Who is the oldest living chess grandmaster?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

The oldest living chess grandmaster is Yuri Averbakh, who celebrated his 100th birthday on February 8, 2022. Averbakh holds the distinction of being the first grandmaster to ever reach the remarkable age of 100, surpassing the previous record held by Andor Lilienthal, who lived to the age of 99.

Yuri Averbakh’s longevity is truly remarkable, especially considering the physical and mental demands of competitive chess. Chess is a game that requires immense concentration, strategic thinking, and mental agility. To maintain such skills and competitive spirit for such a long period is a testament to Averbakh’s dedication and passion for the game.

Averbakh’s contributions to the world of chess extend beyond his longevity. He is widely respected as a strong player and a notable chess writer. Born in 1922 in Moscow, Averbakh became an international master in 1950 and achieved the grandmaster title in 1952. He competed in numerous Soviet Championships and represented his country in several Chess Olympiads.

In addition to his accomplishments as a player, Averbakh made significant contributions to chess theory and literature. He authored several influential books, including “Chess Endings: Essential Knowledge” and “Chess Middlegames: Essential Knowledge,” which have become standard references for chess players of all levels. Averbakh’s analytical and strategic insights have shaped the understanding of various aspects of the game.

Personally, I have always admired Averbakh’s dedication to chess and his commitment to continuous learning and improvement. His longevity serves as an inspiration to chess players worldwide, showing that age should never be a barrier to pursuing one’s passion and achieving excellence.

Yuri Averbakh holds the distinction of being the oldest living chess grandmaster, reaching the remarkable age of 100. His longevity, combined with his achievements as a player and contributions to chess literature, solidify his place as a legendary figure in the chess world. Averbakh’s dedication to the game and his unwavering passion serve as an inspiration to chess enthusiasts around the globe.