The Age of Chess Learning
What's the best age to learn chess? No one really knows. Perhaps the earlier, the better. Maybe there is no difference at a very young age (for example, age 4) and a young age (for example, 10).
Here are some the ages of when some of the players learned the game:
Alexander Alekhine learned at the age of 7 from his older brother. His mother also played chess and he learned chess from his relatives.
Anand learned the game of chess at age 6, taught by his mother.
Adolf Anderssen learned at the age of 9 from his father.
Blackburne was 19 years old before he learned chess. He learned the game from a chess book he had purchased.
Humphrey Bogart learned chess at 13 and was later a chess hustler.
Boleslavsky learned at age 9 at the House of Pioneers in the USSR.
Botvinnik learned at the age of 12 from his family.
de la Bourdonnais learned at 19 while in college.
Walter Browne learned the game at age 8 somewhere in Brooklyn.
Capablanca claimed he learned chess at the age of 4 by watching his father play chess against friends.
Ray Charles learned at age 35 in a hospital to fight drug addiction.
Irving Chernev learned at the age of 12 from his father.
Mikhail Chigorin learned at the age of 16 from a school teacher in Russia.
Arnold Denker learned at the age of 12 from his oldest brother.
Jan Donner learned at the age of 14, taught by his friends.
Max Euwe learned at the age of 9 from his parents.
Larry Evans learned at age 12 from his brothers and his father.
Reuben Fine learned chess at the age of 8 from his cousin.
Bobby Fischer learned at the age of 8 from his older sister, Joan.
Nona Gaprindashvili learned at the age of 5 from her 5 older brothers.
Gligoric learned about age 12 from a boarder in his parents home.
Robert Heubner learned at the age of 5 from his father.
Igor Ivanov learned at age 5 from his mother.
John Jarecki learned at the age of 6 from his father (a medical doctor).
Mona Karff learned at age 9 from her father.
Anatoly Karpov learned chess at the age of 4 at the Pioneers Palace.
Kasparov learned at age 5 from his father, who later died in a car crash.
Paul Keres learned at the age of 4, probably from his parents.
George Koltanoski learned chess at the age of 14 from his father, a diamond cutter.
Bent Larsen learned at age 6, probably from his family.
Edward Lasker learned at age 6 from his father.
Emanuel Lasker learned at age 11 from his older brother.
Bill Lombardy learned at age 9 from a neighbor.
Frank Marshall learned chess at age 10 from his father.
Mecking learned at age 6, probably from his family.
Vera Menchik learned at age 9 from her father.
Paul Morphy learned at age 8 from his father.
Nakamura learned how to play chess at the age of 7.
Nimzovich learned chess at the age of 8.
Victor Palciuskas learned at age 5 from his uncle.
Louis Paulsen learned at age 5 from his father.
Petrosian learned chess from his parent at age 8. His parents died a few years later during World War II.
Philidor learned at age 10 from his musician friends.
Pillsbury learned at age 15.
Susan Polgar learned chess at the age of 4 from her parents. Judit and Sofia also learned the game at a young age.
Stuart Rachels learned at age 8 from an older brother.
Reshevesky was playing chess at 4 and giving simuls at age 5.
Rossolimo learned chess at age 7 from his mother.
Diane Savereide learned chess at age 17 from her brother. A few years later she was the top woman chess player in the U.S.
Gabriel Schwartzman says he learned chess at the age of 2.
Seirawan learned chess in Seattle at the age of 12.
Smyslov learned chess at the age of 6 from his father and from the chess books in his father's library.
Soltis learned chess at age 9.
Spassky learned chess at the age of 5.
Steinitz learned chess at the age of 12 from friends.
Sultan Khan learned modern chess at age 21. Prior to that, he learned Indian chess at a much younger age.
Mikhail Tal learned at the age of 8 by watching patients play chess at the hospital his father worked at.
Tarrasch learned chess at the age of 15 from a chess book.
George Thomas learned chess at the age of 13 from his mother, a top British Ladies' Champion.
Topalov learned at age 9.
Norman Whitaker learned at age 14 from his father.
Michael Wilder learned at the age of 6 from his father.
As for me, I learned chess from my father at the age of 15. I played chess in high school, but did not know the chess notation and did not discover chess books until I joined a chess club (Tacoma Chess Club) when I was 18. I've been learning every day for the past 40 years ever since.