BY JOHN CHIBVURI
Judit Polgár (born July 23, 1976) is a Hungarian chess grandmaster. She is by far the strongest female chess player in history. In 1991, Polgár achieved the title of International Grandmaster at the age of 15 years and 4 months, the youngest person ever to do so at that time.
Polgár is ranked number 47 in the world on the September 2011 FIDE rating list with an Elo rating of 2701, 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, León 1996, U.S. Open 1998, Hoogeveen 1999, Siegman 1999, Japfa 2000, and the Najdorf Memorial 2000.
Karpov, Kasparov, Spassky, Smyslov, Topalov, Anand, Ponomariov, Khalifman, Kasimdzhanov: all world champions, yet all of them have been defeated by Judit Polgár – one reason she has been named Best Woman Chess Player of the 20th Century.
Here is her story:
I have never been good at writing CVs. This is because I have trouble coming up
with the usual items, such as educational institution, course of study, profession and career path. I never went to school, having done all my studies at home, and I have never held a conventional job.
Practically from the moment of my birth, on July 23, 1976, I became involved in an educational experiment. Even before I came into the world, my parents had already decided: I would be a chess player.
My sister Susan had been a successful player for years, winning one tournament after the other. Based on educational research, our parents decided that their children’s lives and careers would be a living example that would prove that any healthy child – if taught early and intensively – can be brought up to be an outstanding person – or, in the words of my father László Polgár: a genius.
Thus, my CV essentially consists of my achievements as a chess player. I was 9 when I first won an international chess tournament, and at age 12 and 14, I won the boys’ World Youth Chess tournament in my age groups. I was 12 when – for the first time in the history of Hungarian chess – my team, including Ildikó Mádl and my two sisters Susan and Sofia, won an Olympic gold medal in women’s chess. We repeated this achievement in 1990. But ever since that second Olympic gold medal, I have competed only against men.
In 1991, I became Chess Grandmaster, breaking Bobby Fischer’s record as youngest grandmaster in history at the time. On four occasions, I played on the Hungarian men’s Olympic chess team, and we won a silver medal in 2002. I have defeated world chess champions Spassky, Karpov, Kasparov, Topalov and Anand at international tournaments, matches and rapid tournaments.
I have been the world’s No. 1 woman chess player for nearly 20 years straight, since 1989. Among men, I was ranked 8th in 2005. I was awarded the Chess Oscar seven times, and was elected Woman Chess Player of the Century.
In the past few years, I have been able to add some “normal” items to my CV: In 2000, I married Gusztáv Font, a veterinarian. We have two children, Olivér and Hanna.
And thus, not only my CV, but my whole life has become more complete.
Here is her results so far at the 2011 World Cup Chess (Aug 26th-Sep21st) in Khanty,Mansiysk Russia:
Rnd 1: Polgar, J (Hungary) 2-0 Corrales, F (Cuba)
Rnd 2:Polgar, J (Hungary) 1½-½ Movsesian, S (Armenia)
Rnd 3: Karjakin, S (Russia) ½-1½ Polgar, J (Hungary)
Judit Polgar was not the favorite in this match, but her beating Sergey Karjakin is not an earth-shaking upset. She has been eating strong GMs for dinner since she was 12 or 13 years old. She has made a recent resurgence back over 2700 and seems to be playing into form.
Polgar positionally dismantled Karjakin in a Berlin Defense and stated in an interview that he may have missed 24.Nc3-a5 maneuver winning a pawn. However, Karjakin began to make more mistakes that kept accumulating until white’s running passed a-pawn proved decisive. The final move 49.f4! was academic exercise that Karjakin did not care to see.
Here is the game she massacred the tournament’s top seed!
Polgar, Judit vs Karjakin, S
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 Ke8 10. h3 h5 11. Rd1 Be7 12. Ne4 Bd7 13. b3 h4 14. Bg5 Rd8 15. c4 b6 16. Rd2 Bc8 17. Rxd8+ Kxd8 18. Rd1+ Ke8 19. Bf4 c5 20. e6 Bxe6 21. Bxc7 f6 22. Bb8 a6 23. Ba7 Bd8 24. Nc3 Kf7 25. Na4 b5 26. Nxc5 Bc8 27. cxb5 axb5 28. a4 bxa4 29. bxa4 Re8 30. Rb1 g5 31. Bb6 Be7 32. a5 Bxc5 33. Bxc5 Re6 34. Rb6 Ng7 35. Be3 Nf5 36. Rb8 Re8 37. Ra8 Bb7 38. Ra7 Re7 39. Bc5 Rd7 40. a6 Bc6 41. Rxd7+ Bxd7 42. Nd2 Ke6 43. Nc4 Bc6 44. Nb6 Nd6 45. Bxd6 Kxd6 46. a7 Kc7 47. a8Q Bxa8 48. Nxa8+ Kb7 49. f4 1-0
Rnd 4 : Polgar, J (Hungary) 1-1 Dominguez, L (Cuba). Today Wed, 07 September 2011 she equalized against this tough Cuban GM! But someone has to go home. We wait for the decisive games ahead! Judit Polgar stays in the competition for the World Cup after beating Leinier Dominguez with black pieces to equalize the score 1-1. But the victory did not come easy as she had to convert the notorious R+B vs R ending into a full point.
