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Susan Polgar
SusanPolgar10b.jpg
Full name Zsuzsanna Polgár
Country  Hungary
 United States
Born April 19, 1969 (1969-04-19) (age 40)
Budapest, Hungary
Title Grandmaster
Women's World Champion 1996–1999
FIDE rating 2577
Peak rating 2577
This article uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.
The native form of this personal name is Polgár Zsuzsanna. This article uses the Western name order.

Susan Polgar (born April 19, 1969, as Polgár Zsuzsanna and often known as Zsuzsa Polgár) is a Hungarian-American chess player. She is also a chess writer and promoter and the head of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence at Texas Tech University. She was stripped of her membership in the United States Chess Federation on August 7, 2009, and thereby lost her seat on its Executive Board.

On the July 1984 FIDE Rating List, at age 15, she was the top-ranked woman player in the world. She was the first woman to earn the title of Grandmaster in regular competition. She was the Women's World Chess Champion from 1996 to 1999. In October 2005 Polgar had an Elo rating of 2577, making her the second-ranked woman in the world at the time, after her sister Judit Polgár. She has been inactive and has not played in official competition since 2004.

She was born and brought up in Budapest, Hungary, and now lives in Lubbock, Texas, having recently moved from Forest Hills, Queens in New York City, where she ran the Polgar Chess Center and the Susan Polgar Foundation, which gives chess training to children, especially girls.[1]

Contents

Chess career

Polgar in a simultaneous exhibition

Polgar and her two younger sisters, Grandmaster Judit and International Master Sofia, were part of an educational experiment carried out by their father László Polgár, who sought to prove that children could make exceptional achievements if trained in a specialist subject from a very early age. "Geniuses are made, not born," was László's thesis. He and his wife Klara educated their three daughters at home, with chess as the specialist subject. The father also taught his three daughters Esperanto. Most of her family eventually emigrated to Israel, but Susan Polgar moved to New York after marrying an American in 1994. Members of the Polgar family, who are Jewish, perished in the Holocaust, and her grandmother was a survivor of Auschwitz.[2]

At age 4, Polgar won her first chess tournament, the Budapest Girl's Under-11 Championship, with a 10–0 score. In 1982, at the age of 12, she won the World Under 16 (Girls) Championship. Despite restrictions on her freedom to play in international tournaments, by 1984 at age 15 Polgar had become the top-rated female chess player in the world.[3]

In November 1986, FIDE decided to grant 100 bonus Elo rating points to all active female players except Polgar, which knocked her from the top spot in the January, 1987 FIDE ratings list. The rationale was that the FIDE ratings of women were not commensurate with the ratings of the men because the women tended to play in women-only tournaments, Polgar being an exception because up to that point she had played mainly against men. The statistical evidence supporting this decision was disputed because the data on which it was based was a small subset of the available data, and Polgar and others alleged that the move was politically motivated and had been contrived to displace her from the top spot.

In January 1991, Polgar became the first woman to earn the Grandmaster title in the conventional way – that is, by achieving three GM norms and a rating over 2500. (Nona Gaprindashvili was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1978 as a result of winning Lone Pine International 1977, but she did not make the normally required three GM norms. Maia Chiburdanidze was awarded the GM title in 1984 for beating Nona Gaprindashvili and two others in matches for the Women's World Chess Championship). Zsuzsa's younger sister Judit earned the title of Grandmaster in December 1991, at the time the youngest player of either sex to do so. In 1992, Zsuzsa won the Women's World Blitz as well as the Women's World Rapid Championship, ahead of her sisters, Chiburdanidze, Galliamova, Maric and many other top female players.

