The Age of Chess Learning

The Age of Chess Learning

billwall
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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.
 

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