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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Is there margin to improve for adults....? (Read 12966 times)
brabo
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #17 - 04/30/17 at 06:34:46
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In my club our first board became IM at age 67 see https://ratings.fide.com/card.phtml?event=200050.
He retired at age 60 and restarted to play chess after being more than 20 years absent. He was already once Belgian champion in 1967 so clearly the talent was there. Still at such advanced age any achievement is very impressive.

Unfortunately recently retirement has been increased in Belgium to the age of 67. I expect when it will be my turn then age 70 will be the norm. So waiting for retirement to get more time to improve, is not a serious option anymore.
  
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GMTonyKosten
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #16 - 04/29/17 at 08:48:56
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I remember John Pigott when I was much younger, he was a very good player back then so I'm not sure it is a question of adults improving, it's probably just a case of him taking chess seriously again after retiring.
  
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #15 - 04/29/17 at 08:07:52
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I recall Mr. Pigott's name ...I think it probably goes back to a game of his in Chess Life & Review in the 1970s.
  
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #14 - 04/29/17 at 05:28:10
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Just resurrecting this old thread to highlight the issue: improvement as an adult and as a retiree.

Over at the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/28/england-armenia-world-senior-chess..., Leonard Barden just pointed out that retiree, John Pigott aged 59 achieved his IM title.
Quote:
The unexpected English hero of this week’s Reykjavik Open was John Pigott, who achieved his IM title in style at age 59 by defeating the legendary GM Alexey (Fire on Board) Shirov in the final round, and probably narrowly breaking Jeff Horner’s British age record set in 2008.


There is still "hope" for us?
  

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A Year With Nessie ...... aka GM John Shaw's The King's Gambit (http://thekinggambit.blogspot.com.au/)
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MartinC
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #13 - 08/17/13 at 13:22:42
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Good stuff Smiley

The thing with fatigue is defintely true. If you know that a large proportion of your games are played well below the level you can play at all already - and this happens for an awful lot of ametuers - then trying to motivate yourself to improve the peak level isn't at all easy.
(If it is indeed possible.).
  
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #12 - 08/17/13 at 12:45:32
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Hello,

my example shows it's possible. I reached 2250 at 21 and stayed there for more than 10 years... my rating fluctuted between 2230-2265. With time I become frustrated with this since I was close to 2300 and couldn't break that mark and achieve a FM title.

Than, when I turned 33 I finally reached 2300 and continued to climb up all the way to 2350 where I am now being soon 37 years old. I feel I have potential to reach an IM title, but it would be very hard because I don't have much of a time to play regular tournaments Sad

I achieved the rise in rating by switching to more positional opening... before I played only 1.e4, then gradually switched to 1.d4 which improved my understanding substantially. Also, books by Avrukh were of great help! Suddenly I started to win positions that I would before consider as dull.

So yes, it's possible, but it takes time ad a lot of effort, which is not always possible for someone who has job and a family.

Vinko Malada
  
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hicetnunc
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #11 - 08/17/13 at 11:21:47
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Tibor wrote on 08/15/13 at 18:23:39:
Hello,

I am an adult who has been playing chess from 5 years old. When I overpast 20 years old, my chess strength seemed to stabilize, and from them, although I had studied, read books and received professional classes, I had improved little. Maybe I have learn same insights, but tactically and my thought process seem the same even doing tactical exercises from time time.

Do you know of adult stories who has improved? Would be encouraging....

(yes I know you could say play for enjoy, but who don't like to win??? one learn to win also.....)


I'm in the same boat : 41 y.o. with 3 kids and stuck around 2050 elo for a long time. Yet I devote a lot of time to chess training and playing (like ~15hrs/week), but it seems it's still not enough.

