Starting Late

How late can someone start chess and yet still scale the peaks? It does help to start early as chess skill is more easily acquired by the young. Though there are examples of some very late starters such as Joseph Henry Blackburne.

Blackburne played checkers as a child but switched to chess at the age of 18. Nonetheless he became one of the most successful players of his day, making a living as a chess professional and winning a host of tournaments.

Wilhelm Steinitz was very impressed with this game in which Blackburne allowed Black to win a kingside pawn and then generated a devastating attack along the open files:


Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: