Sunday, November 4, 2012
Judit Polgar (born July 23, 1976 in Budapest, Hungary) is a Hungarian chess grandmaster. She is the strongest female chess player in history. She achieved the title of Grandmaster in 1991 at the age of 15 years and 4 months, the youngest person ever to do so at that time.
Judit Polgar was ranked No. 29 in the world on the March 2012 FIDE rating list with an Elo rating of 2709, 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, U.S. Open 1998, Hoogeveen 1999, Siegman 1999, Japfa 2000, and the Najdorf Memorial 2000.
Judit started playing in tournaments at six years old and by age nine her rating with the Hungarian Chess Federation was 2080. She was a member of the chess club in Budapest where she would get experience from master level players. In April 1986, nine-year-old Judit played in her first rated tournament in the U.S., finishing first in the unrated section of the New York Open winning $1,000.
In September 2002, in the Russia versus the Rest of the World Match, Polgar finally defeated Garry Kasparov in a game. The game was historic as not only the first time in chess history a female player beat the world's No. 1 player in competitive play, it was the first time in any sport that the No. 1 ranked male player has lost to the No. 1 ranked female.
In September 2005, Polgar once again made history as she became the first woman to play for a World Championship, at the FIDE World Chess Championship 2005. In September 2011, Polgar finally returned to "Super GM" status with a FIDE rating of 2701 and by November she had raised it to 2710 and ranked 35 in the world.
Polgar is the only woman to have won a game from a current world number one player and has defeated nine current or former world champions in either rapid or classical chess: Anatoli Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Boris Spassky, Vasily Smyslov, Veselin Topalov, Viswanathan Anand, Ruslan Ponomariov, Alexander Khalifman, and Rustam Kasimdzhanov.
Polgar authored a children's book on chess, Chess Playground. Her sister Sophia provided illustrations. In recent years, Polgar designed a chess programme for the older students of a kindergarten school in Budapest, Hungary.