Long-lived chess players
Nikolay Abzhirko (1912- ).† Chess expert from Russia.† At age 102, he still seems to be active with a FIDE rating of 2057.
Rafael Aburto Renovales (1913-2014).† Died at age 101.† He was a Spanish player.
Walter Ader Hausman (1913- ), age 101.††† He was champion of Chile in 1966.†
Henry Atkins (1872-1955).† Died at age 82.† He won the British championship 9 times, 7 of them in a row.
Yuri Averbakh (1922- ).† At age 92, he is the oldest living grandmaster.† On his 90th birthday he gave an in depth interview about his life and the history of chess. He has been studying the history of chess and games.
Herbert Avram (1913-2006).† Died at age 92, 9 days short of his 93rd birthday.† He was a USCF Life Master.† He won the Virginia State Championship 3 times and the Maryland State Championship 2 times.
Stanko Banic (1913-2005).† Died at age 92.† He was still playing rated chess games in Slovenia at the age of 91.
Ilia Baslavsky (1912- ).† Russian player still on the FIDE list (rated 2110) at age 102.
Wilson Beckett (1793-1887).† Died at age 94.† He was a member of the St. Georgeís Club in London.† He was still playing chess at the club in his 90s.
Francisco Benko (1910-2010).† Died at age 99.† He was a German-Argentine chess master and problemist.†† He was often referred to as the world's oldest active player before dying at age 99 in Buenos Aires.
Pal Benko (1928- ).† At age 85, he is still active in chess.† He recently retired from doing his endgame chess column in Chess Life after 45 years.
Ossip Bernstein (1882-1962).† Died at age 80.† Russian chess grandmaster and a financial lawyer.† He died in a sanatorium in the French Pyrenees on November 30, 1962.
Jerome Bibuld (1928-2013).† Died at age 85.† Jerry was an International Arbiter and chess activist.† He died on October 22, 2013 from Parkinsonís Disease.
Arthur Bisguier (1929- ).† He is still active in chess at age 84.† American chess Grandmaster, chess promoter, and writer.† He is currently the Dean of American Chess.† His wife of 55 years, Carol, recently died in May, 2014.
Joseph Blackburne (1841-1924).† Died at age 82.† He dominated British chess during the latter part of the 19th century.† He tied for 1st place in the British championship at the age of 72.†† He was still giving simultaneous exhibitions in his late 70s.† He died of a heart attack on September 1, 1924.† It is estimated he played over 100,000 chess games in his career.
Joanna Bojdol (1911- ).† Polish chess woman player.
Ken Bloodworth (1914-2011).† Died at the age of 96 in Plymouth, England.† He was a leading national organizer of junior chess in England.
Fedor Bohatirchuk (1892-1984).† Died at age 91.† He was a Ukrainian-Canadian International Master and medical doctor.† He was still playing correspondence chess until age 85.
Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995).† Died at age 83.† Former world chess champion.† He died of pancreatic cancer on May 5, 1995.
Curt Brasket (1932-2014).† Died at age 81.† He was a chess master from Minnesota.† He won the Minnesota championship 16 times.† He died in his sleep on January 24, 2014.† He had been suffering from Parkinsonís disease.
Robert Brieger (1925-2012).† Died at age 86.† He was a chess master and endgame composer from Houston.
David Bronstein (1924-2006).† Died at age 82.† Soviet grandmaster.† He died in Minsk on December 5, 2006 of complications from high blood pressure.†
Robert Byrne (1928-2013).† Died at age 84, 8 days away from his 85th birthday.† He won the U.S. Chess Championship in 1972 and was a World Chess Championship Candidate in 1974, losing to Spassky.† He died on April 12, 2013 at his home in Ossining, New York from Parkinsonís disease.
Esteben Canal (1896-1981).† Died at age 84.† He was a leading Peruvian player who spent most of his life in Italy.† He died in Varese, Italy on February 14, 1981.