Polgar had tended to avoid women-only tournaments, but she abandoned this when she entered the 1993 cycle for the Women's World Championship. She was eliminated at the candidates' final match with Nana Ioseliani, after the match was drawn she lost on the drawing of lots. She became the Women's World Champion at her second attempt in 1996. Two years later, her title defense against Xie Jun of China was scheduled to take place in November, 1998. However, Polgar requested a postponement because she was pregnant and also FIDE had been unable to find a satisfactory sponsor. Ultimately, in 1999, a match was arranged, but under conditions to which Polgar objected – firstly because she had recently had a child, Tom, and had not had sufficient time to recuperate, and secondly because the match was to be held entirely in China, the home country of her challenger. She also wanted a significantly larger prize fund.[4]

When Polgar refused to play under these conditions, FIDE declared that she had forfeited the title,[5][6] and instead organized a match between Xie Jun and Alisa Galliamova for the Women's World Chess Championship, which was won by Xie Jun.[7] Polgar sued in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland for monetary damages and the restoration of her title. In March 2001, the case was settled, with Polgar withdrawing her claims and FIDE agreeing to pay Polgar's attorney's fees in the amount of $25,000.[8] Since Xie Jun had already been crowned Women's World Champion, FIDE could not restore the title to Polgar. Polgar has not participated in subsequent Women's World Championship cycles.

Personal life

In 1994, Polgar married computer consultant Jacob Shutzman, and moved to New York. They had two sons, Tom (born March 6, 1999) and Leeam (born November 22, 2000), but later divorced. In December 2006, she married her long time business manager and friend, Paul Truong.[9][10]

American career

The United States Chess Federation named Polgar "Grandmaster of the Year" in 2003, the first time a woman has won that honor. In that same year (2003), Polgar also became the first woman to win the US Open Blitz Championship, against a field which included seven grandmasters. She won that title again in 2005 and in 2006.

She helped train and played the top board for the United States women's team at the 2004 Chess Olympiad held in October in Majorca, Spain. Overall, the team won the Silver Medal, but Polgar won an individual gold medal for achieving the highest performance rating in the women's event and the highest point total. This was not her first Olympiad: she has a total of ten Olympiad Medals (five Gold, four Silver, and one Bronze). She has played 56 games in the Olympiads, never losing a single game.

In July 2005, Polgar gave a large simultaneous exhibition in Palm Beach, Florida, breaking four records: the largest number of simultaneous games played (326, with 309 won, 14 drawn, and 3 lost); consecutive games played (1,131); highest number of games won; and highest percentage of wins (96.93 %).

In October 2005, Polgar joined former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and former World Champion Anatoly Karpov in Lindsborg, Kansas to promote "Chess For Peace." There, Polgar participated in the second Clash of the Titans - Battle of the Genders match against Karpov at the same location, with Gorbachev making the first move for Karpov. The match with Karpov ended in a 3–3 tie, with each player winning two games and two draws. Their first match had taken place in September 2004. That also ended up in a 3–3 tie.

In June 2006, Polgar organized and played in the 2006 New York City Mayor's Cup, a 30-minute competition and the highest-rated double round robin tournament in US history. She finished second, behind Gata Kamsky and ahead of Alexander Onischuk, Boris Gulko, Ildar Ibragimov, and Alex Stripunsky. In July 2006, Polgar represented the US in a side event to the Football World Cup in Dresden, Germany. She easily won the event by defeating International Master Elisabeth Pähtz in the final.

On May 12, 2007, Polgar was the undergraduate commencement speaker at Texas Tech University. She was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree. On the same day, as reported on the LubbockOnline website, it was announced that she would become the coach of the Texas Tech chess team and would be the director of the new Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE).[11]

Notable chess games

Here is a brilliancy Polgar won at age 16:[12]

