Judit Polgár

International Chess Grandmaster

The best female chess player in the history of the game.
In 1989, at merely 12 years of age, she topped the adult women’s world rankings, a position she held for 26 years. By 14, she was a two-time women’s team Olympic chess champion (1988, 1990) and later won two silver medals as a member of the Hungarian men’s team (2002, 2014). At 15 years and 4 months old, she became a male international grandmaster, breaking Bobby Fischer’s record. In 1999, she reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship in Las Vegas, and in 2005, she competed for the men’s world title in San Luis. In October 2005, she was ranked No. 8 in the world absolute rankings, becoming the first and only woman to break into the top 10. She has defeated eleven world champions in classical, rapid, or blitz games.
Since her retirement in 2014, she has been involved in the international promotion of the sport through the World Chess Festival, organized by the foundation bearing her name. She has authored books, developed the Judit Polgár Method (ChessPlayground, ChessPalace, ChessPE Programme), with the involvement of experts and teachers for teaching chess to preschool and school-age children, and is a frequent seminar and TED talk speaker.
Polgár serves as a goodwill ambassador for UN WOMEN’s gender equality programme, „Planet 50-50 Champion,” which advocates for women’s proportional participation in society and the elimination of gender stereotypes. She is also a specialist commentator for major international competitions.
Her accolades include the Caissa Award, European Chess Legend and Prima Primissima awards, Hungarian Order of St. Stephen, Honorary Doctor of the Hungarian University of Sports Science, Honorary Citizen of Budapest, and membership in the World Chess Hall of Fame. She is married and a mother of two children.