Jane Lady Carew (1797-1901).† Died at age 104.† She was a chess player in England and lived in three centuries. She played chess up to age 100.
Fyodor Dus Chotimirsky (1879-1965).† Died at age 86.† He played in 5 Russian championships.
John Cochrane (1798-1878).† Died at 80.† He was a leading London chess player.
Arthur Dake (1910-2000).† Died 20 days after his 90th birthday.† He was an American chess master.† He played chess for over 75 years. In 1987, at the age of 77, he scored 8-4 in the US Open. He was still playing in rated chess tournaments at the age of 89.† He died of natural causes in Reno, Nevada.
Harlow Daly (1883-1979).† Died at age 95.† He won the Maine State Championship 9 times (the last time at age 85) and the Massachusetts championship twice.† He had previously won in 1961 at the age of 77, and in 1965 at the age of 81. He was still playing chess in his 90s. At age 90, in 1973, he won the New Hampshire Open tournament with a perfect 5-0 score. He played chess for 75 years.† He died in Sanford, Maine on July 8, 1979.
Arnold Denker (1914-2005).† Died at age 90.† He was a Grandmaster and chess author and was active in chess until his late 80s.† He died of brain cancer on January 2, 2005 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Erich Eliskases (1913-1997).† Died at age 83.† Chess grandmaster who represented Austria, Germany, and Argentina during his career.
Max Euwe (1901-1981).† Died at age 80 of a heart attack.† Former world chess champion.
Neil Falconer (1923-2014).† Died at age 91.† He was active in chess in San Francisco up until near the end of his life.
Stanislav Foglar (1913-2004).† Died at age 91.† He was a correspondence player from the Czech Republic.† He was an international arbiter.
Bernard Friend (1919-2013).† Died at age 94.† He became a chess master for the first time at the age of 71 in 1994.
Geza Fuster (1910-1990).† Died at age 80 in Toronto, Canada..† He was a Hungarian-Canadian International Master.
Jeremy Gaige (1927-2011).† Died at age 83.† He was probably Americaís leading chess historians and archivists.† He died of emphysema on Febuary 19, 2011. †
Philip Gelman (1902-2005).† Died at age 103.† He was still playing chess for the Wood Green Chess Club in England at the age of 102.
Erno Gereben (1907-1988).† Died at age 81.† He was a Hungarian-Swiss chess master.† He died in Switzerland on May 16, 1988.
Karl Gilg (1901-1981).† Died at age 80.† He was an International Master from Czechoslovakia.
Arkadiy Gilman (1913-2013).† Died at age 100.† He was a Canadian master.† He was still playing in rated tournaments at the age of 95 and had a FIDE rating over 2200.
Svetozar Gligoric (1923-2012).† Died from a stroke at age 89 in Belgrade.† Serbian and Yugoslavian chess grandmaster.† He won the championship of Yugoslavia 12 times.
Harry Golombek (1911-1995).† Died at age 83.† He was a British International Master and honorary Grandmaster.
Gisela Kahn Gresser (1906-2000).† Died at age 94.† She won the U.S. Womenís Championship 9 times (her last time was when she was 63).†
Ion Gudju (1897-1988).† Died at age 91.† He was a Romanian chess master.† At age 87, he was on the appeals committee at the 1984 Chess Olympiad in Thessaloniki, Greece.
James Hanham (1840-1923) played master level chess until he died at the age of 84. At his death, he was the oldest chess player of master rank in the United States.
Rea Hayes (1915-2001).† Died at age 86.† He won the Tennessee championship in 1992 at the age of 76. He was the winner of the first U.S. Senior Open in 1981. He was still playing in it in 1998, at the age of 83.
Hermann Helms (1870-1963).† Died the day after his 93rd birthday.† He was the editor of the American Chess Bulletin for 59 years, from 1904 to 1963, and wrote a chess column for 62 years.† At the age of 84, he was awarded the International Arbiter title.
