Sibling ELO Gap

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  • Sibling ELO Gap

    Does anyone have insights into factors driving differences in playing strength of siblings? Personal experience being a sibling or coaching siblings would be credible.

  • #2
    You could ask Magnus Carlsen.

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    • #3
      Or in Canada there are several well known brothers that have played tournament chess.

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      • #4
        Todd and Dave Southam were top Canadian juniors, who even toured Europe together playing tournaments. I don't know what titles they achieved, though I know Dave is now a National Master, nor what CYCC Championships either might have won.

        Bob A

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        • #5
          Tony, my practically anecdotal observation from modest teaching experience, is that the closer in age the siblings are, then the more likely the younger one will eventually become stronger. I theorize that's because being closer in age, they're more likely to often play against each other at home, which helps the younger one reach the same milestones at slightly earlier age-points. However, this is just anecdotal observations. Another thing I've noticed is that if the elder sibling is at least five years older, and a very strong player, the younger one seems crushed into quitting.

          If someone has any scientific statistical findings, I would be very interested in reading about them.

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          • #6
            I personally admire the Doknjas family in BC. You could ask them.

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            • #7
              My rating is around 2200. My brothers rating is around 1300. There's a two year difference between us (I'm 17). He enjoys playing fortnite more than chess.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jeffrey Xu View Post
                My rating is around 2200. My brothers rating is around 1300. There's a two year difference between us (I'm 17). He enjoys playing fortnite more than chess.
                Furthermore, my sister is 13 (4 years younger than me, 2 years younger than my brother). She used to take chess lessons when she was younger but quit. She enjoys skating, art lessons, etc more than chess. My first chess tournament was when I was around 8 (2009)

                Statistical findings:
                Me (2001) - cfc rating 2200
                William (2003) - cfc rating 1300
                Michelle (2005) - cfc rating 400 (which is the starting rating for beginners)

                Using my excellent mathematical abilities, I found a common difference of -900 points roughly between each of my siblings and me.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Aris Marghetis View Post
                  Tony, my practically anecdotal observation from modest teaching experience, is that the closer in age the siblings are, then the more likely the younger one will eventually become stronger. I theorize that's because being closer in age, they're more likely to often play against each other at home, which helps the younger one reach the same milestones at slightly earlier age-points. However, this is just anecdotal observations. Another thing I've noticed is that if the elder sibling is at least five years older, and a very strong player, the younger one seems crushed into quitting.

                  If someone has any scientific statistical findings, I would be very interested in reading about them.
                  Hi Aris,

                  So slightly stronger but not much stronger competition is a key driver of success? Jeffrey's story seems to suggest the same.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tony Li View Post

                    Hi Aris,

                    So slightly stronger but not much stronger competition is a key driver of success? Jeffrey's story seems to suggest the same.
                    Hi Tony, that's just what I've noticed anecdotally. Whereas I believe it, I would love it if someone more experienced in education could provide their insights. Another strange thing is that I find within an hour of working with a new student, ESPECIALLY IN THEIR HOME WITH FAMILY AROUND, I'll have a fairly accurate idea of how far this new student will probably get in my teaching ramp. After months/years, they'll either slow down then stop, have an "extinction burst" ("hate" chess), or I'll pass them off to a higher-level teacher than myself (I'm only about an 1800 player myself)

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                    • #11
                      At the club we have even several twin pairs - their ratings are quite different.
                      For other siblings older ones usually stronger. Though, I have not done any rating trends.

                      From a personal experience, I, the youngest one, become strongest and still active. All of us (3) had quite different paths in chess - the oldest one quit very early; a middle one played quite awhile reached the second category, taught me basics; than got into other activities (computers)

                      Thus, personal & environment differences causes strength differences.

                      Other famous families what come to mind: Polgars, Muzychuks, Noritsyns. Add a dad: Plotkins and Huas.

                      and a long list at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ilies#Siblings

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Egidijus Zeromskis View Post
                        .

                        Other famous families what come to mind: Polgars, Muzychuks, Noritsyns. Add a dad: Plotkins and Huas.[/url]
                        Nobody mentions the Spraggetts... quite strange on a Canadian chess website.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Louis Morin View Post

                          Nobody mentions the Spraggetts... quite strange on a Canadian chess website.
                          The Spraggetts (Kevin and Grant) are mentioned in the Wikipedia link given above in the post by Egidijus - but no mention is made of their two other brothers (Jim and Mark) who were also tournament players (although not at the FIDE level). (we used to joke that even their dog was a strong "C" player. :-) )

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                          • #14
                            For some reason, top-3 most famous siblings worldwide are sisters.

                            1. Polgar - the youngest one was the strongest by far.
                            2. Muzychuk - both are top-10 female players for many years. Usually, the older sister (Anna) was slightly higher-rated.
                            3. Kosintseva - both sisters were top-10 female players around 8-10 years ago. Probably, the older sister (Nadezhda) was slightly higher-rated.

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                            • #15
                              From personal coaching experience, the younger sibling plays better than the older if measured at same age points, perhaps because of having a sparring partner and parents learning from mistakes...

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