This picture was taken in front of the beautiful Texas State Capitol Building in Austin

Female chess champion takes on Austin’s elite

4/29/2006 5:27 PM
By: News 8 Austin Staff

To see the TV clip, click here!

Four-time World Women’s Chess Champion Susan Polgar is in Austin to put dozens of the city’s finest players to the test all at the same time.

On Friday, Polgar simultaneously played 35 adult and junior players at the LCRA building in West Austin.

“This event is a classical type of event where you get an extremely good player to pit their skills against the average chess players,” organizer Gary Gaiffe said.

Polgar is the number one-ranked female chess player in the United States. She was raised in Budapest and now lives in New York. She began playing chess when she was four years old.

“I won the tournament, winning all my games – 10 out of 10 games. That was the start. The rest is history,” she said.

It hasn’t been easy for Polgar to compete. But she’s made moves in chess that no other woman has, including becoming the first woman to break the gender barrier and qualify for the Men’s World Championship.

“At first they said, ‘Oh, she’s just a girl. Why would you play with her? That’s not challenging enough for us,” she said.

Now, when Polgar wages war on a chessboard, she makes it look as simple as black and white.

“Chess, I look at as a miniature version of life itself. It requires a lot of concentration, focus, planning, being responsible for your actions. It has all the complexities of life,” she said.

The Austin Chess Fest continues Saturday at Kealing Middle School. Then Sunday morning, Polgar takes on 40 of Austin’s top junior players at the Dobie Mall on the University of Texas campus.
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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar