5th Aquaprofit - Polgar Chess Day
By Diana Mihajlova
While the Women’s World Championship between Hou Yifan and Humpy Koneru was taking place in Tirana, in Budapest, three ladies synonymous with women’s chess were holding their annual chess event named ‘Chess Day’. On Saturday, 19 November, Judit, Susan and Sofia were greeted by a 2,000 strong audience that came to celebrate the chess legacy of the Polgar sisters.
While Susan, Sofia and Judit Polgar are necessarily connected to the term ‘women’s chess’, paradoxically, they have actually brought women’s chess ever closer to the men’s. It started with Susan narrowing the gap when she resisted the gender barrier and in 1986 qualified for the Men’s World Championship Cycle. It continued with Judit who completely closed the gap by persistently refusing to take part in ‘women only’ competitions. The ‘men’s’ or ‘women’s’ chess is an ongoing debate opened up by the Polgars with an intermediate compromise by creating a new term, 'Open', to indicate a mixed tournament where both men and women take part.
‘Women’s chess’ has never been the same, ever since the three little girls from Hungary started shaking chess competitions around the world.