August 8, 2021

Susan Polgar Biography 2021

Susan Polgar Biography

Susan Polgar Biography, If you are a chess lover then you must know about Sus.

Susan Polgar biography

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Quick Info of Susan Polgar


Susan was born on April 19, 1969, in a Polgar family in Budapest, Hungary. People also call Susan Polgar by the names “Polgár Zsuzsanna” or “Zsuzsa Polgár”. She is a Hungarian as well as an American female chess player.

Polgar Sisters Childhood

Susan Polgar Biography

She was the Women’s World Chess Champion for 4 consecutive years (1996 to 1999). In the July 1984 FIDE ratings list, at the age of just 15,

In January 1991, she became the third female chess player in the world to be awarded the title of Grandmaster by FIDE. Along with this, she also received the honor of the world’s top female player.

She won a total of twelve medals in the Women’s Chess Olympiad including 5 Gold, 4 Silver, and 3 Bronze.

Susan Polgar is a writer, chess trainer, and promoter. She sponsors a variety of chess tournaments for young players.

She is the head of the Institute for Chess Excellence at Webster University. Susan also held the position of FIDE Women’s Chess President (or Co-President) for more than 10 years (2008 to 2018).

Susan married twice. She has two sons from her first husband.

Earlier Life

Susan Polgar was born on April 19, 1969, in Budapest, Hungary, to a Jewish family. The name of her parents are Laszlo Polgar and Klára Polgar. She also has two younger sisters named Sofia Polgar and Judit Polgar. Susan is the eldest of the three sisters. She is 5 and a half years older than her sister Sofia and 7 years older than Judit.

Polgar Sisters Young

Susan Polgar Biography

Because of the elder, Susan also started playing chess tournaments earlier and became the first sister among sisters to win the title and be honored. Susan and her youngest sister Judit are Grandmaster, while middle sister Sofia is an International Master.


Father László Polgar and mother Clara Polgar completed the education of their three daughters at home. Chess was given special importance in education. It included German, Russian, English, high-level mathematics, and an international language called “Esperanto”.

parents of susan polgar

The family also faced resistance from the Hungarian regime for home-schooling their daughters, as this method of teaching and receiving was not ideal.

Chess has always been considered a male-dominated game, and from the past to the present day, no one has seen women as strong players. Ultimately, these three sisters proved that people’s thinking towards women is completely deceptive.

Child Prodigy

Susan’s father started teaching her to play chess at the age of 4. Six months later, Susan entered a chess club in Budapest with her father. This club was filled with crowds of elderly men. This four-and-a-half-year-old girl was marching ahead to beat those experienced players.

Susan Polgar Childhood

She dominated the girls’ under-age-11 tournament in Budapest by scoring a perfect score. Being the elder sister, Susan started teaching her two younger sisters Sofia and Judit from a very young age. In a way, Susan is the first teacher of her two younger sisters.

Susan Polgar Father Book

According to Laszlo Polgar, his daughters were part of one of his educational experiments. He wrote a book titled “Geniuses are made, not born”. This book tells us that, if a child is trained in a particular subject, he/she is fully capable of achieving extraordinary achievements.

susan polgar father book

It is not at all that women cannot play chess better than men! If the baby girl is given special chess training from childhood, then she has full power to beat the male chess player. The three Polgar sisters are perfect examples of this, who have lived the life of a women’s world chess champion.

This same experiment by László Polgar gave birth to two grandmasters at his home and an international master, who proved that women were capable of giving men a strong challenge at major tournaments.

László expressed his dissent in a letter to the Hungarian Chess Federation, which noted that “chess is an intellectual activity, of equal importance to both men and women. Therefore, we absolutely reject this gender discrimination.” This letter again plunged the Polgars into a new struggle.

Laszlo As An Outstanding Chess Coach

Due to the wisdom of father László Polgar and the great efforts made to enhance the superiority of the daughters, Susan remained as the world’s top-rated female chess player until 1986. László Polgar has the honor of being an outstanding chess coach because of his excellent decisions and efforts.

Laszlo As An Outstanding Chess Coach:

Susan Polgar Biography

Teachers of Susan Polgar

Father László Polgar also hired several professional chess players to train his daughters to specialize in chess. Among all the professionals, the names of Russian Grandmaster Alexander Chernin, Hungarian champion IM Tibor Florian, GM Pal Benko are very prominent.

Interview of Susan

In an interview, Susan said that chess is my first choice. My father could have put me in any field, but I chose chess myself when I was only four years old. I loved chess pieces, they were wonderful toys for me.

