Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
User avatar
JustinHorton
Posts: 8119
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:06 am
Location: Somewhere you're not

Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:02 am

We might have done this question, or a similar one, before, but I saw this question in the Guardian's Knowledge feature today.

It might be a silly question when applied to football (because careers are much shorter) but it suits our game very well, and we can expand it further. So my question is: who has played competitive chess, be that amateur or professional, against opponents born the longest period of time apart?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

User avatar
Michael Farthing
Posts: 1965
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:28 pm
Location: Morecambe, Europe

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by Michael Farthing » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:57 am

I assume we exclude simuls?

David Sedgwick
Posts: 4130
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:59 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:02 am
We might have done this question, or a similar one, before, but I saw this question in the Guardian's Knowledge feature today.

It might be a silly question when applied to football (because careers are much shorter) but it suits our game very well, and we can expand it further. So my question is: who has played competitive chess, be that amateur or professional, against opponents born the longest period of time apart?
It wasn't a tournament or match game, nor is it an answer to your exact question, but the centenary of the BCF on 7th May 2004 was marked by an exhibition game between players aged 102 and 5.

I have a recollection (memory, not fact) that shortly afterwards it was established that the 97 years' difference in the players' ages was not a record.

User avatar
JustinHorton
Posts: 8119
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:06 am
Location: Somewhere you're not

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:13 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:57 am
I assume we exclude simuls?
I reckon we can have different categories
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Geoff Chandler
Posts: 2388
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:36 pm
Location: Under Cover
Contact:

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:36 pm


User avatar
JustinHorton
Posts: 8119
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:06 am
Location: Somewhere you're not

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:21 pm

Well it has a game between opponents born 92 years apart, which is a different question.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Graham Borrowdale
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:54 pm

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:44 pm

Ok, so around 44 years ago I might have played someone aged 70, DOB say 1906, and last year I played a 12 year old, DOB 2007, which is a difference of 100+ years. Hypothetical example, but is that what we are looking for?

User avatar
JustinHorton
Posts: 8119
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:06 am
Location: Somewhere you're not

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:07 pm

Yes!

I might just possibly have played somebody (no-one in particular, this is also just a hypothetical example) born in the nineteenth century when I was a junior in the Seventies and I've definitely had many opponents born in the present century, so I maybe span 100+ years myself, but that can't be anything special.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

User avatar
Christopher Kreuzer
Posts: 7557
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:34 am
Location: London

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:17 pm

So you want someone really young playing someone really old, to then live to a very old age themselves and play someone very young?

e.g. An 8-year-old plays someone aged 102 in 1930 (i.e. they are born in 1922 and 1828 respectively) and is alive today at 98 and plays someone aged 7 (born in 2013), giving opponents born 185 years apart, something like that?

I suppose Leonard would have played some old people when he was young, but when did he last play OTB chess and did he play a young Nigel Short or Luke McShane or anyone like that?

User avatar
Matt Mackenzie
Posts: 3514
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:51 pm
Location: Millom, Cumbria

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:05 pm

Korchnoi played and beat Levenfish (b 1889) circa 1950, and played and beat Caruana (b 1992) when aged 80.

Any advance on 103 years?
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 4098
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:54 pm

What a good question! I played Fred Andrews (Redhill) who was born 1899, but another member was Major Claude J Low, who was (I believe) 80 or so when he gave up, and I last played him in 1971, so I guess he was born 1890ish. Last year, I played Akaash Agnihotri, who apparently was born 2007. (I've played about a dozen different people born 2000 or later.) I'm sure this difference will be beaten easily enough, by someone who is even older than me. An ever present in Minor events in the South East was the cheery Fred Coombes who played until a good age, and I imagine he must have stumbled over some young juniors towards the end of his career.

In the 1981 Guernsey tournament, I was paired against T van Scheltinga (graded 214ish) in round 1, so I idly wondered if he were any relation to the famous one. When a tall mature gentleman turned up, I realised it wasn't a relation... He was born 1914.

Tim Harding
Posts: 1933
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by Tim Harding » Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:42 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:54 pm
In the 1981 Guernsey tournament, I was paired against T van Scheltinga (graded 214ish) in round 1, so I idly wondered if he were any relation to the famous one. When a tall mature gentleman turned up, I realised it wasn't a relation... He was born 1914.
I'm not sure I follow your line of thought here; did you ask him?
Theo van Scheltinga (born 1914 indeed) was a Dutch OTB international player who competed in the final of the 1st Correspondence World Championship.
I had a chat with him at Wijk aan Zee (probably in 1973) when I was collecting the games of the early CC championships and it sounds like your 1981 opponent was him.
He was still playing chess up to 1990 according to ChessBase's Mega Database.
Tim Harding
Historian and FIDE Arbiter

Author of 'Steinitz in London,' British Chess Literature to 1914', 'Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

User avatar
IM Jack Rudd
Posts: 4126
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:13 am
Location: Bideford

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:03 pm

At the 2019 East Devon congress, I played opponents born 70 years apart in consecutive rounds (John Wheeler and Shreyas Royal).

Matthew Turner
Posts: 3134
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:54 am

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by Matthew Turner » Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:28 pm

Michael Stoop played Freddie Sugden at at the WECU Congress in 2009. They would be roughly 70 years apart. I would imagine that Michael would have played someone relatively old in his younger days, so I imagine he would get well over the century mark.

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 4098
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Playing opponents born the longest time apart

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:34 pm

"Theo van Scheltinga"

I wasn't clear - I realised he was the actual TVS, not a relation, a very nice man. Even back in 1981 I didn't expect to play people that had played Alekhine etc.

TVS and PS Milner-Barry must have played a variety of people over the years.

Post Reply