Judit Polgar

The best female player in chess history.

In 1989, at the age of 12, she took the lead in the adult women’s world ranking, which began with her name for the next 26 years. At the age of 14, she was already a two-time Women's Chess Olympic Champion (1988, 1990), later, as member of the Hungarian men's team she won two silver medals (in 2002 and in 2014). At the age of 15 years and 4 months, she became a male international grandmaster, breaking Bobby Fischer's age record. At the world championship in Las Vegas, in 1999, she reached the quarter-finals and, in 2005, in San Louis, she played for the title of men’s world champion. In October 2005, she ranked 8th in the absolute world ranking, as the first and, to date, the only female top 10 chess player. In 2011, she won a bronze medal at the Men’s European Championship. She defeated eleven world champions in classical, rapid or blitz games.

Since her retirement in 2014, in the framework of the Global Chess Festival organized by her, she has been working on the international promotion of the sport, book writing, as well as creating a skill-development chess educational methodology, the Judit Polgar Method (Chess Playground, Chess Palace and Chess PE Programs) developed for children of pre-school and primary school ages, with the involvement of experts and educators. Besides, she is a seminar lecturer and a TED speaker.

She has been appointed as UN WOMEN Planet 50–50 Champion and an expert commentator at major international tournaments.

Caissa (Chess Oscar), European Chess Legend and Prima Primissima award winner, holder of the Hungarian Order of St. Stephen, Honorary Doctor of the Budapest University of Physical Education, Honorary Citizen of Budapest, member of the World Chess Hall of Fame.

She’s married and the mother of two children.


  • Hungarian Chess Player of the Year (in 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998–2003, 2005–2012, and 2014)
  • 8-time "Chess Oscar" winner
    • for annual performance: in 1988, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, and 2002
    • the female chess player of the century: 2001
    • FIDE Caissa Award (the newly established "Chess Oscar"): 2012
  • the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary (Budapest, 2003)
  • the Middle Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit with the Star (Budapest, 2013)
  • Prima Primissima (Budapest, 2014)
  • Member of the Association of Immortal Hungarian Athletes (Budapest, 2014)
  • the Hungarian Order of St. Stephen (Budapest, 2015)
  • Best European Learning Materials Award – for the Chess Palace Program (Frankfurt, 2015)
  • Honorary Citizen of Budapest (Budapest, 2016)
  • James Joyce Award from the UCD Literary & Historical Society (Dublin 2017)
  • ECU European Golden Pawn, "European Chess Legend" (Monte Carlo, 2019)
  • Honorary Doctor of the University of Physical Education (Budapest, 2020)
  • Member of the World Chess Hall of Fame (Saint Louis, 2021)
  • FIDE Icon Award (2022)