H.B. Hinton (1813-1916).† Died at age 103.† He was a member of the Adelaide Chess Club in Australia was still playing chess at the age of 103 until he died on May 14, 1916.
Kirk D. Holland (1910-2005).† Died at age 95.† He was once the President of the American Chess Federation. He was still playing in rated USCF chess events at the age of 94 in Chicago and was once considered the oldest active chess player in the United States.
Henry Hudson was 100 and still playing chess in Canterbury in 1945.
Hans Johner (1889-1975).† Died at age 86.† He was a Swiss chess master, winning the Swiss championship 12 times( the last time at age 61).
Oldrich Jonas (1913- ).† 101-year-old chess player from the Czech Republic.
Robert Karch (1930-2010).† Died one day short of his 80th birthday.† He was active in organized chess for over 60 years.
Mona Karff (1914-1998).† Died at age 83 of heart failure.† She won the U.S. Womenís championship 7 times, the last time when she was 60..
Genrikh Kasparian (1910-1995).† Died at age 85.† He is considered one of the greatest composers of chess endgame studies of all time.
Imre Koenig (1901-1992).† Died 7 days after his 91st birthday.† He was a Hungarian chess master who became a naturalized British citizen, then moved to the United States in the early 1950s.
George Koltanowski (1903-2000).† Died at age 96.† He was a Belgian-born American chess master.† In 1956, he played 56 boards blindfolded simultaneously.† He edited a chess column in the San Francisco Chronicle for 52 years.†† He was still giving his Knightís Tour in his 80s. He was awarded the Grandmaster title (honorary) at the age of 85.†† He died of congestive heart failure in San Francisco on February 5, 2000.
Alexander Konstantinopolsky (1910-1990).† Died at age 80.† He was a Soviet International Master, chess coach, trainer, and chess author.
Viktor Korchnoi (1931- ).† Still active in chess at age 83, but recently suffered a stroke.† Until recently, he was the oldest active grandmaster on the tournament circuit.† In 2005, he was still ranked in the top 100 in the world at the age of 74. In 2007, he tied for 2nd in the National Open.† He won the Swiss chess championship at the age of 78.
Walter Korn (1908-1997).† Died at age 89.† He was the author of several chess books, including the Modern Chess Openings (MCO).†
Cenek Kottnauer (1910-1996).† Died at age 85, 10 days before his 86th birthday.† He was a Czech British chess master.
Charles Frederick LíOste (1828-1935).† Died at age 106.† When he was 101 and still playing chess in Tasmania in 1930.
Tassilo von der Lasa (1818-1899).† Died at age 80.† He was a German chess master, chess historian, and theoretician.
Edward Lasker (1885-1981).† Died at age 95.† He was an International Master (title awarded to him when he was 75) †and engineer by profession.† He was still giving simultaneous exhibitions in his early 90s and was playing correspondence chess up until he died.
David Lawson (1886-1980).† He died at age 94.† He became a world famous chess author at the age of 89 when he wrote Paul Morphy: The Pride and Sorrow of Chess.† His real name was Charles Whipple.
Norman Lessing (1911-2001).† Died at age 90.† He was a chess master and chess writer.† He died of congestive heart failure and complications of Parkisnonís disease.
William Lewis (1787-1870).† Died at age 83.† He was an English chess player and author.
Andor Lilienthal (1911-2010).† He died 3 days after his 99th birthday.† He was a Hungarian and Soviet chess grandmaster.† At the time of his death, he was the oldest living grandmaster and the last surviving person from the original group of 27 grandmasters awarded by FIDE in 1950.
Walter Lovegrove (1869-1956).† Died at age 86.† He was one of the strongest chess players in California in the 19th and early 20th century.
Erik Lundin (1904-1988).† Died at age 84.† He was a Swedish chess master.
Harry Lyman (1915-1999).† Died at age 84.† He won the New England championship three times.†
Vladimir Makogonov (1904-1993).† Died at age 88.† He was awarded an honorary GM title in 1987.†
Erich Marchand (1914-1999).† Died at age 85.† He was New York State champion 4 times.
