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Age of Peak Performance

  • #1

    Goethe said "Chess is the touchstone of the intellect."

    I think that to find what age is the peak for chess ability would be to find one of the most important facts about the human mind.

    I have never seen a study of what age corresponds with the peak performance for chess players.

    At what age does a chess player's performance peak?

  • #2

    Depends on the chessplayer

  • #3
  • #4
    Sothilde wrote:

    Depends on the chessplayer


    Too true. fzweb's estimate is okay, but it's still just an estimate. For some people, that peak can be way different.

    For some examples, Fischer hit his peak at age 28-29, while Kasparov hit his peak at 35-36. Korchnoi didn't hit his peak until at least his 40s.

  • #5

    and if Carlsen gets any  better...

  • #6

    lol... well... I'm over the peak... at 63 years old I play and study chess to excercise my mind... aerobics for the brain... I have heard that solving any kind of puzzles can help ward off altzheimers... even crossword puzzles... but that's not my style... I think chess is the second greatest puzzle... after the universe

  • #7

    People who study such things say that though initially Tetris is a good exercise for the mind, after a time it no longer exercises the brain.

    Could blitz chess be similar?

  • #8

    calculating ability peaks in the twenties, but the brain develops much of its subtlety and breadth after age 30, so you can continue to improve your strategic ability and understanding until the onset of senility.  Experience is a deadly tool in chess, as I'm sure every one of us has learned the hard way.  Perhaps it would be wise to say that a player may peak as early as 20 (earlier in the case of a prodigy) or as late as 50, depending on the particular circumstances.  Psycological stability is also an important factor, but that's a different discussion!

  • #9

    Korchnoi said quite awhile ago that he could play as well as Kasparov but he didn't have enough time on his clock. Ya get slower :)

  • #10
    mowque wrote:

    and if Carlsen gets any  better...


    I think we can all agree that Carlsen is going to have a heck of a rating when he gets older. He hasn't hit a peak yet, and I personally wouldn't expect him to for quite a while. It's very possible that Carlsen will eclipse Kasparov's mark if he sets his mind to it.

  • #11
    goldendog wrote:

    Korchnoi said quite awhile ago that he could play as well as Kasparov but he didn't have enough time on his clock. Ya get slower :)


    I still don't think that explains why Kasparov has a +18-1=25 record against him (according to chessgames.com).

  • #12
    dmeng wrote:
    goldendog wrote:

    Korchnoi said quite awhile ago that he could play as well as Kasparov but he didn't have enough time on his clock. Ya get slower :)


    I still don't think that explains why Kasparov has a +18-1=25 record against him (according to chessgames.com).


     

    Kasparov was a special player indeed. Korchnoi said that at least 20 years ago as

    I recall and may or may not now have a different opinion of their relative 

    talents. Also, their first meeting was in 1982, making Korchnoi 51 when he started meeting the young monster. This no doubt was bad for his record but what can one do about when you were born.

  • #13
    goldendog wrote:

    Kasparov was a special player indeed. Korchnoi said that at least 20 years ago as I recall and may or may not now have a different opinion of their relative talents. Also, their first meeting was in 1982, making Korchnoi 51 when he started meeting the young monster. This no doubt was bad for his record but what can one do about when you were born.


    Still, I seem to remember that Kasparov's rating was already around 2700 back then, so he was already maybe a bit better than Korchnoi.

  • #14

    I think someone such as me, 13, would fluctuate much more in ability. This is true. I often win three games one day, and lost two games another. At my age, when my brain is still developing, I will probably learn more then any other age. But, I will, of course, also get better with experience. I think it would be a bit older then what fzweb says, say 35-45. Of course, nowadays I have much more free time to play chess, so...

  • #15

    I think peak performance ages are 28-30 for genius players, and 35-40 for normal players.

    What do you think?

  • #16
    wormrose wrote:

    lol... well... I'm over the peak... at 63 years old I play and study chess to excercise my mind... aerobics for the brain... I have heard that solving any kind of puzzles can help ward off altzheimers... even crossword puzzles... but that's not my style... I think chess is the second greatest puzzle... after the universe


     As Tarrasch exclaimed "Chess like music ,love gives happiness".I am over my peak at 57 years , but coaching young minds  keeps my brain fresh and I am fit due to Chess only

  • #17

    We currently live in the Age of Peak Performance

  • #18
    haitt wrote:

    I think peak performance ages are 28-30 for genius players, and 35-40 for normal players.

    What do you think?


    Eh, no. I mentioned 2 very well-known grandmasters (Kasparov and Korchnoi) who both hit their peak well into their 30s, and I would think they'd be under your "genius player" category.

    Also, a 3rd well-known GM, Viswanathan Anand, hit his top rating when he was 36.

  • #19

    maybe 35? I don't really know the facts about all of the players, but I would guess that the prime age is around 35, as the player picks up more experience, and is still a young player.

  • #20

    Mental Speed

    Psychological tests reveal that the brain is at its fastest at the age of 18-20 yrs, maximum upto 25 yrs. After that mental speed declines - the sharper the brain, the slower rate of fall.

    Experience

    Psychological tests again reveal that experience increases with age (or rather the more we play)

     

    From the above it might be inferred that one's peak chess performance may occur anytime after the age of 20 yrs - the particular point may widely vary from person to person.

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