Zsuzsa Polgar-Hardicsay, Hungarian Team Championship 1985 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nf3 g6 7.Bf4 a6 8.e4 Bg7 9.Qa4+ Bd7 10.Qb3 Bg4?! 11.Qxb7 Bxf3 Hardicsay had won a game a few months before after 12.gxf3 Nh5, when Black has good compensation for the sacrificed pawn after either 13.Be3 Nd7 or 13.Bg3 Nxg3 14.hxg3 Nd7. 12.Qxa8! Nxe4 13.Rc1! This was a theoretical novelty; Black had been thought to be better after 13.Nxe4 Bxe4. 13...Bd4 After 13...Nxc3 14.bxc3 Be4 15.f3 Bf5 16.g4, Black would have no good retreat for his bishop, e.g. 16...Bd7 17.Bxd6. 14.Rc2 Nxf2?! 14...Nxc3 15.gxf3! also leaves White with a large advantage. 15.Rxf2 Bxf2+ 16.Kxf2 Bg4 (See diagram at below left.) 17.Bb5+! axb5 18.Re1+ Kf8 If 18...Kd7, 19.Qb7+ Qc7 20.Re7+! wins the queen. 19.Bh6+ Kg8 (See diagram at below middle.) 20.Re7! Paralyzing Black and stopping any counterplay with ...Qh4+. The rook is immune because 20...Qxe7 21.Qxb8+ forces mate. 20...Bd7 21.Qxb8! Qxb8 22.Ne4! 1-0 Although Black is up a queen for a knight, he cannot stop 23.Nf6#. (Notes based on Polgar's notes in Queen of the Kings Game pp. 234–37 and in Chess Informant, volume 40, game 117.)


Start of chess board.
a8 white queen b8 black knight d8 black queen e8 black king h8 black rook
f7 black pawn h7 black pawn
a6 black pawn d6 black pawn g6 black pawn
c5 black pawn d5 white pawn
f4 white bishop g4 black bishop
c3 white knight
a2 white pawn b2 white pawn f2 white king g2 white pawn h2 white pawn
f1 white bishop h1 white rook
End of chess board.
Polgar-Hardicsay, 1985, position after Black's 16th move
Start of chess board.
a8 white queen b8 black knight d8 black queen g8 black king h8 black rook
f7 black pawn h7 black pawn
d6 black pawn g6 black pawn h6 white bishop
b5 black pawn c5 black pawn d5 white pawn
g4 black bishop
c3 white knight
a2 white pawn b2 white pawn f2 white king g2 white pawn h2 white pawn
e1 white rook
End of chess board.
Polgar-Hardicsay, 1985, position after Black's 19th move
Start of chess board.
b8 black queen g8 black king h8 black rook
d7 black bishop e7 white rook f7 black pawn h7 black pawn
d6 black pawn g6 black pawn h6 white bishop
b5 black pawn c5 black pawn d5 white pawn
e4 white knight
a2 white pawn b2 white pawn f2 white king g2 white pawn h2 white pawn
End of chess board.
Polgar-Hardicsay, 1985, final position



Composer

Susan Polgar composed her first chess problem (see diagram) at the age of four. She is considered the youngest composer of a published chess problem. Formerly, the record was held by Elliot Franklin Eichholtz.

Zsuzsa Polgár
Source unknown, 1973
Start of chess board.
h4 white queen
d2 white pawn g2 black pawn
e1 white king g1 black king
End of chess board.
Mate in 2

Solution:

1.Kd1 Kf1
2.Qe1 mate


Author

Polgar has written several books, often in conjunction with Paul Truong, her business manager and (later) husband:

  • Queen of the Kings [sic] Game (as Zsuzsa Polgar; with Jacob Shutzman) (1997) ISBN 0-9657059-7-8
  • Teach Yourself Chess in 24 Hours (2003)
  • A World Champion's Guide to Chess (with Paul Truong) (2005) ISBN 0-8129-3653-1
  • Breaking Through (2005) ISBN 0-02-864408-5
  • Chess Tactics for Champions (2006) ISBN 0-8129-3671-X

Polgar is also a chess journalist, with columns in Chess Life, Chess Life for Kids, ChessCafe, Chess Horizons, Georgia Chess, Chessville, Empire Chess, School Mates, Europe Echecs, etc., and she publishes a blog with daily updates about chess news and daily chess exercise problems. She has released a series of 11 instructional chess DVDs.

