Judit Polgar's Global Chess Festival

by ChessBase
10/15/2018 – Last weekend, Judit Polgar's big, colourful annual Global Chess Festival took place. A full 24 hours revolved around chess — and not only in Budapest; about 100 places around the world were involved in one way or another. | Photos: Global Chess Festival

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Chess in the Hungarian National Museum

Every year — now for the fourth time — Judit Polgar throws a giant chess party dubbed the Global Chess Festival. "Chess connects", is the motto of the festival and this time not only did numerous chess events take place in Budapest, but also in many other places around the globe.

For example, schools from China were also involved this year, as Judit Polgar's chess course "Chess Palace" and "Chess Playground" will soon be introduced in the country as a scholastic educational tool.

On the eve of the festival in Budapest, Judit Polgar also gave a two-hour simultaneous Internet-based simulcast involving players from 20 countries around the world. Parallel to the activities, the Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog put chess at the centre of island life. For a whole day, this island of just 1000 inhabitants, changed its name to "Island of Chess" and all children on the island received chess lessons.

The festival itself took place in the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest.

Chess crafts in the museum

As part of the celebrations, awards were given to artists who have dealt with the chess in their work. Yoko Ono and her artistic partner Sam Havadtoy were honoured. Back in 1966 they created the famous work "Play it by trust", a game of chess which consists only of white squares and pieces. Yoko Ono will receive the award in New York at the beginning of November. 

In addition, the Hungarian pianist Gergely Bogányi, the French composer Jason Kouchak and the Chilean singer Juga were honoured.

Jason Kouchak on Piano

Jason Kouchak played the piano pieces "1000 Faces of Chess" and "Music and Mosaic" at the opening. Singer/Songwriter Juga performed her a new song, Isolated Pawn, with accompanying interpretive dance (beginning at 5:00 into the opening ceremony) and her prior chess hit Oh Capablanca (at 25:40).

The Opening Ceremony

"All chess players are artists," is the famous quote from Marcel Duchamp. Art lovers had the opportunity to admire the works of Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka, the first Hungarian painter who gained notoriety across the country. The young Argentine Grandmaster Damian Lemos and many other chess masters from all continents of the world invited visitors to the game of chess.

IM Sophie Polgar plays a simul


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