Late learners

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JustinHorton
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Late learners

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:39 pm

Insofar as we know, what is the latest in life anybody has learned chess, and gone on to become:

(a) a world-class player?
(b) a grandmaster?
(c) a strong player?
(d) a player of average club strength?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

PeterTurland
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Re: Late learners

Post by PeterTurland » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:25 pm

JustinHorton wrote:Insofar as we know, what is the latest in life anybody has learned chess, and gone on to become:

(a) a world-class player?
(b) a grandmaster?
(c) a strong player?
(d) a player of average club strength?
I've been making a note of when players learned and their playing strength. The percentage refers to win lose rate. Pillsbury learned quite late at 16.

Morphy 78.7% young child By nine, best player New Orleans
Fischer 73% 6
Alekhine 72.6% first game recorded at 10, 4 year older brother a master
Capablanca 72% 4
Kasparov 69.6% before 7
Pillsbury 65.4% 16!
Nakamura 65.3% before 5
Anand 62.9% 6
Aronian 61.7% 9
Haslinnger 61.3% 4
Carlsen 60.5% first tournament at 8
Nisipeanu 59.3%
Karjakin 58.5% 5
Susan Polgar 58.1% won first tournament at 4
Hou Yifan 56.7% 6
Judit Polgar 55.9%

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Late learners

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:29 pm

PeterTurland wrote: I've been making a note of when players learned and their playing strength. The percentage refers to win lose rate.
What is your source for those percentages?

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Late learners

Post by Gordon Cadden » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:38 pm

Will nominate Howard Staunton (1810 - 1874) for the (a) list. Did not arrive on the chess scene until 1838. His biography indicates that he commenced playing chess in 1836. Paul Morphy was several years into retirement at 26 years.

PeterTurland
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Re: Late learners

Post by PeterTurland » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:46 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
PeterTurland wrote: I've been making a note of when players learned and their playing strength. The percentage refers to win lose rate.
What is your source for those percentages?
Mainly http://www.chessgames.com/

Jon D'Souza-Eva

Re: Late learners

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:27 pm


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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Late learners

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:09 pm

Jon D'Souza-Eva wrote:Some interesting stuff here:
http://www.geocities.com/siliconvalley/lab/7378/age.htm
According to that Blackburne and Staunton only learned at 19 (!!) - pretty inconcievable for any top GM these days......

(I vaguely recall that amongst modern-day GMs, Suba was a notably "late" starter - but stand to be corrected)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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