Okay, fine, I get it—I didn’t make it

Chess is known as a young person’s game. On the world’s top 100 list, there are only two guys left who are older than I am: Boris Gelfand and Nigel Short. The two players in the upcoming world championship match, Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin, were both born in 1990.

Kramnik and Topalov, bless them, are both defying gravity for the moment, remaining in the top 10 despite being 41 years old.


Way way down the chess ladder, for the past several decade I’ve worked earnestly to hit the magic 2200 rating, the threshold for the “master” title. You certainly aren’t supposed to get better after your 30s, but I concocted various reasons why I might, and changed everything (*everything*) about what and how I study, the openings I play, etc etc. Learned a lot. Had some good results. Played some nice games. Hit my all-time high rating of 2173 in 2011, at the age of 44.

I just wanted to peek up over the 2200 mark one time. But I didn’t make it.

I am throwing in the towel. I’ll still play for enjoyment, but I give up on the studying and therefore the goal. There are other things to spend the time on.

I’d like to say I really appreciate the patience and tolerance of my friends and family for all this nonsense over the years. It has been a lovely mirage to chase.

3 thoughts on “Okay, fine, I get it—I didn’t make it

  1. Hmmm…I need to hear more about this so that I can try to talk you out of it. No way are you too old, etc., to hit the 2200 mark.

    1. I waited a couple of weeks after my last tournament so it isn’t a meltdown :) Too much time and energy just to stay at 2130-2150. But like I say, I’ll probably still play. I just think I’m a section II guy from here on out.

Comments are closed.