Thursday, August 14, 2014
The end of an era
Queen who exposed the arrogance of kings
Judit Polgár has blood on her hands. The most successful woman in chess has beaten Garry Kasparov, Boris Spassky and even Magnus Carlsen, the present world champion and the game’s only bona fide celebrity.
Now that juggernaut career is coming to a stop. At the age of 38, after almost 25 years as the women’s world No 1 player and long stints in the World Chess Federation’s top ten, Polgár has chosen to announce her retirement in The Times.
The Hungarian will not go gentle into that good night. In her last interview as a player at the world’s top table, she lamented the struggle it had taken her to break into a club still dominated and defined by men. In a game in which many male grandmasters still insist that women do not have the logical wiring or the belligerence to succeed, Polgár has stood out like a third sex.
At one tournament a man asked if he could have a picture taken with her. As they posed for the shot, he said: “Somebody told me that the best player is Hou Yifan [the Chinese women’s world champion] and I said ‘Come on, it’s Judit Polgár’ and he said ‘Come on, she’s a man’.”
Full article here.