Any masters who started late

@snailchessyt I know personally. He learned the moves early but didn't really start learning the game till about 20. If he counts. His USCF hasn't caught up with him yet. I forgot about him till tonight.


Does he have to have an official title to be master strength? I believe I said it once in this thread. It is difficult to get to tournaments in my area. It's like we are locked off from the outside of the universe here, and the general population treat real tournament chess like the plague. Look at the rating here though. The average NM that maintains over 2200 in USCF, here is about 2300-2400. He consistently touches 2300 in both blitz and bullet. Who knows what he could accomplish in rapid or classical. In the US all you have to do is touch 2200 and you're an NM. So in reality compared to some of the NM's in our land I would say he was well into the strength of an NM. Judge him by his strength not by his USCF or non-existant FIDE. I average around 2020 USCF. I believe he's one of the few who I consider stronger than I am in our area. And by his ratings here he can qualify as a weak master.

When I first met him he was basically new to tournament chess and played for like 10 years online. I am pretty sure if they offered the LM title like they use to here, he would go for it. Probably get it.

After some searching I found FM Martin Weteschnik who is said to have learned chess at 25 and achieved fide master. He is chess author now. (Yes, topic was about becoming FM, not IM/GM.)

Can someone check it in the database and confirm it?

Actually I didn’t want so say anything more but @MeWantCookieMobile came up with Lazy Pawn who wasn‘t lazy at all and with a master who is not even close to a genuine master. Only because of some free games on the internet without arbiter, FIDE and so on. People, people.

Martin Weteschnik had German ratings of say 1900, played one year in the Eastern Block (Hungary; I personally got dirt-cheap offers for winning games there), came back as FM and never played again. He wrote some books and used his title to promote them. Highly suspicious, but ... think what you want.

You believe every fairy-tale, don’t you? claims to have historical FIDE lists as well as games. According to that Martin Weteschnik enters the FIDE ratings aged 24/25 in 1993 with rating of 2085.

They also some games of him from 1991 (aged 23) including beating a 2265.

Unfortunately all this proves is that he was playing open tournaments aged 23 and beating 2200+ players - as back then FIDE ratings started at 2000, and most tournaments then would not leave a trace on current game databases.

Unless anyone has back copies of the German gradings from the late 1980s I don't think databases will tell us exactly when he started, but it was younger than 25.

@Sarg0n I just said I read it on internet, and asked if someone can check it. And your conclusion is that I believe every fairy-tale? :) Read once again what I said.

@piscatorox thanks for clarifying that.

The Gobet & Cmpitelli study gives some evidence against the hypothesis of getting GM when starting with 16+, but is insufficient for the debate here. The same holds for material in my trainer course from the DSB (german chess organization). It is directed to players over 2600.


- If you reduce master to GM I would not discuss because I don't know any report of someone having learned the rules and starting tournaments in his 20th becoming GM.

- If you talk about FM strength you find examples of comparable qualitfications in professional tasks. So getting master in other fields when starting over 20 is possible without any doubt. Please do you own search if you don't believe this.

- So if it should be impossible to become a master in chess at adult age you need some evidence to explain why chess is so special.

Personal addendum:

As it is no profession and the gain per year is for adults from 1800 on is probably clearly beyond 100 rating points in Elo or similar tatings noone can recommend to try this. Family, friends, profession, are much more important than chess. The only reason should be having fun on the way. Reaching a level of 2000 is very probable, 2200 is depending in the starting point, FM needs good life conditions and a lot of perseverance and is far from probable and not practical proven to be possible in this discussion.

As chess has adictive quality you should think twice at least before setting any inner goal. For me training is fun and with my diseases and the age over 65 I have always an excuse if I can't progress. All I have demostrated that you can reach a higher level with 63 than with 25 over 2000 FIDE. I assume from my experience, that someone in his 30th or 40th taking 10 years should be possible to hit 2000 with a high probabilty.

As I like to share my experience and knowledge I maybe over optimistic. Judge this for yourself out of this discussion.

Sorry for posting in an already huge thread, but just an example for people. I learned the rules of chess in 2017 and played a very close game as black against 2150 fide player(my first 2000+ opponent) some months ago that i eventually lost after 67 moves. For 2 years (19 -> 21 years) i think that is ok, and of course more is possible with more time (Think 5+ years). Also the lichess user Unicornz made NM even though he was 1300 uscf at age 20(according to his profile).

Also the 2150 i played against told me he discovered chess at 25. He started late but got very good, peaking above 2200.

I am sure talent and being young is the solution. My concern is the quality of chess knowledge which is disseminated to the masses via books. I wonder if we are fed average to poor information and the best nuggets are kept behind a barrier. I wonder what our true potential would be with best possible information.