The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

1996-1999 Women’s World Chess Champion Susan Polgar visits Swieqi Chess Club

Sunday, 18 August 2019, 10:00 Last update: about 2 years ago

Mark Fleri

It was an unforgettable night for a number of junior chess players and club members when one of the World's most famous chess players, Susan Polgar paid a visit and gave a talk at the Swieqi Chess Club. Mark Fleri, Swieqi Chess Club President received a message from a fellow player that Susan Polgar was in Malta for a short holiday with her husband and chess player Paul Truong.  "I was hosting a Junior Rapid Tournament for kids this coming weekend and I thought it would be a wonderful idea if she could come over to meet and talk with the juniors that day."


For over 20 years Susan has done so much with regards to junior chess education that I thought no other chess player could inspire the Maltese Junior Chess players. "I sent her a message and although she could not make the tournament as she was leaving soon, she told me she could come the following evening".  With so much to now organise and in such little time to do it, it was hands down to prepare for a special night ahead with one of the World's most famous female chess players.

Hungarian-born American chess Grandmaster Susan Polgar was born on April 19, 1969, and is renowned for having been a child prodigy at chess. She is also regarded as a pioneer for women in chess and also as an advocate for chess in education. She first became the top-ranked woman player at the age of 15 on the July 1984 FIDE Rating List and continued her legacy for the next 23 years. While qualifying for the 1986 "Men's" World Championship, she first broke the gender barrier in chess history. She achieved the World Blitz and Rapid Championships in 1992.  She is the third woman to be awarded the title of Grandmaster, which FIDE granted her in 1991. Polgar was Women's World Champion from 1996 to 1999.

The following evening (Wednesday 14 of August) Mark Fleri went to collect her and her husband from the hotel and then drove to the club.  On arrival she met all the junior players, gave an inspirational talk about her chess life and what she is currently doing and gave motivational advice to the junior players.  She then took questions from the players and then went on to sign autographs and take photos with those present. The junior players also presented her with a solid glass Chess Knight as a token of appreciation for vising.  Mark Fleri continued, "I never dreamed that she would accept an invite to my small chess club, but she made some dreams come true for a number of junior and adult chess players alike.  We thank Susan from our hearts and we will always be indebted to her for making it such a wonderful night for Chess lovers." For more information about learning how to play Chess visit for further information.  

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