I've found there are two big stumbling blocks for me to overcome :

1) fatigue : being 100% fresh and in a free mind to play a long game becomes more and more difficult with time
2) time to play tournaments : it's very difficult to find it, yet it's also difficult to reach your full potential if you don't play a lot OTB, just to get into the habit and be able to show your actual strength. The way the FIDE rating system works, you might have a bad string of results for purely statistical reasons, and not playing enough also puts more pressure on you when you actually find the time to play...  Smiley
  

48 yo, 1920 elo
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fling
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #10 - 08/17/13 at 10:58:43
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I think it is curable for sure, but the problem is that you need to make an effort to correct it. Too many club players, including me, probably mostly want to play chess (or discuss opening theory here Wink )
  
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MartinC
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #9 - 08/17/13 at 07:26:27
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Only thing there is that's someone taking up a sport then starting to work on it for the first time. If someone did that with chess you'd expect to improve at least until they found a level. Given that you don't actively lose substantial chess strength for a long time there's no reason that you couldn't start quite old and get strong.

What is much rarer is improving after you've found/hit a level for a few years.

It is a bit odd how very hard/rare this is. I mean think of all the club players with major issues like bad time trouble addictions, drawing all the time, addictions to gambits/overly passive play etc. If anything was 'curable' to produce improvement you'd think that this sort of thing would be. Not common.
  
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fling
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #8 - 08/16/13 at 20:36:43
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I think improvement is possible for sure, even long after 30, in many sports and in chess. But chances are, as mentioned before, that life and other things interfere with the time needed for training.

And as TN said, I think the key issue is to identify areas that need improvement the most. Dan Heisman has written a lot about these things for beginners, but his ideas can be applied to many stronger players too.

An example from another sport:
Evy Palm, a Swedish long distance runner, finished her first marathon at age 38, at 3:07,24. 44 years old she won Stockholm marathon at 2:34,42. If someone can become that strong in running after 40, I think there is room for improvement at chess when you are older than 20....
  
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TN
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #7 - 08/16/13 at 15:17:33
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Tibor wrote on 08/15/13 at 18:23:39:
Hello,

I am an adult who has been playing chess from 5 years old. When I overpast 20 years old, my chess strength seemed to stabilize, and from them, although I had studied, read books and received professional classes, I had improved little. Maybe I have learn same insights, but tactically and my thought process seem the same even doing tactical exercises from time time.

Do you know of adult stories who has improved? Would be encouraging....

(yes I know you could say play for enjoy, but who don't like to win??? one learn to win also.....)


If you mentioned what work on chess you do each week it would be easier to offer specific advice to you on how to improve. Otherwise you'll get general suggestions such as 'play lots of tournament games and analyse them without a computer afterwards', 'Solve some tactics puzzles every day' and 'Make sure you understand and know enough theory in the openings you play' which are almost truistic.
  

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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #6 - 08/16/13 at 15:02:20
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Well, I know of one player here in Columbus, who was a "Class A" player (~1950) most of his life, but made National Master (2200+) after he retired at age 60 or so.  Apparently he had more time to work on chess.
  

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ErictheRed
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #5 - 08/16/13 at 04:28:43
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Amateurs learn the game haphazardly, and I think that for 99% of us it's possible to improve by simply filling in the gaps of our knowledge.  On the other hand, unlearning bad habits is difficult later in life, and chess is primarily about applying the knowledge you have to solve concrete problems.
  
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barnaby
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #4 - 08/16/13 at 00:09:54
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two more cents on the issue:

in sports such as basketball there are specific skills that are infinitely easier to master if one has certain specific physical attributes

in chess there are specific skills that are easier to master if one has a brain wired with certain specific attributes  ... it is quite possible and doable to create the necessary wiring in a new (young) brain but really impossible to rewire an older brain to master these skills

people that have not hit their own personal ceiling at young age can seem to show marked improvement but it is more likely they just realizing their actual peak at a latter stage and have not actually rewired the brain so much
  
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dfan
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Re: Is there margin to improve for adults....?
Reply #3 - 08/15/13 at 19:52:45
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I have improved from 1800 to 2000 USCF over the last few years after bouncing around 1800 for the previous 15 years. I attribute it largely to working through the Quality Chess Yusupov series (I'm currently on book 4 of 9) and doing a ton of memorization of opening moves as well as tactics, strategy, and endgame problems. I realize that memorization is often viewed with suspicion but it seems to have worked for me, though obviously it is just a sample size of one. More details in this blog post.
  
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