I started my chess career very late. I knew precise knowledge about Chess at age 41. The first tournament I shared was when I 42 years old; I got performance rating of 1050.

Could you give me hope?

I'd like names of 5 FM, 3 IM and 2 GM who started their career after 40.

  • 3
    While not answering the question chess.stackexchange.com/questions/33100/… might be of interest. But remember the most important thing for the vast, vast, vast, vast majority of people is too enjoy the game and don't get too hung up on ratings or titles or similar - I lost a game last night in my club's internal championship, and thoroughly enjoyed myself; a fantastic game, full of strategy early on exploding into a great tactical melee at the end.
    – Ian Bush
    Jan 21 at 8:58
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    Why is the only way to have "hope" becoming a master strength player? By far the most people never reach that, it can still be a fun hobby. Jan 21 at 12:42
  • @RemcoGerlich I feel I can do it, in 3 years I can be a FM, at 45 years old. All that I need is tournaments to share. Thank you anyway.
    – salah
    Jan 21 at 13:20
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2 Answers 2


Here are the list when they get their title after 40 years old.

  • Download the fide rating file
  • Get the player id
  • Scrape fide website profile page using id to get the year the title was awarded.
  • If title_year - birthyear >= 41, save the player.
{'id': '34145670', 'name': 'Afanasev, Sergei Gl', 'title': 'FM', 'birthyear': 1958, 'title_year': 2013}
{'id': '4637909', 'name': 'Abel, Thomas', 'title': 'FM', 'birthyear': 1968, 'title_year': 2020}
{'id': '4142713', 'name': 'Abramov, Leonid', 'title': 'FM', 'birthyear': 1971, 'title_year': 2015}
{'id': '2200937', 'name': 'Acebal Muniz, Antonio', 'title': 'FM', 'birthyear': 1964, 'title_year': 2007}
{'id': '2200546', 'name': 'Acebal Muniz, Jose Maria', 'title': 'FM', 'birthyear': 1965, 'title_year': 2007}
{'id': '401137', 'name': 'Adams, James B', 'title': 'FM', 'birthyear': 1947, 'title_year': 2014}

{'id': '1101439', 'name': 'Adamski, Andrzej', 'title': 'IM', 'birthyear': 1939, 'title_year': 1980}
{'id': '1701991', 'name': 'Aaberg, Anton', 'title': 'IM', 'birthyear': 1972, 'title_year': 2013}
{'id': '701424', 'name': 'Abel, Lajos', 'title': 'IM', 'birthyear': 1944, 'title_year': 1989}
{'id': '10600078', 'name': 'Abou El Zein, Eid Mahmoud', 'title': 'IM', 'birthyear': 1952, 'title_year': 1993}
{'id': '4144970', 'name': 'Abramov, Boris', 'title': 'IM', 'birthyear': 1941, 'title_year': 2001}
{'id': '2603896', 'name': 'Adam, Valerian', 'title': 'IM', 'birthyear': 1937, 'title_year': 2009}

{'id': '12501000', 'name': 'Abbasifar, Hasan', 'title': 'GM', 'birthyear': 1972, 'title_year': 2013}
{'id': '4120612', 'name': 'Alavkin, Arseny', 'title': 'GM', 'birthyear': 1969, 'title_year': 2010}
  • 4
    the question is, can anyone be confirmed (via scraping their profile page perhaps for their first FIDE rating) to have received their first FIDE rating after the age of 40, and have gone on to get a title? Jan 21 at 20:06
  • 2
    The first FIDE rating is not specified in the page and also not found in xml rating file.
    – ferdy
    Jan 22 at 3:33
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    Except if it was 2001 onwards, right? (as could be indicated by None followed by a non-None rating) Jan 23 at 0:40

Chess players with FM, IM or GM, starting career after 40?

The answer is "None".

There are a few players who get the title after the age of 40 but none who get the title after starting after the age of 40.

The first tournament I shared was when I 42 years old; I got performance rating of 1050.

Could you give me hope?

No. You are never going to be a FM. You may, however, like the vast majority of us enjoy a game which can give much pleasure without reaching master level.

Reaching 2300 level is very difficult even if you start when you are young. I checked on my database, constructed from Olimpbase and FIDE rating data, for players with a minimum rating below 1100 and a maximum rating above 2300 and got just 5 players, all of them children. Note that I think FIDE only lowered the rating floor to 1000 in 2012.

FullName FIDEID DoBYear MinR MaxR
Juhasz, Agoston 778346 2005 1055 2386
Martin Barcelo, Carles 24561444 2004 1013 2315
Manish Anto Cristiano F 25095927 2005 1087 2383
Bharath Subramaniyam H 46634827 2007 1009 2479
Sreyas Payyappat 46674969 2008 1010 2303

  • 1
    "No. You are never going to be a FM." I suppose we all need to wait to see where Neil Bruce peaks then. Jan 21 at 13:02
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    @SecretAgentMan I've never heard of Neil Bruce. Did he have a FIDE rating of 1050 at age 42?
    – Brian Towers
    Jan 21 at 15:12
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    Neil Bruce has been featured on some podcasts (Perpetual Chess a few times and other podcasts too) as an adult improver starting later in life. He is very systematic and disciplined in his improvement. Will be interesting to see how far he goes (master or not). Jan 21 at 15:51
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    Obviously, for those who start as adults, it is best to focus on enjoying the game and the learning process...wherever one's rating ends up. Jan 21 at 15:52
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    @SecretAgentMan It's Neal Bruce, not Neil Bruce. I still can't find him on FIDE so he still doesn't have a FIDE rating. From the tweet you linked "I learned chess as a child from my father. I played on ChessICC in my 30s and joined a local chess club at 40. My first rating: 1161." So, he learnt as a child, played online in his 30's and joined a club at 40. Not quite the same thing. What's his rate of improvement? Poor, I would imagine, since he seems to rate making flashcards over actually playing OTB. Also "I’ve been studying chess in a serious way for 5 years." still not very good
    – Brian Towers
    Jan 21 at 18:10

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