Brain Aging Affects Chess Championships


2016 U.S. Championship Field

Title First Name Last Name USCF Age Residence
GM Hikaru Nakamura 2869 28 Saint Louis, MO
GM Fabiano Caruana 2858 23 Saint Louis, MO
GM Wesley So 2848 22 Minnetonka, MN
GM Ray Robson 2752 21 Saint Louis, MO
GM Gata Kamsky 2737 40 Lubbock, TX
GM Alex Onischuk 2745 41 Brooklyn, NY
GM Alex Lenderman 2727 26 Brooklyn, NY
GM Sam Shankland 2723 24 Orinda, CA
GM Varuzhan Akobian 2704 32 North Hollywood, CA
IM Akshat Chandra 2608 15 Coppell, TX
GM Alex Shabalov 2622 48 Pittsburgh, PA
GM Jeffery Xiong 2675 15 Iselin, NJ

The U.S. Chess Championship is underway. Anyone interested in chess will love the live broadcasts. Access them by logging into US

In addition to great chess, the commentators – Yasser Seirawan, GM Maurice Ashley and WGM Jennifer Shahade – are simply wonderful! Their dialogue is both instructive and entertaining. It is worth tuning in just to listen to them.

I like chess, but I am also interested in what the games tell us about brain aging. The chronological ages of the competitors range from 15 to 48. But that doesn’t tell us their biological ages. Players will have difficulty keeping pace if they are older than 23 or so unless they take measures to control their brain aging.

Yet that seems to be the furthest thing from the minds of most of them. Many of them look far older than their chronological age. Their brains will follow suit or have already started the decline.

Every year, the broadcasts include interviews of talented players who are showing signs of aging and asking, “What can I do?”

Brain Booster members of LivingTheCRWay have some answers for them. We have lots of people at 50 and beyond whose brains and bodies function like they were much younger.  We work hard at keeping it that way.

Here are some blog posts that explain how to do that:

The core sponsors of the U.S. Chess Championship, Rex Sinquefield and his wife Jeanne, have done a wonderful job. Their programs extend to the St. Louis area schools – inspiring kids to play chess to develop their brains and personal skills. Perhaps now is the time to focus on ways to slow or reverse brain aging.

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