Many years considered as a theoretical draw, the endgame is nowadays known as winning with precise procedure when the “weaker” King is on the edge of the board.
Polgar had a good start as when she captured the remaining pawn on b3, the White King was already cut on the a-file. However, she shuffled around for a while trying to find the exact pattern.
This could have cost her dearly as she allowed a three-fold repetition! But Dominguez returned the favor and on his turn missed to claim a draw. (Replay through the annotated game and compare the positions after White’s 95th, 105th and 107th moves).
It is possible that being in time trouble Dominguez didn’t even track the repetitions and tried to survive long enough to claim a 50-move draw (which should come on 130th move). Or he wasn’t sure if the repetition occurred as per the rules (with the same player to move etc).
Once the opportunity is gone, the player can’t claim retroactively.
Here is the game against the tough Cuban GM:
Dominguez Perez, Leinier vsPolgar, Judit
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Qb6 5. Nb3 Nf6 6. Nc3 e6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Qf3 Be7 9. Qg3 d6 10. O-O-O O-O 11. Kb1 Rd8 12. f4 Qc7 13. Bd3 b5 14. Qh4 h6 15. Bxh6 gxh6 16. Qxh6 Ne8 17. e5 f5 18. Bxf5 exf5 19. Nd5 Bf8 20. Nxc7 Bxh6 21. Nxa8 Bxf4 22. exd6 Bxd6 23. Nb6 Be6 24. Nd5 Kf7 25. Ne3 Nf6 26. g3 Ng4 27. Nxg4 fxg4 28. Nd4 Nxd4 29. Rxd4 Bc7 30. Rf1+ Ke7 31. Re4 Rg8 32. a4 Bd6 33. axb5 axb5 34. Rf5 b4 35. Rh5 Rg6 36. h3 gxh3 37. Rxh3 Kd7 38. Rh7+ Kc6 39. b3 Bd5 40. Re3 Bxg3 41. Ra7 Rg4 42. Ra4 Bf4 43. Re1 Bd2 44. Rd1 Bc3 45. Ra6+ Kb7 46. Ra5 Be4 47. Ra4 Rg2 48. Ra2 Kb6 49. Rd6+ Kb5 50. Rd1 Bf3 51. Rf1 Kc5 52. Ra7 Be4 53. Rc1 Kb6 54. Ra2 Rg3 55. Rf1 Bg7 56. Kc1 Rg2 57. Kb1 Rd2 58. Kc1 Rh2 59. Kb1 Bc3 60. Rd1 Bf3 61. Rf1 Kc5 62. Ra7 Be4 63. Rc1 Kd4 64. Rd7+ Ke3 65. Re7 Rh6 66. Ra7 Bd2 67. Rg1 Kf2 68. Rd1 Ke2 69. Rg1 Be3 70. Re7 Rh4 71. Rg8 Bd4 72. Ka2 Kd2 73. Rd7 Bxc2 74. Rh8 Rxh8 75. Rxd4+ Bd3 76. Rxb4 Kc3 77. Ra4 Rh2+ 78. Ka3 Rb2 79. Rg4 Rxb3+ 80. Ka4 Rb1 81. Ka5 Rb5+ 82. Ka4 Rf5 83. Rg3 Rf4+ 84. Ka3 Rf1 85. Rg2 Rh1 86. Rb2 Ra1+ 87. Ra2 Rb1 88. Rg2 Rb3+ 89. Ka4 Rb4+ 90. Ka3 Rb6 91. Rg4 Ra6+ 92. Ra4 Rb6 93. Rg4 Rb7 94. Rh4 Rb1 95. Rh2 Rb6 96. Rh4 Bf1 97. Rg4 Rb5 98. Rg3+ Bd3 99. Rg4 Rb1 100. Rg2 Rb3+ 101. Ka4 Rb5 102. Rg4 Rf5 103. Ka3 Rf1 104. Rg2 Rb1 105. Rh2 Bf5 106. Rg2 Bd3 107. Rh2 Bf1 108. Rf2 Bc4 109. Rf3+ Bd3 110. Rf2 Rb3+ 111. Ka2 Rb6 112. Ka1 Rg6
On the 8th of September 2011, Polgar played 8 rapid games against the tough Cuban.She won 4.5-3.5 and advances to the quarter finals! Her sister Susan wrote on her blog site :"I have to give a lot of credit to both Judith and Leinier (the Cuban). They fought and fought and fought all the way until the very end. The match was back and forth and there was only one draw (game 7) in 8 games!"
In the next round (Fifth) or quarter finals she was paired against the great Russian Peter Svidler! Can she incredibly shake and move this great mountain again?