the greatest female chess player of all time
The Polgar girls
Based on educational studies, our parents decided that their children’s lives and careers would be a living example, that would prove that any healthy child – if taught early and intensively - can be brought up to be exceptionally successful in any field. In our case, this meant having a chess career.
The teenager champion
Thus, my biography essentially consists of achievements as a chess player. I was nine when I first won an international chess tournament, and at the age 12 and 14, I won the boys’ World Chess Championship in my age groups. I was only 12 when – for the first time in the history of Hungarian chess – the national women’s team, including my two sisters Susan and Sofia, won the Olympic gold medal. Two years later, in 1990, we repeated this performance with the same teenage team.
Practically from the moment of my birth I became involved in an educational research project. Even before I came into the world, my parents had already decided: I would be a chess champion.
Competing against men
At the age of 15 I broke the record of Bobby Fischer, by becoming the youngest international chess Grandmaster ever. On eight occasions, I represented the Hungarian “men’s” national team at chess Olympiads. In 2002 we won the silver medal in Slovenia.
The best female chess player of the world
I have defeated world chess champions Spassky, Karpov, Kasparov, Topalov, Anand and Carlsen in international tournaments, matches and rapid competitions. In 2011, I became No. 1 on the women’s world ranking list for the 50th time. I have managed to keep this position as the best woman chess player since 1989. My highest rank on the World Men’s Rating List was 8th in 2005. I was awarded the Chess Oscar seven times, and was elected Woman Chess Player of the Century. I won the individual bronze medal at the European Championship in 2011.
From competition to education
In August 2014 I won a silver medal with the Hungarian men’s team at the Chess Olympiad in Tromso, and at the same time, after leading the world rankings for an amazing 25 years, I announced my retirement from competitive chess.
Since I stopped playing competitive chess, I have more time for other chess related activities such as giving simultaneous exhibitions, lectures, talks on stage and writing.
Ambassador of Chess in School
In recent years as an ambassador of Chess in School project in the European Union I have made a lot of efforts to introduce chess as an educational tool.
Chess and English
with Judit Polgar
Chess and English with Judit Polgar is a supplementary book of ELT (English Language Teaching) for primary schools. It aims to help children learn chess and English in a playful way through my personal stories. The colourful illustrations about family, pets, sports, travel, puzzles and much more help children, parents and teachers make emotional connection to the learning material.
Judit Polgar Chess Foundation
In 2012 I established the Judit Polgar Chess Foundation to bring chess as an educational tool to children in schools throughout the world by providing a unique and complex chess curriculum with special focus on cross curricular links.
More info on Judit Polgar on her website: www.juditpolgar.com