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I too qualify as one, who was playing chess before Bobby Fischer won his World Title. My Father taught me at about 8 or 9 years of age. He and I played through all of the Fischer and Spasky games as they were played. We frequently found ourselves saying I wonder why he did that. We watched the games televised on PBS. We were heartbroken when Fischer declined to defend the title. I never dreamed that chess would never see that level of popularity again. We often speculated that Fischer would re-emerge to challenge again for the title, but that was never to be. Any way, I think my Father would be pleased to know that he inspired a life-long love of the game in his son. I hope I don't develop Alzheimers, because I'd like to think that I'll keep playing to the end of my days. Wouldn't it be wonderful to see another charismatic challenger arise to restore if even for a short time the popularity chess enjoyed in Fischer's hey day?
Thanks for the post 1Pawndown. Yes the story of Fischers life was rather sad after he won the World Championship. There were similarities with Morphy and Fischer, both great talents but yet both tragic as well. I'm sure that the USA will have another World Champ sooner or later and that will help revive Chess as well.
Some of the reports one gets of older folks playing Chess are quite encouraging. There was a report recently in a Chess magazine about a retired Judge who is in his 90's and still plays Chess. He also still does a bit of legal work as well so his mind seems to be is good shape.
Earlier someone here mentioned Victor Korchnoi who was born in 1931 and until recently still played some top level Chess, I haven't heard how his health is these days tho. In the earlier part of his career he had major matches against Spassky, Petrosian and Karpov, quite impessive. One could say however that his most interesting move was made in 1976 as that was the year that he defected from the USSR.
cabadenwurt: Korchnoi is still a top player (if you consider the top 500 as top), but he has suffered tremendously in the last 30 years, from being number 2 to being number 322...
One of the disadvantages of being 80.
Thanks for the posts Renumeratedfrog01 and AndyClifton. I guess being number 322 out of the millions of Chess players that are on our little planet is still quite good ( at age 80 a lot of people can't even remember their own name ). He might also be the winner of the award for being the best player to never win the World Championship, tho I gather he came close against Karpov.
Yeah, 5-5 is as close as it gets...
His games are also great...I just went through the first 20 pages or so of his complete games and I was floored (Flohred?).
Thanks for the update AndyClifton. Recently I was going thru a back issue of a Chess magazine and came across some good info. In a article on the 2010 USA National Open I came across some very interesting info. The then " 68 " year old IM Ed Foremanek did quite well. He defeated one GM, had draws against two other GMs plus defeating another IM as well. The fact that some of these players were possibly only half his age didn't seem to bother Ed at all !!!
I tried playing bridge a few short years ago at age 61, but it was too frustrating getting stomped by folks who had already been playing for 20 years before I was born! I'll stick with something simple, like chess...
"Old age and treachery beats youth and enthusiasm every time!"
Well, it sounds good anyway.
The then " 68 " year old IM Ed Foremanek did quite well.
Wow! (so when I played him he was 47).
Thanks for the recent posts. AndyClifton you got to play against a IM, Wow that must have been quite a thrill ! I imagine it was at one of those simuls where the titled player plays a series of games against a group of players. Was it a large group ? A person would allmost feel like recording that on video-tape as a keepsake.
Young Andy isn't that young and made NM decades ago. He has met a few strong players otb
Yes, in fact I was fortunate enough to beat Ed. Unfortunately though couldn't keep the momentum going for the last 2 rounds.
Thanks for the updates. I must say that the recently mentioned games go well beyond what is played by the very average woodpusher here such as myself. Mind you when I see a interesting game in a Chess magazine I often try to follow along on my own board ( using the hope provided by the osmosis theory lol ).
About a dozen posts back I mentioned a retired judge who still pays Chess and also still does some Legal work as well. I was posting the info from memory but I've got an update now. The article was in the September 2011 issue of Chess Life magazine. The retired Judge's name is GN Leighton and he was on the US District Court in Illinois. And yes at age 98 he is still quite active ( gives all of us hope ).
As an aside the same magazine that I mentioned in my previous post also has a very nice article in it about the new home for the World Chess Hall Of Fame ( now in St.Louis ). Several photos are featured showing some of the items on display including the famed Paul Morphy Silver set. At the end of the first American Chess Congress held in 1857 this Silver set was awarded to Paul Morphy as the winner of that event. This Hall Of Fame would be a nice place for any Chess fan to visit ( now located in a 16,000 sq ft facility ).
If you want to read a story that references that set, check out "Midnight By the Morphy Watch" by Fritz Leiber.
Thanks for the info AndyClifton. I first became aware of Paul Morphy some 8 or 9 years ago when I bought a used copy of a book entitled: The Chess Players. This book was writen by Francis Parkinson Keyes and is written in the style of a historical novel. It covers all of Paul Morphy's life with a few items added to enrich the story-line.
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