Susan said in a 2005 interview, “My father’s belief is that there is nothing innate talent. It is 99% hard work to achieve success.” She described her father as “a great visionary” who “always thinks bigger than the greatest” and says that people can do much more than they actually do.

polgar sisters childhood

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Prevented From Becoming Grandmaster

After considering the letter written by László Polgar, the Hungarian Chess Federation made some changes to its rules. As a result, Susan Polgar began playing in the men’s tournament, as well as refusing to participate in the women’s tournament, which once again put the Polgar family in conflict with the chess federation.

This conflict had a very bad effect on Susan’s chess career. In 1985, when she was 15 years old International Master, the Chess Federation unfairly denied her the title of Grandmaster despite having the required qualifications eleven times.

In January 1991, Due to his tremendous effort and hard work, finally, FIDE had to make Susan the Grandmaster. Now she was the third female Grandmaster in the world, because before she “Nona” and “Maia” had got the honor of Grandmaster title.

Polgar & US President

The success achieved by the hard work of Susan and her sisters led to the publication of large articles about the Polgar sisters in newspapers and magazines around the world, making the three famous all over the world.

Due to the immense popularity, in 1989, the current US President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara Bush met the three Polgar sisters during their visit to Hungary and had them click photos together.

See Also:

Bobby Fischer’s Stay With The Polgars

In the summer of 1993, the legendary former Grandmaster and World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer spent some of his troubled days living with the Polgar family. He was staying in a secluded room in a village hotel in Yugoslavia because of an arrest warrant issued against him by the United States.

Susan Polgar biography

Susan Polgar biography

Susan introduces her family to Fischer and asks him to stay at their home, which Fischer hesitantly accepts.
During Bobby Fischer’s stay at the Polgars home, the Polgar sisters enlisted his help in analyzing the game.

Personal Life

Susan Polgar has had two marriages in her life. In 1994, she married an American man named “Jacob Schutzman”. He used to work here as her special computer chess analyzer. After marriage, both of them moved to New York. They have two sons, the first “Tom” born in the year 1999, while the second son “Liam” born in 2000.

Susan Polgar Husband & Sons

She later divorced Jacob due to personal reasons. In December 2006, she married a man named “Paul Truong”. Paul also served as a longtime business manager at Susan’s. She now lives with her family in St. Louis, Missouri.

Susan Polgar Husband

Susan Polgar Family

Susan Polgar Husband and Sons

Susan moved to New York in 1994 after marrying an American citizen, Jacob. The youngest sister, Judit, remains in Hungary, while the rest of her family, Sofia, and her parents have moved to Israel.

The rest of the Jewish members of the Polgar family were killed in a massive Holocaust. The holocaust had survived both of her grandmothers, who now live in camps in Auschwitz.

The Holocaust

Auschwitz Camps

See Also:

Chess Career

The year 1973, Susan Polgar won her first chess tournament at the age of 4 with a score of 10–0. This tournament is popularly known as Budapest Girls Under-11 Championship. In 1981, at the age of 12, she won the World Under 16 Girls Championship by a huge margin.

In July 1984, at the age of just 15, she became the world’s top-rated female chess player, despite FIDE’s ban from her international tournaments. The year 1986, at the age of 17, she missed qualifying for the zonal in the “men’s” world championship.

The Partiality of FIDE

In November 1986, FIDE decided to reward 100 bonus-free Elo rating points to all active female players except Susan, in what people called FIDE’s rude and malicious attitude towards her. Due to getting these 100 free points, all the other girls are above Susan in the rating list. Because of this partiality, she had slipped far below the top spot on the FIDE rating list released in January 1987.

FIDE’s reasoning was that this year the women’s ratings have been made completely different from the men’s ratings, since you (Susan) only play men’s tournaments, so the men’s rules will apply to you and not the women’s. Susan Polgar was an exception among all the women as she played only against men at the time.

GM Susan Polgar

In January 1991, Susan became the third woman ever to be awarded the title of Grandmaster by FIDE. Prior to Susan, Nona Gaprindashvili and Maia Chiburdanidze had received the Grandmaster title by FIDE.

See Gaprindashvili and Maia Chiburdanidze

Susan Polgar Biography

World Championships

Prior to 1992, Susan tended to play only men’s tournaments. The same year Susan won both the Women’s World Blitz and the Women’s World Rapid Championship.