Executive Board of the United States Chess Federation

Election campaign

In December 2006, she announced that she would run for election to the executive board of the United States Chess Federation. Polgar, Randy Bauer, and Paul Truong—three of four of Polgar's slate—were elected to four-year terms. The new board members took office on the evening of August 5, 2007, after the conclusion of the annual USCF delegate's meeting in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. She was elected as the first ever chairman of the USCF.[13][14][15]

On October 2, 2007, Sam Sloan filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking to overturn the results of the 2007 election, alleging that there were more than 2,000 obscene "Fake Sam Sloan" newsgroup postings by Susan Polgar and Paul Truong impersonating Sloan, as a result of which Polgar and Truong were elected.[16] Susan Polgar has responded to the charges on her blog.[17][18][19][20][21] On August 28, 2008, US District Judge Denny Chen dismissed the suit with prejudice pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(6).[22][23]

On January 15, 2008, four Board members issued a statement which requested Paul Truong step down from his position on the Board for "neglecting his fiduciary duties" through not providing an affirmative defense to the lawsuit.[24] This was not, however, an official vote of the Executive Board. Polgar subsequently published a statement asserting that the Board members who voted in favor of this request made a number of misrepresentations.[25]

Executive board member

On July 28, 2008, the USCF instituted legal proceedings in the District Court of Lubbock, Texas for "leaking confidential emails" from the USCF Executive Board, which included requests to depose Susan Polgar and Paul Truong concerning their knowledge of the subject.[26][27] USCF attorney Karl S. Kronenberger has characterized this as wire fraud, a felony under federal law. The U.S. Secret Service subsequently filed a criminal indictment against Gregory Alexander and arrested him in San Francisco on July 16, 2009 for electronic wiretapping. Terms of his bail include a prohibition from communicating with either Polgar or the victim.[28] The civil case was subsequently amended to include Susan Polgar and Gregory Alexander as named defendants, and removed to federal court in the Northern District of California.[29]

On Thursday, August 7, 2008, Susan Polgar filed a $25 million defamation lawsuit in the 72nd District Court of Lubbock against the United States Chess Federation, Bill Goichberg, Jim Berry, Randy Bauer, Randall Hough, Bill Hall, Brian Mottershead, Hal Bogner, Chessmagnet LLC., Continental Chess Inc., Jerome Hanken (deceased)[30], Brian Lafferty, Sam Sloan, and well-known Internet attorneys Karl S. Kronenberger and Hank Burgoyne.[31][32] Defendant Randy Bauer, formerly a Polgar supporter,[33] has stated online, "I ... intend to raise USCF issues surrounding Paul and now, I guess Susan ... in every forum and to every audience possible, whether it be Lubbock or Timbuktu. ... the truth is an absolute defense to defamation claims. There's plenty to talk about."[34] Polgar has offered to settle her suit against the USCF alone if it would pay her $1, publicly apologize to her and Truong and agree to certain other conditions.[35]

On August 7, 2009, the Executive Board of the USCF revoked the membership of Susan Polgar and her husband, and the Polgars appealed the revocation to the Board of Delegates of the USCF. On August 8, 2009, the Delegates of the USCF ratified the previous year's actions of the Executive Board with respect to the litigation. In a closed Executive Session, the Delegates upheld the membership revocations. As they are no longer members of the USCF, Polgar and Truong have lost their seats on the Executive Board.[36][37]