Alina Markowski (1910-2011).† Died at age 100.† She was still playing chess in San Diego in her 90s. She started playing postal chess at the age of 61. ††She won the Ohio womenís championship 5 times.
Geza Maroczy (1870-1951).† Died at age 81.† He was a leading Hungarian chess Grandmaster.†
Jacques Mieses (1865-1954).† Died at age 88.† He was a German-born chess Grandmaster and writer.† In his mid-80s, he was still giving simultaneous exhibitions.
Vladas Mikenas (1910-1992).† Died at age 82.† He was a Lithuanian International Master, honorary GM, and a journalist.
Philip Stuart Milner-Barry (1906-1995).† Died at age 88.† He was a British master, chess writer, World War II codebreaker, and civil servant.
Mario Monticelli (1902-1995).† Died at age 93.† He was and Italian International Master and was awarded the title of honorary Grandmaster in 1985 at the age of 83.
Jared Moore (1893-1995).† Died at the age of 101. †He was still playing correspondence chess at the age of 100.† He first started playing correspondence chess at the age of 67 and was perhaps the oldest player to play correspondence chess.
Andre Muffang (1897-1989).† Died at age 91.† He was French champion in 1931.
Walter Muir (1905-1999).† He died at age 87.†† He played postal chess until he died at the age of 95. In 1997, he wrote his autobiography, My 75 Year Chess Career. He played chess for 82 years, from 1917 to 1999.
Charles Murton (1790-1881).† He died at age 91.† In 1880, he was 90 years old and a member of the City of London Chess Club.
Miguel Najdorf (1910-1997). He died at age 87.† At the age of 81, he played in the Argentina chess championship. At the age of 82, he played in the strong Mar del Plata open.
Gyorgy Negyesy (1893-1992).† He died at age 98.† He was a Hungarian chess master.
Frank H. Oldaker† (1914-2011).† He died at age 97.† He was a member of the Nuneaton Chess Club in England.
Karel Opocensky (1892-1975).† Died at age 83.† He won the Czechosloakian championship 4 times.†
Rudolf Palme (1910-2005).† Died at age 94.† He was an Austrian chess master.† He won the Berlin championship in 1940.† He was Austrian champion in 1950.
Enrico Paoli (1908-2005).† Died at age 97, a month before his 98th birthday.† He was awarded an honorary GM title in 1996 at the age of 88.† He was the strongest active nonagenarian in the world, still playing chess at the age of 97.† He learned chess at 9 and played chess for 88 years.† He won his last Italian championship at age 60.† He was playing master chess at 96, still participating in international tournaments.
Norman Peacor (1927-2011).† Died at age 84.† He was an active chess player from Massachusetts.† He died on July 16, 2011 at an assisted living center in Providence, Rhode Island.
Jacqueline Piatigorsky (1911-2012).† Died at age 100.† She as a chess player, organizer, and patron of chess.† She died from complications of pneumonia on July 15, 2012.
Carl Pilnick (1923-2013).† Died at age 89.† He was a Life Master and won the 1971 American Open.
Edith Price (1872-1956).† Died at age 84.† She won the British Womenís chess championship 5 times, including her last time at age 76.† She was still running her chess club, the Gambit Chess Room in England, while in her 80s.
Samuel Reshevsky (1911-1992).† Died at age 80.† At the age of 70, he took 3rd place in the U.S. Championship. At the age of 72, he won a grandmaster tournament, held in Iceland.
Clifton Rowan (1917-2007).† Died at age 90.† He was an active Dayton Chess Club member that I played dozens of times when I lived in Dayton.
Olga Rubtsova (1909-1994).† Died at age 85.† She was the fourth Womenís World Chess Champion.†
Ludmila Rudenko (1904-1986).† Died at age 81.† She was the second Womenís World Chess Champion.†
Mitchell Saltzberg (1906-1986).† Died at age 80.† He won the 1981 Marshall Chess Club championship.† He won the 1958 and 1963 New York State championship.
