Age trends in expert chess: is aging kinder to the initially more able?
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The “aging is kinder to the more initially able” hypothesis has received varied support across different domains of expertise, but within the chess domain is largely accepted. Some suggest that tournament participation has little effect on the ratings of older chess experts. This has led to conclusions about the importance of solitary practice for older experts as well as provided support for chess experts maintaining their performance ratings well into old age. Twenty-five World Chess Federation (FIDE) rating lists (2006-2010), consisting of 99,608 players and over 1.5 million observations were assessed using multilevel linear modeling (MLM). Findings demonstrated that aging was indeed kinder to the initially more able, but more importantly, that playing more games was associated with higher ratings. This has implications for aging expert players, such that active tournament participation counts.