Armenians repeat their success
Little Knight meets big rook
The technical Olympiad spirit


Portrait Susan Polgar

Susan Polgar
Born on the 19th April 1969 in Budapest
Five Olympic gold medals – four-time Chess World Champion

“I play chess because I love the challenge.”

The name ‘Polgar’ makes chess friends’ eyes light up - the three sisters Susan, Zsófia and Judit have revolutionised the male-dominated chess world. In 1991, Susan Polgar was, as the first woman, awarded the title of Grand Master; her seven year younger sister, Judit, achieved this award nearly a year later.

“Women are just as qualified for successful tournament chess as men. If, however, they decide to have children and a family, the career is then for the most part finished. Women tend to approach the game of chess quite differently, above all they love to have fun with the game and are less competitively-oriented.”

In contrast, Susan Polgar – trained by her father – won her first tournament when she was four years old; at 15 years of age, she was worldwide the most highly valued female chess player. The list of her successes is almost endless, firstly crowned with the World Champion title 1996-1999 as well as Olympic gold in 2004, indeed Susan Polgar belongs to the most successful female chess players of all time. To the question what happiness at the chess board meant, she didn’t name a match she had won or a title as the majority of her male colleagues do; “if I can develop my whole creativity, if combinations are successful, then I really do float in chess heaven.”

Susan Polgar passes on her delight with thinking and being creative to children and young people via her foundation (Susan Polgar Foundation); furthermore she runs a chess school (Polgar Chess Center) in New York and  manages the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) at the Texas Tech University. “Countless studies show that chess helps enormously with the development of critical thinking which is a great advantage in all areas of life. Chess strengthens the ability to make decisions, to think logically, to solve problems and to plan. In addition, the ability to concentrate and memory capacity is improved as well as self-control and intuition. Also, playing chess promotes children’s and indeed adults’ independence, feelings of self-worth and self-confidence. Do you need a particular talent to play chess? “Everyone can play chess, enjoy chess and indeed profit from chess.”

During the Chess Olympiad, Susan Polgar will be taking care of the English language press in Dresden.