She entered the circle of candidates for the 1993 Women’s World Championship and the game was drawn with Grandmaster Nana Ioseliani, and both candidates were eliminated after the final match. Susan became women’s world champion in her second attempt in 1996.

Grandmaster Nana Ioseliani vs Susan Polgar

In 1998, the venue of the Women’s World Championship was to be “China”. This time Susan had to defend her title against Chinese Grandmaster Xie Jun. But FIDE did not find a satisfactory sponsor.

Her First Pregnancy

In early 1999, a tournament was organized, but Polgar requested that the match be postponed due to her pregnancy. In March 1999, she gave birth to a son named Tom.

Shortly after delivery, she realized that she did not have enough time to recover completely. The match date and other preparations were fully organized by FIDE. The situation was really dire, as China is the home country of its challenger. She also wanted bigger prize money (200000 CHF) to be given to the tournament winner by FIDE.

Lost World Champion Title

She had not even fully recovered from the weakness in the body after delivery. During this, her chess practice was also negligible and in fact, she was not fully prepared mentally either. Susan Polgar refused to play in these extreme conditions.

Grandmaster Xie Jun vs Alisa Galliamova

Instead of giving her some time to recover, it was announced by FIDE that she had lost the title of World Champion. FIDE organized a match between Xie Jun and Alisa Galliamova for the Women’s World Chess Championship, which was won by Xie Jun.

Susan’s sued against FIDE

Susan sued FIDE for monetary damages and restoration of her title at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland In March 2001, FIDE proposed to withdraw its case by paying her attorney’s fees amounting to $25,000, which Susan accepted and the case was settled.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Susan had already been persuaded by FIDE that “Xie Jun” had been crowned Women’s World Champion, so Polgar could not restore the title. After this tragic experience, Susan never again competed in the Women’s World Championship.

American Career

In 2002 Polgar moved his chess association from Hungary to the United States. The year 2003, she received the title of “Grandmaster of the Year”. This was the first time in the U.S that a woman had won this honor. In the same year, she also became the first female chess player to win the U.S Open Blitz Championship, which included seven famous grandmasters. In the years 2005 and 2006, Susan won all these titles again.

October 2004, Susan Polgar played top board for the U.S. at the Chess Olympiad on the island of Spain. The team won the silver medal, while Susan won an individual gold medal for achieving the individual highest performance rating and highest score.

Susan has a total of twelve Olympiad medals: five gold, four silver, and three bronze. She has played a total of 56 games in the Women’s Olympiad, in which she has never lost a game.

Susan Polgar Simul in New Orleans 2012

Susan Polgar Biography

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Return to The Competition

Susan’s youngest sister named Jiudit took a brief break during her first pregnancy in 2004. Considering this holiday as her retirement, FIDE did not include her name in the January 2005 rating list.

Susan rediscovered and energized her game during this period, once again becoming the No. 1 female player in the world. Because she did not want the name of Polgar to become extinct.

Broke Four World Records

In July 2005, Susan held a major chess exhibition in Palm Beach, Florida, which broke four world records. This exhibition was the largest number of games played at the same time (326, 309 won, 14 draws, and 3 lost).

July 2005, Susan's chess exhibition in Palm Beach, Florida,

The number of consecutive games played is 1,131, while the number of games won is 1,112, and the highest percentage of wins (96.93%) is a world record.

Chess for Peace

In October 2005, Susan joined former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and former World Champion Anatoly Karpov in Lindsborg, Kansas, to promote “Chess for Peace”. Susan’s tournament with Karpov ended in a 3–3 draw, with each player winning two games and two draws.

Susan Polgar vs Anatoly Karpov

Football World Cup

In July 2006, Polger represented the United States in a side event at the Football World Cup in Dresden, Germany. She won the competition by defeating Elizabeth Pahatz in the final.

Susan Polgar biography

Susan Polgar Biography

Susan Polgar National Geographic

In 2007, National Geographic Channel released a one-hour documentary titled “My Brilliant Brain” with Susan Polger. The documentary was dubbed into several languages ​​by National Geographic and released as a DVD in 2010 in several countries.

Susan Polgar Documentary Link

This film explores the one thing that makes us wonderful human beings. Each episode depicts an extraordinary character, who can do new and extraordinary things with his unique mind. In this documentary, Susan Polgar tells her story of how her father turned her and her younger sisters into chess prodigies. If you want to watch these episodes click on the following start button

Great Trainer

Susan Polgar is a great coach, hundreds of young men and women have made a career in chess due to her tremendous training. I thank you very much on behalf of all of them.

