A personal and honest reflection
I grew up in a poor Jewish family in Communist Hungary. But that did not matter to me because I always had the love and support from my parents to pursue my dreams. I did not dream about being rich or famous. When I experienced sexism and discrimination growing up, my dream was always to fight to right the wrongs.
Throughout a big part of my life, it was a very lonely fight. The harder I fought, the more punishment and resentment I got, from some fellow players and coaches, chess politicians, my own chess federations, including FIDE. Even today, not much has changed. I constantly get messages like “Shut the hell up! No one cares!”, “Shut the f…k up. No one likes you.”, “Why do you always have to be a trouble make?”, etc. They are probably right. Many people do not like a strong independent woman who cannot be bought.
The more I spoke up, the bigger the penalties I faced. Lies after lies were written and said about me. When it is impossible to fight the hard-cold facts, this is the technique many people use, character assassination. I would be dishonest if I am telling you that the thoughts of giving up the fight and walking away into the sunset, did not cross my mind many times. I often asked myself if most people do not care about joining my fights against sexism and all kinds of discrimination in chess, what am I doing it for?
My conclusion is as long as my painful fights can even help a small percentage of young people to have more equal opportunities to excel and fly as high as they want, all my sacrifices will be worth it. And so, I continue, one day at a time ….