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Old October 16th 08, 05:31 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Queen of chess players makes the right moves

Queen of chess players makes the right moves

By Kester Eddy

Published: October 16 2008 03:00 | Last updated: October 16 2008 03:00

They came, they played, they left defeated. Well, almost all of them,
anyway.

"I know I don't really have a hope, but I'm enjoying this, the
tactics, the logic." The speaker, Pal Schmitt, an MEP and president of
the Hungarian Olympic Committee, was being tipped by the compere as
"having a chance".

Mr Schmitt did not. Twelve minutes and six moves later Judit Polgar,
the juggernaut queen of female chess, had him at checkmate.

Not that there was any shame in defeat; knights, bishops, rooks and
queens - serious armour - tend to tumble in all too rapid succession
when playing the Polgar sisters.

Zsuzsa, Zsofi and Judit Polgar were each legends in their own teenage
lifetimes. Last Saturday all three - now in their 30s - came together
in their native Budapest for an exhibition match, each playing 15
challengers simultaneously.

For a chess aspirant to play any Polgar is a dream come true. But
there is no doubt who was most popular of the sisters.

"We've got 33 for Judit, and there's more waiting. They'll play her as
long as she wants to keep going," said one organiser.

In between signing books (her new, official biography), making small
talk and giving the odd kiss on the cheek to friends, Judit Polgar
ripped through most defences without hesitation - although she did
give one young man the honour of a five-second pause before moves.

"I think I won 30 out of 33, and drew three. I forget exactly," she
says. "Sometimes I lose. It's easy to make a blunder [when playing so
many] and sometimes not every opponent is so weak."

Ms Polgar, 32, has been the world's highest ranked female chess player
for nearly 20 years, after being born into a family experiment in
1976. Laszlo Polgar, her father, decided to raise his daughters at
home, with chess as the main basis for their education. By the time
Judit came along, Zsuzsa, the eldest sister, was already a child
prodigy.

"For me, learning chess was natural; with my sisters around me, I
wanted to play," she says. After learning the game at five - later
than Zsuzsa, who started at the age of three and a half - progress was
swift. Winning her first international chess championship at nine, and
the World Championship for Boys at 12 and 14, she became the youngest
ever international grandmaster among men by 15.

But with success came challenges. "We didn't go to school, which was
very unusual at the time. People would say, 'The parents are
destroying them, they have to work all day, they have no childhood'. I
became defensive, and not very sociable," she says.

Then there was the press, which showed huge interest after the
Hungarian girls team - including all three sisters - won the Olympic
gold in 1988.

"We had to cope with the media writing things which were not true,
which were insulting. At around 13 I decided I was just not going to
pay attention. Since then I [usually] don't even read the articles
they write," says Ms Polgar.

She also had to cope with some vicious anti-Semitism. "I got a letter,
with a picture of my father with his eyes [gouged] out; and very nasty
words. People said it was a madman, but I still got it. I was 12."

Such attacks meant "no jealousy" between the sisters, she says; "It
kept us bound together."

She met, fell in love with and married Gustav Font, the vet who tended
her dog some years ago, and two children have subsequently reduced her
daily practice to "only" five hours.

Unlike her sisters, who have gone abroad, Ms Polgar continues to live
in Budapest - relatively quietly, given her status.

"I don't seek out the media," she says. "I think Hungarians should be
more positive; many complain, but if they go to some countries, in
South America, people are so poor, yet they are happy. It starts with
you."

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f01947ee-9...nclick_check=1
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Old October 16th 08, 09:19 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess.computer,soc.culture.magyar
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: May 2006
Posts: 14,870
Default Queen of chess players makes the right moves

In between signing books (her new, official biography), making small
talk and giving the odd kiss on the cheek to friends, Judit Polgar
ripped through most defences without hesitation

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f01947ee-9...077b07658.html


I cannot find this new book listed anywhere.

Does anybody know the title?

Sam Sloan

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