July 23: Judit Polgar
Judit Polgar, the world’s greatest woman chess player and the 8th-ranked player in the world in 2005, was born on this date in Budapest in 1976. She and her two sisters, Susan (a Grandmaster) and Sofia (an International Master) were trained in chess from an early age in what she calls “an educational experiment” by their home-schooling parents. In 1988, at age 12, she became the youngest International Master in history at that time; in 1991, at 15 years and four months old, she became the youngest grandmaster (a record held by Bobby Fischer; both records are now held by Sergey Karjakin). Polgar has consistently refused to participate in separate women’s chess events, and has won games against Anatoly Karpov, Boris Spassky, Gary Kasparov, Viswanathan Anand, and other chess greats. She is the granddaughter of an Auschwitz survivor.
“Comparatively few women chess players work on their professionalism, hire coaches, and use the computer base. . . Perhaps thre will be good changes in the future.” —Judit Polgar