June 16, 2024 10:12 AM
judit polgar

There is no question that Judit Polgar is the best female chess player of all time. There isn’t really anyone else with whom she must compete. Despite the debate over who is the greatest player of all time—Garry Kasparov or Magnus Carlsen—Polgar is unquestionably the greatest woman to ever play the game. Polgar has not only defeated both of these all-time greats, but she has also beaten former world champions Anatoly Karpov, Viswanathan Anand, Boris Spassky, Vladimir Kramnik, Ruslan Ponomariov, and Veselin Topalov.

Personal Details

  • Full Name: Judit Polgar
  • Born: Jul 23, 1976 (age 46)‎
  • Birth Place: Budapest
  • Federation: Hungary
  • Religion: Jewish
  • Zodiac Sign: Leo

Family Details

Father:  Laszlo Polgar

Mother: Klara

Sisters:  Susan Polgar,  Sofia Polgar

Husband: Gusztav Font

Judit Polgar with Husband Gusztav Font

Son: Oliver

Daughter: Hanna

Judit Polgar Net Worth – $5 Million

As of 2022, Judit Polgar is thought to have an estimated net worth of some $5 million.

Awards

  • Hungarian Chess Player of the Year (in 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998–2003, 2005–2012, and 2014)
  • 8-time Chess Oscar winner – for annual performance: in 1988, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, and 2002 – Female Chess Player of the Century: 2001
  • FIDE Caissa Award (the newly established “Chess Oscar”): 2012 
  • The Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary (Budapest, 2003) 
  • The Middle Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit with the Star (Budapest, 2013)
  • Prima Primissima (Budapest, 2014)
  • A Member of the Association of Immortal Hungarian Athletes (Budapest, 2014)
  • The Hungarian Order of St. Stephen (Budapest, 2015) 
  • Best European Learning Materials Award – for the Chess Palace Program (Frankfurt, 2015)
  • Honorary Citizen of Budapest (Budapest, 2016) 
  • James Joyce Award from the UCD Literary & Historical Society (Dublin 2017) 
  • ECU European Golden Pawn, “European Chess Legend” (Monte Carlo, 2019) 
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Physical Education (Budapest, 2020) 
  • Inducted into the World Chess Hall of Fame (2021) 

Judit Polgar Books

  • How I Beat Fischer’s Record (in English, German, French, Hungarian)
  • From GM to Top Ten (in English, German, French, Hungarian)
  • A Game of Queens (in English, German, French, Hungarian)

Some Unknown Facts About Judit Polgar

  • Judit and Sofia, the younger of her two older sisters, used to play a different game with the chess pieces when they were little. For example, they used a pair of slippers and two rooks connected to their soles to make “stiletto” shoes.
  • Her father was her first “coach,” while her mother taught her the basic chess moves.
  • As Judit’s Zodiac sign is Leo, her former coach gifted her a woodcarving of a lion from Kenya, when Judit was 8 years old. Judit adopted the little figurine as her mascot. She carried it to competitions and set it down on tables for years.
  • After winning the New York Open among adult chess players in the unrated category at the age of 10, she made it to the front page of The New York Times. This was Judit’s first international success.
  • She was highly superstitious as a child and wouldn’t let anyone touch the “winning pencil” or her mother’s hand-knit “winning sweater” with the rook piece.
  • She made her first English-language speech at the age of 12 at a competition in Hastings, England, realising that bypassing her mother’s interpretation would free up more time for the customary pre-game rituals.
  • She used to sit in an Indian-style cross-legged position during the competitions after learning about its advantages at the age of 12 at the Chess Olympiad in Thessaloniki.
  • In just three women’s tournaments did she take a seat. After the 1990 Chess Olympiad, she only played in open competitions where, aside from a few games, she only faced off against men.
  • She is the first girl in chess history to have won the boy’s junior world championship (U12 in 1988 and U14 in 1990).
  • She is the first woman to compete in a men’s world championship final (2005).
  • She is the first woman to take home a medal from the European Championships’ absolute category (2011).

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