The Polgar Sisters' Las Vegas Triplex Simul

7/8/2005 – We promised that it was coming, and here it is, a big pictorial report of the reunion of the Polgar sisters, who appeared together in Las Vegas for the first time in 12 years. There were lectures, autographs, a TV special and an unusual triplex simul. What a promotion for chess!

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The Polgars in Las Vegas

A week ago we reported on the 2005 National Open Chess Championship in Las Vegas, and mentioned briefly that the Festival had started with a Polgar Sisters Simul. We promised a full illustrated report on this event. Well, here it is.

The Las Vegas International Chess Festival (of which the National Open was part) started with the Susan Polgar International Chess Camp. It included a number of lectures, by Susan and other trainers, including GMs Dmitry Gurevich, Walter Browne and IM Benjamin Finegold. Well over 100 people attending each session, and a number of camera teams with professional gears were taping everything.


Chess lectures to full houses in Las Vegas


Susan Polgar, the US-resident oldest of the Polgar sisters

That evening the famous Polgar Sisters – all three of them – gave a Triplex Simul. The score: +64 –6 =11. It was an historic chess event, the first time in over twelve years that the three sisters had done an event together in the United States. The idea of a reunion of the Polgar sisters in Las Vegas came from Al Losoff, the chief organizer of the Chess Festival, and Glenn Panner, who represented the organizer and sponsor Fred Gruenberg.


Together again in the US after 12 years: the three Polgar sisters, parents László and Klara Polgar (standing, left) and the Las Vegas Chess Festival organisers Alan and Janell Losoff.

The event started out with the sisters signing literally thousands of items, from chess boards, mouse pads, hats, playing cards, bags, to books, etc., on Wednesday night.


Signing chess boards for the fans


The three sisters obviously enjoying the attention


Sofia, who lives in Israel, signing playing cards for the simul participants


GM Arthur Bisguier chats with Sofia and Judit, while Susan is still hard at work

It was also the first time the three sisters had given a triplex 81-board simul. The point here is that all three players alternated moves: first one would appear at a board, then the second and then the third (and then the first again). So each player had to build on the plans initiated by her partners.


Winners who drew the Queen cards

Before the start of the event, every player was given a signed playing card from the three sisters. At the same time, everyone turned over his or her card. The three players with the Queen received special prizes from the sponsors. Immediately after the simul, the sisters stayed for another hour signing autographs.


The start of the Three-Sisters Triplex-Simul


Sofia and Judit working their way along the boards


Susan Polgar contemplating her moves


All three sisters in action

The next morning, at 8:30 a.m., the three sisters attended a breakfast Questions and Answers session. Around 140 people attended, at the top of the Riviera Hotel and Casino. The fans had the opportunity to ask the sisters direct questions. Some even had questions directed at the parents.


A family portrait: Judit, Susan, Sofia, Klara and László

After the Breakfast Q&A, the Polgar sisters gave interviews, one to a documentary film producer for an upcoming chess film. Over the next few days, the sisters spent time together, but they could not escape the fans, who kept asking for autographs and for them to pose for pictures.


Susan, Judit and Sofia Polgar during the Breakfast Q&A

The Polgar sisters had also brought along their parents, husbands and children. It was a big fun family reunion. Susan even entered her six-year-old son Tommy in the National Open Scholastic Championship. This was Tommy's first tournament outside of the Polgar chess center. The most he had ever played was four games in a tournament, in Vegas he had to play twelve. Tommy loved it and wants to play again next year. He came in first in his division.


Greeted by Anthony Saidy, 68, IM and country doctor who was at storm center of the prelude to Bobby Fischer's Reykjavik Match against Boris Spassky.

Susan Polgar, who is currently by far the most active chess promotional engine in the US, was very pleased with the Las Vegas Festival. "I am looking forward to coming back to this event for many more years to come," she said. "Because of such professionalism from the organizers, I decided to hold my first annual Susan Polgar World Open Chess Championship for Girls (under 21) next year and many more years to come in Las Vegas, during the Las Vegas International Chess Festival. I expect 400 to 500 participants from all over the country and all over the world to come to compete. More details will be published soon."

It's all good!

After the event at the National Open, Susan Polgar was invited to appear on the Live TV Show "It's All Good" in Las Vegas, as the sole guest for an entire hour. She talked about chess, the benefit of the game, women’s chess, scholastic chess, the Las Vegas International Chess Festival and her three upcoming tournaments:

  • The Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls (one best girl from each state)
  • The Susan Polgar National Open Chess Championship for Girls (under 21), to be staged next January in Corpus Christi, Texas, with around 500 participants.
  • The Susan Polgar World Open Chess Championship for Girls (under 21), to be staged next June in Las Vegas, with around 500 participants.

Susan's son Tommy was on the show with her, getting to show off his First Prize trophy in his first tournament outside of Forest Hills. It was all a great experience and a wonderful promotion for chess.


Susan and Tom on the "It's All Good" TV Show in Las Vegas

After Las Vegas Susan headed for Atlanta and Mexico City, to continue her chess promotional tour. She is determined to lift chess to the level of popularity of other mainstream sports. We will provide you with a pictorial report of her Mexico trip shortly.

All photos by Paul Truong

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