Polgar Chess Center

The year 1997, Susan founded the Polgar Chess Center in Forest Hills, New York, with the aim of providing excellent chess training to children. In which there is a system of equal training for both girls and boys so that children can acquire the ability to play big tournaments.

Susan Polgar Foundation

In 2002, she established a chess foundation under its own name, while the Polgar Chess Center closed in 2009.

Susan Polgar Foundation

Texas Tech Knight Raiders

On May 12, 2007, Susan was appointed graduate speaker at Texas Tech University. In the same year, Polgar was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Institute, And the same day, she also received the honorary title of “Director of the Institute for Chess Excellence” as well as coach of the Texas Tech chess team.

She was the head coach for the “Texas Tech Knight Raiders Chess Team”. In 2010, she became the first female coach to lead a “Final Four men’s team”.

Texas Tech Knight Raiders

Susan Polgar Biography

Due to his tireless efforts and experience, the “Texas Tech Knight Raiders” team became the best college chess champion team in the country by winning “The Final Four in College Chess (President’s Cup)” twice (2011 and 2012).

She became the first female coach to lead the “Night Raiders men’s team” to a national title. In 2012, she moved to Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, along with members of her collegiate chess team.

Webster University

The SPICE program was launched in 2012 at Webster University in St. Louis, under the supervision of Susan Polger.

Webster University, The SPICE program

Susan Polgar Biography

Due to Susan’s special coaching, Webster University became the champion of “The Final Four in College Chess (President’s Cup)” for 5 consecutive years (2013 to 2017).

As a result, Polgar was recognized as the 2012–13 College Coach of the Year. Simultaneously, the Webster University chess team remained champion for 7 consecutive years (2012–2018), winning the “Pan American Intercollegiate Championship”.

Susan Polgar Institute For Chess Excellence (SPICE)

In 2007, the first Spice Cup was hosted by Texas Tech under the supervision of Susan Polgar, which has since become the highest-rated “international round-robin chess tournament” held in the U.S.

Susan Polgar Institute For Chess Excellence (SPICE)

Susan Polgar Biography

U.S Chess Federation and FIDE

In December 2006, Susan Polgar announced that she would run for the USCF Executive Board member position. She was elected as the first president of the USCF (United States Chess Federation). She was a member of the Executive Board of the USCF from 2007 to 2009.

On October 2, 2007, a defeated candidate on the Executive Board sued Susan for overturning the results of the election, which was dismissed by the court. On August 7, 2009, the membership of Susan and her husband Truong was revoked by the USCF. In 2014,

U.S Chess Federation and FIDE

Susan Polgar was awarded the Furman Simone Medal. This honor is given every year to the best chess coach who has worked with both male and female players for a year. With this top coaching medal, she also became the first US woman to be recognized by FIDE.

In 2016, her name was dragged into the hijab dress code controversy in Polgar Iran, due to a false report by The Telegraph Media Group. In June 2019, Polgar once again changed his chess association from the US back to Hungary.

See Also:

Susan As a Chess Journalist

Many columns have been written by her, such as Chess Life for Kids, Chess Life, Chess Cafe, Georgia Chess, Horizons, Chessville, School Mates, Empire Chess, Europe Echecs, etc.

She also publishes a blog called Chess Daily News with daily updates on chess news and daily chess exercises. She has also released a tremendous series of chess videos.

Susan Polgar Books

Susan Polgar has written several books on chess, in which her second husband Paul Truong has made a special contribution.

susan polgar books

Details of Susan Polgar chess Books are Following:

  • Queen of the Kings Game (1997)
  • Teach Yourself Chess in 24 Hours (2003)
  • A World Champion’s Guide to Chess (2005)
  • Breaking Through (2005)
  • Chess Tactics for Champions (2006)
  • Rich As A King: How the Wisdom of Chess Can Make You a Grandmaster of Investing (2014)
  • Learn Chess the Right Way, Book 1 Must-Know Checkmates (2016)
  • Learn Chess the Right Way, Book 2 Winning Material (2016)
  • L. Chess the Right Way, Book 3 Mastering Defensive Technique (2016)
  • Learn Chess the Right Way, Book 4 Sacrifice to Win (2017)
  • Learn Chess the Right Way, Book 5 Finding Winning Moves (2017)

Notable Games

Polgar vs. Hardicsay (Hungarian Team Championship 1985)

It was a Hungarian Team Championship, in which Susan was only 16 years old. It was a wonderful match and she gave a shameful defeat to her opponent.


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