References

  1. ^ Yaniv, Oren. "MASTERING CHESS WAS THE EASY PART. BLACK BELT CHAMP TEACHES MOVES IN FOREST HILLS", Daily News (New York), April 3, 2005. Accessed June 17, 2009. "This is an excellent club; it's not that formal," said Grandmaster Alexander Stripunsky, 34, co-winner of the 2005 U.S. championship, who, like Polgar and other chess masters, resides in Forest Hills."
  2. ^ "Susan Polgar". http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Susan_Polgar.html. 
  3. ^ The Grandmaster Experiment, Carlin Flora, Psychology Today Magazine, July/August 2005
  4. ^ Letter from Zsuzsa Polgar c. June 1999
  5. ^ First Saturday, June 1999
  6. ^ FIDE News from Executive Director Omuku 17 February 1999
  7. ^ Xie Jun defeats Alisa Galliamova in match for Woman's World Chess Championship June 5, 1999
  8. ^ Editor's Note April 13, 2001
  9. ^ "Polgar and Truong Marriage Revealed". 2007. http://www.checkmate.us/marriage.htm. 
  10. ^ Susan Polgar Blogspot confirms her marriage to Paul Truong.
  11. ^ "Texas Tech Hires Chess World Champion, Establishes Excellence Institute". 2007-05-14. http://news.ttu.edu/browse/newsRelease/1318. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "I WILL run for the 2007 USCF Executive Board". 2006-12-06. http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/2006/12/i-will-run-for-2007-uscf-executive.html. 
  14. ^ "Election Results In!". 2007-07-27. http://beta.uschess.org/frontend/news_7_471.php. 
  15. ^ "Election Summary (Endorsements)". 2007. http://www.checkmate.us/summary.htm. 
  16. ^ Chess Group Officials Accused of Using Internet to Hurt Rivals - New York Times
  17. ^ Susan Polgar Stating the Facts
  18. ^ Polgar Responds on her Blog
  19. ^ NY Times: Chess Group Officials Accused of Using Internet to Hurt Rivals
  20. ^ NY Times: Interview With the U.S.C.F. President; a Chess Sponsor Says He’s Had Enough
  21. ^ NY Times: Founder of AF4C: The Chess Federation Needs a New Structure
  22. ^ UPDATE: Text of Sloan vs. Truong Decision
  23. ^ Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Rule 12
  24. ^ Member of U.S. Chess Federation’s Board Is Asked to Resign in Dispute Over an Election, New York Times, January 15, 2008.
  25. ^ Stating the Facts, Susan Polgar, January 15, 2008.
  26. ^ http://www.lubbockonline.com/stories/072808/loc_310582593.shtml
  27. ^ "Polgar Checked into Lawsuit"
  28. ^ http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/can/press/press_documents/AlexanderIndictment.pdf
  29. ^ http://www.westernchess.com/hold/amendedcomplaint.pdf
  30. ^ http://main.uschess.org/content/view/9763/512/
  31. ^ http://lubbockonline.com/stories/081208/loc_317614594.shtml
  32. ^ http://lubbockonline.com/stories/080908/cri_316251103.shtml
  33. ^ http://www.checkmate.us/Bauer.htm
  34. ^ http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.chess.politics/msg/c403587b9a02ade1?dmode=source
  35. ^ http://www.chessdiscussion.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1437
  36. ^ http://www.chessdiscussion.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2624&st=0&sk=t&sd=a
  37. ^ newpaper account

External links

Preceded by
Xie Jun
Women's World Chess Champion
1996–1999
Succeeded by
vacant, then Xie Jun

Simple English

Susan Polgar
File:Susan Polgar at Chess Olympiad Press Conference
Country
Born
April 19, 1969 (1969-04-19) (age 41)
Budapest, Hungary
Title Grandmaster
Women's World Champion 1996–1999
FIDE rating 2577
Peak rating 2577

Susan Polgar (born 19 April 1969 as Polgár Zsuzsanna and often known as Zsuzsa Polgár) is a Hungarian-American chess player.

At 15, she was the top-ranked woman player in the world. She was the Women's World Chess Champion from 1996 to 1999. In October 2005 Polgar had a FIDE rating of 2577, making her the second-ranked woman in the world at the time, after her sister Judit Polgár. She has been inactive and has not played in official competition since 2004.

