Hungary – Home of the Polgár
The Polgár sisters, born in Budapest, Hungary, are amazing like no other chess-playing siblings in the world.
They are Jewish. Sadly, during WWII, the Nazis murdered members of the Polgár family in the Holocaust.
Amazingly, their grandmother was an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor. Had the grandmother died at Auschwitz, the world today would not have the Polgár sisters!
Judit Polgár, a Hungarian chess Grandmaster, is considered the strongest female chess player of all time for good reason.
Judit is the first, and to date only, woman to earn a 2700+ rating! She reached a career peak rating of 2735 and and was ranked #8 overall in the world in 2005–the highest ranking ever for a woman.
Another record broken! Judit earned the Grandmaster title at the age of 15 years and 4 months, at the time the youngest player to have done so, breaking former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer’s record!
MOST AMAZING CHESS ACCOMPLISHMENT: Judit Polgár is the only woman to have won a game against a reigning world #1 ranked player!
In addition, Judit has defeated 11 current or former World Champions in either Rapid Chess or Classical Chess: Magnus Carlsen, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Spassky, Vasily Smyslov, Veselin Topalov, Viswanathan Anand, Ruslan Ponomariov, Alexander Khalifman, and Rustam Kasimdzhanov. AMAZING!
In September 2015, Judit retired from competitive play.
Judit, 42 years old now, was born July 23, 1976 in Budapest.
See Judit’s sisters Susan and Sofia’s
CHESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS BELOW!
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Susan Polgár is a Hungarian-born American chess Grandmaster. She is a former Women’s World Chess Champion, a chess teacher, coach, writer, promoter and the head of Webster University’s chess program in St. Louis, Missouri.
MOST AMAZING CHESS ACCOMPLISHMENT: In July 1984 at the age of 15, Susan became the top-ranked woman player in the world, and remained ranked in the top three for the next 23 years!
She was also the first woman in history to break the gender barrier by qualifying for the 1986 Men’s World Chess Championship cycle.
Susan was the Women’s World Chess Champion from 1996 to 1999–in Classical Chess time control. She also won the World Blitz and Rapid Championships in 1992. In October 2005, Susan had a rating of 2577, making her the #2 ranked woman in the world at the time, after her younger sister Judit.
Susan, now 50 years old, was born April 19, 1969 in Budapest.
Sofia Polgár, a former chess prodigy, is a Hungarian, Israeli and Canadian chess player, teacher and artist.
She holds the International Master and Woman Grandmaster titles and is the middle sister of Grandmasters Susan and Judit Polgár.
In 1989, at the age of 14, she stunned the chess world by her performance at a tournament in Rome, which became known as the “Sacking of Rome.” She won the tournament, which included beating several strong Grandmasters, with a score of 8½ out of 9. Her performance rating in that tournament was 2879, one of the strongest performance ratings in chess history.
On February 7, 1999 Sofia Polgár married the Israeli Grandmaster Dr. Yona Kosashvili and moved to Israel. They have two children, Alon and Yoav. Polgár’s parents later joined them in Israel. The whole family subsequently emigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, but around 2012 Sofia Polgár moved back to Israel and settled in Tel Aviv.
MOST AMAZING CHESS ACCOMPLISHMENT: Sofia in a Blitz Chess game beat Viktor Korchnoi, who was a 10-time Candidate for the World Championship. Sofia was 28 years old at the time, and Korchnoi was 71 years old.
Visibly upset, Korchnoi famously said that this was “…the very first and the very last…” game she would win against him! As far as is known, they never played again!