cooksey

Re: Chess families

Post by Paul Cooksey » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:26 pm

Difficult to get 4 titled players, or three titled generations though. The only way I got close was using marriages and remarriages to link

LozCooper

Re: Chess families

Post by LozCooper » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:32 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:If it is just chess playing families, rather than titles, then there have been many in the British context.

Littlewoods, John, Norman and Paul are probably the most famous.
Penrose. Lionel and Jonathan, but other siblings of Jonathan also played.
Houska. Whole clan.
Various others.
Blackburn x4 Two parents + 2 children. (Maybe the only current British one with two olympiad players).
Buckley x5 or 6, Simon, David, Melanie and I'm ashamed to say I forget the other names.
Haslingers x6, I reported on three this week alone and there was also Cathy, Mandy and Toby.
Houska, x5, 4 kids + the dad have all played.
Leadbetter x4, Andrew and three children.
Ledger x3 Andrew, Dave and Steve.

Many others too, I'm sure. There were certainly lots of Shorts in Bunratty :shock:

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Chess families

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:35 pm

LozCooper wrote: Buckley x5 or 6, Simon, David, Melanie and I'm ashamed to say I forget the other names.
Sebastian, Maya and Samuel. (Sebastian and Maya have a fifth child, Matthew, but his chess appearances have been minimal compared to the other six.)

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Chess families

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:39 pm

Not heard of the Roos family or the Blackburn family. Can those who mentioned those expand on that? One not mentioned so far is the Hunts (Adam and Harriet). If extending to chess-playing and not just titled families, the list gets very large very quickly (the Bates family would be an example there). As Paul said, it seems difficult to get three titled generations, and/or four titled players. I wonder how this compares to families reaching professional level in other sports? Is it harder to do this in chess than in other sports? What about other mind games?

LozCooper

Re: Chess families

Post by LozCooper » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:46 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Not heard of the Roos family or the Blackburn family. Can those who mentioned those expand on that? One not mentioned so far is the Hunts (Adam and Harriet). If extending to chess-playing and not just titled families, the list gets very large very quickly (the Bates family would be an example there). As Paul said, it seems difficult to get three titled generations, and/or four titled players. I wonder how this compares to families reaching professional level in other sports? Is it harder to do this in chess than in other sports? What about other mind games?
Suzy Blackburn was board 1 for Wales women in the 2008 Olympiad and played board 2 in 2010, her brother Jonathan has also played for the Welsh mens team. Her parents John and Sandra are also league and congress players.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Chess families

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:48 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:Penrose. Lionel and Jonathan, but other siblings of Jonathan also played.
Lionel Penrose was the father. He had four children: Oliver, Roger, Jonathan and Shirley. From the Wikipedia article on Jonathan: "Chess was played by the entire Penrose family. His father was a composer of endgame studies and a strong player, as was older brother Oliver." Not sure which source that is from, but if it is accurate it sounds like the quintessential chess family.

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Re: Chess families

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:52 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:I wonder how this compares to families reaching professional level in other sports?
In Formula One, I can only think of Graham Hill and Damon Hill. The former was World Champion in 1962 and 1968. The latter was World Champion in 1996. I can also think of Michael and Ralf Schumacher, who are the only brothers to win Formula One Grands Prix.

In snooker, Joe Davis was 20-times World Champion. His brother Fred was 8-times World Champion. Neither are related to Steve Davis.

In speedway, there were a whole host of Collins brothers in the 1970s and 1980s. I can think of Phil and Les who were good, but Peter was World Champion in 1976. Gordon Kennett was a successful rider in the 1970s, his son Edward now rides but isn't as good as his father. America had Shawn and Kelly Moran, who rode for the national team in World Cups.

Cricket has a whole host of father/son things, though:
Micky & Alec Stewart
Peter & Sean Pollock
Arnie & Ryan Sidebottom
Alan & Mark Butcher
Colin & Chris Cowdrey
Alan & Mark Ealham
Lance & Chris Cairns
Famous brothers include Ian, Greg, and Trevor Chappell.

Ice hockey has Henrik/Daniel Sedin brothers for Sweden and the Vancouver Canucks - they caused a fuss by demanding to play for the same team when they were drafted - and there are two Staal brothers, Eric and Jordan. The former plays for the New York Rangers, the latter for Pittsburgh Penguins.
Last edited by Alex Holowczak on Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Paul Cooksey

Re: Chess families

Post by Paul Cooksey » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:52 pm

I think you would call the Penrose family intellectual heavy weights rather than specifically chess players.

I read and loved the The Emperor's New Mind without realising the chess connection :)

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Re: Chess families

Post by Daniel Young » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:57 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:I wonder how this compares to families reaching professional level in other sports?
In Formula One, I can only think of Graham Hill and Damon Hill. The former was World Champion in 1962 and 1968. The latter was World Champion in 1996. I can also think of Michael and Ralf Schumacher, who are the only brothers to win Formula One Grands Prix.
Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve? Not quite as impressive as the Hills though given only the son was World Champion (in 1997.)

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Chess families

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:05 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Not heard of the Roos family
Michel Roos (1932 - ) former French champion and father of no fewer than four titled players (3 male, 1 female)
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Re: Chess families

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:10 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Paul McKeown wrote:Penrose. Lionel and Jonathan, but other siblings of Jonathan also played.
Lionel Penrose was the father. He had four children: Oliver, Roger, Jonathan and Shirley. From the Wikipedia article on Jonathan: "Chess was played by the entire Penrose family. His father was a composer of endgame studies and a strong player, as was older brother Oliver." Not sure which source that is from, but if it is accurate it sounds like the quintessential chess family.
Yes, Oliver was also a very strong player and played several times in the British Championship.
Paul Cooksey wrote:I think you would call the Penrose family intellectual heavy weights rather than specifically chess players.
Absolutely. Perhaps something to do with their Quaker roots, must use your talents to the full.

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Re: Chess families

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:15 pm

Daniel Young wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:I wonder how this compares to families reaching professional level in other sports?
In Formula One, I can only think of Graham Hill and Damon Hill. The former was World Champion in 1962 and 1968. The latter was World Champion in 1996. I can also think of Michael and Ralf Schumacher, who are the only brothers to win Formula One Grands Prix.
Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve? Not quite as impressive as the Hills though given only the son was World Champion (in 1997.)
Aha! Yes, I'd forgotten them. Gilles would have been World Champion if he wasn't killed at Zolder in 1982, caused mainly by a falling out with Didier Pironi - his team mate - running over from the previous race at Imola...

I remember the 1997 European Grand Prix at Jerez vividly; it was one of the first races I remember watching as a 7-year old. (I think 1997 Austria was the first.) Not sure how I forgot that. :?

I've also remembered David Brabham; son of Jack who was World Champion in 1959, 1960 and 1966.

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