When people think of Father's Day, one of the first things people think of is a father and son celebrating the occasion. When people think about chess, the first thing one might picture is a male chess player. Now, that’s not really anyone's fault, it’s just an ingrained inherent bias that’s been instilled in us since we were young. Just look up stock images related to chess and you’ll see just how much the game is associated with men based on the pretty obvious lack of women in the images.
However, this doesn’t mean women don’t play chess and it definitely doesn’t mean women don’t participate in Father’s Day just as much as their male counterparts. This Father’s Day, let’s shed some light on some of the Father Daughter Chess duos that have made history! With any luck, maybe it’ll even convince you to spend more time with your dad too!
Evengy Agrest and Inna Agrest
Evengy Agrest was a Soviet-born Swedish Chess Grandmaster in 1997. Having emigrated to Sweden in 1994 with a degree in Economics, he would later go on to become a Swedish Champion, Nordic Champion, and tied 1-6th in the European Union Championships. He even played for Sweden in the Chess Olympiads for 8 different years and would later inspire his daughter, Inna Agrest, to take an interest in Chess as well.
Sergey Belavenets and Liudmila Belavenets
Sergey Belavenets had been a soviet Chess Master, theoretician and even a chess journalist throughout his years! While he may have never participated in any Chess Olympiads, his promising chess career was unfortunately cut short as he was killed in action during the second world war in 1942. However, before his abrupt death, he left a large impression on his daughter Liudmila Belavenets who later went on to hold the title of women’s world Correspondence chess between the years of 1984-1992.
Liudmila Belavenets is also the fourth women’s world champion and earned herself the title of Lady Grandmaster as well as International Master in 1991. To this day, she is still seen as one of the most influential women chess players.
Ovidiu Doru Foisor and Sabina Francesca Foisor
Ovidiu Doru Foisor was a Romanian Chess Championship medalist who won multiple times throughout his chess career. Sabina Francesca Foisor, his daughter, is a Romanian American chess player who achieved the awe-inspiring title of Woman Grandmaster. She competed in the Women’s World Chess Championships in both 2008 and 2017, and won the 2017 US Women’s Championship.
In this case, the whole family aside from just the father and daughter were all avid players of chess and created a competitive but driven environment.
Baruch Harold Wood and Peggy Clarke
Baruch Harold Wood was an English Chess player, though his chess career would only take place between the years of 1938-1957. During his career, he would win many championships and prove himself to be a formidable opponent to most. However, in 1935, Wood would find his true passion in writing. Going forward, he founded the magazine CHESS that year and would go on to write the popular and often reprinted book “Easy Guide to Chess” which was dubbed “one of the best beginner books on the market”.
Peggy Clarke, his daughter, seemingly inspired by her father would go on to become a joint British Ladies’ Chess Champion in 1966. She would also win 3 of the British Girls’ Championships, proving herself to be adept at the game like her father had been before her.
Thomas Pähtz and Elisabeth Pähtz
Thomas Pähtz was a former Chess Grandmaster in Germany and would often play games of chess against his daughter from a young age. At the unbelievable age of nine, Elsiabeth would take her first German Championship in the under-11 division! In 1999, she became Germany’s Womens’ Chess Champion at the age of 14. Not willing to stop there, she continued into 2002 where she would become the World Youth Champion for the girls’ under-18 age group.
Elisabeth Pähtz now holds the FIDE titles of International Master and Women Grandmaster, having more than earned both titles with her startling and amazing accomplishments.
After reading about the many amazing things these Father daughter duos have achieved, hopefully you’ve been inspired to try something with your dad too! You don’t have to break any world records or win any metals, even something as simple as cook a meal together or make something together would be more than enough!