When it comes to women in chess, Judit Polgar is the name that almost everyone knows. I am really excited about writing this article because that woman has left a huge legacy to the game. It’s an icon for women who play chess across the world. Even male players consider her one of the best players of all time. In this article, you will find the most important and amazing facts about her life and you will be able to study some of the best games that she ever played. Also, you can check my other articles about famous players and my reviews about chess sets.
Amazing Facts About Judit Polgar
Judit Polgar was born in 1976. She started playing at the International level at 9 years old. In 1991, she won the Hungarian Championship. She became Grand Master at 15 years old, beating Bobby Fischer’s record.
I find extraordinary that as a wedding present, her husband, to please her, gave her the most unusual gift. He gave her a real baby lion! When it grew up, they delivered the lion in a zoo.
Judit Polgar at a famous tournament in Linares (1994) forced Garry Kasparov to cancel a move violating the rules. Kasparov touched a piece and according to the rules he was obligated to only move that piece. This event was captured by cameras and everybody saw it. The appeal committee did not accept that the girl was right, as they did not accept video as evidence. Judit lost the game but the fans cheered and applauded in favor of her.
Her family is a chess family as her father Laszlo was a chess coach and her sisters, Zsuzsa and Sofia, are well known international masters. Zsuzsa teaches chess at the Technical University of Texas.
My Friend’s Experience Who Saw Judit Polgar Play
One of my friends had the privilege of watching her play in a tournament where other great players participated in 1990. She was 14 years old and she was not a Grand Master yet. However, she had achieved enough to play in a competitive tournament against adults. When she walked into the room, she demonstrated the body language of a World Champion. The way she was walking and the way she was checking the chessboards before a game was not expected by a child. It was obvious that her mentality was far superior to any of the other players who half of them had a higher ELO rating than her.
In that tournament, she won most games and she didn’t win1 or 2 games. That was a big surprise and my friend was convinced that this girl would become a legend. The other players were so intimidated that one of the top players jested “what is going on guys, shall a game against her can at least be ended in a draw”. That tournament was a huge success for her and proof that mentality is very important in professional chess.
Other Major Achievements
The wonder girl Judit Polgar managed to be in top-10 Grand Masters in the world, reaching a rating of 2735. She beat World champions, such as Garry Kasparov, Kramnik, Ponomariov, and other great players. Judit became respected by everybody and she proved that a talented woman, through hard work, can become a Grand Master, a profession dominated by men.
Today Judit Polgar has a family, 2 children, and is unable to travel continuously, as GMs do. However, whenever she has the chance, she plays demonstration games and, of course, she is the golden example for young Hungarian chess players.
Illustrative Games of Judit Polgar
The best way to demonstrate the level of skill of a player is to watch him play. Therefore, I have selected some games that you will enjoy. I have written comments, so you will be easier for you to understand each player’s objective. I encourage you to analyze each move because games played by the top players are very instructive since few mistakes happen. Also, you can analyze the way Judit Polgar plays which is somewhat aggressive.
Sicilian, Scheveningen, English Variation
English, symmetrical, Hedgehog System
Ruslan Ponomariov had used the Spanish Opening in the previous game against Judit. That game had ended in a tie. In this game, he used an irregular opening, hoping that he would stress Judit Polgar. However, this scenario didn’t happen.
Ruy Lopez Open, Bernstein Variation, Karpov Gambit
English, QGD, Tarrasch defence (5…Nc6)
Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
This was a rare defeat of Judit Polgar by her compatriot, Peter Leko. A major cause of this outcome is the inactivity of Judit Polgar. Peter Leko is Hungary’s greatest player and for many years he was in the top-10 players. His victory on Polgar was not a surprise. However, his very aggressive gameplay was a huge surprise.
French, Burn variation
King’s Indian, Andersson variation
An amazing game between the Polgar sisters. The outcome of the game was determined in the details. A few days earlier Judit had won in a game of Blind Chess.
Sicilian, Najdorf, Byrne (English) attack
Judit Polgar played a Najdorf variation that could lead to complicated situations. It’s a risky opening considering that she was trying to achieve high performance. Maternity did not allow her to practice the right way and to play
against powerful Grand Masters. Therefore, this victory was unique and a highlight of the tournament.
Chess Books Written By Polgar
Judit Polgar has written a few books about chess that have received many great reviews. You can find all the important games of Judit Polgar and the best part is that they are annotated. So, it’s definitely a good idea to take a look at them.
- How I Beat Fischer’s Record
- From GM to Top Ten: Judit Polgar Teaches
- A Game of Queens: Judit Polgar Teaches
It’s obvious that Judit Polgar has left a huge legacy to the world of chess. She is definitely an inspiring figure, especially for women. I hope that you have found this article extremely helpful. Please check my other articles about famous players like Kasparov, Karjakin, Aronian, Ivanchuk and my reviews about chess sets. Also, I would like to know your opinion about this article and to share this article with anyone who might find it valuable. Enjoy chess!