Polgar is head of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence at Texas Tech University, and a chess writer and promoter. She had been on the Executive of the United States Chess Federation, but was stripped of her membership after a complicated internal struggle.

Susan was born and brought up in Budapest, Hungary, and now lives in Lubbock, Texas. She recently moved from Forest Hills, Queens in New York City, where she ran the Polgar Chess Center and the Susan Polgar Foundation, which gives chess training to children, especially girls.[1]

Contents

Chess career

Polgar and her two younger sisters, Judit and Sofia, were part of an educational experiment carried out by their father László Polgár. He and his wife Klara educated their three daughters at home, with chess as the specialist subject.

In January 1991, Polgar became the third woman to earn the Grandmaster title. Much is made, by her supporters, of the fact that Polgar had got the three GM norms and a rating over 2500. Nona Gaprindashvili was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1978 mainly as a result of winning Lone Pine International 1977, but she did not quite make the usual 24 games required at that time. Maia Chiburdanidze was awarded the GM title in 1984 for winning at New Delhi (1984), and for beating Nona Gaprindashvili and two others in matches for the Women's World Chess Championship. However, before Polgar reached the title, Chiburdanidze had more than achieved the traditional GM qualifications by her performances at Banja Luka and Bilbao.

Polgar had tended to avoid women-only tournaments, but she abandoned this when she entered the 1993 cycle for the Women's World Championship. She became the Women's World Champion at her second attempt in 1996. Two years later, her title defense against Xie Jun of China was scheduled to take place in November, 1998. However, Polgar requested a postponement because she was pregnant and also FIDE had been unable to find a satisfactory sponsor. Ultimately, in 1999, a match was arranged, but under conditions to which Polgar objected – firstly because she had recently had a child, and had not had sufficient time to recuperate, and secondly because the match was to be held entirely in China, the home country of her challenger. She also wanted a significantly larger prize fund.[2]

When Polgar refused to play under these conditions, FIDE declared that she had forfeited the title,[3][4] and instead organized a match between Xie Jun and Alisa Galliamova for the Women's World Chess Championship, which was won by Xie Jun.[5] Polgar sued in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland for monetary damages and the restoration of her title. In March 2001, the case was settled, with Polgar withdrawing her claims and FIDE agreeing to pay Polgar's attorney's fees in the amount of $25,000.[6] Since Xie Jun had already been crowned Women's World Champion, FIDE could not restore the title to Polgar. Polgar has not participated in subsequent Women's World Championship cycles.

Paid substantial appearance fees by the Hungarian Chess Federation,[7]p106 the family did play together in two female-only events. The Hungarians (nicknamed 'Polgaria') won the Women's Chess Olympiads, with a team packed with Polgárs, in 1988 and 1990.[7]p106; 156 Zsuzsa, Judit, Sofia (the least strong sister) and Ildiko Madl were the team which pushed the Soviet Union into second place for the first time.

American career

The United States Chess Federation named Polgar "Grandmaster of the Year" in 2003, the first time a woman has won that honor. In that same year (2003), Polgar also became the first woman to win the US Open Blitz Championship, against a field which included seven grandmasters. She won that title again in 2005 and in 2006.

She helped train and played the top board for the United States women's team at the 2004 Chess Olympiad held in October in Majorca, Spain. Overall, the team won the silver medal, and Polgar won an individual gold medal. This was not her first Olympiad: she has a total of ten Olympiad Medals (five Gold, four Silver, and one Bronze). She has played 56 games in the Olympiads, never losing a single game.

Personal life

In 1994, Polgar married computer consultant Jacob Shutzman, and moved to New York. They had two sons, Tom and Leeam, but later divorced. In December 2006, she married her long time business manager and friend, Paul Truong.[8][9]

Author

Polgar has written several books:

Polgar is also a chess journalist, with columns in Chess Life, Chess Life for Kids, ChessCafe, Chess Horizons, Georgia Chess, Chessville, Empire Chess, School Mates, and Europe Echecs.

Other websites

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References








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