Albert Sandrin (1923-2004).† Died at age 84.† He won the 1949 US Open and the US Braille Championship 3 times.†
Lothar Schmid (1929- ).† Died at age 85.† He was a German chess grandmaster.
Aaron Schwartzman (1908-2013).† Died at age 104.† He was champion of South America in 1934.† He was a member of the Club Argentino de Ajedrez for 89 years.† He was still playing correspondence chess at the age of 102.
Robert Scrivener (1881-1969).† Died at age 87.† He won the Mississippi chess championship at the age of 80.
Victor Secula (1912-2000).† Died at age 87.†† He was a German chess player.
Leonid Shamkovich (1923-2005).† Died at age 81.† He was a Soviet GM who later moved to the US.† He died of complications from Parkinson's disease and cancer in his Brooklyn home on April 22, 2005.
Oscar Shapiro (1909-2002).† Died of cancer at age 92.† He became a USCF master at the age of 74.† He was an active tournament player until just a few months before his death
Bogdan Sliwa (1922-2003).† Died at age 81.† He won the championship of Poland 6 times.
Vasily Smyslov (1921-2010).† Died at age 89.†† He became a Candidate and oldest qualifier for the World Chess Championship at the age of 61. At age 61, he took 2nd place in the 1982 Las Palmas Interzonal. In 1988, at the age of 67, he was the oldest person to play in a Soviet chess championship. He won the first World Seniors Championship in 1991 at the age of 70. He won the Staunton Memorial at Groningen at the age of 75. He ended his chess career at the age of 80 because of failing eyesight, rated 2500.
Laszlo Szabo (1917-1998).† Died at age 81.† He was a Hungarian GM.
Mark Taimanov (1926- ) is still involved in chess at the age of 88 and was giving simultaneous exhibitions in his early 80s. He was World Senior Champion in 1994 (age 68) and 1995 (age 69).† He remarried late in life and became the father of twins at the age of 78.†
Paul Taylor (1924-2011).† Died at age 87.† He was an organizer and chess patron in Massachusetts.
George Alan Thomas (1881-1972).† Died at age 91.† He was a strong British master.† He won the London chess championship at age 65.
John Charles Thompson (1910-1999).† Died at age 88.† He was founder of the Texas Chess Association and a USCF Master Emeritus.† He had a stroke in 1996 and died in Billings, Montana on July 5, 1999.
Wolfgang Unzicker (1925-2006).† Died at age 80.† He was still playing grandmaster chess in his late 70s. He died of heart failure during a holiday trip to Portugal.
Dirk van Foreest (1862-1956).† Died at age 93.† He was a Dutch chess master.† He won the Dutch championship 3 times.
Theo Van Scheltinga (1914-1994).† Died at age 80.† He was a Dutch chess master.
Gerhard Vogel (1910-2010).† Died at age 100.† He was the oldest active FIDE rated player in the world in 2010, the year when he died.† At age 100, he played in a chess tournament three months before he died.
Robert Wade (1921-2008).† Died of pneumonia at 87.† He was New Zealand champion 3 times and British champion 2 times.† He was still an active player in his late 80s.
Antonin †Weleminsky (1909-2005).† Died at 96.† He was still playing in chess tournament just before he died.† He was a member of the Heywood Chess Club in England.
Norman Whitaker (1890-1975).† Died at age 85.† He became an international master at the age of 75 and was playing chess up until he died.
Simon Winawer (1838-1920).† Died at age 81.† He won the German championship in 1883.
Louis Zeckendorf (1838-1937).† He died at age 99, one month before his 100 birthday. He was a member of the Manhattan Chess Club.
Elmars Zemgalis (born Sep 9, 1923).† Age 90.† Latvian-American chess master awarded an honorary GM title in 2003.