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Father and Son Chess Families

Father and Son Chess Families

With Father’s Day coming soon it’s easy to get caught up in the buy buy buy and gift searching mentality. However, we often tend to overlook the true spirit of the occasion; to spend time to appreciate our fathers and all they’ve done for us.

So let’s spend some time to shine light upon the bonds between father’s and their children. In this blog, we’ll go over five most notable Father and Son chess families and their accomplishments as both a celebration and recognition for the upcoming holiday! Hopefully, it’ll even inspire you to spend more time with your own dad and perhaps make history together! Or, just play a friendly match.

Peter Biyiasas and theodore Biyiasas

Peter Biyiasas was born in Athens Greece, later moving to Canada as a young boy and growing up in Vancouver. During his time as a canadian he would take an interest in chess and win his first four chess championships in 1968 British Columbia. His skills and performance would improve in the years following, repeating all the way to 1972. In 1969, he also played in the Canadian Chess Championships, however, finished in the middle of the field with Duncan Suttles winning. 

Peter Biyiasas would go on to represent Canada as a chess Olympiad competitor and in 1978, he achieved the title of Grandmaster for his strong performances during the competitions. Though he may have retired from competitive playing in the mid 1980’s, his son Theodore Biyiasas appears to be taking an interest too and perhaps in the future he’ll pick up his father’s torch.

Vladimir Eljanov and Pavel Eljanov

Vladimir Eljanov, now passed, had been a Ukranian Chess International Master. Additionally he was a merited coach of Ukraine and FIDE Senior Trainer in 2013. To top off his list of accomplishments, he had also been a chess book publisher. Though Vladimir Eljanov may have passed in 2013, his son, Pavel Eljanov, continues his legacy and passion for chess having achieved the title of Grandmaster in 2001.

Pavel Eljanov has made quite a number of accomplishments throughout his chess career. Already, he has won two gold medals in team events and a silver medal individually at the chess Olympiads! He made his first major achievement in 1999 as a member of the Ukraine National youth team in which they won the under-16 Chess Olympiad in Artek, Ukraine at the age of 16. From that moment onwards, he continued to hone and practice his skills, reaching milestone after milestone until we get to today at the age of 38 with the title of Grandmaster and many wins underbelt.

Celso Golmayo Zúpide and Celso Golmayo Torriente

Celso Golmayo Zúpide was a Spanish Cuban Chess Master, having passed in 1898. He was generally recognized as a Cuban Champion ever since his defeat of Félix Sicre in their 1862 match. Throughout his life he’s had his fair share of wins and losses, though he passed on his love for the game to his son Celso Golmayo Torriente. His son would also go on to also achieve the title of Spanish Chess Master after winning the 1897 Cuban Championship in Havana.

What Made Celso Golmayo Torriente’s victory so striking was his young age as it was near unheard of for a teenager (being 18) to win a chess event of this caliber in the 19th century. Luckily his father was still able to witness and feel proud over his son’s accomplishments at the time!

Sergiu Henric Grünberg and Mihai-Lucian Grünberg

Sergiu Henric Grünberg was a former Romanian Chess Champion. He even represented Romania in the Maccabiah Games. His son Mihai-Lucian Grünberg (born in 1976) went on to continue his passion for chess and achieved the status of Romanian International Chess Master. Having earned this title, he was also recognized as the Champion of Romania in 2003. 

Like Father like son, the duo were and the son still is a talented chess player.  

Wolfgang Heidenfeld and Mark Heidenfeld

Wolfgang Heidenfeld was a German chess player. Though, he was forced to move from Germany to South Africa in the 1930’s due to his Jewish heritage. In South Africa, he would take an interest in chess and go on to win the South African Chess Championships a whopping eight times! He would even represent South Africa in the 1958 Chess Olympiads. Though he was obviously very talented in the game, he also had many other interests as he was a writer, door-to-door salesman, journalist and crossword puzzle designer!

Eventually, after a visit to Ireland in 1957, he saw fit to move himself and his family to Dublin, later Ulm where he would pass at the age of 70 in 1981. Throughout his fruitful and eventful life, he would also inspire his son Mark Heidenfeld to follow in his footsteps as he is now an International Chess Master representing Ireland.

After looking at the lives of these powerful father son combos and their accomplishments, it really makes you think how important a father figure is. While not the sole reason for their son’s future accomplishments, it was surely at least partially helpful as a drive towards their success. While we may not make such big achievements that make a huge impact on others or history, it’s the little things that he can pass on to us that will really affect our own lives.

Spend some time with him now while you still can, you never know what the future may hold. So why not play a game of chess together, make some lasting memories!

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