Female chess grandmaster pushes limits

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Miguel Alvaro Sarmiento THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MEXICO CITY – Susan Polgar discovered chess by accident as a child and has kept stereotypes about female players and gender discrimination in a double check ever since. “I was 4 years old ? and searching for a new toy at home, and I kind of stumbled on a chess set,” the grandmaster told The Associated Press in Mexico City, where she was attending the World Chess Championship that ended Sunday. “I just got curious about it, and my father taught me.” Polgar, a U.S. citizen born in Hungary in 1969, won her first international title at age 12. In 1982 she won her first World Chess Championship in her age category. Despite being the youngest player, she won all 10 of her matches and her career took off. Over her three-decade-plus career, Polgar has toppled barriers restricting women’s access to international tournaments. In 1986 she became the first woman to qualify for the men’s World Chess Championship by winning 15 qualifying rounds – the last of them a four-hour match against grandmaster Levente Lengyel that was over in just 30 moves. Rules barring women kept her out of the championship that year, but her achievement led the International Chess Federation, FIDE, to open the tournament to women the following year. “I felt like I was breaking into an `old boys’ club”, Polgar said. In 1991, Polgar became the first woman to win the title of grandmaster in competition against men and with standard scoring. In 1994 she emigrated to the U.S. and two years later became the first chess player to win the triple crown of international tournaments: the World Blitz and the Rapid and Classical World Championships.last_img

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