Judit Polgár

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Judit Polgár (born July 23, 1976) is a Hungarian chess grandmaster. She is by far the strongest female chess player in history. In 1991, she achieved the title of Grandmaster (GM) at the age of 15 years and 4 months. She was, at that time, the youngest person ever to do so. Polgár is ranked number 49 in the world on the November 2010 FIDE rating list with an Elo rating of 2686, the only woman on FIDE's Top 100 Players list, and has been ranked as high as eighth (in 2005). She has won or shared first in the chess tournaments of Hastings 1993, Madrid 1994, Leon 1996, US Open 1998, Hoogeveen 1999, Siegman 1999, Japfa 2000, and the Najdorf Memorial 2000.[1]

Contents

Background

Judit Polgár is Jewish, and from Budapest. Members of her family perished in the Holocaust, and her grandmother was a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp.[2]

She and her two older sisters, Grandmaster Susan and International Master Sofia, were part of an educational experiment carried out by their father László Polgár, in an attempt to prove that children could make exceptional achievements if trained in a specialist subject from a very early age.[3] "Geniuses are made, not born," was László's thesis. He and his wife Klara educated their three daughters at home, with chess as the specialist subject. From the beginning, Laszlo was against the idea that his daughters had to participate in female-only events. "Women are able to achieve results similar, in fields of intellectual activities, to that of men," he wrote. "Chess is a form of intellectual activity, so this applies to chess. Accordingly, we reject any kind of discrimination in this respect."[4] However, chess was not taught to the exclusion of everything else. Each of them has several diplomas and speaks four to eight languages. Their father also taught his three daughters the international language Esperanto. They received resistance from Hungarian authorities as home-schooling was not a "socialist" approach. They also received criticism at the time from some western commentators for depriving the sisters of a normal childhood. However, by most reports the girls appeared happy and well-adjusted. Currently, as of 2010, all three have earned good incomes from chess and are married with families of their own.[5]

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