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Educational Chess

Judit Polgar and her team have developed a new and unique educational method. Instead of teaching chess as a sport and game the traditional way, the Educational Chess approach goes beyond the usual boundaries of teaching chess. Starting from 2013, Skill Developing Chess is officially part of the National Curriculum in Hungary.

According to our method, chess becomes an exceptional learning tool, especially useful for children born into our present day digital society. The Judit Polgar Chess Palace programme is not about training chess players. Although it is based on the basic rules of chess, Educational Chess is integrated into the regular curriculum in order to facilitate students’ progress in the principal subjects such as Mathematics, Science, and even Reading, Writing and Arts & Crafts. Playing chess is not the goal, it is a tool; an extremely efficient tool for logical thinking and a quick, smart decision-making. Chess Palace is a learning playground with physical boundaries of the chessboard and endless creative solutions in education.

Chess is an exercise of infinite possibilities for the mind, one which develops mental abilities used throughout life:

  • concentration
  • critical thinking
  • abstract reasoning
  • problem solving
  • strategic planning to name a few.

Happy Kids chess program has been specially prepared by Judit Polgár and has been actively in use at Happy Kids since September, 2010! For further details please visit Judit Polgár’s website and the Chess Palace’s website.

If you wish to learn chess at home as well, you can download Judit Polgár’s new animated chess teaching application, Chessplayground for Windows 8.1 and 10!

Judit Polgár - Just like these lovely children in Happy Kids’ classroom I was around 5 years old when I started to learn about the pieces on the chessboard.

Only a few years later, I gained international recognition when I was 9. At the age of 12 and 14 I was able to win the boys’ ! World Youth Chess Championship. I was still only 12 when our teenage team, including my two amazing sisters Susan and Sofia, together with Ildikó Mádl, made history at the Olympics. We won the first ever Olympic gold medal for Hungary in women’s chess. With this triumph the very, very long domination of the Soviet women in the chess Olympiads was broken in 1988. We were able to repeat this achievement in 1990.

Ever since that second Olympic gold medal, I have competed only against men. In 1991, I became Chess Grandmaster, breaking Bobby Fischer’s record as youngest grandmaster in history at the time. I represented the Hungarian men’s chess team on six Olympiads so far. We won a silver medal in 2002. During my career I have already defeated world chess champions Spassky, Karpov, Kasparov, Topalov and Anand in international tournaments, matches and rapid events.

On the world’s rating list, I am the No. 1 woman chess player for more than 20 years straight, since 1989. Among men, my top ranking was Nr. 8 in the world, in 2005. I was awarded the Chess Oscar seven times and was elected the best Woman Chess Player of the 20th Century.

In 2000, I got married to Gusztáv Font, a wonderful man and veterinarian by profession. Today, we have two children, Olivér and Hanna, they both have joined Happy Kids in 2009.

Beside the competitive chess carrier, my big ambition is to introduce chess to as many kids as possible. Countless studies have shown that chess can help develop critical thinking that can be used in other areas of a child’s life, academics and social situations. For this reason, so far I have written three instructional and playful chess teaching-books, together with my lovely sister, Sofia: Chess Playground 1, 2 and 3.

Global Chess Festival

Happy Kids is an annual partner of Global Chess Festival.

Chess can be a sport, ex­perience, educational method, special connecti­on or the common langua­ge. Therefore we believe that different generations may find something in common in chess. The Aquaprofit-Polgar Chess Festival in 2007, hosted the first 100 board simultaneous chess exhibition with the Olympic Champion Polgar sisters. Over the years, the annual Polgar Chess Festival has grown into a prestigious event in Budapest, Hungary in various locations, including the Palace of Arts and recently at the Buda Castle. Participants of every kind enjoy year after year the celebration of chess, from celebrities, sportspeople, artists, scientists, businesspeople to chess fans and – above all – children. “The passion for the game is the link between generations that teaches both young and old perseverance, logical thinking and respect.”

All day entertaining programs await visitors at the Global Chess Festival every year, including professional chess tournaments, simultaneous chess games, art shows, educational conferences and various entertaining programs for all ages. The Global Chess Festival has become a prestigious event in the past ten years – offering a full-day family experience built around the mystical board game. The creator and main organizer of the festival Judit Polgar, best female chess player of all time, invites everyone around the world to connect in chess related activities, in sports, arts, culture and entertainment. Let us celebrate the diversity and the 1000 faces of chess!

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