the only woman ever to be ranked in the top 10 chess players of the world
Judit Polgar is a Hungarian grandmaster, generally considered the strongest female chess player of all time. In 1991, Polgar achieved the title of grandmaster at the age of 15 years and 4 months, at the time the youngest to have done so, breaking the record previously held by former World Champion Bobby Fischer. She was the youngest player ever to break into the FIDE top 100 players rating list, ranking No. 55 in the January 1989 rating list, at the age of 12.
Polgar is the only woman to have been a serious candidate for the World Chess Championship, in which she participated in 2005; she had previously participated in large, 100+ player knockout tournaments for the world championship. She is also the only woman to have surpassed 2700 Elo, reaching a peak world ranking of No. 8 in 2004 and peak rating of 2735 in 2005. She is the only woman to be ranked in the top ten of all chess players, first reaching that ranking in 1996. She was the No. 1 rated woman in the world from January 1989 until her retirement on 13 August 2014.
She has won or shared first in the chess tournaments of Hastings 1993, Madrid 1994, León 1996, US Open 1998, Hoogeveen 1999, Sigeman & Co 2000, Japfa 2000, and the Najdorf Memorial 2000.
Polgar is the only woman to have won a game against a reigning world number one player, and has defeated eleven current or former world champions in either rapid or classical chess: Magnus Carlsen, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Spassky, Vasily Smyslov, Veselin Topalov, Viswanathan Anand, Ruslan Ponomariov, Alexander Khalifman and Rustam Kasimdzhanov.
On 13 August 2014, she announced her retirement from competitive chess. In June 2015, Polgar was elected as the new captain and head coach of the Hungarian national men’s team. On 20 August 2015, she received Hungary’s highest decoration, the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary.