As we recently reported, Judith Polgar is the current number 1 in the FIDE world rankings of women. She has been holding this title for quite a while now, so it’s about time for us to introduce the Hungarian in Detail.
Grandmaster title of men at only 15 years
Judith Polgar was born July 23rd 1976 in Budapest – the capital of Hungary. In her early childhood years, her father László Polgar taught her to play chess and even trained her skills on a regular basis. In 1988 and 1990, Polgar won the U12 and U14 Junior World Championships as the only girl among the participants. In 1992 already, she earned the grandmaster title of men. She met the last necessary standard for this honor at an age of only 15 years and 4 months – one month earlier than the current record-holder at that time which was no other than Bobby Fischer.
Numerous successes in men’s chess
In 1988 and 1990, Judith Polgar, her sisters Zsuzsa and Zsófia, and Ildikó Mádl won the Chess Olympics of women in Thessaloniki and Novi Sad. Along with the team gold the Hungarian obtained individual gold both times. The Chess Olympics are almost the only women’s tournaments in which Polgar participated – otherwise, she almost always competed against men – as the first women anyway. At the Chess Olympics of Moscow in 1994, Judith Polgar lined up with the male Hungarian national team and obtained team silver and individual bronze. In 1993, she defeated the former world champion Anatoli Kasparov in rapid chess; in 2002, Garri Kasparov had the pleasure to compete against her.
First female medalist at European Chess Championship
In 1999, Judith Polgar reached the quarter-finals of the FIDE World Championship in which she, unfortunately, failed to win against event’s winner Alexander Chalifman; two years later, Polgar won 3rd place in the European Chess Championship. When she returned from having a baby in 2005, the Hungarian participated in the final tournament of the FIDE World Championship in San Luis – as the first women ever. At 4.5 points out of 7 duels she only took the very last rank. Judith Polgar obtained her highest Elo-rating in July 2005 at 2735 points and reached another milestone after many successful performances in April 2011: As the first woman in the history of chess, Polgar won a medal at an official open championship. At the European Championship the mother of two children obtained the bronze medal, scoring 8.5 points out of 11 rounds – just like the European Champion Vladimir Potkin.
written by Michael, translated by Birthe