Magic atmosphere, 27 nations at the EU Polgar Chess Festival

by ChessBase
11/18/2012 – They are the most famous sisters in chess: Susan, former women's world champion, Judit, the strongest female player that has ever lived, and Sofi, who has scored record performances in her chess career. They live in the US, Hungary and Israel, but got together in Budapest for a big chess festival. Over four thousand visitors attended, and were well entertained. Big illustrated report with video impressions.

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Magic atmosphere and 27 nations at the EU Polgar Chess Festival

More than four thousand visitors showed up at the EU Polgar Chess Festival 2012 in one of the biggest event center in Budapest. The program was very well balanced between the more intimate actual game of chess and, for the general audience, more entertaining show elements. Most people decided to stay for almost the entire day with the world’s most famous sisters of the sport, Judit Polgar, Susan Polgar, and Sofia Polgar. The Festival was under the patronage of Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the European Commission, and was supported by the European Commission Representation in Hungary.

At one of the events, Judit Polgar, as an ambassador of Chess in School program adopted by the European Parliament, gave a 27 board simultaneous game to children representing the 27 nations of the EU. At the press conference, the world's No. One female chess player also announced that from 2013 chess is going to be part of the national curriculum in Hungary, as an alternative subject in elementary schools and high schools. Judit also develops a chess student’s book and teacher’s handbook series to ensure the success of the program.

The show elements at the festival included live chess dance choreography,...

...David Merlini, escape artist, setting himself free and hanging from the ceiling to
play a blitz game with Susan Polgar,...

... and also the debut of the rapidly growing hybrid sport, chessboxing in Hungary

Judit tries her hand with Mihaly Kotai WBF/IBO middleweight world boxing champion

Archive photo: the Polgar sister have a long history of boxing

The closing of the programs was a 100 board simul, given by the Polgar sisters, to celebrities, athletes, artists, scientists, businessmen, politicians and fans.

The players list included George Soros (above, making his first move), business magnate, and many other businessmen and artists from Europe flying in to Hungary just to be able play a game against the Polgar sisters.

Blindfold chess: always fascinating for the lay public

After the festival the famous sisters of chess take off to different directions of the world again, to carry on with their life. Susan flies back the US, as she has a lot of work to be done at her department at Webster University. Sofia also heads home, back to Israel, to continue the work with the school program of the Judit Polgar Foundation. Judit has to face the toughest ride of the three, as after organizing the chess festival, in the next couple of days she has to compete with the world No. One chess player, Magnus Carlsen, at two different tournaments in a row: first, at the Grand Fiesta Unam in Mexico, then at the London Chess Classic.

Video impressions of the EU Polgar Chess Festival

Material provided by Ferenc von Maurer, Educational project and PR manager,
Judit Polgar Foundation for Educational Benefits.

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