Grandmaster Susan Polgar settles herself into the folding chair on the makeshift podium, folds her arms demurely in front of her and trains her enormous coffee-brown eyes on the green and white chessboard before her. She lost the coin toss to her opponent, Hall of Famer Lev Alburt, so he, as white, will be making the first move in the 4th annual Chess-in-the-Parks Rapid Open in New York City's Central Park.
This begins the story in Lifestyles Magazine, which goes on to vividly describe her game against GM Lev Alburt. It goes on to describe her personality, views and, well, her lifestyle. “Chess is in many ways like life itself,” Susan says. “It's all condensed in a playful manner in a game format and it's extremely fascinating because first of all I'm in control of my own destiny, I'm in charge. You have to be responsible for your actions, you make a move, you had better think ahead about what's going to happen, not after it happens, because then it's too late. Chess teaches discipline from a very early age. It teaches you to have a plan and to plan ahead. If you do that, you'll be rewarded; if you break the rules, you will get punished—in life and in chess. You need to learn the rules to break the rules.”
Learning the game of chess, she says, gave her a head start on the game of life, and that's why she has been devoting her life to being an advocate and an ambassador for chess, all with the goal of making chess as all-American as Mom, apple pie and baseball. In addition to participating in events like the live chess game, she has established the Polgar Chess Center in Forest Hills, New York, where she teaches students and hosts major chess events, and has set up the Susan Polgar Foundation, a nonprofit organization to introduce the social, educational and competitive benefits to American youngsters, especially girls.
“Chess is very good to teach children because it's a very playful game,” she says. “Once you understand a little bit about chess, you can really see the beauty in it like in art or in music.”
We cannot reproduce the entire story on Susan Polgar, but we do have pictures from the Lifestyles photoshoot, which we will share with you.