HUNGARIAN-BORN Polgar sisters Susan, Sofia and Judit received intensive training in chess from their father, Laszlo, starting at an early age, and became high achievers in that field. Even before they were born, he had written a book entitled
The eldest, Susan (born in 1969), won Budapest’s under-11 girls’ championship at the age of four. At 15 she topped the women’s world rating list and by 1991 had earned the grandmaster title. She held the women’s world championship title from 1996 to 1999.
Sofia (born in 1974) startled the chess world when, at 14, she won a tournament in Rome ahead of several grandmasters. For a time she ranked as the world’s sixth strongest female player but she has since ceased to play rated games. She moved to Israel, then Canada.
The youngest, Judit (born in 1976), won the unrated section of the New York Open at age nine. She set a record by qualifying as a grandmaster at the age of 15 years, four months and 28 days; and surpassed her eldest sister as the top-rated female player. She has an aggressive playing style.
Judit set the bar higher and advanced further than any woman before her, reaching eighth place in the overall world standings and securing a coveted berth in the 2005 world championship tournament at San Luis, Argentina, though finishing last. She played for the Hungarian open team at last year’s chess olympiad in Dresden.
Susan has been active in promoting and
Fischer v Schweber: White to play popularising chess in the US. She established the Susan Polgar Chess Centre in New York, the Susan Polgar Foundation for advancement of children’s chess and, after moving to Lubbock, Texas, the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence at Texas Tech University. A big tournament is scheduled there.
Germany’s Arkadij Naiditsch has won the Canadian open in Montreal with 7.5.9, a half point ahead of Etienne Bacrot (France).
World championship aspirant Magnus Carlsen, 18 (Norway) has enlisted the services of Garry Kasparov as a coach.
Here is a game from the Grand Slam tournament in Bilbao, Spain. White: Levon Aronian. Black: Sergey Karjakin. Opening: Nimzo-Indian Defence.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 c5 6.Nf3 d5 7.O-O dxc4 8.Bxc4 Nbd7 9.Qe2 b6 10.Rd1 cxd4 11.exd4 Bb7 12.d5 Bxc3 13.dxe6 Bxf3 14.gxf3 fxe6 15.bxc3 Qc7 16.Ba3 Nc5 17.Rd4 Kh8 18.Re1 Rac8 19.Qe5 Qf7 20.Bc1 Nd5 21.Bxd5 exd5 22.Qxd5 Qxf3 23.Qxf3 Rxf3 24.Re7 Rxc3 25.Be3 Ra3 26.Rg4 h5 27.Rg5 h4 28.Bd4 Kh7 29.Rgxg7+ Kh6 30.Bb2 1-0.
In the first diagram this week, Fischer played 1.Rxe4. His opponent cannot reply 1 . . . dxe4 because of 2.Bf4, but what happens after 1 . . . Qxg3?
Last week’s solutions: (1) 1.a4! bxa4 2.Kc7 a3 3.Ba4 (not 3.Bd7 a4!) 3 . . . a24.Kc6 a1=Q 5.Bb5#. (2) 1.Bd3 a6 2.Bc2 bxc2 3.b4#. Phil Viner