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Polgár Chess Festival

The world-famous Polgár sisters hold their annual Chess Festival – now called ‘Global Chess Festival’ – each year in Budapest. The programs include an International Educational Conference focusing on the ‘Chess in School’ program, first developed by Judit when her children attended Happy Kids. Judit Polgár’s very own Chess Palace skill-building program that was integrated into the National Curriculum in Hungary.

Please read an interesting interview with Judit from the 2020 Global Chess Festival under this link.

In 2011 Garry Kasparov (former world Chess Champion) was the guest of honour at the annual Polgár Chess Festival held in the Palace of Arts in Budapest.

The Russian grandmaster, just like Judit, is committed to the ‘Chess in Education’ program. In 2011 Garry Kasparov, famous for the chess matches against the IBM supercomputer ‘Deep Blue’ – see a fascinating link.

Together with Judit Polgár started a petition at the European Parliament to include chess in schools. In March 2012, more than half of the European Parliament members have signed the written declaration of ‘Chess in School’ and invited the Member States to introduce chess in public education.

2020’s Global Chess Festival – which took place on 10 October – followed a different format to usual. Where previous years had guests and chess fans wandering the halls of Budapest’s National Gallery to interact with a wide range of programs, for 2020 it was necessary to move the event to an entirely digital space. “We did not want to host just another live stream or Zoom event,” says Judit Polgar, mastermind behind the Global Chess Festival, “we strived for more. We wanted an online universe of chess where the global community can connect within a virtual space. I believe that chess is capable of pioneering new ways to connect even when travel and personal events are restricted.”

One highlight of the festival was a historic talk between Garry Kasparov, former World Champion and Judit Polgar, the greatest female chess player of all time. Though the pair first met three decades ago and have been long-time rivals, the friendly conversation covered a range of topics, from Kasparov’s career and the duo’s shared history to the current World Champion Magnus Carlsen and the rise of chess engines.

Watch the Champions Talk with Garry Kasparov by Judit Polgar.

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