A brief look back in history


A brief look back in history

I became the #1 female player in the world when I was 15. After me, my sister Judit took over the world #1 ranking. In January 1991, I became the first woman in history to earn the Grandmaster title. In February 1996, I won my 4th World Championships and completed the first ever Triple-Crown (World Blitz, Rapid, and Classical Championships).

After FIDE failed to secure a sponsor for my World Championship title defense, I decided to start a family and be a Mom. In the middle of my pregnancy, FIDE announced the dates for the match which totally failed 3 key criteria:

  1. The match had to be held in a neutral country.
  2. The match was to have adequate minimum prize funds.
  3. To grant me sufficient time to recuperate after giving birth.

FIDE took away my crown without giving me the opportunity to defend it. The Arbitration Court ruled in my favor and awarded me monetary compensation but it was too late. The court could not take the title away from someone else to return it to me.

At that time, I decided to walk away from the game to spend quality time with my children. It is a decision I never regret. 8.5 years later without playing any chess, I made one last comeback to help the US Women's National Team at the 2004 Calvia Chess Olympiad. I created the first ever Women's Olympiad Training Program in the United States. We trained for 2 years and won the first-ever team medal for the US, a Silver.

I got multiple individual Gold, including the best performance of the entire Women's Olympiad. More importantly, I also regained the #1 ranking in January 2005, more than 20 years after I first reached it, to keep it in the family (while Judit took little time off to start her family). The #1 ranking stayed in the Polgar family from 1984 - 2014 when Judit also retired. That marked the official end of the Polgar sisters playing career…unless we decide to make comebacks as Grandmas one day in the future :)


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