GM Susan Polgar

Full name
Susan Polgar
Apr 19, 1969 (age 50)‎
Place of birth
Budapest, Hungary
United States



As the firstborn of the Polgar sisters, Susan was the first one to gain worldwide attention for her very strong chess abilities while playing in a male-dominated sport. For a period of 23 years she was one of the top 3 women players in the world, but usually she was always a bit behind her younger sister, Judit. Despite quitting competitive play at the height of her playing career, she has continued to be a mainstay in the chess scene, being one of the foremost educators and promoters of chess in the world, especially to girls and women.

Susan Polgar learned to play chess at a young age from her father. Along with her two other sisters, Judit and Sofia, these three girls shocked the chess world with their incredibly strong play and ability to shine in a male-dominated sport. Being the oldest of the three girls, Susan became the best player among the girls first. She became a Women’s International Master in 1982 and an International Master in 1984. It was around this time that she ascended to become the highest rated woman chess player in the world, only being 15 years old. She continued to be ranked among the top 3 women in the world for the next 23 years. Despite her family being against the idea of “Women’s tournaments”, Susan played in them and won the majority. In 1991 she was awarded the men’s Grandmaster title and in 1996 she became the Women’s World Champion, a title she held until 1999. In 2005, she achieved her highest rating ever, 2577, putting her as the second-best woman in the world behind her sister, Judit. Shortly after this, she quit playing in chess tournaments, instead putting all of her focus on chess education. She established the Susan Polgar Foundation in order to “promote chess throughout the United States”. Currently she acts as a coach for the Texas Tech University chess team.

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